Jeri’s Jackpot: Introverts and How to Help Them

   Imagine this scenario: you’re having a conversation with family or friends and you have something you really want to say.

   However, every time you try to talk, someone talks over you, cuts you off in the middle of your story or doesn’t pay attention in general.

   If you’re like me, an introvert, it’s exhausting enough just to share a story or a thought once, let alone have to keep restarting or repeating yourself just to be heard.

   If you’re not an introvert and think you’re someone who does the aforementioned no-no, here are a few tips to help you out.

   First tip: listen. If someone is talking, the best thing you can do is listen to them. Don’t play on your phone, don’t look around; pay attention to them and listen to what they have to say. They deserve your time.

   Tip two: keep quiet until they’re done speaking. Whatever comment or rebuttal you have to interject with isn’t more important than letting them finish their thought, especially if what you’re about to say is completely off topic to what they’re discussing.

   Nothing makes a person feel worse than starting a conversation and getting a response that doesn’t even relate to what they said – almost as if the person didn’t exist.

   Tip three: respond. Even if the person is finished talking, it can seem like you don’t care if you suddenly change the topic to something you want to talk about. At least take the time to give the person a response that’s more than one or two words. Interact with them and make them feel like a part of the group or conversation.

   Something important to remember about introverts is that we tire out easily when it comes to social interaction. There’s only so much we can take before we need to recharge, so to speak.

   So if we’re at a social event and we wander off by ourselves or wind up on our phones, we aren’t being rude. Rather, we just need to recharge our “social battery.”

   Being an introvert is difficult. There’s no denying that. It’s even worse when you make friends with extroverts who crave and thrive off social interaction.

   Humans are inherently social creatures, so when one is born that ends up wanting the exact opposite of the normal or typical, it can be hard for people to understand them. It’s not that we don’t like interacting with people – we do – it’s just that we like to do it in much smaller doses than most people.

   There are also certain situations that can lead an introvert to be more or less social. Take, for instance, being in a college class with a few friends. Someone introverted is more likely to talk to their friends, and by proxy, other classmates. This can make the person seem more social than normal.

   However, take that same person and put them in a party with people they barely know, and they tend to hide out somewhere in the back.

   So while this started out as a rant, I wanted to take the time to give a little information on what it’s like to be an introvert as well as something that people can do to help out their introvert friends in social situations.

   If you see your friend chilling on their phone or not interacting much with others, let them be, and then after a bit try bringing them back into the conversation.

Jeri Hensley
Graphic Designer

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