Conversations with an Introvert

by Subomi Plumptre

It can be frustrating being friends with an introvert. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep the conversation going or to get them to open up and share. At times, there’s even a worry that if the conversation isn’t flowing, something must be wrong. Perhaps the person doesn’t find you fascinating. Nothing could be further from the truth. That’s why I’ve developed a few tips in this post to help you understand introverts better.

When the conversation isn’t flowing, sometimes an introvert may just be resting their brain. Conversation is exhausting, so being quiet helps them to reboot, as they listen to you carry the conversation for a while. Hearing you speak can be soothing, as long as they don’t need to say much in return. Simple activities also help – a lot. Reading together, watching a movie, grabbing coffee or sex. This will help an introvert to unwind, laugh and then talk.

Understand that an introvert truly hates to talk about their problems. Introverts solve problems by self analysis and deep introspection, not by committee. Sometimes, an introvert needs to talk about inconsequential things; everything but what is bothering them, before they finally open up. Weighty topics like work or politics do not qualify.

To get an introvert talking, ensure three things are in place – Trust, time and comfort.

Firstly, an introvert won’t talk to you if you’re deemed untrustworthy. It takes real time to establish trust. It’s not about the strength of the initial connection. You still have to pay your dues to earn an introvert’s confidence over time. Asking an introvert to go on holiday with you or to date you after just meeting you, is a bad idea. It makes them wary. An introvert will also be suspicious, if you are too interested in the intimate details of other people’s lives.

Secondly, for an introvert, sharing is more than just talking. It’s an invitation into the intimate recesses of their minds and hearts. Their words must be valued.

Thirdly, on the subject of time, if you don’t have more than five minutes or are en route to somewhere else, don’t ask an introvert to share. They need quality time to get warmed up. An introvert hates to be rushed and won’t share on-demand. They’ll only do so, when they’re very comfortable.

When an introvert is going through a crisis, they need love, kindness and something fun to get their minds off it. This may be a good meal in a nice serene restaurant, a movie or a long walk. Introverts hate noisy unstructured environments. As they discuss this and that, they begin to relax and get comfortable, and will then share what’s bothering them. Let them talk, uninterrupted. Don’t proffer solutions. The process of unburdening is what an introvert needs, not running commentary.

I hope some of these tips will be helpful. I also hope you get to the point where your introverted friend trusts you with their mind, heart and words.

Introverts solve problems by self-analysis & introspection, not by committee. Click To Tweet

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