I've been the introverted friend in every one of my friendships, ever. I love extroverted people. The laughter, spontaneity, and fun that they create is something I thrive on being part of. However, there are many challenges that come with being the only introvert around, and there are definitely times I wished my friends understood my introversion a little better, not only for my own comfort but for the health of our relationships as a whole.
1. When I don't want to go to something, it has nothing to do with you.
I always appreciate you inviting me out, and sometimes I'll gladly come with you. But when the answer is a "no", it's not because I'm mad or annoyed with you. Chances are, the thing you want to do has too many people in attendance for me to be interested, or maybe I just need to be alone that day. Trust me, I'm always down to hang out with you.
2. Pushing me out of my comfort zone is never the answer.
I get it, I really do. You know that this thing you're pushing me into is going to be fun, you want me to have fun, so you encourage me to go. Occasionally, I'll cave and go do the thing you wanted us to do, but when I'm dead set on not doing something, there's a reason. I'm so thankful that you want me to be happy, but most of the time, I genuinely am happy spending time alone and skipping the things I know are going to be more harmful than helpful for me.
3. Don't surprise me. Especially not with a large group of people.
If you do want me to do something, please come talk to me about it. Let me know that you think it's important and ask me to go. Do not spring things on me, even if you think they're good (like a surprise party). The only outcome this will ever have is me being anxious and awkward and you feeling frustrated.
4. I'm not avoiding you.
If I don't answer your text or Snapchat, nine times out of ten, it's just because I'm recharging my social batteries. This is especially true if I've had a rough day or spent a lot of time talking to people. I promise, I still value our friendship, and I'm grateful for every message you send my way.
5. It takes time for me to open up.
One of the best parts of being friends with extroverted people is how quickly they let you into their world. I wish I could do the same, but that just isn't how I work. You'll slowly learn about me while I listen to you regale me with your stories. How well we work together in this and many other things is one of the best parts of introvert/extrovert friendships.
6. Don't assume I'm upset when I get quiet; it's my natural state.
I'm not sad, angry, frustrated or even bored. I'm probably just thinking about something, listening to someone talk, or observing my surroundings. This is me being content, don't worry about it.
7. Please don't call me unless it's very important.
I avoid phone calls at almost all costs. If a text will suffice, that's definitely the way to go. I much prefer to speak with you face to face and have meaningful, personable conversation. Not that you can't accomplish that over the phone, but it's just so difficult for me to communicate properly in this way, and I want nothing more than for you to truly understand what I have to say.
8. My bubble is important to me.
If you're a hugger, that's totally cool with me. Don't expect me to initiate physical affection, though. I need my space, and the better you understand when and how it is best to invade that space, the better off we will both be. I love you and I want to communicate that to you, but messing with my carefully curated bubble is not going to accomplish anything.
9. Don't stop inviting me to things.
Even if I don't want to go, it's so important for me to know that you wanted me to. Just because I'm an introvert doesn't mean I don't want to be included. I need to know you still like me, and I appreciate every single time you invite me to do something.
10. I love it when you check in with me at social events.
If I do go with you to something, this is the best way for me to feel comfortable. Every kind word you send my way, every time you ask if I'm okay, and each time you pull me into conversations you know I'll be comfortable with reminds me how lucky I am to have you as a friend.
11. I really do love you.
I may not express it like you do, and I know that can sometimes leave you feeling confused about why I'm your friend at all, but the truth is that I actually do love you. I want to spend time with you. I want to be your friend. We're just two different types of people coming together to create a beautiful thing.