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

7 Thoughts to “Conversations with an Introvert”

  1. Wow! This is enlightening! As I was reading this blog post, I was just nodding and saying to myself ‘this describes me.’ I perfectly fit into the introvert picture.
    I believe it’s important to understand oneself to effectively relate with others. This article by Subomi has just helped me understand myself even better.
    Thank you Subomi!!

  2. Quite insightful. It really requires a lot of patience and some silent moments in conversations with an introvert – introverts are really deep in thinking. When they share their thoughts, they are worth “listening” to.

  3. Hi, I actually followed your tweets and I was pleasantly surprised as to how accurate a lot of the points you raised are/were (I’m certain you wrote this aware that one shoe size doesn’t fit all) .

    ‘Boring’ is a word i’m quite often described as, especially because of my knack for introspection. This often presented a challenge whenever i attended interviews and was quizzed about personality/lifestyle preferences. I obviously had to modify my lifestyle choices and began to interact more with people. I joined debate societies and other ‘people-facing’ groups.
    Presently, because i understand temperatments and personality types (thanks to Tim LaHaye books; Why You act the Way You Do, Transforming your Temperament, Spirit-Controlled Temperament), i’m able to adapt based on the situation. I mean, what’s the point living as an island when you can make happy memories with people around you? (I’m still an introvert, but i can turn up when the situation mandates)

    I can also relate with your tweet about being comfortable in a jazz bar. I’m a different ‘me’ when (west african) french music or afrobeat is on….really lovely post! 🙂

  4. This post was right on the money. As an introverted person, much (not all but quite a bit) of what you’ve said resonates with me. For example, I hate talking about problems. This sometimes gets me in trouble with friends who feel I’m shutting them out. Additionally, I struggle with people who make the same multiple times, demonstrating an utter lack of introspection and reflective learning.

  5. This Is me.. There nothing more to say. People feel I need to talk or comment about everything happening. There are times I just want to be left alone. I think alot and music helps me relax more. I love music , watching movies and reading. It helps me. This post is for people who don’t understand us.

  6. From another introvert, this is so well said!! A lot of this resonates, although I do sometimes need noise… I need to feed off chaos for energy and creativity, as long as it’s external to me and I can just watch/listen as an observer. I love this: “Don’t offer solutions. The process of unburdening is what an introvert needs not running commentary.” It’s something that extroverts can find very difficult to understand. I’m going to share this beautifully composed piece with others (both introverts and extroverts).

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