By Ron Edmondson
Chances are you have lots of introverts on your team, in your organization, at your church, or even in your family. If you’re an extrovert, here are some ways you can help introverts.
1. Give us advance warning. Don’t put us on the spot for an answer or opinion. Give us time to formulate a response.
2. Don’t assume we don’t have an opinion. We do, and it may even be the best one. But we are less likely to share our opinion surrounded by people who are always quick to have something to say and tend to control the conversation.
3. Don’t assume we are unfriendly or anti-social. We may not be talking, but that doesn’t mean we do not love people or that we don’t want to communicate with them. Plus, we talk one at a time, so if there’s someone always talking, we may not get a chance.
4.Give us time to form relationships. Introverts don’t form relationships fast. We may appear harder to get to know, but when we do connect, we are loyal friends with deep, intimate connections.
5. Allow us time alone. All of us need personal time, but we require even more time alone than an extrovert. We energize during these times, not just relax. There’s a huge difference.
6. Don’t expect us to always love or get excited about extroverted activities. The social activities where you get to meet all the cool people you do not know…that’s not too exciting for us. It may even be a little scary. We’ll find excuses not to go, even if we know we need the experience or will have fun once we do them.
7. Allow us to use written communication when available. We often prefer emails to phone calls. We are usually more engaging when we can write out our thoughts ahead of time.