Before getting into this, I would like to address two categories of people.

To introverts who feel like explaining themselves, I hope you see beyond others’ perceptions. I hope you never doubt your genuine essence. And I truly wish for you to never be tricked into believing anything less of who you are.

To extroverts who appreciate introverts unconditionally, thank you SO MUCH! Your support matters more than you think.

It hasn’t always been the case, but I’ve learned that I don’t owe any explanations to anyone. It’s also up to you whether to detail it or not. Some people don’t understand introversion, and will always label it as a kind of a disease. They will even insist on how strange you are from the norm.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t change their perception. That’s okay. You can change your reaction instead. If they call you “strange” for spending time alone, imagine how hollowing it must be having no idea who they truly are. How tiring it must be searching for constant support in the outside world, yet never finding home inside…

Unlike some extroverts who insist on the greatness of their vision (and their vision only) you, the introvert are able to understand others’ opinions and accept them. Use your strength when it comes to introversion too.

How to Explain Introversion to Extroverts

The Emotional Approach

I am an INFP. I count on my feelings and intuition no matter what I do. I’ve tried explaining introversion from a very emotional and subjective perspective. I talked about freedom and purpose. And I spoke about passion, and how life changes once you listen to your heart.

I mentioned my love for silence, and the time I need to put my thoughts in order before I speak them. As you can guess, it was a failure. Apparently, there are people who like following rules, while taking the same route in life like many others. They speak as they think, and can’t imagine any pleasure from having as much alone time as I do.

Well, if you decide on this approach, I hope you’re luckier than me.

Scientific Proofs

There are many studies conducted by researchers which prove that not only we were born introverts, but also that we can’t change that in time. It’s a perfectly normal way of being that comes with its advantages. If you want to impress your friends with facts, I recommend “Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Sop Talking” . Get the book, highlight the important studies, and use the proven facts as solid arguments.

“What scientists haven’t realized until recently is that these risk factors have an upside. In other words, the sensitivities and the strengths are a package deal. High-reactive kids who enjoy good parenting, child care, and a stable home environment tend to have fewer emotional problems and more social skills than their lower-reactive peers, studies show. Often they’re exceedingly empathic, caring, and cooperative. They work well with others. They are kind, conscientious, and easily disturbed by cruelty, injustice, and irresponsibility. They’re successful at the things that matter to them.” 

― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Other books that explain how the introverted mind works compared to that of an extrovert are: The Irresistible Introvert: Harness the Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World by Michaela Chung and The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World by Jenn Granneman .

Do people around you doubt your qualities as a leader? I have the perfect recommendation for you: The Introvert Entrepreneur by Beth Buelow.

Why don’t you like the buzz of an active life? Why would you rather be alone than socialize for hours? The answer is fully detailed in all books I mentioned. In a few words, introverts need less stimuli to feel awake and alert. That’s why we get overwhelmed easier and faster than extroverts.

Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough. 

― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Supported by arguments, try to explain to your extroverted friends that there are many ways of being. Pay attention to your tone. You don’t want it to turn into an argument. Just because they don’t agree with introversion, it doesn’t mean they can not accept it. Tell them how much you believe their intentions are genuine. You know they want the best for you, but insisting on going out more often is not something to make you happy.

Tell them you admire their success. It genuinely makes you glad and proud knowing they did it on a big scale. As for you, you prefer to stay away from the spotlights and achieve goals quietly.

As much as possible, stay away from those who are not able to find the light in introversion. Find your family of like-minded people who already see the beauty in you.

Welcome home!