By: Vivian Shillingsburg
For many, it’s easy to differentiate introverts from extroverts. Extroverts are the people who have tons of friends, are eager to participate in any social encounters, and are always the talkative person in the room, while introverts are quiet and keep to themselves. You won’t hear them say much, and they are more than likely to wait for someone to start a conversation with them rather than starting one themselves. Though they may seem like perfect descriptions for each term, they aren’t entirely true, especially on the introverted side of things.
People tend to think that introverts prefer to be left alone and don’t enjoy social interaction with other people. While this might be true for some, it isn’t really true for everyone. As an introvert myself, I love talking to people and having good conversations, but I am not energized by conversations like extroverts are. If you know me at all, you would probably say that I’m an extrovert because I’m talkative and excitable, but just because I tend to talk a lot, that doesn’t mean I’m a social person. I prefer to hang out with just a small group of people that I am familiar with and feel comfortable around. In contrast, an extrovert likes to hang out with larger groups of people and can handle that for a longer time. They are energized by socializing, unlike someone like me. Spending time with lots of people for long periods of time can be very draining. Just because I can hold a conversation with someone for a few minutes doesn’t make me “social”, it just means I like to talk.
The problem with being a talkative introvert is people tend to mistake it for being social, which may not seem like a big deal, but it can put someone like that in uncomfortable situations. Introverts prefer to take their time when making friends and getting to know people, but when you put yourself out there, people tend to take it as an invitation to be good friends. This is where the introvert side will show, and this can be overwhelming to an introvert because it doesn’t give you enough time to warm up to being friends. An introvert likes to be given the space to get to know someone by observing them and watching their reactions and their interactions with other people. This process helps to determine whether or not you want to be friends with the person. When you are a talkative introvert, it gives you a disadvantage, because you are sending out an open message to someone that tells them that you want to become closer and be friends, when really it’s just you being you.