Inside My Sparkly Shell

How To Explain Your Introversion To People In Your Life – Inside My Sparkly Shell

Explaining your introversion to others can quite possibly be the hardest part of being an introvert. It’s enough that we have to deal with our own innermost battles, but once we have to communicate it to the people in our lives, that’s when the real challenge begins! Do we dive deep into the psychological particulars of it? Or do we toss them a book and tell them to learn on their own?

What we can’t do is give up and hope they will figure it out eventually. That’s where misconceptions and misunderstandings thrive. Our introversion is an important aspect of who we are and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

When we can effectively talk about our introversion, it boosts our own confidence and lets the people around us understand us better. This results in closer relationships with family and friends, stronger bonds with partners, and better rapport with colleagues and teachers.

Now, there’s no need to go around explaining your introversion to everyone you meet! We don’t see extroverts doing that so we shouldn’t either. However, I think we can agree that introversion is a much more misunderstood subject, so we should save our explanations for the people who really matter.

But, the way we talk about it with our closest friend is not going to be the way we talk about it with a new partner or a boss, so here are my strategies for explaining your introversion to the various people in your life!

How To Explain Your Introversion To People In Your Life - Inside My Sparkly Shell

Family & Friends

These are the people you can be the most honest with and the ones whose opinions and feelings you care about the most! These are also the people who probably have the strongest views on your introversion, whether they be good or bad. This is why you should really take the time to open up a dialogue with them, share your experiences as an introvert, and educate them on the subject.

The best way to do this is to start it off by using an outside resource. Use a book, website, or video about introversion to provide them with an accurate description of what it is. Then, go on to connect the definition to yourself by explaining your introverted traits and using personal anecdotes.

Answer any questions you can and don’t be afraid to open up! These are the people who care about you the most and want to see you succeed. Spend as much time as you need keeping this dialogue open – some will learn faster than others.

 

Work Colleagues

Unlike family, you may not want to open up as much with your work colleagues! However, it is imperative to speak to them about your introversion so they can work with you and understand you as best as they can. It doesn’t help anyone if the people in your office are going by thinking you hate all of them when you really don’t!

Of course, you’re not going to have a heart to heart with your boss, so this one has to be done differently. My favorite way is to start or join a conversation in which you can lead to talking about your introversion. At my old job, for example, my colleagues had started to talk about zodiac signs one day. This conversation usually leads to people sharing what their sign is and how accurate it is for them, so I took that opportunity to share mine (Virgos unite!). I mentioned how I am very introspective, observant, and independent – all introvert buzzwords. In the end, I was able to get my message across without even saying the word introvert.

Dropping hints here and there will help your colleagues put the pieces together that you are just as dedicated to the job as they are, you’re just doing it quietly!

Start your career on a high note with my career advice for introverts

 

Dates & Romantic Partners

In the beginning, dating can be fun as an introvert when the person doesn’t know you very well and you can get away with them not know your true nature. Unfortunately, that will only last so long. When I was on the dating scene, I would get paranoid knowing the day would come that my date would discover my “introverted underpants.”

We introverts are great at pretending to be extroverts, but we aren’t quite experts at it. We slip up and expose some of our introverted ways which makes the other person start asking questions.

To avoid all of this anxiety and masquerade, it’s best to be upfront with your dates about your introversion. This way, no love is lost if it ends up that they aren’t interested in dating an introvert (plus, why would you want to date them anyway?). And if they are fine with dating an introvert, then everything starts off going in a positive and honest direction!

When asked questions such as if you like to go out, what you do in your free time, or how many friends you have, take that opportunity to be honest and share what your personality and lifestyle is really like. Don’t downplay your introversion or say negative things like, “I know I’m a weirdo but…” or “I know I’m such a loner…”

When you talk positively and confidently about your introversion, people will be less likely to want to help, pity, or “fix” you. They will see a proud introvert putting themselves out there unapologetically!

Needing more help with your love life as an introvert? Take a look at my relationship and dating tips!

 

Teachers

When it comes to teachers and professors, you are often dealing with the threat of participation grades and their love for the “active” students. This means that you must effectively communicate your desire to do well in the class while remaining true to yourself.

I have found that talking one on one with teachers is the best way to go about explaining your introversion. Schedule a time to speak with them and ask how they think you’re doing in the class, grades aside. 90% of the time, they will bring up your introversion. Phrases like “Well, I wish you spoke up more” or “It doesn’t seem like you’re very interested” will probably be thrown around, which is your chance to take the stage!

Inform them that you are very invested in the class and aim to succeed, but you are naturally a more reserved and timid person. Note that your quietness is not because of disinterest or confusion, but because you would rather listen and observe in the classroom. This may not change their perception of introversion, but it will change their perception of you. You took an effort to make it known that you are a dedicated student and not the slacker they may have thought you were.

Learn more about how to harness your introvert power in the classroom.

 

Everyone in your life will have different levels of understanding, so be prepared for whatever happens! Not everyone will get it right away and some people, unfortunately, never will. But, the main part of being a confident introvert is to not be afraid to talk about it in a patient, kind, and informed way, no matter who it is. The good part is that it gets easier to do as time goes on, believe me!


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How To Explain Your Introversion To People In Your Life - Inside My Sparkly Shell

What steps will you take to explain your introversion to the people in your life? Let me know in the comments!

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34 Comments

  • Reply BeLondoned

    A lovely article full of helpful advice xxx

    April 3, 2018 at 1:05 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      So glad you liked it. Thank you!

      April 3, 2018 at 2:11 pm
  • Reply Tami

    Love this post! I have a problem explaining introversion and anxiety to people – a lot of people just don’t get it. I love the idea of giving them things to read about it to help them understand. I gave my husband a book to read about how anxiety feels and that helped him understand a lot better. 🙂

    April 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      You are definitely on the right track then!

      April 3, 2018 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply Kelly Nash

    After reading your post, I now know how important it is to talk about things like introversion. People tend to gravitate to their own and not be as understanding when people are different from them. I think being able to talk about it and recognize those differences is critical to ensure people understand you! Great post!

    Kelly

    April 3, 2018 at 3:33 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Absolutely! Thank you for your insight 🙂

      April 3, 2018 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply Tabbie

    It really is difficult being an introvert sometimes! I feel like I’m an introvert who deeply aspires to be extrovert. Lol

    April 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert! It can definitely be a struggle but we have our own special magic that has its place in the world 🙂

      April 5, 2018 at 10:39 am
  • Reply Juanita Deloris

    Nice, helpful article. As an introvert I know it can often be difficult to get non-introverts to understand. I nolonger try to explain all the time. I have been pushed into highly uncomfortable situations by those who think “just do it” is the way to break out of the shell. I am who I am, whether others understand or not. If someone asks I may give them an explaination…or if I feel a situation truly requires it. It has been my experience that those who desire to pressure others to be like them (to be something they are not) don’t really care to understand.

    April 3, 2018 at 6:13 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Exactly. There are definitely some people who will never understand unfortunately but most people are open and willing to try and understand.

      April 5, 2018 at 10:40 am
  • Reply Jessica

    These are great tips! Navigating life as an introvert has been tricky for me, but I’ve learned that having boundaries is really important. I should try talking about it more often with others too so that they better understand why I’m so quiet most of the time.

    April 3, 2018 at 8:53 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Opening the dialogue is very beneficial, especially with the people who matter most!

      April 5, 2018 at 10:41 am
  • Reply Bailey

    Really interesting perspective! As a introvert, there have been very few people outside of my family who I’ve felt the need to explain introversion to.

    April 4, 2018 at 8:56 am
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      That’s good! Some of us have to set the record straight sometimes lol

      April 5, 2018 at 10:42 am
  • Reply MeChell

    Great article! I’ve been an introvert my whole life. Some people think I’m just stuck up when the reality is that I am just really shy, and it takes me awhile to be comfortable around new people. I feel that it hinders me in a lot of areas. I so wish I could be outgoing.

    April 4, 2018 at 9:50 am
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      I totally understand. My shyness is also something I still deal with. I think that can be harder to manage than the introversion itself!

      April 5, 2018 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Kiersten

    Great post! I have a lot of trouble getting people to understand me. They always misunderstand how I am. I’ve even been disciplined at work for being an introvert because they just didn’t understand and refused to understand. Maybe I can try some of your tips and things will get better. Thanks for sharing!

    April 4, 2018 at 10:14 am
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Wow! Disciplined for your introversion?! That’s so unfortunate. I wish more people understood the advantages of introversion and that we have our own set of really great things that we can bring to the table.

      April 5, 2018 at 10:44 am
  • Reply Denise Riehle

    What a great article on a hard subject. I never thought about the benefit of sharing info with teachers, I can see the benefit of that! Thanks.

    April 4, 2018 at 10:26 am
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Thanks so much! These strategies have helped me a lot so I thought they could really help other introverts out there 🙂

      April 5, 2018 at 10:45 am
  • Reply Amy

    Helpful article! I agree that explaining our personality to others will both boost our confidence and be helpful to the relationship.

    April 4, 2018 at 12:29 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Exactly! We have to open the dialogue but also be careful not to overexplain or apologize for who we are.

      April 5, 2018 at 10:45 am
  • Reply Talisa

    In the past I’ve usually not tried to explain my introversion to people I meet. It would lead to so many misunderstandings about me, I think. Now, when I meet new people and make new friends, I explain certain things about myself in the context of being super-introverted, or I share pictures & things explaining introversion and might say ‘This is so me’ in a casual sort of way.

    My mom recently told me “I’m 100% an introvert, and that’s why I know you are too.” The one person I never had to explain my introversion to, in any way.

    April 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      That’s great that your mom has always understood! I think having confidence makes it a lot easier to explain it to people. 🙂

      April 5, 2018 at 10:46 am
  • Reply Johanne

    I’m not always an introvert, but a lot of the times I am. I mean, I just need to be left alone sometimes. And some of my friends never really understood that, but luckily now I’m surrounded with like-minded people. They are ok with me cancelling sometimes, because they do the same. They are okay with me wanting to be alone, because they want the same. I actually never really thought about telling people explicitly, but now you say it like that!

    April 4, 2018 at 2:34 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      It definitely helps to have like-minded people around, or at least people who are willing to understand. I’m glad you liked the article!

      April 5, 2018 at 10:47 am
  • Reply Gale

    What a great article! I’m an amnivert myself (meaning I am right smack in the middle of extroversion and introversion). I haven’t had to explain that to many people, but what I have had to do is explain my children to each other. My two oldest are born 19 months apart…and one is extremely extroverted while the other is extremely introverted. At one point when they were younger, I would find my introvert would lock in my room with my extrovert banging on the door crying “Why doesn’t he want to play with me?” I had to teach my extrovert that someone wanting “alone time” didn’t mean they didn’t like them or were mad at them. And I had to teach my introvert better ways to let his brother know he needed some time out from playing games.

    April 4, 2018 at 3:30 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Very interesting! That’s a great opportunity to teach them about personalities and inclusion. Thanks for sharing that!

      April 5, 2018 at 10:49 am
  • Reply ShootingStarsMag

    These are all great tips for the various people in your life. I always hated when teachers MADE you speak up in class, etc. I get it to an extent, but it’s also very anxiety-inducing for a lot of people and doesn’t help them learn any better than just letting them adsorb everything.

    -Lauren

    April 4, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      You are absolutely right. It definitely distracted me from being able to get everything out of the class.

      April 5, 2018 at 10:49 am
  • Reply michelle

    Great post. This is a difficult thing to do. I am not great at communicating and I tend to get frustrated when people don’t understand me.

    April 4, 2018 at 8:54 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      I’m with you on that one! But it definitely helps to understand that some people are open-minded and willing to learn about introversion while others never will, unfortunately.

      April 5, 2018 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Msddah

    It is nice reading through the thoughts of an introvert. Thanks for sharing as I dont quite understand introverts. Thanks for sharing!

    April 4, 2018 at 11:34 pm
    • Reply Nicole DaRosa

      Thank YOU for stopping by! I appreciate you reading this even though you aren’t introverted 🙂

      April 5, 2018 at 10:50 am

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