Introverts make up about 10-30% of the population, but they're highly represented on the Internet! However much of the world is designed for extraverts, who predominate. Being an Introvert can be like being left-handed and living in a right-handed world. Sometimes it can feel like the scissors don't fit your hand and all the doors open the wrong way.
If you're an Introvert, or live with one, or love one, or work with one, here are some tips.
Keirsey tells us that most Introverts don't like to state the obvious, so this can be one way to maneuver better -- state the things you think it's too obvious to say.
According to the Intuition Coach Nancy Fenn, Introverts have special communication gifts because they're such good listeners. Go ahead and listen, but also take your turn at talking. If you're relating with an Introvert, give them space and time to voice their thoughts and feelings as well. You may have to issue a special invitation to encourage conversation.
If you're an Introvert, don't feel you have to accept every social invitation. When you do, or when it's a Command Performance (such as a party at work), volunteer to do some job that you can do alone. Sitting at the registration desk is one idea. Go early and speak to everyone and then you'll be free to wander. Occasionally say you're enjoying yourself, or you may bring on more unwanted attention.
If your guest is an Introvert, you can make them more comfortable by giving them something to do like being the official photographer, or being in charge of changing the CDs.
If you're an Introvert, be proactive about social situations so you don't get stuck. You be the one to suggest the activity - a concert or a play, or some activity where the focus is elsewhere, such as a fair, festival, museum, or zoo can work well.
Look for time-limited activities, such as lunch during the work week, or brunch before a matinee. Introverts generally are drained by group activities -- a little goes a long way. By structuring things so you know the beginning and ending, you can pace yourself and enjoy yourself.
Restore yourself both before an after. It might work to work out before a party or take a nap. When you get home, take a bubble bath, or go for a swim. Something that restores you.
At work, when you work on a team project, suggest a way of doing something so that you can work alone. If there's an empty chair in your office or cubby, move it out or fill it with files, papers, etc. and people won't be encouraged to stay very long because they can't sit down. This can conserve your energy!
Holidays are stressful for everyone and can be particularly so for the Introvert. Schedule time for quiet relaxation and restoration into every day, as part of your schedule. Insist that people respect your boundaries. Introverts are the quintessential "quality time" over "quantity time." Plan a holiday that you can enjoy; it doesn't have to be like anyone else's. Keep your house quiet and peaceful and enjoy the streaming lights across the street when you feel like it.
Save up your vacation and take off for the holidays to a cabin in the mountains where you can curl up with a good book, soothing music, maybe someone else maybe not. Or take a cruise and get away from it all. Enjoy the holidays the way you like to.
Multiple obligations are hard on everyone. Make it clear that you will celebrate one year with these folks, and the next year with those, instead of rushing to 2, 3 or 4 gatherings on Easter of Christmas.
Get to know yourself as an Introvert. Coaching can help, too, to give you some coping tips.
Do take full use of the Internet. Email for instance is great for Introverts. It allows you to control the pace, to think before you 'speak," and to interact when and how you want to.
Most of us are Introverts or Extraverts to some degree and can change back and forth. It's a matter of knowing who you are and what works for you, and understanding the other person as well.