Your Guide To Interacting With An Introvert

Don’t get mad at the introvert in your life for shutting down; as this illustration explains, it’s just their way of coping.

Are you worried that your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your husband or wife is a passive-aggressive pain in the ass, who is purposefully trying to drive you crazy by avoiding all contact with the outside world? Cartoonist Schroeder Jones feared that his ex-boyfriend believed just that. In truth, the poor guy was just an introvert. So he made a comic explaining exactly why introverts behave the way they do.

The illustration plays off an accepted truth about introverts: Instead of finding crowds energizing, like extroverts do, they find them draining. The graphic explains: Introverts make their own energy instead of deriving that energy from other people. Since energy is a limited resource for them, introverts only want to give that energy, in other words, socialize with people who truly appreciate and understand them. So the next time you meet an introvert, don’t assume he’s blowing you off; though, if you’re way too extroverted, then he may very well be.

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  • Kyodai Panda

    I have never seen anything that explains who I am so deeply, and, as such, never felt so understood. This is beyond marvelous. Beyond words. Thank you for making this, whoever you are who did it. This is so perfect.

  • That was pretty cute. I must confess I'm getting tired of the whole 'gain their energy' argument, though. Especially since recent research on introversion and extraversion seems to suggest it's more about how we process stimulation with introverts being far more sensitive to it and extraverts requiring far more stimulation to reach their peak level of comfort.

    It's less about gaining energy, and about how much you can take to be satisfied. The internet and introvert culture has this all backwards.

    Then again, that's just semantics - I think this is pretty on the ball otherwise.

  • Paula Paulińska

    I'm an introvert and I hate when extroverts start to talk about themselves, their problems, problems of their families, acquaintances of their families... about their health and diseases.... As if the extroverts couldn't live on without getting everything off their chests.

    For me: an extrovert is a person keeping a lot of toxic energy inside and MUST clean themselves using other people around! I really don't care about all of their live - I have to listen to it because I try to be polite. Extroverts - please think about it!

  • Veritum

    Love this! The energy bit explains it perfectly for me. I always try to explain to friends/family that i'm like a rechargeable battery. Sure I enjoy going out, but socializing is hard work! Like running a camera flash of a standard AA battery. I can do it for so long but once the batteries drained it needs to disappear for a complete recharge. And of course, the more social intense something is - the quicker the battery drains :S I agree with the person who said extroverts generate there energy with other people (as opposed to absorbing). I don't think think they're stealing mine - just that i don't have the ability to recharge from theirs :) Cuppa tea, sofa and cuddle with the dogs for me :)

  • Brady

    I'm an introvert, but while the "silence is not an insult" thing is fine, the rest is self-absorbed/entitled/victim-y. It could use a "hey introverts, if you're lonely you may have to get over yourself and do something that is technically extroverted and maybe even tiring" counterpoint.

  • Jay

    I don't like being an extrovert,I just say too much, people do indeed get tired of me, I get even tired of myself.. I don't want to become an obnoxious person..

  • Shane Taylor

    Absolutely True for me! What is frustrating is dealing with other introverts you like socializing with and they act the same way lol

  • Sunny

    Adding to last post..
    allow and/or encourage their extrovert partner to have a career or vital involvement with a group outside the home.
    The encourage part is very important if the extrovert is a stay at home parent.

  • Sunny

    A small thing but I believe extroverts generate their energy WITH other people not absorb it FROM other people. This is an important distinction.
    I suggest that the introvert who loves their extrovert partner make sure they allow the extrovert to have a career or vital involvement in something outside the home so that their extrovert partner can generate what they need with other folks allowing them to give their introvert the personal space they need.
    Ahh a happy extrovert and a happy introvert. How perfect.

  • Griffin

    Hey, don't try just to take too much energy. You can actually generate your own positive energy and give some for (ex)change.

  • Jamie N Hoffman

    Get a grip people...I am an extrovert and KNOW I drain people of energy...if you are like m and married to an introvert then you can laugh at this cartoon and not take yourself so seriously as to be insulted!

  • Bill

    Come on folks, don't take it so literally.  It makes the point the way any good cartoon makes a point:  memorably.

    I think the actual explanation of introversion /extroversion is that it's a difference in how strongly we react to stimuli.  Especially social stimuli.  Extroverts are people who need more stimulus to get that comfortable level between bored and stressed-out.  Introverts are people who need less stimulus to reach the same level.
    So extroverts irritate introverts by trying to draw them out, and introverts irritate extroverts by withdrawing.

    -Most people are near the middle of the spectrum.
    -Neither extreme is an emotional maladjustment.  It's just the way we're wired.

  • Deborahcmb

    Perfectly stated! May I quote you on my facebook page when I post the link to the cartoon?  Giving you credit, of course, if you don't mind me using your name of Bill.  I will wait for your permission before posting the link. If you prefer that I use another name after your comment in quotes, just let me know.

  • Enrique Baiz

    Just because you are an introvert doesn't mean you can say that extroverts "steal" energy from you: you are _completely_ wrong, this is a hurtful and self-righteous comment. Accusing someone else of robbing you is typical of introverts that usually blame their faults on someone else and think that they are soo special, perfect and defenseless.  Extroverts just have more abundant SELF energy and are more generous with it, and get exhausted as well as energy is finite, you are correct there. Introverts are stingy with their energy, and from seeing this and reading others' comments, I think they are a bit spoiled as well.

  • Jimmy the Lock

     Please note that the cartoon does not say extroverts ARE "stealers of energy", but only that introverts MAY see them as such. (Thus it is our own hurdle.)

     Your typical assumption that blame has been placed upon you when it clearly has not, I gotta say, is kind of classic extrovert.


  • annemarie79

    I agree with this post as the illustration says extroverts "gather their energy from their surroundings" and "they absorb the good vibes of the people around them," which says in other words that extroverts do not produce their own energy. Then it says the introverts make their own energy, which in other words means they are better than extroverts.
    It then continues and says extroverts are "obnoxious predators out to steal their sweet sweet energy juice.

    I can see how that can be insulting for an extrovert and make them angry...

  • Barrylnall

    You seem rather angry, aggressive and authoritarian. Oh yeah, and you also seem to be making assumptions from what you think you read between the lines. If this is the way you want to characterize yourself, go ahead. Alpha wolves will be what they are. If I was to make an assumption, I might assume you think you are special, perfect, and a great defender of testosterone. Introverts are spoiled? How can that be? I would assume you would think introverts to be so weak they could never achieve or get anywhere. Can't get spoiled on nothing.

  • alexandra

    Love it! I'm going to have to translate this to my husband and hope he gets the hint wink,wink...I am the introvert and someone (my husband) has hidden my hamster ball, my books, etc...I am depleted of energy... This is the best explanation of me I've ever read... Thank you :) Alexandra