January 16, 2010

Caring for Your Introvert - The Atlantic (March 2003)

Caring for Your Introvert  < -- Click here to read the Atlantic Monthly article.

This is a classic article about introverts. If you are an introvert, it might come as a relief to read this and find that a lot of the things that have always drained you or annoyed you or stressed you out are normal. Every time I read this article I think, "Yes! That's it exactly!" over and over again. If you are an extrovert, this article will hopefully help you to better understand the introverts in your life. Unfortunately, after sending this article out to several extroverted friends, the standard response I got from them was, "That's funny. What a hilarious joke!" In other words, they didn't get it. They thought it was a spoof on the differences between introverts and extroverts, but not at all based in reality. *sigh*

Here's a few quotes from the article to whet your appetite: 

Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.
Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say "Hell is other people at breakfast." Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.
Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion.


(I thought I had posted this long ago, but I can't find it anywhere so I thought I'd repost the link.)


  1. I love the ending ;-)

    I actually used to think I had a mental or perhaps anxiety disorder that made me need to "recover" from social situations. No one else around me seemed to need a break from an extended period of being "on".

  2. I loved the ending too :)

    It's all so true. Extroverts just don't get it, and they do tend to think we're either being arrogant and aloof or we're depressed and need help. *sigh*

  3. You did post this a long time ago...in the INTJ group maybe? I remember sending it to my boss and he LOVED it.

  4. i think it must have been in a comment. i did a google search on my site and on the intj group and couldn't find it in either.

    ... or maybe it was in a post that was made by someone else and later deleted?

    oh well.

  5. Hmmm...I dunno. But I do recall you posting it a long time ago.

  6. LOL

    I think Multiply may show the extroverts quite well

  7. got to say, though, I'm an introvert [although I can rise above that for the sake of others, through discipline], and my husband is an extrovert...
    after 21 years of marriage he sort of understands my need for space and quiet.


Leave me a note!