Extroverts. You must have heard of this word a thousand times already. They are—supposedly—outgoing, talkative, confident, cheerful, and likes to smile. Maintaining a friendship with an extrovert might not be easy, especially if you are an introvert. These two opposite types of personality often attract each other due to their complementary characteristics: a chatterbox and a listener, liking loudness instead of silence, opening outward and turning inward.
Such contrasting traits may become detrimental to a relationship, platonic or no, in the long run. Here are 6 tips on having long-term extroverted friends. Although these tips focus on an introvert’s perspective, it can be read by anyone who is interested.
1. Know that they love to share their thoughts and experience.
It can feel a bit overwhelming when you hang out with extroverts for a long period of time. They seem to never stop running out of things to say and stories to tell. Often, extroverts think while they talk, in contrast to introverts, who often sort out their ideas inwardly. Moreover, if they interrupt you or don’t pick up your hints, it is likely that they simply feel excited to have someone to interact with, not because they want to ignore you. Knowing that they are not trying to get your sympathy, annoy you, or waste your time is necessary in order to avoid negative impressions toward your extrovert friends. They just love to share to people what they have been through.
2. Extrovert often gets energized by being around people
This is the main difference between extroversion and introversion, since introverts prefer to be alone to ‘recharge’ themselves. The difference is rooted in your brainstem. Part of its functions to stimulate you to stay happy; less than that and you are sad, more than that and you feel stressed. Introverts already have a high level of stimulation in their brains, and, as a result, they do not need much social interaction to stimulate themselves. However, extroverts are the opposite. They generally have a lower stimulation level; thus they often search for more stimulation by being a social butterfly.
And that’s the fundamental difference between introverts and extroverts. Of course, not everyone is the same black and white definition of personalities. However, accepting this difference allows you to change certain expectations that you know your extrovert wouldn’t fulfill. For example, it’s unlikely that they would relate to you enjoying the peace of midnight or reading a book in absolute silence.
3.Don’t be intimidated by their friends
We all know that one person who seems to be friends with everyone. Perhaps being their friend feels amazing, but sometimes you are faced with an awkward situation: seeing them interacting with other groups of friends. You introduce yourself and try to memorize other people’s names. You exchange a couple of greetings, and then fall silent.
It might be scary to be presented to so many people at once, especially if you’re an introvert. The first thing you should know is that staying silent remains an option. If you do not wish to contribute to the conversation, then that is fine. If you want to exit the conversation, you can do it. Sometimes, people want to keep their circle of friend small and close to them. In order to be a long-term friend with an extroverted person, you should keep in mind that they generally have a large circle of friends. Although their friends may not click with you instantly, you do not have to feel intimidated by those friends.
4. Don’t force yourself to accept every invitation to hang out
Have you ever received a text asking if you would like to go the movies, and you refused simply because you don’t feel like seeing people?
Sometimes, people thought of friendships as a thin string that could be broken by one little slip. Perhaps you thought that the trip to a shopping mall was important and decided to say yes, or you felt guilty for already refusing two other invitations to hang out and agreed to go. Whatever the reason, you end up going out despite your wishes.
Remember that you have the right to refuse anything you don’t want to do. Of course, it is wise to retain a sort of balance between refusals and acceptances, but only do so if you feel excited to see your friend. Your friends want you to be happy, not anxious and frustrated.
5. Cheer up your extrovert friends with something new or exciting
As discussed above, the main difference between introverts and extroverts is that extroverts tend to need more stimulation in their life. When you see that your extrovert friend isn’t as energetic as they should be, you can help them cheer up by introducing stimulants into their day. You can bring up a new hobby, watch a movie, or guide them to open up about recent things they did. You could also try to change the current environment that you both are in. Perhaps a new restaurant downtown or a different part of the beach can help take some weight off your friend’s mind and allow them to relax. You could also let them know that you are there for them and offer support.
6. Don’t reduce your friend to stereotypes
Last, but not least, it’s crucial that you don’t place labels on your extrovert friends. If you do so, they cease to be your friend and become ‘that-person-who-are-this-and-this.’ In cases of introverts, it may feel daunting to understand what your extrovert friend is thinking, and you may resort to the Internet for help. Useful information is always available, but you should trust your own instincts when it comes to dealing with friends. Extroverts don’t always go out and talk a lot. They can be introspective and a bookworm, just as introverts can be confident and chatty. Extroverts are a blend of different traits; not a person made from rules and adjectives.
All in all, introversion and extroversion is a spectrum, and sometimes their ‘traits’ jump and twist around. You should not assume certain things about your friends just because they fit in a certain personality type, nor should you forcefully impose your own ideology of an extrovert or introvert onto them. It’s beautiful when opposites people draw each other’s interest, but to maintain a relationship-friendship, romantic, or otherwise-one must put in the energy and effort.