While my good friend was giving me the “conversation” advice, he messed up on the terms “shyness and introversion”! There might be similar behavioral traits in the two, but I totally disagree with the fact that they are the same.
1. The act of directing one’s attention toward or getting gratification from one’s own interests, thoughts, and feelings.
This is one of the personality traits you were born with and it does not fade away with age. So if you are an introvert and want to become an extrovert – that can’t be done! The important thing here is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you are an introvert. So why do you even want to change it in the first place? Introverted people are not abnormal; they just derive their energy from their thoughts and by enjoying solace. This is what gives them their mojo. On the other hand, talking and expressing gives life to extroverts.
If you are shy you are not an introvert.
Shyness is fear based. A fear about being judged by people or being embarrassed in social situations! This is proven by the fact that most of the people, who make their living by public speaking, are introverts in nature and though they speak in front of hundreds of people, they do not enjoy many social interactions.
Read on to know some very usual tactics that introverts use to stay away from crowded conversations. Try chatting with an introverted friend and you would definitely relate to these.
1. He always finds a way to withdraw from group conversations.
Ever tried making an introvert join a WhatsApp Group or a Gtalk Group chat? Somehow the crowd seems to be noisy and congested to them and they seamlessly try to avoid the group conversations and discussions. Given an opportunity, they would like to talk on an interpersonal basis rather than to a group. The presence of a group of people in a conversation makes them withdraw from it. So while they may be reading every word that has been typed, they will hardly respond.
2. Small Talk and Questions – Duh! They are simply not his forte.
While some introverts may give in to repetitive probing questions about their jobs or their romances, small talk stresses them out and deeper conversations make them feel alive. Ask an extrovert why he is upset and chances are he might just explain the whole ‘world theory’ in the chat response. It is not the same with introverts, they do not participate in conversations easily and they might just be trying to keep to the listener’s side. And then speak when they deem it fit!
3. The “Golden Pause” before every answer comes involuntarily to him.
The delay in response is not due to the moody nature or a selective reading impairment, they just like thinking before answering. So if just asked your friend out for a movie, he might just reflect internally and not think aloud like the extroverts who can count their engagements for the day on their fingertips.
4. He is tempted to go “Offline” in the middle of a conversation.
Introverts need time alone and have a limit when it comes to gelling with others. They need this quiet time to refill their energies. So while you may be pinging your friend incessantly, he might actually need that time away from you. And since you refuse to give in, he makes his choice clear – by turning offline!
5. The question “Are you okay” is usually met with single syllable answers.
This is the biggest turn off for an introvert. Well, of course he is okay! Just because he does not type as much as you do, does not mean he has a volcano of suppressed emotion inside. He is just fine! And your repetitively asking that question, is just irritating him more. So, let him be. If you bug him too much he will just log out and blame it on the connectivity!
6. Most of your questions are countered with an emoticon and you are lost in translation.
This is integral to the introvert because this is the only way an introvert might be able to say what he wants to say. So instead of typing in full long ‘Nancy Drew’ sentences he would just prefer using an emoticon to express himself. And you really need to know how to read between the lines to understand it.
7. If you don’t poke him enough, all you get is monosyllabic answers.
The most common answer that you could get for most of your questions is a humble ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. While the introverts do not feel the need to explain more than that, you need to probe a bit more if you are looking for something more specific.
8. You usually catch him during late hours of the night – at peace with himself
An Introvert can always be found online later during the night. After you have spent your entire day chatting incessantly, this is the time you can catch hold of an introverted friend online. So while he may be offline during the day, an introvert’s WhatsApp/Gtalk icon is a shining green during late night. And trust me the urge to ping with a “Hi” and a smiley is so intense that you cannot stop yourself from bugging them.
9. He is bound to bring up excuses and fake engagements, to make you leave him alone.
Your friend may not want to be impolite and ask you to leave him alone, so the best he can mutter about is a very busy day or a very busy evening, while he may just dodge you and take time to read a good book or a movie, without you popping sentences in between.
10. BRB often acts as life saver for him, and you might be left with words in your mouth.
If you have asked a personal question, or been conversing about something your introverted friend is not very comfortable about, he will inevitably pull up his secret weapon – “Be right Back”. You can do nothing about it. A BRB flashing on the screen could be for anything. An urgent phone call, a quick trip to the loo, an urgent change of seat; it could be anything and you just have to wait with your words in your mouth, while he decides to come back and join you. He might not come back at all for some hours all together till his energy to chat has been regained!