It is important to know how to handle people who have different personality types than your own. If you’re like most folks, you probably can sense whether you harbor primarily more introverted or extroverted tendencies. For this blog, we’ll discuss how to deal with introverts. In the follow-up blog, we will talk about how to handle those with more extroverted personalities.
The majority of people are extroverts, and extroverts can have a difficult time understanding why introverts act they way they do. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone. Being with people is something that introverts find tiring after a while, and this is something that extroverts often take personally.
You probably know quite a few introverts. They can be relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or even your boss. Whether you’re negotiating a price on a car or sitting in a job interview, it’s important to know how to deal with an introvert so you are a more effective communicator. At face value, it may feel disingenuous to treat people differently based on their personality type, but by dealing with introverts (and extroverts) in ways that make them feel comfortable, you get the results you want while making everyone feel valued.
Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to dealing with introverts:
– Allow introverts time to collect their thoughts and if possible, be alone for a while.
– Interact one-on-one or in small groups.
– Listen when they speak, because they choose their words carefully.
– Maintain a calm, sane environment and minimize distractions.
– Keep small talk short and sweet, and then get to the point.
– Allow for silence or natural gaps in conversation. Introverts like to take the time to process their thoughts internally.
– Write off introverts as aloof, withdrawn, arrogant, or insecure.
– Assume introverts needs extra attention and redouble your efforts to bring them out of their “shell”. This will likely make them feel uncomfortable.
– Overcompensate by dominating the conversation if they don’t seem to want to talk a great deal.
– Don’t interrupt. Introverts can find this rude or abrasive.
Do you have an introvert in your life? What techniques have you found effective in handling people with more introverted personalities?
John Bradley Jackson
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