7 Deadly Awesome Tips For Loving An Extrovert.
Did you know that there are exactly 237 times more articles about How to love an introvert than there are articles about How to love an extrovert? Guess why?
‘Cause introverts have the unfair advantage of enjoying being alone and drinking tea and having downtime and being quiet and having personal space and thinking about stuff and… sitting still long enough to write.
They’ve even branched out into How to understand your introvert, How to make an introvert feel loved, and How to care for an introvert territory. There’s a whole series of articles that includes anything from 5 to 88 Tips about love that only an introvert would understand.
It seems that, collectively, their favorite thing is to sit around being annoyed by the extroverts in their lives… being confused by them, irritated by them, slightly frightened by them, and judging them as flaky, pushy, insensitive, loud, narcissistic, and unnecessarily frenetic. Not fair, introverts! Since you’re just sitting there anyway… you can read this.
We extroverts have feelings too, you know. Well… at least a couple… not usually for long, but we do have them. So here you go… here’s my offering on behalf of the extroverts of the world. I’m calling it… wait for it… 7 Deadly Awesome Tips For Loving An Extrovert. These are things everyone should know and accept and practice.
1. Extroverts are drawn to and appreciate shiny beautiful things. If there really were unicorns with glittery silver wings and gold-dusted horns, we would for sure want to ride them. When you call us sparkle pony, that’s a compliment, right?
See the picture up there? That’s me in the pink… being drawn (kind of against my will) towards the flashing lights and badass beats of Thievery Corporation. My friends stayed on the fringes as I was drawn deeper and deeper into the crowd of dancing people. I didn’t even really notice I was doing it. It happens all the time.
When we wander away, we’re not trying to be rude. It really has nothing at all to do with you. We literally can’t help it. It’s like the brightest object (or person or place) pulls us in like a giant magnet. It’s like catnip (for clones).
We are easily distracted by… an interesting conversation, someone with an alluringly sinister smile and bright blue eyes, groups of people in motion. The good news is that we don’t mind when you call us on our wandering ways. That brings me to Tip #2.
2. Extroverts like when people are straight with them. To be brave (or perhaps just reckless) and steal a line from Marilyn Manson, most extroverts believe that most of the world’s problems could be avoided if people just said what they fucking meant.
If we’re pissing you off… just tell us. If you need us to leave you alone for a while… just tell us. If you can’t stand to hear even one more word come out of our mouths for at least another 27 minutes… just tell us. But be clear and loving and kind because we don’t like when there’s friction in our important relationships.
We don’t understand people not telling us how they feel (or complaining about us behind our back or being mean to us). That brings me to Tip #3.
3. Relationships are everything to extroverts. We need to know that the people whom we care about get us and like us and have our best interests at heart. We’ll tell you how we feel or at least give it our best shot. We’re quick to forgive and don’t hold grudges.
One of my best friends in the world is a classic introvert and won’t let me stay with her until I’ve gone to the gym or done an intense Yoga class or something. If I’m vibrating or having trouble settling and am destroying her zen in the process, she’ll literally tell me to go for a run. It took us a while to arrive at that solution but it totally works. It’s awesome.
That brings me to Tip #4.
4. Most extroverts are pretty constantly in motion. We generally have lots of energy in our bodies. We need an outlet, or else we get restless and edgy and confused. Nothing beats physical stuff. Intense exercise. Lots.
Someone once told me that I reminded them of that little squirrel in the Ice Age cartoons. He said he meant it in the best possible way and that the squirrel was the coolest character. I chose to believe him.
When physical outlets aren’t available/practical, we’ll settle for music, conversation, and creating — things that occupy more than one of our senses. We have a need to connect our world with the world outside ourselves in some way. This brings me to Tip #5.
5. Extroverts are nurtured by (thrive/survive on) the pulse of the world. We love being around others and feed off of their energy. It’s why we love being with people (almost) all of the time. We get a bit scared and confused and sad when we’re on our own for too long.
I do want to take a moment to clarify something and debunk an extremely common myth. Extroversion is not the same thing as being outgoing. You can be an outgoing extrovert or a shy extrovert, but the thing we have in common is our need to be absorbed in the vibrant, ever-changing fabric of humanity.
Although we may engage differently, we all like to be right in the big messy fascinating human heart of it all. That brings me to Tip #6.
6. Extroverts tend to immerse themselves in social situations… but this doesn’t necessarily mean that we want to be the center of attention and doesn’t mean we need constant adoration, although we probably won’t complain too much when we find ourselves in that situation.
It’s not narcissism, we just have a natural tendency to look to the outside world as our primary frame of reference… for basic evaluation of whether or not we’re okay, to solve problems, to feel loved and accepted, etc. We may be talkative, but we also love to listen.
We poll about questions that interest us, we integrate what we hear others say with our own viewpoint about the world, and are happy to share about how we see it all fitting together. We get filled up this way, and will often stubbornly create opportunities for this kind of engagement. This brings me to Tip #7.
7. Extroverts don’t understand the words Maybe and No in the same way as others do. Hell, we barely hear you if you say Maybe. If we ask you to do something, and you say Maybe, we’re convinced you’re okay with doing it. You’ve already lost the battle if you said Maybe. To us Maybe means Definitely, fuck yes, I’m totally there.
Insider Tip: I’ll think about it, I’m not sure, and I’ll let you know mean exactly the same thing to us as Maybe.) If you say it loudly enough… we might hear you when you say No, but to us it usually sounds a lot like Maybe. Read above to see how we respond to the idea of Maybe. Yup… you’re pretty much doomed.
In our defense, it’s not because we’re insensitive. It’s because we really sincerely want to hang out with you, and believe in our hearts that you’re going to enjoy whatever it is that we have in mind, because let’s face it… you did have fun the last 87 times you said No or Maybe and we bullied you into coming. So there. We win again.
So… that’s what I’ve got for you. We know we irritate the shit out of you sometimes but… we can handle it when you tell us that. We’re fun, we get lots done, and we will love you for everything you have to offer.
Andrea Baker has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology and once knew everything there was to know about Byron and Bundy. She is a certified Yoga teacher and ever-evolving student in Vancouver’s beautiful Yoga community. She has divided her life equally between Canada’s east and west coast … never living far from the sea. The ocean has influenced her writing, her Yoga practice, and her approach to life. She distrusts capital letters, loves sticking eka pada koundinyasana, and wishes she was just a tiny bit taller. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or her blog.