6 Ways Introverts Want to Be Celebrated This National Introverts Week
In a world where extroverted traits are lauded, introverts can feel at best overlooked and misunderstood, and at worst, not accepted for who they are. While Susan Cain’s seminal work, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” has done a lot to spark conversation and inspire celebration for the things that make us different, introverts, who certainly don’t want to be made a fuss of, still really, really appreciate being “allowed” to be who they are.
Here are some ways to honor the powerful silent types in your life this week. And if you’re an introvert, you can give these gifts to yourself—or share this link with someone in your life who can use the hint.
1. Let them off the hook.
Whether it’s feeling bad to say no to a gathering or getting down about needing down time alone, introverts often struggle with expectations (even if self-imposed) and being misunderstood as aloof or boring. Acknowledging an introvert’s need to recharge with alone time or giving them a graceful way out if you realize a certain event might drain them will be a very welcome breath of a fresh air of understanding that’s guaranteed to make an introvert feel loved.
2. Offer to cancel a plan.
Many times when introverts get together with others, there’s some amount of obligation involved. So it’s easy to see why canceled plans are a gift to an introvert, who hardly ever minds being alone. Instead of assuming you know what they want—introverts aren’t anti-social, they often love quality time with good friends—give your introvert a good opportunity or excuse to bow out on your plans. If you get the sense they’d like a break, offer to reschedule or cancel.
3. Do something to enhance their surroundings.
The flip side of being affected by less-than-appealing surroundings is being more affected by pleasing surroundings. (It’s all about how introverts respond to dopamine.) Because introverts tend to notice things, even little things, and are more deeply impacted by all kinds of input, environmental touches like a flickering candle, the glow of lamplight versus overhead lighting, or a small vase of flowers can make an introvert proportionately much happier than a non-introvert.
4. Give them the night off at home.
Being “on” gets very draining if you’re an introvert. And while being with loved ones is definitely not the same as, say, being in a situation where shallow small talk is required (torture), a break even from those who are closest to an introvert is an opportunity to recharge. Take over an introvert’s nightly duties (or do it during the day, if you can) and send them off for some glorious “alone time.”
5. Give them an empty house.
An empty house, particularly if it’s usually full, is top on the list of introverts’ dreams and wishes. Yes, alone time outside of the house is nice, but to be able to be at home wearing what you want, not having to interact with anybody, and doing what you want when you want how you want—it’s golden. If you can take the kids out for a few hours or arrange for housemates to be out of the house all at once, your introvert will be in heaven.
6. Stay in.
Make a date to stay in. Instead of going out to socialize or see a movie or whatever it is, do it at home and make it a thing. Your introvert will feel understood and cared for and by making it a plan, she can look forward to it. Think jammies, pizza, Netflix and wine, or book-reading next to each other in companionable silence.