How to understand an introvert {explained by Introjis}

From Rebecca Lynch

Introjis tell the story of what it’s like to be an introvert living in a society that seems made for extroverts.

Oh-so-adorable, Introjis are emoticons created by designer Rebecca Lynch to help introverts visually communicate their thoughts, feelings, needs, and anxieties.

When Introji made its debut a few months ago, introverts everywhere quickly fell in love with the little round faces that leave parties, read books, and need downtime alone. Lynch launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier this month to fund the project, and within weeks, Introji-enthusiasts donated all the money she needed and then some.

Currently, Lynch is working with a design company to develop an Introji app for iOS and Android. The app will feature over 40 icons and will be available for download from iTunes and Google Play this June.

Introjis help the world understand what it means to be an introvert:

1. We’re not necessarily shy.

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Shyness and introversion aren’t the same thing: shyness is the fear of other people judging you negatively, while introversion means you get overstimulated by certain types of socializing and busy environments. We introverts might act shy, though, if we’re feeling self-conscious.

2. Our “batteries” need recharging after being social.

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Socializing — especially in large groups or with people we don’t know well — drains us. If we suddenly become recluses and hardly talk to anyone for a few hours or days, please understand that we’re not angry or upset. Solitude is a must for us to maintain our energy and sanity.

3. Small talk is painful.

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We usually don’t know what to say. But we love connecting authentically or talking about big ideas.

4. We concentrate best when it’s quiet.

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On our jobs or at school, we do our best work when we have privacy, and there are minimal interruptions and noise.

5. There’s a lot going on inside our heads.

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It’s a scientific fact that our brains are different from the brains of extroverts. When information enters our brains, it travels a longer pathway and passes through more areas of the brain, including areas associated with self-reflection, empathy, planning, and evaluating. This means we process information more thoroughly and deeply.

6. Sometimes we drown in our own thoughts.

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Because of our deep processing of information, we can be professional over-thinkers, over-analyzers, and over-worriers.

7. Decisions can take time.

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We often can see problems from many different angles or perspectives, and we can imagine every possible outcome — good or bad — that could result from a choice. Sometimes this paralyzes us in indecision.

8. It can be hard to put our thoughts into words.

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We’re better thinkers than speakers. If you want to know what we really think, ask us to write about our thoughts. Or, ask us something and tell us we don’t have to answer right away — that gives us time to think and process.

9. Sometimes we get stuck in our heads.

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 And we need a caring friend to draw us out.

10. Crowds and a lack of personal space can make us anxious.

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No personal space invaders, please.

11. Don’t judge us if you see us alone in public.

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A table for one at a restaurant or coffee shop gives us the chance to do what we do best — quietly observe.

12. Sometimes we just like to listen.

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If we’re quiet in a group or during a meeting at work, it probably means we’re just thinking about what everyone is saying. Want to know our thoughts? Ask us later, one-on-one, after we’ve had time to collect our thoughts.

13. Sometimes we just don’t have any words.

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And that’s okay.

 14. Socializing in a group can leave us feeling lonely or bored.

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But we come alive when interacting one-on-one.

15. Even if we say no, we still like to be invited.

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We won’t attend every party or get-together, but it’s nice to know that someone was thinking of us. We need to know that we’re accepted and cared about, too.

16. We’d rather text than talk on the phone.

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Talking on the phone — especially with people we don’t know well — gives some of us introverts anxiety. Also, we rarely like to just chat, so if we call you, it’s probably for some reason.

17. Books are often our best friends.

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Reading carries us to our favorite place — our inner world of thoughts, feelings, and imagination.

18. Binge watching Netflix alone = a glorious way to spend the weekend.

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It’s not sad, it’s automatic recharge time.

19. Sometimes being in our “introvert bubble” —- i.e. focused inwardly —- is exactly where we want to be.

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So don’t pop it.

20. Other times, our solitude becomes painful loneliness.

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Introverts need people, too.

21. We don’t let just anyone into our lives.

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Our best friends and partners don’t just accept our introverted nature — they respect, support, and cherish it.

22. We love being “alone together.”

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Introvert relationship goal: cuddling with or sitting near your significant other — quietly, of course! — while reading a book, surfing the Internet, playing a video game, or watching a movie.

23. When we’re “fully charged,” we’re ready to take on the world!

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To be at our best, we must balance socializing and activity with solitude and introspection.


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