Many introverts are hardcore animal lovers (me!). Why? Because animals fulfill a very specific role for introverts that people just can’t. When we’re drained of energy and desperately in need of some recharge time, the calming presence of a pet can provide just what we need as we recover.
Personally, I’ve had a number of pets throughout my lifetime, including cats, dogs, fish, hermit crabs, and ferrets. They all, of course, have been very different pets with different needs and personalities, but they’ve all served the same purpose of being a constant source of friendship and positivity in my life. They offer of themselves and ask nothing in return.
Although not all introverts are animal lovers, I think many of us “quiet ones” will agree that pets make the perfect companions for us. Here’s why.
Why Introverts and Pets Are Perfect for Each Other
1. No small talk
Even if you’re just casually hanging out with other people, like watching a movie or going on a group hike, you can bet that someone will feel the need to chatter away. Some people will say anything to get rid of an awkward silence. Generally, this just serves to compound the introvert’s hatred of small talk, and it may even end with us making an excuse and a quick exit.
But animals don’t do small talk.
This may sound silly, but I can’t tell you what a relief it is to just sit with another creature in complete silence. There’s no expectation to talk or do anything. You get to just exist and take comfort in the fact that your cat or dog or rabbit or whatever will never ask what you think about today’s weather.
2. No expectations
Animals ask very little of us. All they want is food, love, and perhaps the occasional trip to the great outdoors. That’s it.
Even the nicest of people come with expectations and will always want something of you. They may want you to talk when you don’t feel like it, go out when you’ve already reached your “people limit” for the day, listen as they go on and on about their problems, or something else.
3. No judgment
I have to be honest and tell you that I spend a lot of time in my pajamas. Like, a lot. On days when I’m not working or don’t have anything major going on, I’m most likely in pajamas all day.
That doesn’t mean I’m in bed all day. I’m up, reading, cleaning, cooking, or doing other life things. I just like to stay in the most comfortable clothes I own because, well, they’re comfortable.
Again, even the nicest of people may find it off-putting if I showed up in my pajamas. Luckily, my cats and dog don’t care one bit what I’m wearing. Nor do they care if my hair is styled or if I have makeup on.
4. A constant source of comfort
Many introverts thrive on routine and consistency. This is because many of us aren’t big fans of surprises, which can catch us off guard and overwhelm us as we try to process the sudden turn of events. Also, being prepared for things takes away some of the anxiety and overstimulation we often feel at social events or large gatherings.
But, as it turns out, life is very unpredictable. Some days go exactly as planned, but others go nothing like we planned, and new things pop up every other minute. On these days, our tired introverted souls need something to nourish us and cheer us up — and a pet fulfills this need. When you have a bad day, it helps to know you can come home to a good snuggle and a furry face that will always love you no matter what.
5. A great conversation starter
Believe it or not, there are times when introverts actually want to socialize with others. Unfortunately, figuring out how to get a meaningful conversation going can be quite tricky for us “quiet ones.”
The good news is your pet can be a great jumping-off point, especially when the other person likes animals, too. Your pooch can be a good way to break the ice — and give you something to focus on in the conversation that isn’t you (many introverts hate talking about themselves to people they don’t know well).
And if you do happen to find a fellow pet lover? That’s as close to instant friendship as it gets, so prepare to spend the next half hour exchanging pet stories — a fun conversation that’s way better than small talk.
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6. A great excuse to go home
What’s that you say? An evening get-together after a full day of work? I’m sorry, but my dog has been crossing his legs all day, and I made a promise to feed my cat at precisely 6:30 p.m. I won’t be able to make it!
Perhaps this may sound a little silly, but I assure you it’s not. For introverts who don’t have a spouse or kids who “desperately” need them at home, a pet provides the perfect excuse to go straight home after work or leave the party early.
Yes, you do have to clean up after them, and sometimes they’re loud when you’re trying to sleep, but I still maintain that introverts and pets make the perfect companions.