1) Introversion is not synonymous with being shy. Many of us are not shy at all once we get to know you or when called on to behave like an extrovert.
2) Introverts are depleted by being with others and are re-energized during time alone. This doesn't mean that we don't want to be with others. But it does mean that we can only be around others for so long before our tank is empty and we need to refuel. Please don't take offense when we need to be alone.
3) Introverts may not want to go to the party, but we always want to be invited. Please don't assume that we won't want to go and think you're doing us a favor by not inviting us. Whether you're extroverted or introverted, it hurts to be left out. We all want to be included.
4) Introversion is not a condition that needs to be healed or a problem that needs to be fixed. Please accept us the way we are, and don't try to change us. We are capable of awesome lives. Just because we don't share our joys or our sorrows with you, doesn't mean that we don't have rich, full lives.
5) Introversion may be part of our natural personality or we may have acquired it after being hurt. Many of us protect ourselves by keeping to ourselves and letting very few people get close enough to harm us. If you want to befriend an introvert, be patient and don't push.
This public service announcement has been brought to you by an often misunderstood, off-the-chart introvert who is constantly "accused" of being an extrovert. Many introverts, including me, have the ability to be extremely extroverted. But like a rubber band that stretches to fulfill the purpose for which it was created, the introvert can be friendly, outgoing, and maybe even the life of the party, but afterwards must come back to its natural position. If introverts behave like extroverts for too long, like the over-stretched rubber band, we can weaken and break. Please don't take it personally when we pull away to recharge by ourselves.
Rhonda Sciortino, author of Successful Survivors, used the coping skills from an abusive childhood to achieve real success, which she measures by good relationships, good health, peace, joy, and financial prosperity. Through her writing, speaking, and media appearances, she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to their real success. Rhonda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.