Here’s an interesting one, the introvert. Everyone knows one and wants them to do better in life or in relationships, because it seems they are just a little too scared to push the boundaries. So what do you do if you date one? How can you get them out of their shell and be a bit more adventurous? Here’s how:
Main Entry: introverted
Etymology: from Latin intro- “inward” + vertere “to turn”
Contrary to popular belief, aside from on the surface, shyness and introversion have very little connection! People often think the two are synonymous, and yes a thesaurus might offer ‘shy’ as a synonym for ‘introvert’ but they are fundamentally two very different characteristics.
Someone that is shy exhibits signs of nervousness, uneasiness and apprehension whereas the definition of an introvert is someone who is energized by being along. Shyness at it’s root is due to a lack of confidence, but an introvert can in fact be ten times more confident that a lot of extroverts; however we usually judge confidence on how loud someone is.
Introverts crave to be encapsulated with their own mind: they love keeping themselves to themselves; letting their imaginations run wild exploring the world of their thoughts, feelings and emotions. And as a result they can appear to be reluctant to fully engage in social situations. Whilst a big social gathering or a party will ignite a new vivacity in a lot of extroverts, it will actually drain an introvert’s enthusiasm.
This may sound crazy to any extroverts reading this, but its true… introverts desire to be quietly introspective.
When they’re out at a party, they can’t wait to get home and start reading a book! But if you’re currently seeing someone and you’re worried they’re a little too ‘shy’ for your liking, fear not: I recently read a statistic that said that ‘introverts make up around 60% of the ‘gifted population’, but only about 25% of the population as a whole,’ so if you’re reading this, you most likely just found yourself quite the catch!
So what causes us to be either an introvert or an extrovert?
I don’t want to embark on the whole controversy of the nature/nurture debate, but what I will say is that some people grow up more disposed to an introverted personality whilst others have conversely been in an environment whereby they’ve never have to really come out of their shell. It’s hard to really put a finger on it, especially if you’re trying to separate shyness from introversion, as they really are two completely separate things. But fundamentally, people are shy because of insecurity or a fear of what other people think, and introverts are introverted because that’s where they get all their emotional energy.
But the important thing to point out is that no one is shy around everyone.
There has never been anyone to walk the earth that was shy around everyone. So with that in mind, you can automatically deduce that it’s always possible to get someone to a point with you where they don’t exhibit the same qualities as they do around other people. I actually think that this type of circumstance can be quite endearing; it can really build a bond between two people as it’s like you’re seeing this side to them that no one else ever sees.
But what can I do just to get him out of his shell a little more?
What you’ll slowly start to appreciate is that introversion is deeply rooted in someone’s psychology; it’s not something one can change overnight, and it should be something you want to change overnight. However there are steps that can be taken to bring out the best in people, and it’s only fair that these introverts share their brilliant minds and ideas with the rest of us!
Firstly it’s important that you encourage all of the behaviour you want.
If you want him to be more sociable, or more expressive, you have to give him massive encouragement, for any changes he makes in the right direction. Alternatively if ever you were to criticize, condemn or complain about his personality, it will only ingrain it further as he will then start to consciously label himself as ‘shy’ or introverted.
Secondly, whatever you want him to do; do more of it yourself.
At a lot of my seminars I talk about the Principle of Reciprocity. What I mean by this is that what you give off in terms of your vibe and energy is often what you get back in social interactions. If you want him to be more expressive and passionate, you have to initiate it in the relationship. You have to share things that are more intimate than what you normally share, and what you will find is that he will reciprocate in return.
So there you have it, the introvert. Let us know what you think…