Being introverts, we love the world we live in, but we feel misunderstood much of the time. If we happen upon a particularly inquisitive extrovert, these are a few musings and observations we’d love to share. Reading this list will give you fantastic insight into that loved one, friend, or even stranger who can be puzzling.

1. We honestly don’t care to be more outgoing.

Most of the world has this idea that introverts are just extroverts who aren’t fully formed yet. The truth is, we genuinely love being reserved, and it’s part of who we are!

2. We hate any surprises where we’re the center of attention.

If you’re going to plan a birthday party for one of us, please don’t make it a surprise party. We love your concern and generosity, but don’t bombard us with stimulation!

3. We may know some of your friends better than you do.

We have keen powers of observation for the minutest of details, and we don’t take this for granted. We watch our circle of friends carefully, and we can pick up on things that normally take months or years for other people to notice.

4. We often enjoy planning things, and we rarely feel prepared if we’re forced to fly by the seat of our pants.

For us introverts, planning is what makes us feel energized for the day or week ahead. We know what to expect, and we’re fully invested in what will happen.

5. Yes, we are reserved, but that doesn’t mean we’re shy!

We do love our alone time (it’s practically what we’re known for), but we also love meeting new people! We just love having the chance to get an all-encompassing first impression of someone, and to have the same opportunity with ourselves.

6. We aren’t open books; we love the idea of getting to know people on deeper levels.

Sharing every little detail of what’s going on in our lives and what we think about it at a moment’s notice is something that can make our skin crawl. We simply want the chance to spend quality time with people, because this is what allows relationships to develop on a time-proof level.

7. We appreciate it when people give us the same level of attention we give others.

We do love getting to know people, which is why shallow conversation seems so fickle and uninteresting! We will deeply appreciate it if you afford us lasting, authentic attention.

8. We would take one genuine, deep conversation over 50 brief, surface-level conversations.

Some days it feels like we can’t harp on it enough—deep conversation is what makes us feel recognized, grateful and passionate. Brief, surface-level conversation feels more like a sales transaction to us than anything else.

9. We often have to guard our solo time like it’s a VIP ticket to an expensive concert.

When we do get the chance to be alone, it feels like we’ve walked back into Heaven. We have to guard it with precision, though; any number of distractions can pop up if we aren’t careful.

10. We prefer career choices that are often more detail-oriented and solitude-focused.

Having the chance to be solitary while we work is what enables us to do our best work. Our mind is once more free to innovate, construct and execute.

11. Having alone time allows us to engage our best when we are socializing.

We’re totally up for a party now and then, but we need plenty of solo time before and after for us to feel A) functional, and B) like we engaged fully and dynamically at the party.

12. We think a ton about what we’re going to say and how we’re going to say it.

There’s not a day that passes when we aren’t planning for any variety of conversations that may happen. This goes back to how we love deep, authentic communication. We want to present our best thoughts to others, and we’re immensely grateful when this favor is returned!

13. We plan for the future with a depth most people don’t consider.

We think about our future selves a lot, as it’s the person we want to become. We see where we are now, and we’re excited and enthralled with the person we know we can become.

14. When we call you a best friend, we mean it from the bottom of our heart!

As mentioned before, we care a ton about the people we spend most of our time with. If we consider you one of our best friends, it’s an award and an honor few other people will ever be bestowed with!

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