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I am an extrovert. Through and through. In my 21 years existence, I’ve spent my whole life phase with introverts as friends, best friends. I guess I just fall in love with their personalities.

People said that introverts are hard to understand because of their silence but I don’t think so. On the contrary, I find their silence rather adorable and interesting.

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To be honest, I don’t find it hard at all to understand each of my introvert friend’s character. Maybe because I like to communicate and associate with people that I can understand them rather well.

I could feel it right under my skin when they felt sad, happy, or when they were not in the mood for conversation even when they said nothing. Literally nothing. I just knew.

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The best part about having introverts as best friends is you know they really mean it when they say they care about you. Trust me on this. They won’t waste their time for something they don’t care about or say something just to sugarcoat the truth. They are very true to their words and they always give their best.

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If you are an extrovert and you need extra tips to be friend with introverts, maybe I can help you.

1. Know that most of the time you have to initiate the conversation.

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They have a lot of things going on their mind and they have their own world. Your job is entering that world. No one is boring if you can find the right topic. They love deep, never ending conversation, not the ‘how’s your day’ type. If you both into the same movie genre, discuss about your favorite movie and character. The same goes for music, book, and etc. If you have different preferences, try to understand their point of view, encourage them to say their opinion. Let them finish their words before you say anything, because they will back down immediately.

2. Don’t expect them to pour their heart out.

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They simply can’t. They want to talk it out but they don’t know how to. Your job is to help them to sort their thoughts out. Remember that they are very observant and independent. This also means that not because they won’t share their problem to you, doesn’t mean that they don’t trust you. Maybe they can solve it by herself and doesn’t want to burden you with their problem. You just have to make sure that they know they are not a burden to you. Show them that you are there for them. They just need that.

3. Remember that they find it slightly hard to meet someone new.

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When you’re in a food stall, make sure that you are the one who orders your foods. Or when a waiter comes to your table in a restaurant, let them choose their food first, or if you know what they will order, it is on you, Honey. Trust me they will appreciate this. When you’re hanging out in public and a stranger asks them for directions or help, do it for them. Or when you introduce someone new to them, make sure the situation is light and show it to them that you are on their side too. That you won’t ignore them for the rest of the event because it is an awkward situation for them.

4. Articulate your words because they are easy to overthink.

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Because they put so little words into something and really mean it, they will think that whatever comes out from your mouth is true. Make sure you use the right words, even when you’re joking with them. You won’t know when they’re offended because they are just so good at hiding their emotion. We’re extrovert tend to just say anything that cross over our mind, aren’t we? Even when it is just a thought, not our actual opinion. But hey, better safe than sorry.

5. They have their special way to show you that they care.

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No. If you expect them to comfort you with words when you’re sad, the answer is no. They put more actions than words. When you’re sad, they will come to you and do something for you. Bringing you your favorite food, sending you silly pics, or just trying to get you to forget your problem. Trust me, because they’re so good at solving their problem by their selves, they will help you to solve yours.

6. They have insecurities.

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They find it hard to believe in just words. When you said you love them, they believe it, but they need proof. Your job is to prove it. Instead of just saying you love them, hug them so tight and whisper it to them. They don’t need the world to know that you love them, only them is enough. When they feel down about something, hold their hand and smile proudly to them while you say ‘I know you got this, you always did’. Remember to appreciate their achievement over small things. Like when they join a local community or win a writing contest, embrace their shoulders and say ‘You won’t believe how proud I am to be your friend’.

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Even though I probably will never truly understand them, I surely know that introverts are very special people. At least to me. All my best friends are introverts and I love each of their unique character. They are very sweet, sometimes shy, but I never doubt that they are strong and independent.

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If you are an introvert and are reading this, I just want you to realize how special you are. Don’t ever, ever doubt yourself because I never doubt you. And if you need someone to talk to that won’t judge you for your thoughts, send me message and let’s talk. I am more than happy to talk to you.

- Arika Herdyanti, June 2018