One day you might be having a great conversation with your introvert partner or friend, and the next day or week they might be ignoring you completely.
As a non-introvert, you might be completely confused; you have no idea what you did wrong, and you have no idea how to make things right again.
So what in the world are you supposed to do when an introvert in your life starts ignoring you?
You have to think the way they think and try to understand why they might be feeling the way they feel.
Here are 10 things to do when an introvert important to you is ignoring you:
1) Don’t Take It Personally
They haven’t replied to any of your messages in the last couple of days and rejected your invites to meet up.
Clearly, something must be wrong, right?
While it can be alarming to wake up to an empty inbox, that doesn’t mean that the introvert in your life is ghosting you.
Before you over-worry or convince yourself that something is terribly wrong, slow down and try not to automatically take their silence as an indicator that something is wrong.
Look at your most recent interactions.
When was the last time you interacted?
What was that interaction like?
What did the entirety of that interaction look like?
If there doesn’t seem to be any clear reason why your introvert friend might be ignoring you, chances are they’re caught up in something else, so spare yourself the worry.
2) Ask Them If They’re Busy
If you’re unsure, you can always ask.
Introverts value communication and it’s infinitely easier to understand where they’re coming from instead of trying to guess the situation yourself.
If you’re anxious about appearing clingy or needy, you can simply ask them if they’re busy.
That lets them know you’re thinking about them without making them feel like they’re obligated to respond, or that you’re waiting on them.
A lot of introverts typically shy away when they feel social pressure, and if they’ve been preoccupied, hounding them to respond is probably not in your best interest.
So send them a quick “Busy?”, and that should provide some new trailheads for you.
3) Err On The Side of Calmness and Patience
It’s easy to get flustered and frustrated when you think you’ve done something wrong to earn someone’s ire.
Give yourself a bit of a break and don’t take the situation personally.
Take some time to focus on yourself and ask whether the frustration or anxiety is stemming from something else that’s not necessarily related to your introverted friend.
Unless your introvert straight up tells you that something is wrong, it’s wise not to jump the gun and assume anything about the silence.
Their silence could mean many things.
For all you know, they could be taking some time off from socializing in general, are preoccupied with a hobby, or something else entirely.
4) If It Goes On, Ask
Still getting the silence? Still feeling like something is wrong in your gut?
Consider asking them if anything is bothering them, or if there’s a problem in the first place.
Your introverted friend might not even realize they’ve been ignoring you until you bring it up.
They could be misrepresenting their own intent without even knowing it, so communicating your frustrations clearly could be what you need to fully understand the situation.
By doing so, you’re also giving them an opportunity to respond to the situation and evaluate it for themselves.
Every person processes things differently and at their own pace, so you’re not guaranteed to see immediate changes after acknowledging the situation.
5) Give Them Space
The world can overwhelm introverts at every corner.
What may have been a stimulating conversation for you could have been a draining one for your friend.
Their silence often speaks volumes about their desire for space.
Whether you’ve addressed the situation or not, giving them the space to think and respond on their own time is usually the best option.
Conversations aren’t always easy for introverts.
By giving them a bit of breathing room, you’re helping remove the feeling of pressure and obligation, allowing them to retreat into themselves and prepare for a conversation.
6) Apologize If You’ve Hurt Them
The thing about introverts that non-introverts understand (both extroverts and ambiverts) is that they think about everything a lot.
Introverts tend to have fewer social interactions with other people, so the social interactions that they do have get analyzed and magnified over and over again.
So if an introvert has started ignoring you, they probably have a reason for doing it.
Think back on your previous interactions with this person – was there something you did that might’ve rubbed them the wrong way?
And that’s something you’ll have to figure out on your own, because the last thing an introvert will do is confront you about it.
They’re more than happy to feel their pain quietly, in their own space and time, and the only way you’ll ever see it is in how they ignore you.
7) Don’t Make Accusations
Introverts can understand extroverts easily, but it’s not always the same the other way around.
Extroverts often find it impossible to understand the way an introvert thinks and lives their life.
You simply don’t have the same things holding you back in all aspects of your life; to you, an introvert’s way of life and their entire personality might be negative.
Long story short – you don’t understand the way an introvert thinks, so don’t assume and make any accusations.
No one likes being accused of doing something they’re not actually doing, because it shows a lack of attention and a lack of care to understand what’s actually happening.
And as we said previously, an introvert won’t try to explain themselves when they know you’re wrong; instead, they’ll just slowly cut you out of their life, until you wake up and remember one day that you haven’t talked to them in months.
8) Set Up One-On-One Time
If an introvert is ignoring you and you want to make things better, you have to do it on the playing field that an introvert is most comfortable with: in the privacy of a one-on-one conversation.
Don’t expect to make it up to an introvert in the same way you would want to be cheered up, by taking them out to a club or a bar and showing them a good time.
Because what’s a good time for you is the exact opposite for them; it just adds stress and frustration to them and pushes them even further from you than before.
So set up some one-on-one time.
Show the introvert that you understand them or at least you’re willing to try.
Meet them in a quiet, secluded space where you guys can say things to each other without anyone overhearing, where they can relax and think with you in an environment that makes sense to them.
You’ll learn more about them in a single hour than you’ve learned in the rest of your relationship.
9) Check-In On Them and Encourage Them
They’ll never admit it, but the truth is it’s easy to offend an introvert. But perhaps “offend” isn’t the right word.
Think of it this way: when an introvert decides that they want you as a friend, they want you to feel the same way about them.
They have small social circles and they’re very selective about the people they spend time with.
So when you give them the impression that you don’t really want to spend time with them or they’re wasting your time, they’ll huddle back into their shell immediately, cutting you off like they cut off the rest of the world.
So show the introvert that you do care about them, and you’re happy to initiate conversations even when they don’t.
Check-in on them from time to time and see how they’re doing; take interest in the things they’re working on, and encourage them to keep doing better.
Sooner than you expect, they’ll be checking in on you once again.
10) Aim To Connect Authentically
Introverts care so much about authenticity.
They hate “fakeness”, and they hate forcing what they feel just to make other people happy.
This is why they avoid crowds and large groups of people because they feel that they can’t connect with people when there are so many voices, faces, and distractions.
So try to connect with them in ways that feel authentic to them.
Offer to do their favorite hobbies with them, or at least introduce them to some of your hobbies.
Take them somewhere they haven’t been; give them a new experience that doesn’t involve so many other people.
Show that you want to bond with them, regardless of where it is and what you’re doing.
Putting yourself first
Hey, Lachlan from Hack Spirit here.
What’s your number one goal at the moment?
Is it to buy that car you’ve been saving up for?
To finally start that side-hustle that’ll hopefully help you quit your 9-5 one day?
Or to take the leap and finally ask your partner to move in?
Whatever it is, you’re not going to get there, unless you’ve got a plan.
And even then…plans fail.
But I didn’t write this to you to be the voice of doom and gloom…
No, I’m writing this because I want to help you achieve the goals you’ve set.
I’ve recently been taking part in a workshop called Life Journal created by teacher and career coach Jeanette Brown.
Covering all the basics and more on what’s needed to reach your goals, Jeannette tackles everything from creating habits and new behavior patterns to putting your plans into action.
She doesn’t mess around – this workshop will require effort on your part but that’s the beauty of it – Jeanette has carefully designed it to put YOU in the driving seat of your life.
So…think back to that important goal I asked about at the start of this message.
How much do you want it?
Are you willing to put the effort in to get there?
If so, check out the workshop here.
If you do take part, I’d love to hear how your Life Journey goes!
All the best,
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