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Growing Unlimited Hampshire HSP info and meet-up Message Board › How to interact with the introverted

How to interact with the introverted

A former member
Post #: 12
A former member
Post #: 31
Hi there James, i thank you for this link http://themetapicture...­
The more I read and re-read this article the more i cannot help but wonder if we should debate this topic here.

Particularly as It does seem a very apt subject on the surface of things regarding hsp's and introversion and the way it is presented in this link is certainly a view that most people have about introversion in general.

However, when one looks more closely at what is being stated and inferred by the author, one can immediately recognise that it is actually not as simple as it is made out to be here and therefore I cannot help wonder if the person or persons who put this together, are in any truly introverted state themselves, as the overall impression of this important subject appears to be aimed at making light of the problem in a fun way, but may in actuality be a p...-take on introversion.

Why do i think this? Because psychology teaches that everyone has a personal space. Often referred to as: an invisible portable bubble" (Bell 1975). Thus if one looks closely at the article, one can see that the only person expressed as having a "portable bubble" is the introverted person image which at one stage is shown as timid and fearful. So here is the problem: the extroverted person images have NO PERSONAL BUBBLE around them.

Psychology also teaches that in situations of appropriate behaviour respect is given to each individuals right to personal space whether introverted or extroverted. But the problem of extroversion is that a lot of energy is spent on trying to increase their personal space and often will demonstrate this by various means that result in limiting or entirely extracting the personal space of others they deem weaker than themselves. In fact, extroverts believe that everyone should be like them and there is no room for personal differences, culturally or otherwise. It is a fact that the business model encourages this type of thinking, because it builds into the model's concept that everyone must follow the same dress-codes. Talk the same language and sing from the same page. Thus anything that does not "stand up" to this model is automatically rejected.

In fact it could be seen that the images of the extrovert imply that they see the whole world as being "theirs" and so the more that is given the more they will take because takers cannot be givers nor givers, takers because it is hot wired into our consciences to behave this way and thus they do not see themselves as having this invisible portable bubble of personal space surrounding them because they, unlike introverted people are totally unconscious of this fact and this enables them to overide any inhibitions they may feel.

Extroverts often seek to increase their personal space through territorial means and their behaviour makes them appear like "space invaders" (bell et al - 1975 onwards). Extroverts are well known for spending their energy on expanding their personal space utilizing what may be commonly known as the " Popularity Model".

Another issue is that the author also appears to show introverts in the featal position of fear and timidity, and the extrovert image applied here is really one of a person who is aggressive and implies that introverts see everyone else as aggressive and thus recoils into the featal position when faced with these extroverted behaviours. This is entirely incorrect in its implication. As there is nothing wrong with being introverted just as there is nothing wrong with being hsp. Intoverted.

On a more positive aspect, the author is clearly trying to show in a humorous kind of way, by the use of imagery and anecdote impressions, using words like "hamster ball" and "sweet, sweet, energy". however, the implication seems that all introverts require to make them seem normalised and accepted/integrated socially, is a " hug".
Whilst these statements appear an attempt to aid understanding, they are also an attempt at belittling the problem of introversion, in favour of the extroverted nature.

Also, an individual's energy does not come in a bucket. it cannot be purchased by any means, and its loss is without doubt, irreplaceable and costly, to the individual concerned.

Is this article suggesting that it is a true reflection overall that extroverts lack empathy and understanding and unable to make sense of introverted behaviour. If so, Then this may be the result of hundreds of years of stigmatisation about introversion re-enforced by stereotypical prejudices.

More could be said about this, but i shall leave the contoversial aspects of this to others who may wish to take up the mantle for or against the article link you have posted. Thanks for sharing this.

Best wishes
A former member
Post #: 410
Strangely enough I rather like this piece, I believe that its written in a simple language and with tongue in cheek but with empathy to allow understanding of how introverts work, as well as extroverts. I guess it depends on life experiences as to how you interpret the wording. As an extrovert sensitive I agree and believe that I get my energy from being with other people. I would disagree with your statement Paul, that "extroverts lack empathy and understanding and cannot make sense of introverted behaviour" that is a bit of a generalisation! smile I agree that there are some people in this world, and in some environments that breed unempathic power seeking behaviour rather than empathic sharing, and that is how the world is, its just people and their histories being replayed over and over. All I can do as a human being, in order to live peacefully and safely, is either to accept that reality, or choose not to work there.

Looking forward to reading more responses to this interesting piece.

user 9143876
Group Organizer
Anna Valley, GB
Post #: 280
I believe that in short messages such as the illustrated example given by James, they often do show the extremes, this is a way of making things clearer in order to make a point. I think there is also a difference between HSP introverts and Non-HSP Introverts. Introverted HSPs who are very high on the scale might recognise that feeling of wanting to 'hiss' at yet another person invading their space and sometimes wonder if they do in fact like people at all - that is certainly something some HSPs have explored in my consulting room - however, they invariably came to the conclusion that it's not the people, it the overstimulation caused by the interactions and lack of consistent alone time that make them wish people would 'stay in their box'.

Whilst it is true that in recent society extroverts (read extrovert non-HSP) might have tended to expect all to be able to operate in the same way as them, allow more people into their inner space, (unless we inform them otherwise of course), in centuries past this wasn't always the case and people who were reflective, quiet and thoughtful were revered and respected. I think overall, that cartoon, which I read some time ago, does help extraverts in terms of just pointing the way to diplomacy and co-existence with introverts, something we all aim at not only in this Int/ext area of life but in many areas, culturally, economically, educationally etc. Being able to laugh at and accept our limitations is a very important part of personal growth, at the same time, so is realising that there is little point in generalising, since this can cause us to miss the 'unique person' at the centre of the debate in favour of the ideas and principles, which are products of our own ideas, logic and experience thus far.

I think it might be quite productive to have a think here on the discussion board about how introverted HSPs work with this issue, eg, how do you help extraverts to understand you better, your needs and so on, and how do you make sure that their extroverted needs are respected in turn?
A former member
Post #: 32
I wholeheartedly accept that my attempt at looking beneath the surface of the article that James has so graciiously put on the discussion board may be considered by some as a generalisation, but this is because i wanted to avoid naming names or making specific cases of everyday incidences of mistreatment of introverted people, hsp or otherwise non hsp or bring in class or social distinctions that may complicate or cloud the issue in hand.

However it iseems very strange to me that in general, we do not see the generalisations implied and provoked by articles such as this one, shown by james, which seeks to label introverts with thie generalised concept of fearfulness around extroverts who are difficult and demanding and overbaearing types, and who exist on every street corner and in our homes our school playgrounds and our work place environments as well as at every other social, economical, educational, cultural level too. And let me make it clear here that i do recognise that there are decent people out there in society who are not like this and whose behaviours are more or less appropriate and respectful of others differences.

But in keeping with the subject, People who are introverted suffer all kinds of abuse such as physical, mental and indirect, to name a few specifics here, lets also add in this mix too, people who are kind and gentle in their ways and mannerisms, people who are compassionate and merciful, or just plain different. All have suffered or suffer mistreatment by extroverts who are highly territorial and who seem to think that others less fortunate than themselves are there, simply to be taken advantage of and "used and abused".

Then Consider for a moment, the youngster being bullied or the youth who self harms, or the suicidal person, the person whose mental state has been affected by this very issue and consider how they feel about their treatment at the hands of others, what its like to be treated as an social outcast or outsider, because of introversion difficulties alonside other social stigmas, and who fail to demonstrate, either the unwittingness or unwillingness to fight back in order to defend their right to be different, to co exist etc. Then look around in the real world and see the truth about what is really going on in society in general, and you will soon learn that the "laboratory concepts of introversion is much less true to that of real field concepts of the subject. Furthermore the old adage of "personal first hand experience" is also an eye opening factor about the real nature of introversion experiences and why some people 'introverts' behave the way they do. Nurture and nature as well as biological constructs also determine what personality we may evolve into.

Lets not forget also, that introversion is seen as a societal weakness. Moreover, it seems that there is a possibilty of "class distinctions" playing a pivotal role in this debate, as those who have other advantages in life such as good backgrounds, upbringing, financial wherewithal, tend to fare so much better, by comparison, to those introverts who are less well off.

However, i also agree in part with what both Steph and barbara say in their discussional responses, as there is clearly much more involved in the processes of introversion and numerous studies carried out into different aspects of this social problem. Nevertheless, their is hope for us thanks largely to the work of Dr Elaine Aron et al.

Lastly i agree with you Barbara when you say.. "I think it might be quite productive to have a think here on the discussion board about how introverted HSPs work with this issue, eg, how do you help extraverts to understand you better, your needs and so on, and how do you make sure that their extroverted needs are respected in turn? "

If the groundwork on the subject of introversion has been truly laid and a foundation of philosophy of understanding of the subject is being put into effect. Then the opportunity to make changes in society should be taken advantage of by introverts to improve relations with helping extroverts understand our needs and also through support and encouragement to aid us to consider their needs too.

Alan martin (.
user 11221080
Southampton, GB
Post #: 10
A former member
Post #: 415
I can't help thinking that its really important to keep thinking positive when considering all the above. I've had long experience of being "in victim" mentality, and feeling put upon and let down by people. Overall, now I believe that I have a much lighter and less bothered way of looking at things that are written or said by others. Perhaps that is due to having a life changing experience, nearly losing my other half, and having to live in every day and every moment because of his illness.

Negative thinking and ruminations over old hurts do me no good. I'm not perfect, and I am still prone to doing that, and I think I am more aware of how I make myself unhappy, and how I can improve that.
My belief with all the discussions above, is that - perhaps its not such a huge matter? That letting go is sometimes as useful as going round and round it all...

Thats me, and it may not be anyone else! smile
Fiona G.
user 12160460
Winchester, GB
Post #: 32

In reply to Barbara's point about how we help extroverts understand us better, I think understanding and accepting ourselves as we are, is a good place to start. Confidence as an HSP introvert is important but can feel like an uphill struggle at times when you feel you have been swimming against the tide most of your life.

Sometimes an explanation is necessary. I explain energy in terms of 'money in the bank', interaction as 'spending' and rest as 'needing to save up' and that this is just how it is. Even my husband, a non-hsp extrovert, gets 'peopled out', especially at conferences which he attends quite often. If we are going on a (necessary!) social outing, I remind him of what being 'peopled out' feels like and say that this will occur for me after 10 minutes, half an hour or whatever. This seems to help him; he understands and is happy that I need to leave early. I also think explaining why we need so much time on our own helps, letting people know that it is not because we don't like them. I find it too distracting even to read in the same room as another person as I can't switch off from their 'energy' or activity.

I think we can affirm extroverts' need for large amounts of social interaction by our understanding that it is 'money in the bank' for them. We can encourage them in what they need while we need not to join in, or to do so for a limited time. (I don't accompany my husband on international trips, for example or attend the conferences with him).

An interesting book which helped me is The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. While I appreciate hsp introverts are different from non-hsp introverts, when I read this some time ago I felt a lot of it could be applied to high sensitivity as well as introversion.
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