Introverts are naturally reserved and get overwhelmed with overstimulation. The main way they differ from extroverts is how they recharge.
While extroverts and out-going people thrive in a social setting and recharge by being around people; for an introvert, it is more quiet evenings with hot chocolate and reading a book.
Obviously, that is not the only way introverts’ recharge, but you get the point. This natural inclination to be lost in their own thoughts and need some time alone can be misinterpreted as them being antisocial. That is not exactly true.
Having said that, it can actually be quite difficult to get an introvert to open up. That is why this article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get an introvert to open up.
How to Get an Introvert to Open Up?
Understand that introverts need their ‘alone time’. They do not recharge like others. They need some time with themselves after a draining social experience.
The short answer to the question of how to get an introvert to open up is to take it slow and respect their boundaries. Give them space and know they are introverted, but that does not necessarily mean they are mean and antisocial.
Other than this, there are plenty of other ways to get an introverted person to open up.
Just for the nature of introverts, you are probably not going to have a conversation unless it is you who initiated it. Introverts will most likely avoid all possible chances to have a conversation with someone.
That does not mean they would immediately hate anyone who would want to have a conversation with them, though. So, be respectful and start a conversation in a friendly manner.
Pick up on their body language
Body language is an important part of communication. When getting to know an introvert, understating body language is a major factor. Honestly, understanding body language is a good skill to have regardless.
Back to introverts, then, if you see hints, they are not comfortable talking at the moment or are busy and would rather be doing what they were doing, leave them be.
Respect their wishes and live to fight another day. Maybe you caught them at a bad time. If you pick up on a hint like this and let them have their alone time, who knows, maybe they will notice the thoughtful gesture.
Take it down a notch with the talking
Do not hog up all the talking time. Although, indeed, introverted people would rather listen than talk. But in the cases, they do talk; it is always better to let them talk and express their feelings. This means it is working.
They are slowly getting more comfortable with you. Plus, just pay attention to obvious signs. If you are talking about a topic that does not interest them, it is better just to move on to another topic.
Get to know them (likes and dislikes)
This brings us to our next tip on how to get an introvert to open up. Get to know them better. If you ask them their likes and dislikes, you can make it much easier for yourself to engage them in conversations and topics they are interested in.
Get to know them as closely as you can but also try not to go too fast. Every introvert is different and has their own pace, which they are comfortable with. Not rushing anything with an introvert is generally a good rule of thumb.
Avoid accusing them of being antisocial
Anyone who is an introvert has probably heard this enough time, that you do not need to say it to them. Instead of calling them antisocial, accept they are introverted and this how they are most comfortable when dealing with people – and that there is nothing wrong with that.
The faster you accept and respect how they are, the faster they open up to you.
Silence is good; accept it
For extroverts, silence can be a very awkward thing. They feel a constant need to fill every moment of silence with either laughter or conversations. To extroverts, silence is awkward and an indication of the social gathering not going so well.
However, for an introvert, it is quite the opposite. Silence can be the most pristine thing. You can keep the conversations going by asking open-ended questions, but at one point in time, introverts would want to be quiet.
That is just how they are. To introverts, silence does not have to be awkward. It can be a break from interactions and a time to gather one’s thoughts and be with themselves for a bit.
Accept this fact, and do not let the silence bother you much. Once you can let the silence just sit there, while you are with your introverted friend, it can be quite a bonding experience.
Let them recharge and unwind
Introverts need their space. As mentioned before, introverts recharge by taking some time to themselves. Maybe read a book while having hot chocolate by the rain or watching a show all cuddles up in their favorite blanket.
Do not always try to meet up and constantly be with them. They need their solitude to recharge. That is how introverts are. You can take things slow and let them open up naturally.
Respect the fact that sometimes, they would rather be alone than you, or anyone for that matter. Do not take it as an insult; it is not.
Make plans they are comfortable with
When the occasion arrives, you two are going to hand out, ask them what they will be comfortable doing. Have we mentioned introverts do not like being around a lot of people?
Maybe they want to go someplace quiet, where they can relax, and there are not many stimulations around. So, before you make any plans, ask them what they would like to do and if they had a place in mind.
This also extends beyond a place. Ask them when they are free as well.
Acknowledge their feelings
If they are feeling a certain way, acknowledge their feelings. Do not simply brush it off. If they are not comfortable with something, let it go. The idea is to have them warm up to you at their own pace.
So not caring for how they feel would just make things worse. Besides, if you care about someone, you should acknowledge their feelings regardless.
At the end of the day, you have to be patient. Not all introverts are the same. Some introverts may take a bit longer to open to someone. While others may take lesser time.
Be patient with them and do not rush. Also, do not think something must be wrong, or you are doing something to push them away. If they did not like being around, they would make it very clear.
Introverts are very honest and straightforward people. So have patience and let things run its course. If you want an introvert to open up to you, you have to let them to it at their pace.
These are some of the ways how to get an introvert to open up. It is probably also a good idea to accept that sometimes, they might never open up. However, with these steps, you should be off to a good start.