Below is the content of the latest edition of The Introvert Manifesto. Handy-sized hardcopies of the booklet, with notes from the authors, are now available in the store!
Are you an introvert? Is there a rule we’re missing? Send it in, comrade! Use the comment field below. All material received will be vetted by our crack researchers. Rules that are determined to be accurate and effective will be included in future editions.
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WHEREAS, 75% of the population are extroverts;
WHEREAS, The unwritten rules of social interaction were made by extroverts, for extroverts;
WHEREAS, We introverts are naturally mystified by this code that extroverts understand intuitively;
WE RESOLVE to turn things to our advantage by A) understanding the extroverts’ rules and B) writing our own.
RULE #1: SILENCE IS A WEAPON. Get comfortable with silence. Extroverts can’t deal with it. Use it wisely.
RULE #2: LISTENING IS POWER. Extroverts must fill the silence. Let them. They will reveal everything.
RULE #3: KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. People follow patterns. Watch and learn. Repeat, mimic, subvert.
RULE #4: CHOOSE SILENCE. Make it intentional. Be the mysterious stranger, not the socially inept spaz.
RULE #5: NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR EXISTENCE. You are entitled to the air you breathe and the space you occupy.
RULE #6: MAKE YOUR OWN FUN. Introverts don’t always enjoy what extroverts do for fun (i.e. parties). Use your imagination. Find ways to suck the marrow out of life.
RULE #7: CONVERSATION IS CAMOUFLAGE. Extroverts expect you to talk. Not talking marks you as an outsider. You can blend in with these simple strategies.
STRATEGY #1: ASK QUESTIONS.
Extroverts especially love to talk about themselves. Encourage them with questions and you will be their best friend.
STRATEGY #2: USE BODY LANGUAGE.
You can also contribute to the conversation with non-verbal encouragement; a nod here, a smile there. Go easy on the diabolical chin-stroke.
STRATEGY #3: KNOW WHERE YOU’RE POINTING YOUR FACE.
if you have a hard time with eye contact, you can fake it by looking at the forehead above and between the eyes. Be careful about looking down; women will think you’re staring at their bazoombas.
STRATEGY #4: FORM OVER CONTENT.
What you say matters less than how and when you say it. You are not so much transmitting information as setting the extrovert at ease.
STRATEGY #5: DON’T SOUND LIKE A TOOL.
When you’re among friends, say whatever you want. When meeting new people, don’t expect to impress them with your deep, specialized knowledge.
STRATEGY #6: WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, SHARE.
That stuff you’re thinking that no one wants to hear? Say it out loud. Let people in. It’s a powerful expression of friendship.