How to ask an introvert on a date

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I got a question last week that I guess mildly surprised me – “How do I ask an introvert out?” The reason I was surprised was that usually it’s we introverts who don’t really know what to say. We are great at reading and at typing you a smart email, but we may not know how to verbalize things unless you give us time to think about it. But someone out there was being thoughtful and realized that it is easy to chase an introvert away, so they asked me what would be the best way to ask an introvert out.

I know a LOT of introverts, and now I connect with even more of them through the web. They are all different in many details of whether they would want to be called or asked in person, of course, but here is one generalization I think we can make: Do not make an introvert the center of attention in a group or especially the object of ridicule if you want him/her to trust you and like you. Sometimes people think it is funny to play a joke on a coworker or another student, and if the recipient is an extrovert, the desired effect of a good laugh all around is usually achieved. We introverts do NOT want people laughing at us. We may tolerate a private joke like that, from a close friend who we know is not ridiculing us, but we do not want a group looking at us with mirth. Not at all. So don’t try to get your introvert’s attention by showing off and bringing him/her into it in front of a group. Introverts want to be approached individually. Now here is where the question is – to call, to ask in person, or what?

Well, how do you usually talk to this introvert? Do you chitchat at lunchtime, or do you usually instant message each other across the office? I would think there’s nothing wrong with asking someone out over whatever medium you’re accustomed to using. Or if you would rather use the phone than something “impersonal” like email, then maybe when you’re messaging each other you could say hey, would this be a good time for me to call you? We really, really like a moment to think. When you see on the news where someone in the U.S. is talking to a reporter in the Middle East, that delay you always see after each question is how I feel when I’m trying to talk to someone when I am a bit nervous. I have to think and process everything before I say anything! Of course, if you ask your introvert out and he/she seems to be at a loss for words yet looks pleased, I think you should wait patiently and will probably get the answer you want to hear!

Introversion is not the same as shyness. Some introverts are shy, certainly. But mainly we are people who prefer to talk to you one-on-one and do not want to be pointed at or talked about. So if you like an introvert and want to ask him/her out, just be sure the group isn’t watching the whole thing, and go for it! :)

Photo credit: Carlo Nicora

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17 Comments

  1. “just be sure the group isn’t watching the whole thing, and go for it! :)”
    I like the last quote, summed up the entire passage perfectly! I do have several friends who are introverts, they tend to keep a low profile and dislike being put under the spotlight. That’s totally understandable and it’s important to respect their will.

    To those who are on a mission to ask an introvert out, wish you best of luck! I’m sure by following the golden rule, you’ll make it! ^^

    • Very nice advice Ching Ya! I know it’s hard for extroverts to understand why introverts act the way we do sometimes, but yes, they may as well just accept it for what it is and act accordingly.

  2. I’ve been married for almost ten years to a MAJOR extrovert and I need to send him a link to this article. A couple weekends ago we went to a party at a lake house and I was going to try to quietly take off my cover-up to join in the swimming, but every time I got near the water my husband would shout some compliment to me, “Oh, there’s my mermaid!” or “There’s my hot wife!” or something similar. Most of my friends would LOVE for their husbands to publicly compliment them like this, but I was just horrified–don’t bring attention to me, especially when I am about to be nearly naked on a beach!!! I just wanted to slip into the lake quietly with no one noticing… I finally had to do it on the other side of the boat house and then swim around!! :)

    • Cameron, you took me back 20 years just now, thinking about how things would get to be such a BIG DEAL because I didn’t want to do them when the guy who was then my new boyfriend (and would later be my husband) would say something to make all of his friends look at me. So all around me people would sing or play charades or play softball – many of them doing no better than I would have done, but I had to sit looking like an odd bird on the sidelines because I had been made the center of attention and therefore REFUSED to continue the “show.”

      Thank you for your comment, and please come back soon!

    • Kinda the same with me(except I don’t have a husband seeing as how I’m a guy) but there’s this spot in a city park where I lice that has a giant rock surrounded by water that people go swimming in and whatnots. My friends will want to go, and usually I’ll have no problem going I just don’t want to swim because I don’t want people to see me shirtless(I abhor the idea). So I politely tell them that I don’t want to when were there and then they make a huge deal out of it…lovely times for an introvert with two extrovert friends who are hellbent on ‘fixing’ you.

  3. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog… it’s nice talking to other introverts because it’s so interesting to find other people who “cope” the same way I do! A few extra minutes in the bathroom, volunteering to run to the store during a party… I thought I was the only one, lol!! :) And I’m always so disappointed when I volunteer to run to the store and then someone “helpfully” volunteers to go with me!

  4. Coming from a male perspective, it’s generally up to us to ask the ladies out. I have had some girls ask me out and it usually the extroverts. The ones that were successful were the ones who were more laid back and casual. The overly extroverted ones generally turned me off.

    I don’t mind being in the spotlight , when I’m in control. When others are in control it’s a different story.

    • OK extroverted ladies out there – listen up! That makes sense – the ones who didn’t just run over you with their personalities were able to get a little closer.

      I can see where that would work, tolerating the spotlight if you are in control of the situation. So you can give a talk in front of a group or something else you choose to do, but like me you probably don’t want someone else suddenly forcing you out there.

      Thanks so much Nick for providing your insight on these things, and please come back to IntrovertZone soon!

    • I like being in control of my own environment too. If someone ask me out, I have to mull over the question for a bit to see how I feel about it.

  5. Hahaha thats funny. My ex was an extrovert and I remember I was sitting on the chatting w my friends at and suddenly this strange person totally invaded my personal space by squeezing in next to me (hips and thighs touching no less). I was mortified because all eyes were on me and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up dating him for a year, but extroverts PLEASE don’t take us by surprise and respect our personal space.

    • :) I can imagine that was a surprise! And it takes us a minute to think, all the while everyone is watching to see your reaction. Great tip for extroverts to remember – thanks Jennie!

  6. I’m a pretty “close to the vest” type of guy. “under the radar”, “introvert”, whatever you want to call it. For me, being this way my whole life, I think I also have issues with rejection so I don’t ask girls out at all. I wait to be asked. Guess how that’s working? Haven’t been out in 4 years. Need a new plan.

    - Travis

  7. Wow! Man this really helped me out. I myself am an introvert and this was like reading a bio, you really nailed some great points. I’m trying to find how to go about asking a fellow introvert out. Trouble is since we introverts like being alone for good periods of time, or at least me haha that it’s hard to hang out one on one..hmm

  8. This has really helped me a great deal in understanding introverts :) I am an extrovert and I’ve fallen in love with an introvert. Now I’m trying to ask him out subtly without scaring him away or being too overbearing. I always have to make the first move with him but sometimes (although rarely) he was the one who manage to take the intiative. And then sometimes he disappears for days without any news. Is this normal? I don’t want to be the one who keep finding him first lest he find me annoying :( it is really hard work but. I’m persevering because he’s worth it :) thanks for the great tips!

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