One of the biggest differences between introverts and extroverts is how they react to stress.

Some people don’t understand how introverts react to stress. Because of this, they think that all introverts are “neurotic” or mentally ill. Let me explain why this is a misperception.

When extroverts are stressed they “act out”. They may smoke, drink, yell and scream, throw a punch, stomp around or generally raise the roof. Although this behavior is difficult and even obnoxious, it is not considered “mentally ill”.

When introverts are stressed, they withdraw. They do this to recharge their batteries, not because they are neurotic. Introverts need time alone to bring order back into their inner world. They give energy to others and receive energy when alone.

Let’s look at some of the things that can stress introverts.

• Introverts are territorial. Someone cannot take your seat, move your stuff, lean on your desk, ignore your closed door or borrow your clothes without making you very angry.
• Introverts need time alone to recharge their batteries. If denied time alone, you may become irritable and depressed.
• Introverts value privacy. When your boundaries are disregarded, when someone has a loud personal conversation on their cell phone in your captive presence, such as waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, you can be annoyed and offended.
• Introverts fear failure in public and experience deep humiliation because of it.
• Introverts prefer to communicate in writing. They may feel exhausted by too much verbal communication that “isn’t going anywhere”. Introverts hate small talk and cell phones.
• Introverts like to be prepared. If rushed to present a solution or opinion, they may be extremely uncomfortable and sometimes refuse to do so at all.

What are some of the ways that introverts restore balance?

• Introverts need to spend at least half their time alone for optimal good health
• Introverts love long trips, walks in nature and usually enjoy the company of animals. These activities restore their peace of mind and equilibrium.
• Introverts give energy when they are with people and need to be alone to recharge their batteries.
• Introverts need a room of their own with a door that closes.
• Introverts need to give themselves permission to communicate via email or in writing and to ignore phone calls or get a good answering machine.
• Decision making should take place without time pressure if possible. Introverts like to be prepared!

If you’re an introvert, it’s important to understand your natural reactions to stress and what you can do to restore your equilibrium. Retreats into self are neither neurotic nor mentally ill. They are a natural restorative to introverts.

Author's Bio: 

Nancy R. Fenn is the IntrovertZCoach. Her mission in life is to raise consciousness about introversion and to promote self worth in introverts by increasing their support and understanding.