Have you ever been in a situation where you had to argue to protect your opinion? Did you feel that the others were confident about themselves, but you were reluctant to take part in the argument, even if you knew you were right?
Arguing as an introvert might definitely be demanding in some cases. But there is no reason to worry: since this kind of trait is part of their personality, introverted people intend to avoid disputes. Extroverted and introverted people process information in different ways, therefore they react distinctively to the situation.
Extroverted people often:
- Think aloud,
- Tell what they think,
- Confidently represent their point of view,
- Often, they find out what they want only during speaking,
- They want to convince the other party right away.
In contrast, introverts generally:
- Think for themselves,
- Do not say directly what they intend to do,
- Analyze quietly,
- Do not find out what they want during speaking, but prior to that,
- Do not seek to convince the other party by all means.
What may be the reason for introverts trying to avoid the debates? Why are they hesitant to argue at the workplace or in private life?
Not because they are not right or because they do not have convincing arguments and thoughts on the subject.
1. Firstly, they are reluctant to argue and dispute, because it depletes their energies. Thus, an intense debate can be emotionally exhaustive for them, and instead they deal with activities that fill them up and help to recover their energy. (Hobbies, reading, studying, watching movies… etc)
2. Secondly, they do not prefer a loud and intense environment. Thus, if they encounter with a partner who is overly self-confident or even aggressive, they find the case tough and frightening, and they are eager to escape.
3. Thirdly, based on their notion, debates do not bring the parties closer to the solution. This is because the intense confrontation of opposing assumptions is repeated circularly, echoing each other’s own viewpoints-therefore you can consider it as an unnecessary waste of time. Moreover, if the extroverted person perceives that the introverted partner is not eager to argue, he or she strengthens his or her opinion even more to win. As a result, the introvert may find that his or her argument is getting weaker and weaker. And this can lead to a negative emotional state.
To preserve your relaxed state and your advantageous position during a debate, you don’t necessarily need to
- Dominate (other person or situation),
- Control the situation,
- Suppress yourself and your opinion,
- Raise your voice.
Instead, it is much smarter to use your strengths, such as
- Listen to the other person and his/her argument!
- Be mindful of how the other party may feel!
- Try to find out what your partner’s intentions are-for example, ask him or her questions! This will help you to explore what they want.
- Show that you understand him/her. For example: “If I get you well, you’re disappointed because I didn’t help you last weekend. Am I correct?“
- Do not question the other’s personality, but rather his or her activity or speech, that is, do separate the person from his/her words. For example: “The words you used with me are not acceptable. I would like you not to hurt me any more! ”
- Consider your own viewpoint and argue accordingly.
- Finally, express your thoughts honestly, simply and without insulting the other person.
If this is not possible, you can say something similar to postpone the argument: “I understand what you want. I would like to think about it, so I need some time and we will discuss it later.”
Finally, remember that you have the same rights as the others! Your viewpoint is equally important and matters as much as your partner’s one, regardless of what powerful words they use and how confident they argue.
If you are introverted, conflict, debate and argument can be a demanding and tough affair that can reduce your energy. However, these situations cannot be avoided all the time. It is worth communicating consciously and striving for a win-win situation in which both sides can win. In this case, arguing as an introvert might not be an issue for you any longer.
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