Introverts need to talk sometimes too—just like everyone else.

Introverts Need to Talk Too—There’s No “Introvert Code” to Uphold

Introverts need to talk just like everybody else does. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that there’s an “introvert code” of independence you must follow.

I’ve been talking to myself all day today—literally.

As in talking out loud to myself (in environments where I’m by myself, at any rate).

Sometimes I’ve even been raising my voice to ensure that I’m heard over the irritating, nonstop blurts of the ever-present inner critic inside of me.

What have I been saying to myself?

Words and phrases that would probably be referred to as affirmations. Primarily two sentences:

I’m a writer. I’m a writer. I’m a writer. I’m a writer. I’m a writer.

What I write matters. What I write matters. What I write matters. What I write matters. What I write matters.

I spent much of yesterday doing the same thing as today, covering not only my identity as a writer but also my role as a parent:

I’m a good parent. I’m a good parent. I’m a good parent. I’m a good parent. I’m a good parent.

Talking to Yourself Works Surprisingly Well

I’ve been aware of the concept of affirmations for years. But I never actually tried them—out loud like you’re supposed to—until about 30 hours ago, at the backhanded suggestion of my lovely wife, Adrianne, who in truth suggested that I write them down on sticky notes and put them all over the house.

I figured I might as well just go ahead and say them aloud instead, since research has shown that verbal affirmations actually work—that they make you feel better about yourself and thus live and perform with more confidence.

I can tell you the results of my experiment so far:

Affirmations do indeed seem to work. I do feel better, and I do feel more confident now than I did even this morning.

Moreover, I’ve been inspired to write this very blog post. And another one began cooking too as I ran on the treadmill earlier at the YMCA, trying my best to whisper my verbal affirmations loudly enough to be effective, yet softly enough so the people around me wouldn’t think I’m a wingnut.

There’s No Such Thing as the “Introvert Code”

I always thought I shied away from affirmations because they’d make me feel silly. To some degree that’s true.

But in the locker room at the Y just now, standing next to a naked guy who was on his cell phone talking very seriously to someone about “operational costs” (speaking of silly … or wingnuts), it occurred to me that the real reason I have shied away from affirmations has more to do with my introversion than anything else—more specifically, my sometimes misguided beliefs about how I as an introvert should think and behave.

We introverts are so inner-focused by nature that we sometimes figure we have to solve every problem on our own, and in silence. I am guilty of this behavior frequently, albeit subconsciously.

My dear Adrianne has told me that, at times, it looks to her as though I’m trying to uphold some kind of warped “introvert code”—a secret pledge that says I always have to go it alone, that I cannot reach out for help or even talk about what’s bothering me. That I’m supposed to keep it all inside because, well, that’s what introverts do.

Or, more accurately, that’s what introverts are supposed to do. It’s the introvert brand.


I have to stop.

And if you’re an introvert who does the same kind of thing from time to time, you need to stop too.

Because just as extroverts need to be quiet and still sometimes, introverts need to talk to other people sometimes.

Introverts Need to Talk to Other People, Too

I will always be, and appreciate, who I am. Being an introvert is part of that.

But being an introvert doesn’t mean always keeping my thoughts and emotions inside, or always feeling like I have to.

I’m human. You’re human. We all need help. And we all need to sometimes hear an audible voice of encouragement and understanding, whether its our own or someone else’s.

There is no “introvert code.”

And therefore there is no “introvert code” to uphold.

Yes, the inner voice you have as an introvert can and often does work to your great benefit, helping you come up with ideas and solutions seemingly out of nowhere. No wonder you gravitate toward it and embrace it.

But when it is instead working against you, in whatever way, well, then it’s time for you to talk.

Out loud.

To someone else.

2 replies
  1. S
    S says:

    I love your statement….but when it is working against you, in whatever way, well then it’s time to talk. Out loud. To someone else.

    I’m going to need to type out your quote and laminate it. I have extroverts around me. I live in an old town that still sees men as having more intelligence and rights than women.( yes in 2023 ….a town in Canada that is very patriarchal and uneducated that fosters the viewpoint that men are superior than women).

    I was forced to talk out loud to someone else because of a health crisis that required psychotherapy. Well, I was very fortunate to be matched up with an HSP Empath…fluctuating introvert/extrovert therapist.

    Do cats and trees and chickadees count? ☺️ as someone else?

    I think one big difference between introvert and extrovert conversations are the topics discussed. Extroverts talk to talk and often don’t pay attention to what they are saying, don’t care what they are saying, or don’t remember what they have said because their mouths are talking faster than their minds are thinking. Introverts talk to be heard and talk with a purpose. Almost everyday I ask myself why I even talk to people because I CAN TELL they are not listening. So WHO we talk to as an introvert is extremely important . Otherwise the experience sends us back into our introverted shell.

    • Peter Vogt
      Peter Vogt says:

      You’ve hit on a couple of crucially important things here:

      1) You may have meant it slightly in jest, but … to me, talking to cats or trees or chickadees or anything/anyone else counts! Something good happens for you as an introvert when you hear your own words aloud, and when you know someone/something else has heard them as well.

      Yes, I realize that a tree, for instance, doesn’t “hear” you. But it does serve the backhanded purpose of allowing you to hear yourself. (This is why, before I give presentations or do workshops, I often practice by delivering them to an audience of my daughter’s stuffed animals. I get to hear my own words, and in a sense get a feel for how they will be heard by others.)

      2) You are far from alone in knowing when someone is NOT listening to you when you DO talk. And yes, that IS discouraging. And yes, that DOES make you less likely to want to talk (to that person, at least). All of that is sensible and reasonable. Why shouldn’t/wouldn’t you feel that way?

      That said: There will be a few people in your life who do NOT act the way you’ve described—who DO carefully and empathetically listen to you. That is why we introverts treasure such people so much—they are so rare. But they do definitely exist.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *