DON’T talk to me before I’ve had my coffee. Caffeine is an introvert’s best friend. I have just as much energy as the next guy, but talking requires a ton.
DO say hello. Just don’t say anything else. As much as I may love you, I wasn’t planning on seeing you on the street. If I had something to say to you besides hello, I would’ve scheduled a lunch or something.
DON’T talk to me if I don’t know you. Trust me, if you like awkward, empty conversations with strangers, we have nothing in common.
DON’T make conversation in a line of any sort. Talking in lines should be illegal. There’s no clearer example of a situation where I set out to do something that did not include having a conversation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to change my plans for lunch after seeing someone I know in line. I wish it were socially acceptable to wear a huge cardboard box while waiting in line. If you see me, pretend I am.
DON’T tell me I don’t go out enough. You don’t stay in enough. My room is my sanctuary. I’d love to spend time with you here. I have no interest in moving to a location with people I don’t know, where I’ll have to stand up, where I’ll have to yell to be heard, where no one has any interest in talking about anything anyone really cares about, and where it’s probably too warm.
DON’T call me “serious.” For some reason, it’s taboo to say anything thoughtful in a group setting. I can’t tell you how many times someone has responded to me with something like “Wow Danny, you’ve really thought that through,” and then chuckled, as if I were some sort of novelty. Of course I’ve thought it through, or I wouldn’t have said it.
DO embrace silence. If there’s nothing worth talking about, everyone’s time is better spent thinking. Most silences aren’t awkward, unless you’re just an awkward person.