A blog reader recently commented: ”I want to help my Extroverted friends to understand a little-understood reality regarding Introverts and noise. Since there’s no doubt that I’m an Introvert, It is often assumed that I never like any noise. However, I am perfectly fine with noise that I control. The radio/TV can be turned off anytime I wish. I can listen to "my" music all day long, even loudly in my head phones. Extroverted friends are surprised at this who are led to think Introverts want it quiet all the time.
The big revelation is that it's only loud noise I can't control . I understand that someone with impaired hearing turns the TV to a high volume. Of course they don't understand how unbearably loud it really is for others. It is probably equally frustrating for that person to desire to watch TV at their needed volume level. Our compromise is when I can’t handle the noise, the other uses headphones.
On a slightly different note, another noise-area I analyzed was how differently extended family members communicated. One small group of relatives congregated in the living room where one person spoke at a time at a low key volume. Another group gathered in the kitchen (mostly women) laughed and talked fairly loudly. Then, in the den as mostly men watched the current sport event they cheered and commented in unison. Thrown into the mix were kids of various ages running through the house yelling and screaming. It was amazing to me with all the cross-talking going on that anyone could be heard at all. As a matter of fact if our family gatherings were minus the noise it would certainly become suspicious. But this describes what occurs in many families and illustrates why Introverts in the minority are not eager to attend or maybe not stay long.
My conclusion is that when various personalities come together, while there will be some preference violations, one isn’t right and the other wrong, but just different. My suggestion to the naturally quiet Introverts is to accept that “it is what it is”. One just has to roll with it without accusation or guilt. Learning the different temperament/personalities has opened my eyes and softened my tolerance to legitimate differences in communication styles and noise levels at our family gatherings.
Understanding that the ability to control the noise button is the key for Introverts’ comfort is helpful data for Extroverts who can tolerate or easily tune out noise. Accepting that Extroverts up-the-volume in a crowd so they can be heard may drive Introverts to run for cover or resort to ear buds. Family gatherings are wise to provide quiet conversation space.
It may surprise Introverts that some Intuitive Extroverts tend to tire more quickly than the Extroverted Sensing segment during loud cross-talk conversations. They will be relieved to learn that disappearing into a more quiet space is not anti-social or inappropriate.