Forgiveness takes time and isn’t always easy.
This seems to be especially true for introverts — those who focus their energy on the inner world, and who are usually quiet and reserved.
To make an introvert forgive you, you want to give them time. Then, you want to be the one that addresses the issue, because introverts may be reluctant to speak up.
You also want to show empathy, and explain to them that whatever you have done is hurting your own feelings as well.
Friendship for introverts
Introverts tend to cultivate genuine friendships.
They like to spend time with people they know well, with whom they can truly be themselves; and tend to avoid shallow relationships.
By contrast, those who lean on the extroverted side are more open to socializing with strangers who aren’t necessarily like minded.
Introverts are more selective in terms of who they spend time with.
It usually takes longer for them to form friendships, but once they do, they are very loyal.
And if your words or behavior have hurt their feelings, their attitude could make it easier, or harder, for them to forgive you. Why?
Because on one hand, if you’ve been friends for a while, and they care about you, then they are more likely to understand you and forgive you.
On the other hand, because they are very selective when socializing, it’s harder for them to even consider the idea of spending time with someone who hurt their feelings (and who could potentially hurt their feelings again).
Forgiveness can strengthen relationships
Human beings tend to idealize others. Especially if they are close friends, partners, or relatives.
But as much as we should strive to spend time with the right people — people who love and appreciate us — we must remember that perfection doesn’t exist.
Everyone is flawed in some way; everyone (including us) makes stupid mistakes from time to time.
And that’s why forgiveness can actually strengthen relationships…
When we forgive someone, not only do we acknowledge that he or she made a mistake (or deliberately hurt us for that matter), but most importantly, we choose to accept their imperfections.
Which can make the relationship stronger and healthier.
Don’t get me wrong — we are not supposed to blindlessly forgive anyone. Some things are unforgivable, in which case it’s better to just forget and let go, and move on.
What I am saying is: when you stop idealizing people, and acknowledge and accept their good traits and bad traits — that’s a sign of maturity.
And that gives you the power to forgive, and be forgiven.
When you realize perfection doesn’t exist, life becomes a lot less difficult; relationships become a lot more spontaneous.
So if you’re trying to make anyone forgive you, don’t just see it as “solving an issue” — it could also be an opportunity to form an even stronger, more meaningful, more genuine friendship.
How to make an introvert forgive you
1. Give them time
This would be good advice in general, regardless of who you’ve hurt and why.
But when dealing with introverts, it’s especially important to give them time and not to expect them to instantly forgive you.
Introverts tend to think deeply, but slowly. This means that although they can usually process information better, it also takes them longer for them to come to conclusions and make decisions.
Not only that — compared to extroverts, introverts need a lot more “alone time” to recharge and get in touch with their own inner world, their emotions, their feelings.
So that’s the very first thing you want to keep in mind: if an introvert didn’t like your words or behavior, you must give them time before you even ask them to forgive you.
Think of it as a natural process that can’t be skipped or sped up in any way. Be patient.
2. Show empathy
Do you care about the other person? Of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.
But it’s not enough — you want to show them that you care about their feelings; you want to show empathy.
Introverts may be naturally good at picking up things like thoughts and intentions, but they’re not psychic.
So if you are trying to make them forgive you, it’s important to actually let them know that you care about your friendship or relationship, and most importantly, their feelings.
I get it — it can be uncomfortable to talk to someone, or even send them a text, after you’ve done something wrong (even if not on purpose). But it’s often necessary.
3. Explain why you did what you did
Let’s say you want an introvert to forgive you because you’ve made a silly mistake. That’s literally all it was — a mistake.
However, the other person may have interpreted it the wrong way. They may believe it has been, say, verbal abuse, or bullying.
Here’s another example: let’s say you were extremely tired, or sleepless, or drunk, or angry (or a combination of those, to make it even worse) when that awkward thing happened.
Well, the other person may not know that.
And depending on what happened, your behavior may be very forgivable, and very understandable, if at the time you were in a different mental or physical state.
So… make sure to let them know. And don’t be afraid to explain why and how you said/did that thing, no matter how uncomfortable or awkward it may be.
4. Don’t expect them to talk about it
Time spent thinking vs time spent talking. Focus on the external world and objects vs focus on the inner world and subject. This concept alone describes introversion quite accurately.
Introversion (a term originally introduced by Jung) is basically psychic energy directed toward the inner world, at least predominantly.
With that in mind, know that the more someone is introverted, the less likely they are to talk about things unless they believe it’s absolutely necessary.
Some people are introverted to the point where their focus seems to be almost exclusively on their inner world.
And they often fail to realize that all those ideas, images, and thoughts must be communicated to others in order for them to understand them.
So in general, don’t expect introverts to talk about things, especially if unpleasant or painful. You want to be the one that talks about the issue, otherwise it may never happen.
5. Share your feelings
Here is another useful tip that can be applied any time you want someone to forgive you (regardless of their personality type).
Besides showing empathy, you also want to communicate your own feelings.
If you’ve made a mistake, or if your behavior has hurt the other person for whatever reason, chances are you are suffering as well.
Chances are you are sorry about the situation you’ve created, and you are sorry that it has affected the friendship or relationship with the other person.
You may be experiencing feelings of guilt, or sadness. You may be confused.
So the final tip is to share those feelings — to let the other person know they are not the only ones suffering.
This alone shows that they are important to you, that you truly care about them.