A friend of mine recently suggested a blog post about shopping for introverts. Being an introvert myself, I instantly knew it was a great idea, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I try all day at work to be extroverted and on my days off I just want to be alone. I have to force myself to interact with people – even friends and family. I’m an introvert. A recluse. A downright hermit…
If all introverts are like me, they are just trying to keep the anxiety at bay. Maybe there are other reasons for being an introvert, but honestly this is probably the root cause. Let’s go with that and this blog post could also be titled “How To Shop For People With Anxiety”. That doesn’t have a nice ring to it, so we’re sticking with the word introvert.
However, some people truly enjoy their own company. I know that I enjoy my alone time immensely – maybe I just take it overboard.
What is an introvert? Susan Cain, author of the New York Times best-seller “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” describes it perfectly by saying that the main difference between introverts and extroverts is that “introverts recharge their batteries by being alone, while extroverts recharge them in company – often, a lot of company. Many introverts have great social skills, but they still feel depleted by too much socializing.” This quotation describes me perfectly, and I think most other introverts would agree.
Let’s look at the characteristic interests and hobbies of introverts. Everyone has different hobbies, interests, loves, and obsessions but I’m trying to generalize here. Alone-time activities are very popular among introverts, including reading, writing, drawing and other forms of art, photography, video games, movies, and music. Let’s also include food, because who doesn’t like food? I think these are good starting points.
I’m not saying all introverts like to read, but it’s often a defining characteristic. They prefer to read and get completely lost in another world. They like to learn all sorts of things. Your local bookstore is a great place to buy books, as well as Amazon if you think you’ll have more luck online. Don’t know what kind of books they like? Go check out the introvert’s bookshelf. If that plan fails, just ask! They won’t think anything of it. Fantasy, romance, drama, suspense, biographies…
Often, introverts like to write. Notebooks/journals are extra-fancy nowadays, and you can find some very niche-specific journals.
The classic escape hatch. The explosion of new music on the scene over the past decade is astounding. You should have no trouble finding some great music for someone if you know the genre they listen to. You can always get them your favorite album, which adds a personal touch. If not, an iTunes gift card will suffice. Think outside the box: If someone really likes to get lost in music, you could get them a really cool set of noise canceling headphones, or a speaker they can plug their phone into and listen to their own playlist.
You can find DVD’s and Blu-Rays at Walmart and Amazon for next to nothing these days!
There are so many amazing artists in the world! Let’s support them. If you check out Etsy or Society 6, you can find unbelievable originals and very affordable prints that look identical. Search for art in any category and I guarantee you’ll find it.
Art supplies are great gift ideas for the artistic introvert near you, especially if we’re talking “starving artist” here! However, it’s a bit specific. What kind of art does your introvert enjoy? Maybe they like painting, drawing, coloring, scrap booking, card making, or art journaling. New canvases could be a dream come true. Fancy pencil crayons, paints, watercolor paper, charcoal pencils, a gorgeous adult coloring book…
Maybe your recipient likes taking pictures. How serious are they? Do they have a fancy DSLR? Photography as a hobby can get real expensive, real quick. Help them out! What is the next lens they would love to have? Do they need a tripod? Do they need a remote? Maybe they would love to learn how to use their camera properly. I’m an advocate of “experiences” as gifts. You could buy a photography course for them, which would also encourage social interaction… Balance!
Everybody loves food. If you can’t think of a good gift idea, make something delicious! Bake some different kinds of goodies and put some of each in a tin and tie it with a bow. Bake some cookies, banana bread, homemade granola bars, zucchini chocolate cake, rum balls… You get the idea. Look up some awesome recipes online!
Check out my Introverts Category to find some hand-curated gift ideas for introverts. I have scoped out what I think are great gifts, and hopefully there will be something there for the introvert on your list. If nothing else, I hope that it gives you some ideas!
Don’t underestimate your creative abilities! If you set a little time aside, you can come up with some really awesome gifts for the introverts on your list! Or anyone, really, because who wouldn’t appreciate a handmade sugar scrub and Christmas card?
My DIY Category is slowly coming along if you want to check it out here.
I hope you have a greater understanding of your introverted recipient, and some ideas about what to get them. Please leave me a comment if you have any additional ideas for introverts! Or just to let me know you stopped by and liked the article.