This list was originally titled ‘How to care for introverts‘ but I would say that this can apply to all people, regardless of their personality.
From On Introversion by Linda Kreger Silverman:
The American dream is to be extraverted. We want our children to be “people who need people.” We want them to have lots of friends, to like parties, to prefer to play outside with their buddies rather than retire with a good book, to make friends easily, to greet new experiences enthusiastically, to be good risk-takers, to be open about their feelings, to be trusting. We regard anyone who doesn’t fit this pattern with some concern. We call them “withdrawn,” “aloof,” “shy,” “secretive,” and “loners.” These pejorative terms show the extent to which we misunderstand introverts.
- Respect their need for privacy.
- Never embarrass them in public.
- Let them observe first in new situations.
- Give them time to think. Don’t demand instants answers.
- Don’t interrupt them.
- Give them advanced notice of expected changes in their lives.
- Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing before calling them to dinner or moving on to the next activity.
- Reprimand them privately.
- Teach them new skills privately rather than in public.
- Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests and abilities; encourage this relationship even if the friend moves.
- Do not push them to make lots of friends.
- Respect their introversion. Don’t try to make them into extroverts.