Building trust with introverts can sometimes take longer than with extroverts. Whether you are working to build trust personally or professionally, here are four ways that you can work to build trust:

1. Keep everything that the introvert shares with you confidential. Introverts keep so much internal, that if they share something with you about themselves, it is a big deal! If an introvert has confided in you, keep it close to your chest unless they have expressed to you that it is okay to share it with others, Even if you consider that it would be innocuous to share.

2. Keep agreements. Do what you have said you will do. If the introvert is going to a social event with you and you have assured them you will only stay for an hour, then honor that commitment, no matter how much fun you are having. I know of one married couple where the wife is extroverted and the husband is introverted. The wife has talked her husband into going to parties or events for “only an hour”, yet when she gets there she gets into long conversations with others and they never leave at the agreed upon time. As a result, her husband seldom attends functions with her anymore,

3. Avoid shining the spotlight on the introvert. Do not call on them to speak in front of others, or at the very least, give them advance notice that you will be calling on them. Don’t say or do things that call attention to them. Even as an introvert, I have failed at this. I once learned it was a quiet woman’s birthday, and let others know in a group setting, so they began wishing her happy birthday. She later pulled me aside, asking me to please not tell others it was her birthday, as she didn’t want to be the center of attention.

4. Acknowledge and apologize when you mess up. In any relationship we are going to mess up at some point, because we are, as my husband, John likes to say, “perfectly imperfect.” When that happens, don’t wait for the introvert to bring it up, because they likely won’t voice it. But don’t assume because they didn’t say anything that all is okay. If you mess up, acknowledge it and apologize. And apologize the right way: here is a video that highlights the right way and the wrong way to apologize: Apologize The Right Way

Be patient–building trust with anyone takes time, and it many times takes longer with introverts!