Designer Rebecca Evie Lynch decided to create a series of emojis after her boyfriend of three years broke up with her, saying he needed more time alone. “I was surprised, as I’ve always considered myself an introvert, too,” she told Fast Company, “but I realized that my enthusiasm about being in a relationship sometimes overshadows my ability to read others’ signals.”
The result is Introji, a series of pictograms designed to help introverts express their intrinsic need to recharge in solitude. Lynch is also working on a parallel series of icons designed to help those in relationships with introverts negotiate the boundaries of togetherness.
“As an introvert, I’ve experienced plenty of moments where I feel the lack of a simple way to express a need for aloneness—or conversely, a need for quiet company—in a way that won’t be misunderstood,” Lynch wrote in a Kickstarter pitch last fall. (She subsequently canceled the crowdfunding effort.) “On the other hand, I want to be able express to others that I understood their need for space, while letting them know that I’d be there when they needed me.”
Introji is still in the prototype phase, though Lynch eventually hopes to launch them as an app. In the meantime, she welcomes introverts and the people who love them to comment on the designs and offer suggestions for icons on the Introji Facebook page.