In an extroverted world like ours, being an introvert can be hard. Sometimes it seems that an extroverted lifestyle is the only right way to live, at least, according to pop culture and social stereotypes. So it’s no surprise that many introverts find it difficult to adapt to this society and its rules.
Feeling awkward in simple social situations and avoiding things that everyone else seems to enjoy, you may think that you are the only person in the world who has such kind of problems. However, there are millions of introverts who face the same challenges every single day in their struggle in the extroverted society. Here is a short list of problems that only introverts will understand. If you can relate to all or some of these, believe me, you are not alone.
1. You don’t enjoy parties and social events
Being among other people, you feel lonelier than by yourself. Why is that? It’s because at parties people rarely talk about the essence of being or the new breakthroughs in quantum physics. People go to such events to ‘have fun’ (in the extroverted sense of this word, of course) and discuss the latest gossips and everyday stuff. For an introvert who loves deep conversations, it can be particularly challenging to participate in small talk with a group of people (some of who you may not know at all), making your best to show interest and engagement. Such situations make you feel like there is a wall that separates you from other people. So it makes sense why you try to avoid such events or, at least, stay as little as possible.
2. You can’t stand phone calls and interactions with strangers
The sound of a ringing phone or doorbell can be really terrifying when you don’t expect any calls or visitors. That’s why you often pretend no one is at home when you see a stranger at your door. But the situation in which you need to make a phone call is even more terrifying than that. Sometimes it can take 20 minutes or so to find the courage and dial that phone number. This funny comic by Socially Awkward Misfit perfectly captures what I mean.
3. You feel underestimated
You may be quite an intelligent and well-educated person, but because of your manner to be quiet and avoid talking much, people tend to underestimate your talents and intelligence. This is particularly evident in professional relationships where you can often see less capable and brilliant people getting a promotion instead of you thanks to their communication skills. I remember how my teacher used to say: “You are one of my most brilliant students, but you need to be more socially active…”
4. You can’t work in a team
The presence of other people talking to each other makes it nearly impossible to keep your thoughts straight and focus on a task. You need quiet and privacy to come up with new ideas, that’s why team work is certainly not your cup of tea. This is another reason why you may be having difficulties in career growth – most companies prefer team players to individualists. While your boss may think that your introversion is a disadvantage that prevents you from getting a promotion, in fact, you can offer great ideas and insights when working alone.
5. You hate being in the spotlight
Here is another reason why you can’t stand public speaking and talking in groups – you just can’t have people’s attention focused on you. You prefer deep conversations with a person you know well and with whom you can be yourself. Because of this, you also hate talking about yourself and having small talk with your distant relatives or your friend’s acquaintances, so you are trying to change the topic of conversation at the first opportunity. Introverts understand this, but how to explain to your mother why you refuse to talk to an aunt you haven’t seen since your 10th birthday?
Whether you are familiar only with some or all of these problems introverts face in their everyday life, remember that there are lots of other people who experience the same feelings as you do.
Which ones can you relate to? Share your thoughts in the comments below!