Sometimes, being the pensive introvert and preferring to spend time alone over spending time with others may mean other people just don’t understand certain things about your personality. Paying close attention to one’s own thoughts, emotions, and being selectively social may seem alien to others who aren’t used to an introvert’s ways.

Here are 5 things about introverts that other people, mainly extroverts, just can’t get their head around:

1. Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean you’re shy, retiring, or socially awkward.

An introvert gains energy from spending time alone. They prefer to look internally for comfort and answers to questions, rather than turning to the outside world. Some introverts may be shy and awkward in social situations, but not all introverts are.

Just because somebody defines themselves as an introvert, it doesn’t mean they can’t network like a pro at a social event every now and then. It just means they will need time to spend alone to revive themselves afterward and time to reflect on what happened during the event.

2. Introverts can’t be around other people 24/7.

Sometimes extroverts just can’t understand why introverts don’t want to constantly be around other people and this is perhaps the biggest trait of introversion that others don’t understand. Most introverts are drained by the thought of being around others for extended periods of time, which may be perplexing to people who thrive amongst the presence of others.

3. Introverts don’t speak much.

Okay, so, it’s not so much that introverts don’t speak much. It’s more that in some situations, we don’t feel the need to speak unless we have something to add. In some cases, it’s in groups that we tend to keep quiet and observe.

In other cases, introverts prefer to stay quiet even in one-to-one conversations and speak only when they want to input something valuable. Sometimes, other people can’t understand why we aren’t speaking more, why we don’t win over the room the same way they do, or why we seem stand-offish and quiet.

4. Introverts have few friends.

When it comes to introverts, quality over quantity often reigns true when it comes to friendships, which is something those with large friendship groups don’t often understand. Choosing to be around a few close friends rather than a larger group of acquaintances is a trait of an introvert and one that others struggle to understand.

5. Large crowds are overwhelming.

To most introverts, large crowds can be overwhelming and being amongst them for long periods of time can be exhausting. Extroverts who thrive in such situations just can’t understand what the problem is and love the hustle and bustle of numerous personalities all together in one space.

Whether you’re an introvert and agree with all of these points or an extrovert who agrees that you just can’t understand why us introverts are the way we are, a little understanding can go along way when it comes to the introvert/extrovert spectrum.

Christina Lawson, B.A.

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the power of misfits

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Avatar
    amanda jones

    i’ve been shunned my whole life because i’ve always been an introvert. it’s now a disease called social anxiety DISORDER. if you cant play nice with lots of people, you have a disorder.

    1. Avatar
      yeah...

      No. Social anxiety is very common. Many, if not most, people has some level of it.
      It’s called social anxiety DISORDER when it reaches a point that you can’t live a pretty normal life because of it.
      Social anxiety and social anxiety disorder is very much not the same thing.

  2. Avatar
    the star

    hello, I am a student, actually I have been introvert since childhood, I feel like it is very difficult to be an introvert, all i have done throughout my life is suppressing myself just to make others happy, and now it really sucks .

    1. Avatar
      boo-dad

      Exactly, Star. You always want to appease everyone. I get it. Don’t look to Tahiya for a sympathetic ear though. She has deciphered the complexities of human nature by the age of 30. I am who you are, too.

  3. Avatar
    Tahiya

    A few points:
    This is not directed at people w a clinical diagnosis of social anxiety. It’s for all the other “introverts” who took a 10-question quiz and diagnosed themselves.

    Nonverbal communication is very powerful. “Introverts” use it all the time. If a socially typical person attributes your reticence to engage in conversation as shyness or social awkwardness they are being very gracious and giving you an out. Because otherwise your silence is just withholding or dismissiveness. See people can’t read minds but they do attribute meaning to behavioral communication based on their culture. If you are in a typical western cultural scenario and acting on your introverted preferences you are using behavior to say “you don’t interest me and your comfort is not important to me. It’s your job to engage, entertain and take care of me and i’ll sit here and let you, if you’re lucky. ”

    Secondly, there’s no such thing as an extrovert. No one can be around gobs of people all the time. Everyone would prefer to have 1:1 attention from someone who wants to connect on a deep level. It’s not easy for us. We’re not born the life of the party. We don’t need endless attention from strangers. We’re not egomaniacs. But in order to make friends, find partners, and succeed at relationships once they are established, adults learn and PRACTICE social skills. When they meet people they don’t know well they try to make the other person comfortable and support the hosts by contributing a positive and welcoming face and voice to the room. It’s hard. It’s risky. It often doesn’t go according to plan. Sometimes there is rejection, but it’s part of our obligation to one another in a gathering. We just try to think about and learn about the other person. That’s all.

    As a socially responsible adult who does exert herself to support the success of events to which i am invited i have to alert you to the fact that it’s hard enough to overcome the scary part of meeting new people when they bother to hold up their end of the game. It’s nearly impossible when they are busy being precious about their introversion. The reason pepple judge you when you’re acting out your introversion on all 8 cylinders is because you’re being selfish and lazy and insensitive to the work and gift they are trying to give you. You’re more work than it’s worth in the end, and that’s true well into the relationship most of the time as well.

    And don’t get me started about self-proclaimed introverts in the work place. If i had a dime for every imperious stare, dismissive yawn, bored phone check, outright refusal to perform, and shoddy contribution i’ve seen people try to pass off as introversion i’d be retired in paris by now.

    Introversion and extroversion were theoretical proposals by Jung on energy levels individuals experience. Meyers and Briggs straight up went crazy interpreting their study results and invented the MBTI to sell psyche testing and certification training. You’re not introverted. You’re immature.

    1. Avatar
      boo-dad

      Spoken like a true extrovert, it only took 10,000 characters, (and why are you posting @ 4:30 a.m.?

    2. Avatar
      boo-dad

      Is this even getting through the algorithm? Who retires in Paris anyway? (except Parisians.)

  4. Avatar
    boo-dad

    It’s deja-vu all over again!

  5. Avatar
    boo-dad

    Deja-vu all over again, why am I posting @ 2:30 a.m.?

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