Apparently, there are whole countries where introvert problems are the norm, and one of these is Finland.
Finnish people seem to understand introvert problems all too well. That is, if hilarious new comic series Finnish Nightmares is anything to go by.
It seems that living near the North Pole encourages introversion. Perhaps it’s the cold and the extended periods of darkness in the winter that make people more accustomed to staying at home and socializing less, and therefore less at ease in social situations
1. Introvert Problems: Get what you want by asking for it, or go without?
You spot something you’d like but you’ve got to speak to someone to get it. You’re thinking: that looks nice – dare I get one or not?
There’s no predicting how it could pan out: how awkward and embarrassing it could get. Personal questions could be asked, you could panic and do something weird.
It looks like you might have to back out of the whole operation.
2. Introvert Problems: Stay in hiding or risk a conversation?
Getting out of the house often presents a problem for an introvert. You’d be horrified if your neighbor thought even for a moment that you didn’t like him. It’s not that at all… he’s fine, but he’s bound to want to say something, and you’re certainly in no state to talk right now. You’ll have to lay low or prepare to brave it out.
3. Introvert Problems: Raise your hand or stay silent?
Cue rapid heart rate increase and breaking into a sweat at the mere suspense of this dilemma. Will you say it or fall back on your default instinct to sit in frozen silence? How will you learn without asking? And what if you do something wrong later…? For God’s sake, say something!
Then you miss your chance the very moment you make the move to put your hand up.
4. Introvert Problems: How to receive a compliment gracefully
When someone compliments you, you’re embarrassed by the attention. Even when you’re very grateful for the compliment, you don’t know how to react. It’s unexpected – there’s no time to prepare an appropriate response. You want to say something nice in return, but on reflection it would almost certainly seem token in the circumstances. The moment passes. You overthought it. You regret seeming a bit distracted and moody again.
5. Introvert Problems: Shopping
Excellent, enthusiastic customer service is an introvert’s nightmare. Your default response to salespeople is an automatic “No, thank you”, and then it’s done. When you need help you know you can’t ask for it and the moment is gone. You console yourself that if you let the salesperson help you, there’d be a 90% chance of panic buying, or leaving with something they chose for you rather than something you liked.
6. Introvert problems: Shouting
Speaking is one thing, shouting is quite another. Summoning up the courage to speak is familiar at least. There’s not much call for shouting in everyday life and so it’s not half so easy to acquire a skill for doing it gracefully. But when you’re on a moving bus and there’s no way of getting out, you either do it or end up travelling right past your destination like a lemon. It’s 50-50. It could go either way.
7. Introvert Problems: Travelling
There are plenty of empty seats but they’re all next to someone. No chance of getting the required personal space needed to be entirely free of anxiety. Now you just have to choose the person who looks least inclined to be talkative and hope for the best.
8. Introvert Problems: Avoiding ‘scenes’
When you’re out with a friend and they are potentially attracting attention by talking loudly. You start feeling exposed, and you don’t wish to offend the public. You start giving short, guarded responses, looking about you uneasily; and get progressively quieter to the point of speaking almost in a whisper, in an attempt to bring your friend’s volume down.
9. Introvert Problems: Teamwork
Teamwork has always been a problem. You get it in theory and understand its benefits, but you simply wish you never had to participate personally. Teamwork is fine for other people but, for introverts, working with a stranger is stressful. It also means fearing that you’ll be eclipsed by a partner with an extroverted personality, even if his/her ideas are worse than yours and don’t reflect your vision in any way.
10. Introvert Problems: Small talk
Small talk is a real chore for introverts. You don’t really know how to do it. You haven’t understood that people don’t take what they say quite so seriously as you and therefore you panic at the prospect. Why would anyone go to the trouble of talking it if they didn’t mean what they said? You see such conversations as the perfect platform to make yourself ridiculous by giving some thoroughly inappropriate response, and all for absolutely no good reason
Are you an introvert? Do you think you’d be happier in a place like Finland where your introvert problems wouldn’t be problems?