4 things you should never tell an introvert

woman-792818_1920I’m a fairly easygoing person. It takes a lot to upset me and I try to give others the benefit of the doubt. However, there are a few things that irritate me. This is a follow up post to 6 things you should never tell an introvert. These are not all introvert-specific problems, but are things I’ve experienced recently.

1. Come out of your shell.
This often comes from those who don’t recognize that everyone is unique. Rather than respecting the fact that others function differently in social situations, they assume their way is best. A quiet person has just as much to offer. Sincere questions, active listening, positive and encouraging attention, and open body language is far more likely to show a quiet person their opinion is valued. Telling someone to come out of their shell is a surefire way of shutting down any desire to speak with you further.

2. You look really tired.
Uh, thanks. I’m already aware that I’m tired. It isn’t something I didn’t notice when I got up this morning. I was just hoping a layer of concealer would hide the worst of the damage, but I guess I was wrong. Thanks for pointing out that I look awful, I really appreciate it.

3. Are you seeing anyone?
As a single in my 20’s, I get this one a lot. Usually from well-meaning ladies curious about my relationship status.  I’ll usually joke around and pretend it doesn’t bother me, but it ticks me off. There’s this prevalent idea in society that being in a relationship is the ultimate goal in life. Do I eventually want this for myself? Yes. But being single has been one of the most incredible learning experiences and I’ve grown so much as an individual. I wouldn’t trade that growth for anything.

4. You need to speak up.
Let’s turn the tables for a moment. Perhaps the reason you can’t hear me is because you’re not listening properly. My normal speaking voice is quite easy to hear (unless I’m in a noisy room or speaking with someone hard of hearing). If you’re truly interested in what I have to say, you’ll pay attention. Otherwise, we can end this conversation right here.

These kinds of comments can be a real downer when they pop up in conversations. But I try to approach them with humour. In a lot of cases, people don’t even realize that what they’re saying is problematic. Learning to shrug things off is something I’ve been working on recently, hence this tongue in cheek post 😉

Do you have anything to add?


19 thoughts on “4 things you should never tell an introvert

  1. Bart Leahy says:

    As I’ve gotten older: “You’re not married?” or “You’d make a great father!” are way down there on my list of least-favorite conversational topics. It might be an introvert thing, it might be a Bart thing, but my internal response is akin to: “Seriously, don’t you think that if I wanted to get married and have kids, don’t you think I’d have done so before started bumping up against 50?”

    There was a time–probably before 40 and had such hopes–where these conversations bothered me. As I’ve gotten more comfortable/settled into the life of a single male, the thought of guilt or shock or sadness doesn’t even occur to me. In one conversation I had with a couple friends, I got both of the above questions and responded with, “Why? I’m happy.” They were appalled and felt bad for me; I was amused and couldn’t comprehend their pity.

    I understand the social pressure to “have someone” has always been greater for women, but I don’t get that, either. As you said, being in a romantic relationship is not necessarily the apex of the human experience. And if you’re introverted and romantically inept, that’s doubly the case.

    Anyhow, you might have different ideas, being younger and of the opposite sex, but as I’ve commented here before, you need not apologize for your personal choices. Having yourself together enough to handle the details of life on your own is a sign of maturity and independence. If you hope to pair up at some point, a guy who has his head together should respect that. If you’re content to live on your own, the sooner you learn how to be comfortable with yourself, the better.

    Sorry this is blabby, but you pushed a hot button for me. Enjoy being you!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Ally says:

      I always enjoy hearing your thoughts.

      The “are you seeing someone” question doesn’t bother me as much as in the past. Now I typically just shake my head and steer the conversation to something else. Ironically, a lot of the people who ask this are single themselves.

      A few years back, I was insecure and easily influenced by other’s expectations for me. It wasn’t until I moved cities for a new job that I started to change. Having to deal with moving out, purchasing a car, and other fun adult tasks created opportunities for personal growth and maturity. I may not be completely comfortable with myself yet, but I’m getting there.

      Thank you for sharing your own experiences and perspective, I really appreciate it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Katie Kuo says:

    I often hear, especially from people that don’t know me, “you’re quite reserved.” which is fine, but when heard often it gives the feeling that I’m supposed to be loud, but I’m generally a more low-key person, who’s more open to showing more of my personality with people I’ve spent more time with.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ally says:

      I totally agree with you. I need a certain level of trust with someone before I start opening up to them. So yes, I’m going to be reserved with most people, especially those I don’t know well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tired Little Birdie says:

    “Cheer up,” as if by being quiet we are fighting a war inside. Granted, I tend to be fighting battles in my head, but if you tell me that, my battle is whether to say something biting, slap you, or walk away.

    Additionally, “You’re very intense,” as if it is a bad thing. I am. Because I am intense, you don’t have to. You’re welcome. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Savoring Sixty and Beyond says:

    “You’re so quiet.”

    I heard this phrase pretty often in my younger days. I really do have things to say and would love to share. It is so much easier for me to engage in discussion or fun conversation when I am in a more intimate setting of no more than say four people. (Maybe a few more people if I am very comfortable with all present.) Sometimes even intimate settings can be very challenging if there are strong personalities present. I have long ago accepted that this is the way I am and I acknowledge it to others when they make that statement. I honestly don’t hear it so much anymore. Maybe because I am at a point in my life where I am ok with being silent and listening, and more comfortable with making attempts to be apart of conversations. Enjoyed your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for commenting. I found myself nodding along with everything you wrote. I definitely prefer a more intimate setting for conversation. I’m also very easily overwhelmed by strong personalities and often only have energy to converse with them for short periods of time. So glad you’ve accepted your quiet nature. I’m still working on that 🙂


  5. mawil1 says:

    I confess I’m always telling my teenage son to speak up and ennunciate! He does tend to mumble and I am a little deaf but I do really want to know what he’s saying! It does lose something if I have to ask him to repeat things because although he doesn’t chat much, when he does speak he’s often really very insightful and funny 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I got that a lot from my parents when I was growing up haha!
      If those comments come with good intentions, I don’t mind at all. But unfortunately, I’ve had people tell me to “speak up” then later admit they weren’t even listening to what I said when I did. So in those cases, I’d rather not waste my time 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. VTNessa says:

    I get frustrated when I’m told, “Don’t take things so personally,” after being told some of these. Really? You choose to judge me, then when I don’t like it and let you know, you blame me for taking your personal judgment of me personally? Haha, I’ve learned to laugh it off, but goodness, it used to get my dander up!

    I’ve learned that many people are critics when you aren’t exactly what they want. However, there are times I- my over-thinking, serious, introverted self- am exactly who someone else needs, so I make the most of those times instead. God gave me this personality and my experiences so I can better relate to and comfort the ones who need someone just like me. 🙂

    As to asking about if you, “Are seeing someone?”, the questions just morph into, “When are you going to have a baby?” or, “When are you going to have another kid?, or even, “What? You’re having another child? Aren’t (2, 3, 4, 5, etc.) enough?” As someone who is infertile, I thank God for the one child He blessed me with, and use the questions now to raise others’ awareness of infertility, or the joy of large families, or singleness, or minding your own business. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      So true! Criticism of any kind can always be delivered with kindness, though that’s rarely the case. Although I’ve definitely developed a thicker skin over the years because of it haha.

      That’s also a great point. When what we offer lines up with what someone else needs, we can really shine. That’s great that you’re able to use these kinds of comments to educate others 🙂


  7. TheChattyIntrovert says:

    And, oh yeah, I totally agree with your #4 here. We don’t really listen to people, and when you’re an introvert it’s tough sometimes not to blurt something out because of the awkwardness (I’ve done that WAY too many times and it made me wish I’d never opened my mouth). But yeah, listening is huge.

    Wow–I’m so awkward and reclusive nobody in my family even bothers asking me if I’m seeing anyone, let alone strangers. I think they’d have that shocked look on their face if I WAS in a relationship again. I am friendly, but have a hard time being friends with people (other than my Sister By Choice, who lives over a thousand miles away, so that’s a long-distancer and not a day-to-day). I get anxious and awkward and try to get out of a conversation with minimal freakishness, but boy, I look like that downer sidekick character in any comedy movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. There’s a lot of challenges for an introvert when it comes to social interaction. I also have a super close friend who lives in another country. We don’t get to talk often, but when we do, it’s like we were never apart 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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