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?

12 introvert problems

Introvert probsI wanted to share a slightly humorous post about some problems introverts experience on a regular basis. They are likely more related to being an INFJ and HSP, as that’s where I fall in the spectrum, but if you do relate or have others to add, let me know!

  1. All those unwanted work conversations.
    There’s nothing like people talking to me every time they pass my desk. Or shouting questions at me from across the room, or musing aloud in my direction. If I’m at work, please just let me work.
  2. When the phone rings…
    …and all you want to do is throw it across the room. It doesn’t even have to be my phone that goes off. Even if a friend or family member is calling, I still don’t want to pick it up.
  3. When the conversation moves on before you think of something to say.
    It takes me a decent amount of time to process my thoughts. By the time I come up with a comment, the conversation has usually moved on, and my thought is no longer relevant. Then people ask me why I’m so quiet…
  4. Psyching yourself up to call someone.
    I always have to mentally prepare myself before making a phone call. I think about what I’m going to say if they pick up, if someone else picks up, or if it goes to voicemail. If its a work call, I’ll often write up a short outline so I don’t forget anything.
  5. Mandatory conversations in public.
    Having to engage in small talk with cashiers, waiters, baristas, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind when they say hi, that’s part of their job. But I don’t want someone asking questions about my vacation plans for 10 minutes while I’m trying to shop.
  6. Needing to shop but dreading it.
    There are times when I need to buy things: food, clothing staples, and necessities. However, I dread the bright fluorescent lights, headache-inducing cologne and perfume smells, and the masses of people. Do I really need those socks? Probably not.
  7. When people ask why you’re so quiet.
    I can be loud and outgoing when I have energy and I’m with people who energize me. But if I’m not talking, its likely because I don’t feel comfortable around you. Asking me why I’m quiet is another mark against you.
  8. People assuming that being quiet is all there is to our personality.
    You’ll find that any person you meet is a lot more complex than they appear. But for some reason, a lot of people assume that being quiet is my entire personality. Once I have a certain level of trust and comfort with someone, I’ll start sharing more. It’s worth the wait, I promise.
  9. Having more conversations in your head than you do in real life.
    I have this funny habit of working through potential conversations with others in my head. I’ll passionately defend my point of view, or explain how I see things. These almost never play out in real life, though I’m always prepared if the opportunity arises.
  10. Wanting to leave a social event as soon as you arrive.
    I like small gatherings with close friends. But there are times when I’m invited to bigger events, like weddings. Leaving really early seems rude, so I try to figure out how early I can leave without offending the host/hostess. I then mentally count down to departure time.
  11. People thinking you’re strange because you enjoy doing things by yourself.
    I’ve been in conversations where people have joked about how lame it is to go for coffee, or watch a movie by yourself. These are both things I enjoy doing. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but that doesn’t make it wrong.
  12. Being a great one-on-one conversationalist. But if someone else joins, you stop talking.
    I’ve been able to hone the skill of creating and nurturing conversation over the years. If I’m speaking with one person, the conversation can flow easily between the two of us. I can even hold my own with talkative extroverts, as long as I have the energy. However, as soon as one more person enters our group, I stop talking.

Do you agree, disagree? Let me know 🙂

Image credit: “Untitled” by vic xia is licensed under CC by 2.0

6 things you should never tell an introvert

LaughingWhen I first started blogging, I wrote a post titled ‘5 things you should never say or do‘. It was pretty fun to write, so I thought I’d follow up with a similar post. I wanted to share 6 things you should never tell an introvert. Sadly, I’ve lost count of how many times these things have been said to me. However, I’m finally at the point where I can brush these kinds of comments off. I hope you can see the humour in these as well.

1. Why are you always so serious?
You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not. I love having fun. However, my definition of fun differs from that of extroverts. Also, the reason you’ve never seen me having fun is probably because I’m not comfortable enough around you to let loose.

2. You need to be more outgoing.
Just because I don’t loudly introduce myself to everyone in the room doesn’t mean I lack social skills. I’ll do things at my own pace. I refuse to sacrifice my self-worth to conform to the way you think I should behave.

3. You over-think things too much.
Obviously you don’t think enough if you thought this was acceptable to say to me. Thinking and analyzing is a natural part of how my mind works. Its a subconscious process and not something that I can, or want to, change.

4. Asking ‘what’s wrong’ when we’re quiet.
I really appreciate that you’re concerned about how I’m feeling. However, my lack of speech doesn’t mean I’m sad or upset. I just don’t talk unless its necessary or I have something I want to share. Often, I simply have nothing to contribute to the conversation. In some cases, I’m bored. Please don’t take it personally.

5. Don’t be shy.
Trust me, I’m not. Being quiet doesn’t mean I’m shy. Shyness is fear of social situations. I enjoy socialization in small bites, as long as I have the energy. Its not okay to tell me to change myself because you don’t approve of something.

6. You’re never any fun.
You’re saying that you don’t accept me for who I am. This one cuts really deep. You’d prefer it if I acted like someone else. As introverts, it may take some time and trust, but you’ll find that we’re extremely interesting people. To be judged on one aspect of our character (our ‘fun-ness’) is very hurtful.

Do you have any other things you shouldn’t tell an introvert?

Image credit: “Laughing” by Liz is licensed under CC by 2.0