It’s been a busy weekend and it hasn’t slowed down yet. So I’ve been treading water and looking forward to a quieter weekend coming up. I wanted to share a post on the lighter side. Here are a few examples pulled from seven years of shared living experience.
1. They want to constantly socialize.
As soon as you walk into the kitchen, they pop out of their room and start talking. It may start with a question about your day. But it inevitable leads to a monologue about their own. Or they’ll talk to you the entire time you’re meal prepping and have no way of escape.
2. They monopolize the shared spaces.
Now I understand the living room and kitchen are shared spaces. But they spend hours in the living room scrolling on their phone. Or they have loud phone discussions I can hear through my door. If you went into your room I wouldn’t be able to hear you.
3. They leave things empty.
Almost every time I walk into the kitchen for a glass of water, the pitcher is suspiciously low. It’s never empty. But there’s only ever a mouthful left sitting in the bottom. Please fill it up once in a while.
4. They let things pile up.
Life is busy. Having a few dishes in the sink doesn’t bother me. But it becomes a problem when the dishes take over both sinks. As I no longer have room to do my own dishes. Also, please stop leaving random stuff in the living room for months. Just put it away.
5. They forget important things.
Like turning off the lights before they leave. Do they wonder why the electricity bill has doubled since they moved in? Or failing to lock the door on the way out. Please stop.
6. They leave things to smell.
Rather than taking out the garbage when it’s full, they balance things on top. Or they leave their stinky shoes/gym clothes at the front foyer and that’s all I smell when I walk in.
What are your pet peeves?
One of my biggest pet peeves is small talk. Since I encounter it every day at work, I’ve gotten quite good at it. But I still don’t enjoy it. To me it seems fake and insincere. It usually goes something like this:
Them: Hello, how are you?
Me: Good, you?
Them: I’m doing well. How’s your day going so far?
Me: Alright, I’m happy it’s almost the weekend.
Them: Me too, do you have any plans?
And so it goes.
Now I understand small talk is great for breaking the ice between two people who’ve just met. It can warm up conversation between acquaintances. Or it can be the exchange of pleasantries with your barista or cashier. It makes the transaction a lot less awkward than staring someone down silently as you pay for your purchase.
But I’ve been stuck in so many conversations that have never gone beyond the small talk stage. The conversation jumps from weather, to work, to so-and-so’s new baby, to vacation plans, to gossip, then back to their favorite Netflix show. So I’ll smile and nod while I’m inwardly planning what I’m going to make for supper.
As an introvert, any social interaction drains my energy. But small talk is the worst. Not only do I lose energy but there’s no personal connection gained. I crave mental stimulation. I want to talk about the how’s and why’s. I want to know what makes them tick, their dreams, hopes, and desires. I’m more than willing to open up and share my story too.
Sometimes I’ll try to steer the conversation into deeper waters using open ended questions. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s a beautiful thing.
Any tips for small talk?
Life has been a bit overwhelming lately. Although getting more quiet time definitely helps. To lighten things up, I’d like to share 6 introvert pet peeves I’ve experienced in the past couple of weeks.
1. Unexpected phone calls.
These are the worst. The ringing breaks my focus and leaves me dazed. I’ll stare blankly at the bright screen and ponder whether I should answer. If it’s close family, I usually will. But I’ll let most calls to go voicemail. Then I can return the call when I’m mentally prepared.
2. Being volunteered to do things.
Don’t get me wrong, I love helping others. But just because I volunteered a few months ago doesn’t mean I’m automatically up for doing it again. Do me the courtesy of asking and don’t be offended if I say no. I also refuse to stay longer than I’ve originally stated (unless you’re very special to me).
3. When your quiet coffee date becomes a group outing.
I love people. Mostly in small doses and one-on-one. When it turns into a large, boisterous, group outing, interesting conversation tends to die out and it becomes a free for all.
4. Small talk with the cashier after a rough day.
I try my best to be courteous and friendly. But if I’m burned out, my conversation skills disappear and I’m likely to make a fool of myself. Self checkouts become my best friend.
5. When people crowd me.
I can’t stand it when people stand super close. This happens at grocery stores, in lines at the bank, at malls, etc. Please stop. It’s creepy and awkward.
6. Repeating yourself because the other person wasn’t paying attention.
Your lack of attention does not necessitate me repeating myself. Please at least pretend that you find what I say interesting. That’s what I’m doing for you 😉
Hope you have a great week! What are some of your pet peeves?
I’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?