Introverts With Social Anxiety, Do You Relate to These Comics?

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Do parties make you nervous? Do you get extremely anxious when you have to speak in front of a group? Would you rather order something online than deal with interacting with one more person? If so, you might be an introvert with social anxiety.

Artist Marzi Wilson, creator of the Introvert Doodles comic series, knows these feelings all too well. She illustrates her life as a socially anxious introvert, turning her daily struggles into comics that other introverts can relate to. She hopes her illustrations will help introverts see they aren’t damaged or broken.

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Introvert Doodles began after Wilson saw an article about Myers-Briggs personality types. She realized that the traits she’d perceived as “flaws”—such as frequently wanting to be alone and having only one or two close friends—were actually part of a much bigger picture. She had been so critical of herself that she failed to see how the puzzle pieces of her introverted personality worked together to create a whole, beautiful picture.

 

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Wilson understands that introversion and social anxiety are not the same thing, and that not every introvert struggles with social anxiety like she does. However, her comics are semi-autobiographical, so she often places her introvert character in situations that make her anxious. She says her illustrations are really just for her—they’re her way of dealing with her experiences.

 

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It’s not easy being a socially anxious introvert. Some days you beat yourself up. Some days feel too hard. That’s why Wilson created this “pep talk” cartoon for herself and others:
 
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Her advice to fellow introverts: decide what’s acceptable to you—and what isn’t. For example, it’s acceptable to Wilson to have only one or two friends, leave a party early, and spend time alone. It’s not acceptable for her to be rude to people who are trying to reach her, avoid meetings or social events because she’s feeling nervous, or miss opportunities like working with new clients because of anxiety.

Your “acceptable/unacceptable” list might look different, and that’s okay. She says, “Embrace those behaviors you feel are okay, and stop feeling guilty about them. Those negative behaviors that hold you back? Work on them. Focus less on change and more on growth. You can do this.”
 

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Check out more of Wilson’s illustrations below. Can you relate?

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Check out the latest Introvert Doodles here.  retina_favicon1


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Read this: 14 Things Introverts With Social Anxiety Wish You Knew



21 Comments

  • eric says:

    A lot of these comics aren’t about introversion, but rather about crippling social anxiety and shyness. I get so annoyed when I see shit like this. Introversion =/= shyness or social anxiety

    • Sabrina says:

      Perhaps just not your form of introversion, however I assure you that these comics depict introversion very well. Not every moment of every day, I love being social with close friends and going to parties, just not all the time. I am not a shy introvert and I can definitely see myself in all of these at moments in my life.

    • Jenn Granneman says:

      Hi Eric,

      Check out this paragraph: “Wilson has moderate social anxiety, so a lot of her comics show an introverted character experiencing anxiety. She recognizes that not every introvert is shy or socially anxious. She says her illustrations are really just for her—they’re her way of dealing with her experiences.” Hope that helps clear things up.

  • dmgolive says:

    For the people that can’t relate, geez, there are different types of introverts and these comics just represent one type, (which happens to be the artist herself) and those who are similar. Personally, I can relate to every one of them. Every… single… one.

  • dmgolive says:

    For those who can’t relate to these comics, geez, it just represents one TYPE of introvert which happens to be the artist herself and many others out there. Personally, I can relate to every one of these. Every… single… one. I also think negative environmental factors and upbringing might have caused the shyness and social anxiety. At least in myself.

  • dmgolive says:

    Sorry for the repetitive reply. Message told me first one didn’t go through *facepalm*

  • KarlaAkins says:

    I am more of an ambivert, I think. But the social anxiety? These comics hit the mark perfectly. I’d be more of an introvert if my jobs would allow me to be. When needed, I step up to the plate. Can speak in public, etc. But my preference? Hiding from the world. No interaction with people needed. I relate to every single one of these comics. Totally.

  • Sunny says:

    Power save mode = excellent and the Magic 8 ball = priceless!!! Such a comfort to have this mirroring. I also experience social anxiety.

  • Antoinette says:

    Love, love , love Power Saving Mode. I get so tired of people asking me if I’m ok or if I’m mad. Sometimes I’m just really quiet.

  • Liz says:

    Ive read that an introvert with a secure, nurturing childhood is the most well-adjusted personality type. But if your introversion is not accepted in your childhood, the social anxiety will be huge.

  • eric says:

    I get that not all introverts are the same, but this is website *dedicated to introversion*. When I see stuff posted on a website *dedicated to introversion* that equates introversion to shyness and social anxiety it really grinds my gears because it continues to reinforce the *completely incorrect* view that introverts are socially awkward weirdos with no ability to cope with benign social situations.

    • may says:

      So you’re saying people with social anxiety are awkward weirdos with no ability to cope in benign social situations? Wow. Ok. I’m not trying to start a fight, but what you’re saying about people with social anxiety is sort of what the extrovert world has been saying about introverts. Just like introverts aren’t “weirdos”, people with social anxiety aren’t “weirdos” either. I think we all have experienced a little social anxiety from time to time and I think a little empathy would go a long way.

      Unfortunately for me the combination of introversion, high sensitivity, perfectionism and an early traumatic experience caused me to become quite depressed for many years. I’ve never considered myself to have social anxiety, but I could relate to every single one of these comics on some level.

      I think if an introvert in our society can escape social anxiety or depression that’s an achievement, so props to you.

  • Dawn Summers says:

    The comic’s artist may have more seclusion tendencies than I do as an introvert, but otherwise I thought they were very similar to my social interactions. I think many people in our society assume the ideal person will be a highly charismatic person who can never have enough contact with friends at social interactions. The greatest favor an introverted person can ever do themselves is to realize being other than the ideal is nothing; not adverse in any way and certainly not a psychiatric disorder. I have begun to think of it as something I do not care for rather than an activity I should crave as a human being. Not eating liver because I do not care for it (I find it repulsive) does not make me in dire need of mental health counseling. Why should not attending a party because I don’t care for spending hours speaking to people I wouldn’t otherwise contact be more heinous than my aversion to liver? It shouldn’t.

  • Amberlynn says:

    I love all of these comics, I have never related to sething so well in my life. I am deeply introverted and I have social anxiety like no one’s business. Now, that isn’t to say that I can’t go to parties, or speak publicly, or lead a team. Those things have just always been very unpleasant to me, even if I don’t outwardly show it. Social jobs make me miserable internally. Though, I do admit, sometimes I feel sad about not enjoying soicializing. My husband is an extrovert, loves to go out every weekend, and is honestly my only friend. I feel lonely without him, but I have a lot of trouble making new friends… Meeting people, to me, feels like a really tough balancing act, and most of the time has been far more exhausting than rewarding.

  • Vicky D. says:

    I love the humour in these and could relate to most, if not all, of them. Thanks for posting. : )

  • How does this artist know me? I’m introvert and I have social anxiety. I could relate to all of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • BWH says:

    Having lived through a good 25 to 30 years of crippling social anxiety (almost half my life), before developing the courage I needed to actually work to heal myself from it, I can say that it can indeed be pathological. But to label such people as “weirdos” is insensitive to the max. My social awkwardness was so great that it created all the typical “failures” of not being able to successfully navigate a public school education, nor progress in a career. Even though all types of social situations could be hell for me, I had the most severe difficulties relating comfortably to men, even after I had managed to find a man to love who was supportive in my first marriage (the first man I ever dated, and I was 20 when we met!). But well into the marriage, I began to realize that I was still crippled. Staying married was going to keep me emotionally handicapped, even after having two beautiful daughters. I needed to challenge my social anxiety by putting myself into scary-for-me (but technically “benign”) social situations. I needed to open my world up.

    I did get divorced, because my supportive and protective husband could not tolerate the changes I was going through — he didn’t want me to be stronger — and I did move through life, and I AM happy to say that the pathological social anxiety is a thing of the past. It took courage and fortitude. I do have regrets that I have not been able to live up to my true potential, having been crippled for so long, but at least I have overcome a very severe emotional problem that I think I came into this life with. It was certainly exacerbated by some traumatic experiences early in my life; and I received no support from my parents with it, not even acknowledgment that it was a problem for me. All the work that I might have put into building a career had to go towards healing a fundamental emotional problem. But now I can proudly say I am an Introvert (INFP) without feeling like I’m flawed. I had the courage to deliberately seek out healing through all kinds of activities, counseling, etc. I NEEDED HELP and I had to find it on my own, through a sort of do-it-yourself recovery over many, many years. But I did it. (I’m 64 now.) I was certainly thought of as weird at times when I was growing up and even throughout my twenties. It was awful.

    If you are a person who is looking at someone with social anxiety and thinking of them as weird, please do the world a favor and soften your judgments. People like I used to be SUFFER GREATLY over the things they are unable to do, which is to create and maintain basic human interactions — and I bet they all desperately wish they weren’t that way. (Introverts, for the most part, accept who they are. People with true social anxiety, for the most part, are very, very unhappy about it.) Be kind. Try to understand. They may be introverts or extroverts, but what they are suffering is layered over on top of their basic nature… and it CAN BE HEALED. THEY ARE NOT WEIRD, they just need support. Instead of being annoyed and citing expressions of this problem as “shit,” help them to celebrate what they are trying to do, which is to recognize and appreciate their vulnerabilities enough to talk openly about them and express themselves creatively in spite of suffering with social anxiety. Know that they are taking steps toward their own healing!

  • Traci says:

    Thanks for posting.

    I have to confess that I don’t really understand the argument over introversion versus social anxiety (I think I’m more introverted than socially anxious — but these cartoons had me laughing out loud with recognition and looking for the “like” button a bunch of times).

    So, thanks for introducing me to Marzi’s work (and thanks @RageMichelle for introducing me to Introvert, Dear!).

  • Like others who’ve commented, I also relate to the comics, laughed aloud, and felt validated. Thank you to Jenn Granneman for the article, and to Marci Wilson for her awesome comics (you are surely a kindred spirit), and to everyone who commented as well. It’s fascinating how we can be so similar yet come from such unique perspectives.

  • Oh damn it – I meant Marzi Wilson, not Marci. Please forgive the unintended typo.

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