I’m guessing you’re an introvert because you’re here on Introvert, Dear. If you’re not, you’re probably doing some research to understand those introverted souls you hold dear but can never quite completely understand. If that’s the case, this is a great site, but to really understand an introvert, you have to spend quality one-on-one time with us. But of course, not when we really need to curl up with a good book alone or stare out the window to watch the rain.
Here are 39 experiences every introvert has had or can relate to:
1. Squinting in the bright light of your Monday morning commute because you literally haven’t left the house all weekend.
2. Asking a friend whether you were flirting too much and being greeted with a raised eyebrow and the comment, “That was flirting?”
3. Ending up completely lost because you were too shy to ask a random stranger to repeat the directions they gave you.
4. Deciding to take the focus off yourself in a social situation by asking so many questions that the person that you are talking to thinks they are being interrogated.
5. Looking forward to getting home from the party/event before you even get there.
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6. In school, hearing the phrase “grab a partner” and instead of doing anything, standing there thinking, “I hope someone picks me,” while everyone else partners up in a whirl of activity. Then being left without a partner and feeling bad about it.
7. Joining a club with the intention of meeting new friends and then making what seems like a herculean effort to go as every fiber of your introverted body would rather stay home.
8. Being at a cocktail party and not having mastered the art of escaping from a conversation. So you either dash off abruptly like a rugby player going for a try in extra time or end up spending the whole party with another introvert in the same predicament.
9. Overcompensating on team building days at work so that you are left utterly drained and don’t get much done the rest of the day.
10. Being glad when you get to the bus stop or train station and it’s quiet.
11. Choosing work that requires you to be alone.
12. Deciding to take some time out to think and then being surprised that an hour has gone by. Or, on the other side of this coin, thinking so hard about everything that needs to get done that you get overwhelmed.
13. Taking a step back when someone asks, “Who would like to go first?”
14. Surprising other people when you reveal your hidden talent. “I didn’t know you could sing like that…”
15. Being surprised when you come across another person who identifies as an introvert. It feels like sighting a rare animal in the wild.
16. Being glad you’re an adult because now you can choose to work out on your own instead of being forced by your parents or gym teacher to participate in team sports.
17. Looking around to see who the center of attention is on your wedding day/graduation/birthday and then realizing to your horror that it’s you.
18. Recognizing that the great part about being at the dentist is that there is less need to make small talk because you’re being forced to keep your mouth open.
19. Preferring email or texting to phone calls.
20. Having to call someone you don’t know and being thrilled when you get their voicemail.
21. Hiding behind sunglasses on a day when it’s not sunny and then justifying this by telling yourself that celebrities do it all the time.
22. Deciding to do Facebook Live and then deciding nobody will really mind if you skip the video and write a blog post instead.
23. Finding writing in a journal as interesting as meeting someone new.
24. Beating yourself up for not being more outgoing.
25. Choosing the self-service check-out to avoid social interaction.
26. Apologizing to the librarian for putting so many books on hold and promising to mend the error of your ways.
27. Being genuinely surprised when your child/niece/nephew/anyone genetically related to you is the life and soul of the party.
28. Being genuinely surprised when you are the life and soul of the party.
29. Remembering being bullied at school but realizing you have come so far from those days.
30. Becoming a self-help book lover as you learn to untangle the challenges your introversion brings.
31. Being too modest about your accomplishments.
32. Preferring online conferences without video.
33. Going to stores and restaurants when you think fewer people will be there.
34. Going beyond your introversion and making your opinion known when something matters deeply to you.
35. Loving having a long undisturbed work period with a cup of tea/coffee at your side.
36. Fully understanding what it is to putz around the house.
37. Wanting to write a book because your inner life is so rich and that would be one way of expressing it.
38. Realizing that you are an introvert in a world that seems made for extroverts.
39. Growing towards realizing that even though your introversion sometimes works against you, it can also work for you.