These “weird” introvert behaviors are actually normal and more common than we may realize.
Before I realized I’m an introvert, certain things about my behavior seemed… well… “different.” I felt guilty about typical introvert stuff — like wanting to be alone often and avoiding small talk — because it seemed “abnormal,” which of course, just made me feel even more ashamed. In turn, I became insecure and under-confident at work and in social situations.
All this changed when I looked deeper into who I am and decided to embrace and love my true introverted self. Finally, I realized, the things I felt ashamed of are not actually wrong. They are totally normal for me — and for any introvert.
If you’re an introvert like me, you probably have feelings you’ve never told anyone about because you think what you’re doing and feeling is not “right.” However, I want to show you, my dear “quiet ones,” that having certain feelings and acting in a certain way is fully okay for us, and we should never be ashamed of who we are.
So, here are six “weird” things introverts do that are actually completely normal. If you do these things, you’re not alone.
‘Weird’ Things Introverts Do
1. You feel strangely happy when your friends cancel on you.
Sure, introverts love to spend time alone. It’s our biggest defining characteristic. However, there are occasional times — and I repeat, occasional — when we want to hang out with people, especially if they are close friends; even the most introverted among us need a few strong relationships to thrive. While such get-togethers may only happen once or twice a week (or less!), when they do, we may be truly waiting for the opportunity to spend time with “our people.”
But introverts, let’s be honest. We also experience this other strange feeling — relief mixed with happiness — when social plans are canceled. This emotion is something we keep to ourselves; we’ll never tell our friends their last-minute text is actually a piece of good news! For extroverts, who gain energy from socializing, canceled plans usually mean a ruined evening. But for introverts — although we may experience temporary disappointment if we were actually looking forward to the event — it often turns into just another wonderful opportunity to spend a nice evening at home with a good book… or podcast, movie, video game, or whatever.
If you’ve ever felt happy about canceled plans, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re probably an introvert.
2. You avoid overly chatty salespeople, sometimes to the point of leaving the store without buying what you came for.
The best shopping for the introvert is online shopping. Spending time in a huge, loud shopping mall crowded with people is not a comfortable situation for us. What could be worse?
I’ll tell you what’s worse: being in an empty store with a chatty salesperson who insists on hovering around to “help” with your choice. Sure, it’s meant as good customer service, but this situation rarely makes introverts feel comfortable. The pressure, the attention — we just want to choose which pair of headphones to buy the way we make most decisions — quietly, in the peace of our own minds! For this reason, if I have to go into a store, I prefer the ones where I can stay invisible, walking around without being approached. Sometimes, even I couldn’t find the item I was looking for, I give up and leave rather than having to ask a salesperson.
If you regularly make a point of avoiding small talk with salespeople, you’re probably an introvert.
3. You don’t leave your home until your neighbor is gone.
Has this happened to you? You’re about to leave your home when you hear or see your neighbor in the hallway or outside. Although you have keys in hand (and may even be running late!), you suddenly find yourself frozen in place at your front door. I even used to watch my neighbors through the peephole until they left and my path was clear.
The funny thing is, your neighbor might actually be a wonderful person, and this is not at all an attempt to escape someone you don’t like. As big of an introvert as I am, sometimes I even enjoy talking with my neighbors, when my introvert battery is running high. Despite the memes, introverts don’t hate people, but they do hate being forced into awkward small talk, which quickly drains our energy. I repeat: It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s that my energy levels just can’t take any more fake smiling and “how are you’s?” today.
If you’ve ever hidden from your neighbor to avoid a polite conversation, you’re not alone.
4. You pretend not to see an acquaintance in public.
Like I said, most introverts have nothing against talking with other people — we’re just not always mentally ready for the conversation. Interacting with others requires a certain mood and being “charged up” with energy; it means leaving our favorite place — the internal dialogue in our minds. Sometimes introverts have a funny way of avoiding the spotlight or escaping unnecessary conversations. A typical situation: You’re getting groceries, just walking around the store; everything is going smoothly, until you spy an acquaintance somewhere between the milk and yogurt.
If you’re an introvert, your first reaction might be to get away as fast as possible, before they spot you. You think: “I just came here to get groceries, not to have conversations with people.” So you simply change your direction and pretend you didn’t need milk. So much for tomorrow’s breakfast — but sometimes it’s a sacrifice introverts are willing to make!
5. You avoid being alone with people you don’t know well.
It’s happened to all of us. You’re with a good friend (someone you feel truly comfortable with, which is rare for us introverts), when suddenly, your friend’s acquaintance shows up. First, it feels okay, and you patiently listen to their small talk, until your friend’s phone rings or they leave to go to the bathroom.
Now you have to start a conversation with the other person, by moving from passive listener to active speaker — a challenge that was not at all planned! It might seem like a small thing, but for the introvert, it can be very awkward, as we generally need time to warm up to new people. I always feel so relieved when my friend is back and takes over the conversation.
Join the introvert revolution. One email, every Friday. The best introvert articles. Subscribe here.
6. You check online before you make any phone call.
Why call when you can write? As an introvert, I apply this rule to all situations. At work, if my manager needs some information and asks me to call a colleague in another department, I never do. Instead, I send an email or text. Sometimes my manager gets impatient: “So have you found out about ___?” That’s when I might tell a white lie, saying, “Nobody picked up, so I had to write an email.”
I hope this shows you just how much I, like many introverts, hate the phone. I used to think there was something wrong with me, but now I’ve accepted that this is simply the most comfortable way for me to deal with such situations. There are indeed times when a call is inevitable, so I suck it up and pick up the phone — but in most cases, this trick works. The same thing applies to other services. There’s almost always a way to contact a company via their website chat bot or email. Less stress — happier introvert!
Introverts, I believe the most important thing is to accept that our “weird” behavior is actually normal and more common than we may realize. You’re not “wrong” for being an introvert. It’s okay to save your limited energy and avoid unnecessary interactions that will drain you. As long as you get your job done and are conscientious of others, you should in no way feel guilty for having these reactions.
I used to feel ashamed of myself in these situations, but now I know what’s best for me, so I act accordingly. I’ve embraced who I am — and sometimes I even find myself laughing at my funny introvert moments.
What “weird” things do you do as an introvert? Let me know in the comments below.