7 Things That Are Extremely Annoying to Introverts
Drop-in visitors, nosy people, and impromptu phone calls are just a few of the things introverts find annoying.
One thing’s for certain when it comes to introverts — we have our quirks. If you don’t know us well, we might come across as aloof or standoffish, but that’s more an incorrect dictionary definition of an introversion. I promise, neither of these are true.
Although we need solitude to recharge our batteries, we actually do like people, as misleading as our quiet nature may be. When it comes to our closest relationships, once you’re in, you’re in. We may be the most loyal friends you’ll ever have — you “get” us.
However, as far as interpersonal interactions go, we definitely have our pet peeves. If you’re guilty of the annoying behaviors below that annoy us introverts, knock it off; otherwise, don’t be surprised when we keep our distance.
7 Things That Are Extremely Annoying to Introverts
1. Drop-in visitors, unexpected guests, and impromptu phone calls
“The more, the merrier” said no introvert — ever. We’re probably fine with extra dinner guests if you’ve warned us in advance. But, otherwise, please don’t show up unexpectedly or we may lose our marbles.
The words surprise and house guest should never be used in the same sentence (unless we’re the ones who orchestrated it, of course). We’d also love a heads-up text before you call us on the phone (if you catch us off guard, you risk being sent straight to voicemail). If the unsolicited call is a FaceTime? That’s a hard “no.” In fact, I’m known to bolt out of the room when my husband turns his phone in my direction during a video call. We introverts need time to prepare.
2. Last-minute events we’re expected to attend, like a work happy hour
I’ll admit it, many of us introverts love being in control, and spontaneity just doesn’t align with our strong compulsion to schedule plans weeks in advance. We not only need to be able to prepare ourselves mentally for the stimulation that comes along with social events, but we love to know what to expect — the more time we have to anticipate and plan, the better.
If we’ve known about an event for weeks or months, chances are we’ll be way more eager to attend (not super eager, mind you, but more so than if it’s a last-minute one), and less resistant to leave the comfort of our home (with a good book … or TV series). We need sufficient time to talk ourselves up for human interaction (probably much more than you’d guess). If you invite us to an impromptu event, like a birthday party or work happy hour (pre-Covid-19 — or even on Zoom these days), we’ll thank you graciously for the invitation, but can’t guarantee we’ll show up.
3. Being put on the spot or cornered into a conversation
Introverts are experts at assuming a don’t come near me stance when we’re not up for chit-chat. There’s a reason for this, so if you’re picking up on our not-so-subtle don’t talk to me vibes, we probably don’t want to engage in the conversation at hand.
Maybe we’re already exhausted, drained from previous interactions. Well-meaning extroverts might think it’s helpful to nudge us into a conversation (they may say something like “What do you think?” or “Why so quiet?”), but this is never a good idea, so please, just … don’t.
If we want to speak, we’ll speak — we don’t need encouragement (and I’d say most of us find it extremely annoying). You’ve heard the saying “Never wake a sleeping giant,” right? Now apply it to us “quiet ones” and allow us to remain in our inner world. Trust us, it’s for the best.
4. Nosy people who don’t respect our boundaries; we’ll open up (eventually) once we get to know you
Introverts tend to be very private people. It takes us time to open up, and we usually don’t confide in others until we’ve developed a strong sense of trust. We do this slowly. It’s not that we dislike or distrust people as a general rule — we’re just protective of our innermost feelings, and hold off on sharing until we feel absolutely safe. So if someone asks us what’s wrong or why we look so serious, we’ll probably give an evasive answer.
I like to quietly observe before revealing intimate personal details about myself, but when I do, I am an open book. On the flip side, you can trust introverts to never betray your confidence. Not ones for idle gossip, we’ll keep your secrets under lock and key.
5. When someone doesn’t really listen to us
There’s nothing an introvert loves more than a good old active listener. We pride ourselves on being great listeners ourselves, and in return, we’d appreciate it if you listen to what we have to say, too (especially since we usually only speak if what we have to say is important and meaningful to us).
Honestly, most of us are used to giving more than we take, but if you ask us a specific question and then don’t bother to listen to our reply, it’s seriously irritating. We get that our quiet nature may be disarming, but why force us to engage if you’re not all-in? Or maybe you talk just to talk and don’t ask us any questions at all, which is just as bad as not listening to us.
We introverts are pretty patient, but we want you to want to talk to us — and to listen. If we sense you’re just taking advantage of another opportunity to speak, we’ll quickly tire of interacting with you.
Join the introvert revolution. Subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll get one email, every Friday, of our best articles. Subscribe here.
6. Surprise parties (or being the center of attention)
Whether we’re receiving good attention or bad, the great majority of us hate being in the spotlight. Even for major life events, like birthdays (please, no surprise parties) and our own weddings, we hate being the center of attention. When all eyes are on us, our skin starts to crawl — yes, it’s really that uncomfortable (don’t forget, 99.9 percent of us also despise public speaking).
Personally, I always felt way out of my comfort zone on dinner dates, too, particularly early on in a relationship. Sitting directly across from a person during a long meal would make me squirm and could get really intense. If you really want to win over an introvert, take them out on a fun, laid-back excursion instead. So much less pressure.
7. Dealing with customer service (in person or over the phone)
When it comes to handling issues with online orders, paying bills, or scheduling appointments, introverts much prefer the online option. Live chats are our best friend — it’s so much easier to type in our questions and requests rather than speak to someone on the phone.
If calling is the only option, I will procrastinate big-time until the task is no longer avoidable (or a payment is about to become overdue). Similarly, I’ll only order takeout if I can submit my order online (without actually speaking to a human being). I’ve always requested the delivery person leave my order at the front door, even before it became a thing. Lucky for us introverts, no-contact delivery is now the norm (all it took was a worldwide pandemic).
What else would you add to this list of things that annoy you as an introvert? Let me know in the comments below.