To onlookers, these introvert behaviors may seem bizarre, but to fellow introverts, they’re perfectly normal.
OK, let’s face it, we all have quirks. But the ones introverts share are quite intriguing and may even appear odd, especially to onlookers. From avoiding most impromptu social activities at all costs to being a frequent homebody, fellow introverts may think nothing of these, but others would.
Introverts are also not an open book; they prefer to limit the information they disclose and the level of interactions they have with others (regardless of how long they’ve known someone).
Basically, there are a lot of situations that make us introverts feel uncomfortable, and to help circumvent them, we enact certain behaviors. Without further ado, let’s see a show of hands if you can relate to these “strange” things only introverts do.
9 ‘Strange’ Things Only Introverts Do
1. You’re in public minding your own business, when out of the blue, you recognize someone… but then don’t say “hi.”
If we introverts happen to see someone we know in public, for lack of better words, this may put us into fight-or-flight mode. Introverts are known for taking their time on most things, but in this instance, we tap into our inner creativity very fast!
For instance, let’s say you just parked your car and got ready to head into Starbucks when you recognize the car that’s parked beside you. Although you don’t immediately see that person, just knowing they’re in the vicinity of you will make you gladly get back into the car and head to another Starbucks.
Or, in the event that you failed to notice the car — but ended up seeing that person standing in line at Starbucks — we introverts may still dash for our car (desperately hoping that person didn’t spot our departure).
Keep in mind, introverts don’t do this to the people closest to them; rather, just to people they’d rather not run into. While to some, this reaction might seem a little dramatic and like overkill, introverts feel immediate gratification because they just dodged a bullet. Especially if the person the introvert was avoiding was someone they didn’t get along with, the introvert would rather avoid any potential conflict altogether than roll with the punches.
2. On your birthday, the last thing you want is for the restaurant staff to sing “Happy Birthday” to you.
While we introverts make an effort to celebrate our birthdays, we are probably going to be discreet about who should know about it. An example of this would be taking a day off work. The real reason you’re taking off is because it’s your birthday, but you may purposely omit that detail to your coworkers!
Or maybe you invited a friend to hang out, but again, you didn’t tell them it’s your birthday. The reason behind this is introverts avoid being the center of attention as much as possible.
If you happened to be dining out with that friend, then failing to disclose it means you avoided the whole restaurant singing “Happy Birthday” to you.
3. When someone says “let’s keep in touch”… is that really necessary?
Your coworker (whom you’ve made small talk with as you’re sipping your tea at work) just resigned. You’re sad that she’s leaving and you want to wish her good luck on her new journey, so you shoot her an email.
When that coworker replies, thanking you for your kind words and giving you her number, the introvert in you does not want to call or text her! This may seem rude, but… as much as we want to know the gory details of what drove this person to leave, the act of initiating contact with someone we don’t even really know can feel too awkward. And for us introverts, when something is awkward, we try to avoid it!
4. If you hear your roommate in the kitchen, you’ll wait until the coast is clear.
Introverted roommates will be strategic about when they use the kitchen. If we need something from the kitchen but hear our roommate there, at least half the time (if not more), we’ll quietly retreat to our bedroom and wait until the coast is clear.
The idea of having to awkwardly stand there to use the same appliances while simultaneously forcing a conversation is sometimes (or often) more interaction than we introverts want in that moment. In a way, it might seem a little ridiculous, especially if you’ve lived with your roommate for some time, but we introverts chalk it up to just needing extra space (especially after an exhausting day).
5. If you have a job interview, you probably won’t tell anyone about it.
When introverts have a job interview, they may not tell many people about it.
This might sound surprising to those who view an interview as hopeful news to share.
However, if the introvert has anxiety, they’re already stressed to begin with and don’t want the added pressure from others asking if they’re excited about, or prepared, for “their big day.”
Also, in the likelihood the introvert doesn’t get the job, it spares them from sharing the disappointing news. Whereas, if the introvert does land the job, they can announce their big surprise!
6. You’re “staying home” today (yes, you said that last time, but no need to count!).
Introverts are homebodies. We will gladly turn down invitations to socialize with others, or will take a day off work just to stay home. We may say we’re “busy,” when in reality, we could squeeze in the time to attend, but we just want to stay home to recharge our energy instead.
Admittingly, we introverts might feel lonely or sad (and I say this with a grain of salt) that we aren’t doing something else, but for the majority of the time, we’re content with having a day to zone out and do what we want.
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7. You use the bathroom… a lot.
I know this sounds weird, but it’s true. When introverts are at a social gathering and are having a difficult time mingling with the other attendees, they may make several trips to the bathroom. (Even Oprah and Amy Schumer — both introverts — have said they do this.)
For those few minutes, the bathroom becomes a sacred place where an introvert can be alone, let out some sighs, take some deep breaths, and basically give themselves a pep talk that they can get through this, that they will only be there for x more hours.
Unfortunately, it’s also where introverts may feel disappointed in themselves for not being a better sport, especially if they’ve been around these people many times already. They may think the social struggle shouldn’t be like this for them, but it is. And they just can’t wait to go home.
8. “No, I don’t want to eat lunch with you,” you think to yourself when there’s a mandatory group lunch at work.
Back in pre-COVID-19-pandemic times when everyone was going to the office every day, occasionally there would be catered lunches at work. Remember those days? Introverts hated them. If those lunches weren’t mandatory, they would definitely skip them.
If other people were getting a plate of food to take to their cars, introverts would do the same. If the catered lunch was mandatory, we introverts would secretly growl to ourselves, wishing we could be in our cars instead, or, worse yet, wish we’d taken the day off!
It’s not that we introverts hate our coworkers; it’s just that we desperately need that lunch time to get away from them and have some alone time. That one hour of solitude is golden because it’s used to decompress, not talk to anyone, and ultimately feel somewhat separated from work and rejuvenated once our lunch break is done.
9. You’re fine answering questions, but not in front of multiple people.
Don’t ask introverts questions in front of an audience. To us introverts, even just one additional person (depending on who that person is, of course) is considered an audience!
Introverts keep their lives very private; only their closest friends and loved ones have an inkling of what’s going on in their lives. So if you have a personal question, ask introverts one on one. Trust me, you’ll get a better answer.
And if you ask an introvert a personal question, such as, “When are you getting married?” definitely don’t spring that question in front of others. We may clam up, stammer, and go through all the emotions of feeling uncomfortable when the focus of everyone’s attention is on us. If we really wanted to tell you, we’d bring it up.
Introverts, how many of these “strange” things do you do? And what would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.