Although I was a quiet introvert when I was young, I was constantly trying to “come out of my shell” and do cool things like sports and partying.
He sat there while I reread the same paragraph and wondered who was being more rude: me, for not putting down my book or him, for thinking I would do so.
I’ve always struggled to fit in. I daresay most introverts have experienced the feeling of being an “outsider” more than once.
As an INFJ, I have always thought of myself as different somehow. Like I don’t fit the mold of a “normal” person. I was too quiet.
As an introvert, I kept to myself in class. You must have figured that I, a quiet and reserved kid, would be your perfect target.
When I, a socially anxious introvert, arrived in the ER, do you remember the words you spoke to me? You said, “Are you just doing this for the attention?”
Year after year, as a quiet introvert, I heard the same thing: “she’s a great student but she needs to speak up more. She needs to be more outgoing.”
Sadly, my extroverted neighbor would not be the last person to tell me they thought I was rude or stuck-up because I am a quiet introvert.
I was attempting to suppress my emotions. Up until this moment, I had thought that an intelligent person should not—or cannot—be a sensitive person.
As an anxious introvert, I’ve been wearing many layers of social armor. I unconsciously developed these behaviors to help me cope with my anxiety.