39 Experiences Introverts Will Instantly Relate To

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.

I can’t speak for every introvert, but here are 39 experiences that many introverts have 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.

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.

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  • Joana says:

    «13. Taking a step back when someone asks, “Who would like to go first?”»
    Actually, I wait until the last second before the person/teacher decides to choose to see if anyone volunteers, and if no one does maybe I’ll do (Except at physical education :S), because I feel so brave at those times! But then sometimes I get soooooo nervous thinking that I’ll do something wrong that it happens… lucky me 🙁
    About the others, I relate to them so much, specially 29….

  • Hi Joana, it’s great that you do feel ready to step up and go first. Introverts can be very brave, you’re right. We move past our introversion to do things that matter to us.

    It’s a great first step that you are noticing that your nervous thinking is having an effect.

    It can be helpful to have a nickname for that kind of inner story and notice when it’s coming up. So for example the ‘mess up’ story or the ‘banana skin’ story. Then you can realise that these stories are only there because the ego part of the brain is trying to keep you safe.

    Glad that the rest of the article struck a chord with you.


  • M. says:

    I relate so much! Particular 5 and it’s not even because I’m not looking forward to see my friends or family. It’s just I’m longing for the moment when I get home and everything is quiet. This feeling is so much better when you’ve just spend time with 5+ noisy people!
    18 had me laughing because that is exactly why I don’t mind going to the dentist!
    Also I used to get out of situation 6 by making sure that I was on good terms with another introvert or a shy/insecure friend at school, so when the teacher would say ‘grab a partner’ you’d share one look with the person and know that you’d teamed up with them. No words needed! 😀

  • Santosh says:

    Nice list. I love parties and going out: but I need breaks in between.

  • kateehart says:

    So much Yes to #7 Oh my goodness.

  • NARI.J says:

    You have no idea how comforting it is to read this and realise that not only is this a summary of the book of my life, but I was not the only one painfully suffering in my awkwardness. I had spent too many nights berating myself for being so socially inept, I never stopped to think that maybe there wasn’t actually anything wrong with me. I do feel like I’m living in a world made for extroverts – but now that I’m not alone, the outside world seems like a much more bearable place. 🙂

  • Ann says:

    If I could I would never leave my home in the winter and never leave my yard and garden in the summer.

  • Scia says:

    20, 30, 32. Maybe 34.

    Also: attending a party, but spending time tucked away with the host’s cat instead.