Even though the “introvert positive” movement is here, there are still a lot of misconceptions about introversion. So, sometimes, it’s easier to say nothing at all about needing time alone or finding certain events to be overstimulating. In fact, you probably do a lot of things that other people don’t realize are related to your introversion. Here are 21 of those things. I can’t speak for every introvert, but I believe this list is generally true:
1. When people interpret your quietness as you being stuck up, standoffish, or rude. It’s not that you think you’re better than other people; you really do care deeply about others. It’s just that you often don’t know what to say.
2. When your friend invites you to a party/event and you have no desire to go. You’d rather stay home and recharge your introvert batteries, watching Netflix, reading, gaming, or just relaxing. But you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings, so instead you make up an excuse like, “I’m not feeling well.”
3. When you order takeout online instead of calling because you literally can’t talk to one more person today.
4. When you check your phone at a party/get-together for a long time simply to avoid talking to people.
5. When you hang out in the bathroom for just a few seconds longer than needed, because it’s the only quiet place in your school or office.
6. When people say, “Tell me about yourself!” and you momentarily freeze, then mumble a few generic sentences because you have a hard time being articulate when you’re put on the spot. As an introvert, you tend to process your thoughts deeply and need time to think before speaking.
7. When you go to a party and end up spending the whole night talking to the one person who you feel comfortable being around.
8. When you’re at a party and say, “I’m getting really tired, so I’m going home.” You’re not actually sleepy, you’re just tired of being around people. You go home and stay awake for three more hours, checking Facebook, watching YouTube videos, or reading.
9. When you’re having trouble explaining your thoughts or feelings. Everything makes so much sense in your head, but it never comes out as eloquently as it seemed in your mind. Other people are like, “Come on, spit it out, what’s the problem?”
10. When you say, “Sorry, I already have plans that night.” Your “plans” are to watch Netflix, color, or read — basically to chill at home.
11. When you’re staring out a window, just daydreaming, and you can’t be bothered by anything.
12. When you were supposed to be paying attention in class, in a meeting, or to your friend’s story, but instead your mind started thinking about outer space, time travel, and the fate of humanity instead.
13. When you’re playing out a fictitious argument in your head and you get so into it that you find yourself making corresponding facial expressions or mouthing comebacks. You promise, you’re not really as crazy as you look.
14. When you’re awkward at making small talk. Or you don’t do it at all. You cut right to the chase and everyone is like, “Where did that come from?”
15. When you finally speak your mind and people get offended because you were really blunt. You didn’t warm them up with small talk first or sugar coat your words. You just spoke the truth.
16. When you say, “I want a low-key birthday this year. Like, dinner with two friends.”
17. When you ask the teacher if she can make an exception for you so you can work alone instead of with a group. When she tells you that it will be more work that way, you figure that’s fine because in a group, you’d end up doing the majority of the work anyway. You’re kind of a perfectionist.
18. When you wear headphones in public so people don’t talk to you.
19. When someone tells you to call them but you text them instead. You’re a lot more clever/confident/clear when you write your thoughts instead of saying them out loud.
20. When you avoid getting your hair cut for a few weeks because you know you’ll have to muster the energy to make small talk with the stylist for at least 30 minutes.
21. When you get off work and you’re so mentally burned out that you don’t even want to turn on music or a podcast in your car. You just need everything to be quiet for a few minutes, PLEASE.
You can learn more about what it’s really like to be an introvert — as well as how to live a satisfying quiet life — in my upcoming book, The Secret Lives of Introverts.
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Read this: 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an Introvert