21 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You’re an Introvert

IntrovertDear.com introvert people don't realize

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.

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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.

Check out my book, The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World, which will be out August 2017.

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Read this: 21 Undeniable Signs That You’re an Introvert

  • njguy54

    Yet another article on this site that’s eerily on point. Thanks, as always!

  • ReadsALot

    This is sooooo me! I don’t feel like a weirdo any more.

  • Jim

    #6: Oh, I hate that!

    #19: Yep

    #20: Started cutting my own hair for that very reason. Haha.

    Good article.

  • Hala Khanji

    hahahaha number 20 is so correct!

  • Lydia Pflieger

    #20 LOL this! I’ve been telling myself I cut my own hair to save money, but I think really it’s to avoid small talk!!

  • Stefany Taborda

    When you hate classes at noon because it’s lunch time and evryone is out…. too many people ans so loud

  • DyanSwan

    My favorite excuse for getting out of accepting invitations to parties, wedding receptions, etc., is to send my regrets because I have a prior commitment. (Often the prior commitment, is binge watching something on Netflix).

  • I loved it! This is so true! I’m guilty for even No13, I promise 😀

  • This is a GREAT article! I love it when people get it right!

  • Janel

    lol, #13, glad I’m not the only one!

    • Nicole Allais

      I know right! Sometimes I catch myself getting overwhelmed with hypothetical sad events that I created in my head! And I step back like “Why the hell did I just do that to myself?!”

  • Sharon

    I always tell my hairdresser that sometimes I won’t feel like talking. They have nearly always been cool with it, but I had one who kept chattering away anyway so I didn’t go to her again

  • Khaled Salah

    your words are of the very few things that describe me <3

  • Peter J. Braun

    For me, I’d tweak #18 to read “When you wear headphones in public so people don’t talk to you. Oftentimes, you’re not listening to anything at all through the headphones, you’re just wearing them so people will leave you alone, and, it enables you to really listen to what’s happening around you with no expectation of a contribution on your part. Bonus!”

    • Dawn Marie

      So right. Clever strategy too.

    • LOL!! Yes this! I actually am NOT listening to a darn thing majority of the times, I just want to give the illusion of ‘music is playing, go away’ and just as you said, it makes listening around even easier if I want to.

  • JB

    oh my gosh. #21 – its an aching need

  • Vermin8

    I think hair stylists are trained to chat with their women customers. It’s believed that it enhances the experience.
    Me, I was looking forward to reading while under the dryer or waiting for my hair color to set!

  • Vermin8

    “When you wear headphones in public so people don’t talk to you.”
    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.
    And I hate it when I open a book and people take that as a cue to ask what I’m reading.

  • Dawn Marie

    One friend. That should read “dinner with only one friend.” And even then he or she better be interesting.

  • Rhonda Simpson

    Every.single.word. Especially 8, 14, 15 and 20! I’m actually about to go to a new hairstylist in an hour and I hope she’s not very talkative.

  • Danielle

    All apply to me except #21. (I know it’s not a complete list and may not apply to all….blah, blah). I need music before and after work to get out of my mind. The louder the music the less likely my mind wanders, not to arguments, but to me working out recent situations i.e., how could have I have done that differently or how would handle this if it happened to me. I can make myself cry based on these what ifs. So I crank up the music. It’s my lifesaver in addition to books.

    Thank you for this article. It was very enlightening.

  • #6 #13 #18 – LOL all the time especially.

  • Cathy Sawyer

    #2 — stopped that a long time ago because I care enough about my close friends not to fib to them.
    #7 — and then they find the first opportunity to get away because they’re being monopolized.
    #13 — I just thought that was my OCD kicking in, being obsessive; never suspected it was my introversion. LOL
    #19 — I actually begin to get kind of anxious after a couple of minutes talking on the phone; sometimes I can quell the feeling and sometimes not. Doesn’t matter who they are either. 🙁

  • Lux Pacifica

    #22 Someone comes up to you and demands, “smile!” And you’re taken aback because you were feeling perfectly happy already.

  • Karen Swank Buchanan

    Addition to #20 – when you get a fun new hair cut, and then regret it for weeks because strangers keep talking to you about the hair…

  • Karen Swank Buchanan

    Another addition to #20: when you close your eyes during the haircut and manage to train your stylist to just quietly cut. 🙂