7 Things That Just Don’t Make Sense to Introverts

something doesn't make sense to an introvert

These “extroverted” behaviors can seem strange, uncomfortable, and even annoying to introverts.

Introverts often feel like the odd ones out. It’s a sad reality, but in a world designed for extroverts, we “quiet ones” are frequently misunderstood.

Just as certain introverted behaviors, such as the strong need for alone time, may baffle extroverts, many extroverted behaviors can seem strange, uncomfortable, and even annoying to introverts.

Not all introverts will agree — since we are all individuals — but here are seven things that often perplex many of us “quiet ones.” If you find these points relatable, remember, you’re not alone.

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Things That Don’t Make Sense to Introverts

1. Finding solitude boring

I genuinely appreciate my extroverted friends. They help me come out of my shell, and I’ve created some of my fondest memories with them. However, one thing that baffles me is how quickly they grow bored when they’re alone.

One of my most extroverted friends struggles to be alone even for a few minutes, so she calls me on the phone whenever she’s driving. She gets bored being alone in the car, even for the short amount of time it takes her to drive home from work. If her husband and kids are out for the night, I get another phone call — and likely a last-minute invitation to hang out.

As someone who meets all the signs of being introvert, I experience the opposite feeling — a feeling of excitement when I get a few moments to myself. And I secretly celebrate when my family leaves the house for a few hours!

For introverts, constant social interaction can feel like torture. We introverts need alone time as much as we need food and water — it’s essential for our energy and happiness.

For some, being alone is not just dull; it can feel like a punishment. This perspective just doesn’t make sense to introverts.

2. Marathon talkers

Your shift has just ended, and you make a beeline for the break room to grab some microwave popcorn and a breather. That’s when Sheryl from Accounting walks in. Uh oh. Here it comes. She corners you at the microwave, and you find yourself wishing your Orville Redenbacher’s would hurry up.

Your overly chatty coworker never seems to never run out of things to say. And, frankly, it’s rarely about anything particularly interesting. With Sheryl, it tends to be endless small talk. She methodically recounts every mundane detail of her weekend.

Admittedly, we’ve all been guilty of over-talking at times — even introverts get excited to talk about their favorite subjects. However, for introverts, these instances are rare. We tend to be word minimalists, choosing to speak only when we feel we have something of real value to say.

Thus, those of us who are “quiet ones” struggle to understand how some people have words in great abundance.. Who can muster that much verbal energy on a daily basis? Oh, right. Sheryl.

3. Popularity

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t have friends, nor does it mean you lack social skills. When I talk about “popularity,” I’m referring to something else.

Growing up, I noticed a difference between my some of my friends and me — they seemed very concerned about how others perceived them. We spent late nights discussing who was “cool” at school, which jeans to buy, and what bands to listen to, all because these things supposedly conferred something very special: popularity.

Their preoccupation with popularity didn’t make sense to me as an introvert. Sure, I wanted friends, and I definitely hoped the cute boy who complimented my writing in English class would notice me. But I never craved social status in the same way they did.

Looking back, it makes sense. Introverts typically maintain small social circles and we’re perfectly content with that. We’d rather invest our limited social energy into a few meaningful relationships rather than pursuing popularity. In fact, for many introverts, striving for popularity isn’t even on their radar.

4. Calling instead of texting

Sometimes, a phone call is the fastest or best way to communicate. (Imagine trying to text 911 — terrifying, right?) And hearing a loved one’s voice can be incredibly comforting, especially after a bad day. However, for many introverts, phone calls can be downright dreadful, particularly those unexpected “just calling to catch up!” calls.

Not only do phone calls often require small talk and lack the helpful visual cues of face-to-face interaction, but they can also feel intrusive. An unexpected call leaves no time to mentally prepare, which is crucial for introverts. Often, we’re deeply engrossed in a daydream, immersed in a project, or exploring our inner thoughts. Suddenly shifting to a social mindset requires purposeful effort.

In contrast, a text message allows for a polite delay in response. Introverts tend to be more comfortable expressing themselves in writing, given the way our brains process and express thoughts. This makes texting a less daunting and more manageable form of communication. (You can read the science behind why writing is typically easier than speaking for introverts here.)

5. Large parties, networking events, and loud restaurants/bars/clubs

To many extroverts, these environments are “fun,” “exciting,” and even “energizing.” For introverts, however, it’s a different story — and it’s not because we’re party poopers (well, maybe just a bit). Our introverted brains are wired differently from those of extroverts, making loud and bustling parties not only annoying but also exhausting. This often results in the notorious introvert hangover.

Personally, I need to be in just the right mood to hit a dance floor in a club, which happens about once a decade.

6. Reveling in the spotlight

Some people thrive as the center of attention. They have no problem standing before a crowd to give a presentation or a speech. They naturally entertain with jokes or move, talk, or dress in ways that draw attention to themselves. They can’t wait for their turn in a conversation to speak. These people are probably not introverts.

Introverts tend to feel more comfortable staying in the background, listening rather than speaking. This isn’t to say that introverts can’t excel as actors, speakers, or leaders; many do. However, when introverts take the stage, it’s typically for reasons other than seeking attention, with any spotlight on them being more of a byproduct than a goal.

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

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7. Socializing just to pass the time

My extroverted friend once said, “Of course I’m going to the party! What else would I do tonight?” To introverts, this reasoning might seem odd. There are countless other activities we could fill our night with: watching movies, playing video games, trying out a new recipe, and more.

It’s important to remember that introverts can and do socialize. We too need strong relationships and deep connections to avoid feeling lonely, just like anyone else. After all, it’s human nature to seek connections with others. However, if given the choice between socializing merely to pass time or staying home with a good book or show, introverts will often choose the latter.

When introverts choose to socialize, it’s typically with a specific purpose in mind. We might want to forge a friendship, make a business connection, or meet a potential soul mate. At the very least, we’re looking for authentic human moments and meaningful conversation.

Anything less just doesn’t make sense.

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Image credit: @stefiakti via Twenty20

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