As an introvert, I don’t feel understood.
People might think I hate them when, in fact, I just like being alone.
And while I love my own small bubble, what is actually distressing to me are crowds and gatherings. Being around more than three individuals at a time can be overwhelming.
I know I have this trait that is perhaps repelling and frustrating to others, especially for those extroverted social butterflies, but I honestly can’t do much about it. What I can do is explain it and spill the beans.
Here are eight things everyone needs to understand about introverts that will set us all free:
1. We want to be invited, but we don’t want to go.
This must be an introverts’ most famous refrain.
I know this attitude is difficult to understand and hard to explain. We can barely make sense of it either, but let us just leave it at that. The key thing that you need to know is: expect us not to show up, and try not to insist.
2. We probably won’t initiate contact, so don’t take it personally.
This one is ambiguous. Whether we like you or not, it’s almost impossible for us to grab our phones to ask about how you’re doing. Yet, we do like to hear from you. We do appreciate your calls and texts. Just try to keep it short as much as you can, unless it’s a life or death situation.
3. We don’t like attention.
This one is pretty simple. If it happens that we’re in a large gathering, please don’t make the conversation about us. Don’t do anything that draws attention to us. If you can just ignore us, that would be great. Thank you!
4. Allow us to say “no” without having to come up with tons of excuses—it’s exhausting.
Okay, I have a lot of explaining to do here.
Sometimes we really do have good reasons for not going out, just like anyone else.
Still, most of the time we give lame excuses. We know they’re lame and we know that you know they’re lame, therefore, try not to give us solutions, as it will only make us come up with more excuses, which could be tiring for both sides.
We are not always in the mood for socializing—that’s because it drains our energy, and we need our solitude to recharge—but, being straight forward about it might sound rude, or so we think.
5. Don’t ask us personal questions. If we feel comfortable, we will talk.
This has nothing to do with trust. In fact, it has nothing to do with you at all.
However, it takes us a hell of a lot of time to feel at ease pouring our hearts out and laying our cards on the table—unless you are our therapist.
6. We have a lot going on inside our heads. Hence, when we say we’re busy, believe us.
Whenever I point this out, it’s always taken as a joke—God knows it’s not.
Yes, I might be busy thinking, planning, or dwelling on something, and that will make me completely forget all about the outside world.
7. Don’t make assumptions.
Just because we spend days alone, please don’t assume that we’re depressed or that we need saving. Don’t assume we’re weird. Save your narrow projection—we are only introverts.
8. We will always be there for you.
In spite of everything which you have just read, we are good listeners, so feel free to reach out to us whenever you feel the urge to talk, or to complain about your messed up life.
We do love people and we do like to spend time with others—only at our convenience, which would be once every blue moon.
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