Introverts, they’re different. Their ideas of fun and their complex needs differ quite a bit when compared to their extroverted counterparts. Another big difference is that they sometimes find certain mundane tasks and interactions very taxing. It should be noted that while many introverts share the same experiences, they deal with them in different ways. Here’s 12 things an introvert might find difficult.
1. Growing up and being told, “not to be shy”
It’s a common misconception for people to confuse the two. When an introvert is young and hears this phrase a lot, they start to internalize it and the way people relate shyness with weakness. Learning about introversion helps them understand themselves and how to navigate social terrains. However, knowing they’re introverted isn’t always easy to explain to people, even though this might help people understand them better. This means sometimes they’ll opt to not tell people they’re introverted or brush off the “don’t be shy” comments and go home and nap.
2. Writing formal emails
Writing formal emails can give most introverts a LOT of anxiety. There’s so much worry that goes into composing, rewriting, re-reading, saving a draft, coming back to re-read, rewrite and then finally, actually sending the thing.
3. Over-thinking the little things
Face-to-face interactions with colleagues or acquaintances can be a bit harrowing for an introvert. They might say something stupid, make a mistake, or spill something, causing the introvert to become embarrassed. Or the other person might say something unintentionally, which will leave them questioning (and overthinking) the entire interaction. Overthinking the little things can be an introvert’s Achilles heel most of the time. And when the overthinking persists, it can be really bad. Worst-case scenario, they spend the entire day with a dark cloud hovering over them.
4. When reasoning doesn’t make it better
To continue with face-to-face interactions, although it might seem like a micro thing to a non-introvert, it is a very distressing experience for introverts. They know they shouldn’t fret about these things. They are reasonable; they know it probably meant nothing. They know the other person has probably already forgotten the interaction all together. It’s just that dark cloud has a mind of its own.
5. The idea of social engagements
Yes, a party. A big party where there are tons of people cavorting. The idea alone is enough to make an introvert sweat literal oceans. It’s not that bad, as long as they’ve been informed and given a substantial amount of time to mentally prepare. Information such as who’s attending the party, the place it’s being held at, the refreshments/food being served, and how long the party will be is very helpful for an introvert to know should they need to plan a graceful yet early exit.
6. Canceled plans (YAY!)
While an introvert might have agreed and is prepared for the event, the following days are racked with nervous excitement and exhaustion. At this point, they just want it to be over, but would be through the roof with happiness if said event is canceled. Just know that if a party or gathering is canceled, we will do our best to sound disappointed over the phone. But as soon as we hang up, we will cheer our hearts out. Nothing sounds better than canceled plans to an introvert.
7. Navigating social events
Upon arriving at a social event, the introvert will try to nail all of their practiced greetings. Afterwards, they try to casually find a place, preferably a corner, to sit comfortably and observe from a distance. A place near friends and people who know and understand you is a good option since they won’t pressure you into doing something outside of your comfort zone. You can stick with them until it’s time to go home.
8. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way
At times, it’s difficult for introverts to find people whom they feel comfortable with at an event. They might fail at making conversation and they might end up being pushed into a corner instead. They’ll start feeling anxious and exhausted because they don’t fit in, which can take a toll on them mentally as well as emotionally.
9. Attempting and failing at conversations
This results in feelings of discouragement because nobody hears them when they do speak. Followed by harsh self-directed rebukes for even trying.
10. Bad days
On particularly bad days, introverts just want to be alone and not talk to anybody. Sometimes, friends don’t understand this and may even take offense, trying to make you feel guilty and more of a failure for not being able to entertain them. It’s difficult and creates friction between an introvert and their friends. And while introverts could explain for the hundredth time that they just don’t feel like talking, they again brush it off.
11. Restlessness and self-disgust
To channel the feeling of restlessness or self-disgust, introverts look to either cleaning or being creative. Things like cleaning their room, sweeping the house, or washing the dishes. Starting a new hobby or DIY project. On days like this, they miss their friends, but don’t want to bother them with their micro-issues. They don’t really want to talk or see them, but long for a sign of reassurance.
12. Being told to “act normal”
In large groups where an introvert’s voice is easily lost, they become quiet and listen instead of participating. People will notice and ask them, why they’re quiet and their friends will sometimes try and get them to “act normal”. At times, they’re just too tired to interact socially, but they want to be in friendly company. However, their silence draws attention. Mostly negative attention such as questions about their silence or snide remarks and comments. This makes them feel like they have to perform and exert energy which leads to an introvert hangover more often than not.
Introverts are kind of like cacti. We can survive on our own. We thrive on it. We have our defenses and we hoard our feelings inside. But we’re not all the same, so please let me know in the comments below. What are the things you find most difficult as an introvert?
Edited by Viveca Shearin