EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT AN INTROVERT YOURSELF, YOU PROBABLY KNOW AT LEAST A FEW PEOPLE WHO ARE, AND PRETTY MUCH ALL OF THEM HAVE EXPERIENCES THE REST OF THE WORLD MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT.
Personalities can’t be held or seen, and yet they significantly affect how people feel and experience their lives.
Take introverts, for example. According to Psychology Today, introverts make up 16-50% of the population, but most people only think of one thing when it comes to their personality- they like to be alone.
That’s a very narrow view of a much broader subject. Introverts deal with several problems, most of which seem to transcend into social interactions, or rather, lack of them. No, they aren’t being rude or anti-social when they decline your invitation out for the evening. While introversion means they might spend a lot of time in their own company, there is no rudeness or ill-intent.
SCIENTIFICALLY SPEAKING, THE BRAIN OF AN INTROVERT IS WIRED DIFFERENTLY.
The front part of introvert’s brains are most active and stimulated by solitary activities while the back part of extrovert’s brains are most active. This part of the brain is stimulated by sensory events coming in from the external world. Extroverts need more dopamine to feel an effect, whereas introverts have a low dopamine threshold. –Psychology Today
Basically, extroverts require a lot of external stimuli to become energized and feel pumped, whereas introverts only need a fraction of that amount. Any more than that, and they become overwhelmed and exhausted.
Below are 11 small struggles introverts are all too-familiar with, besides solely being recognized as the “loner” of the group.
1. YOU SENSE AWKWARDNESS.
If there is a conversation that abruptly ends or a displaced silence in the air, you will notice it instantly. In fact, you most likely feel the awkwardness more than anyone else in the room, even though you aren’t the cause for it. What’s funny is that everyone else probably won’t even notice it.
2. YOU’D RATHER NOT BE THE ONE TO REACH OUT.
Despite being someone who has several close friends and family members, you find it difficult initiate contact with them. Even texting a simple “Hello” brings a whirlwind of potential problems, and sometimes not talking is just easier than talking.
3. YOU PRETTY MUCH SEE EVERYTHING.
Because you tend to be the person who observes, rather than interacts in social situations, you can tell when someone isn’t being sincere. If you’re an introvert, then you might not partake in many social interactions, but you are highly aware of transpires within them.
4. TALKING TO SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW FILLS YOU WITH ANXIETY.
You dread the thought of having to initiate a conversation with someone you don’t really know. It makes you stressed out, and the thoughts in your head just add to the anxiety. “What if I end up saying something silly?” “What if they don’t say anything back?” Eventually, you try to avoid as much conversation in the future as possible.
5. EYE-CONTACT? NO THANKS.
It’s not intentional, but sometimes, and often without realizing it, you make no eye-contact whatsoever. Because of this, people may distrust you or treat you differently.
There are times when you do intentionally avoid eye-contact. Like when you want to stop someone from feeling like they can approach you. Anything to avoid an awkward conversation.
6. NO SMALL TALK.
The water cooler at work, family gatherings, your mom’s friend, the postman – you do not do small talk. End of story.
7. YOU REGULARLY CANCEL YOUR PLANS.
Last week, you told your friends you would go out with them this Friday. You might have even been looking forward to it at the time. Then, Thursday rolls around and you think of a hundred things you would rather do than go out. Suddenly, it is just too much to socialize. Of course, you feel guilty for canceling, but the wave of relief that washes over you afterwards is worth it.
8. THERE IS A CONSTANT STRUGGLE BETWEEN WANTING TO STAY COMFORTABLE, AND WANTING TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.
Inner-conflict is your norm. On one hand, you know your comfort zone has just enough space for you and your dog and you’re cool with that. On the other hand, you feel like you should push yourself to get out more and really experience life.
9. YOU’RE NOT NECESSARILY SHY.
Lots of people assume that being an introvert is synonymous with being shy. That’s not actually the case. Introverts enjoy their own company, and can spend hours by themselves perfectly content. That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy being around other people, it’s just a bit more difficult for them.
10. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE.
If your car breaks down, you are more likely to call in sick for the next week than take a bus or the tube to work. There are a slew of issues you would rather avoid. What if you see someone you know, or worse, what if they want to sit next to you and chat?
11. IF YOU DO GO OUT, IT ALWAYS ENDS THE SAME WAY.
On the few occasions you do decide to take your friends up on their offer, your evening usually ends the same way- with your eyes glued to the clock as you come up with excuses to leave early. It’s entirely possible that you would have a good time if you stayed till the end, but you rarely give that a chance.
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