Five things all introverts will get

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smiling introverted woman reading alone at cafe

Image: legenda/Shutterstock

When categorizing personalities, most people fit themselves into one of two groups: introvert or extrovert. In short, extroverts get their energy from interacting with people and introverts do not. We like to spend our time alone, recharging in the comfort of our apartments.

Although extroverts get a lot of attention because they’re more social or more talkative, introverts are just as cool. Introverts usually like listening and supporting people rather than speaking up about themselves, although I know a number of introverts who will talk your ear off once you get to know them. Introverts often tend to be the subject of a lot of jokes because they can be described as anti-social or shy, and extroverts have a hard time understanding us. As an introvert myself, I know I’ve had lots of people misunderstand me and my personality. If you’re an extrovert, some of these things may or may not make a lot of sense to you, but here are five things all introverts get.

Two words: social anxiety

True, not every introvert has social anxiety. However, most of the people I know with social anxiety are very introverted. What extroverts see as shy or socially awkward, we know to be social anxiety. Some introverts have a specific disorder rather than just general anxiety about social situations, but either way, many introverts have a fear of being around people. You may hate going to parties or avoid asking questions, or maybe you just don’t like talking to people in general. Introverts with social anxiety may get self-conscious or hide in the bathroom or spend hours working up the courage to talk to someone. Social anxiety doesn’t make us any less worthy than extroverts or people who don’t face this problem – it just means we have to be a little braver than everyone else.

Hating phone calls

Does anyone actually like talking on the phone? I’ve heard it said that everyone hates phone calls, but no one hates phone calls more than introverts. The other day I had to make a phone call, and I spent a good thirty minutes lying on the ground because I couldn’t bring myself to dial. Part of this fits under the umbrella of social anxiety, but a lot of introverted people without serious social anxiety have this fear. It’s hard to decide which is worse: being told you have to call someone or hearing the phone ring and knowing you have to pick up. My personal introvert approach to hearing the phone ring is to wait and see if anyone leaves a message, and then I text them about it. Either way, phone calls cause some introverts serious discomfort, and it’s something a lot of us have to work on.

Canceling plans

“Sorry, I think I have to cancel” is one of the best sentences in the English language. Whether it’s you canceling or the person you’re meant to have plans with canceling, introverts love cancelled plans. I myself have cancelled plans for even the smallest things, just so I can stay home and be by myself. Snuffly nose? Cancel. Big project due in a few days? Cancel. Too far of a drive? Cancel. It’s not that introverts hate having plans, it’s just that we value our alone time. Sometimes we make plans without realizing that we need time to ourselves to recharge. So, if we cancel on you, it probably isn’t because we don’t like you, but rather we may like ourselves a little bit more in that moment.

Leaving without saying goodbye

Something I catch myself doing a lot is leaving without saying goodbye. Whether it’s leaving the office or leaving a party, sometimes I can’t bring myself to tell anyone I’m heading out. I spend a good five minutes going over pros and cons about saying something, but in the end I usually chicken out and just slip away. It’s not that I’m not appreciative of the people I’m with, I just become so invisible that no one notices if I just disappear out the front door. Introverts are usually pretty going at being wallflowers, so people can easily lose track of us. We probably should speak up about leaving places, but sometimes we just can’t bring ourselves to do it because it’s awkward or nerve-wracking.

Being called “mysterious”

Recently my friend said that I had a great personality because my lack of speaking up made me “mysterious.” Many introverts have heard this comment, especially in reference to dating. It may seem like we’re playing “hard to get” or being “mysterious,” but most of the time that’s just who we are. We don’t try to withhold information about ourselves, it just kind of happens. For me personally, I don’t like bringing up myself in most conversations, so I usually wait until someone asks me a certain question or opens up the conversation so I can share my piece. If those things don’t happen, I can hold off on talking about myself for hours while just listening. I’m not “mysterious,” I’m just afraid that I’ll talk too much or that no one really cares about what I’m going to say.