As an introvert (who is on the private and extreme end of the introvert scale) I feel like I sometimes get a bad wrap or misunderstood.
When someone makes a big deal (or makes fun of me) for being shy – I actually feel like I am being personally attacked. When someone calls you names or tells you “you need to get counselling for your shyness” – that can also be incredibly hurtful too.
I can’t pin point any specific moments in my life that made me an introvert. From what I know from other family members – I have ALWAYS been shy and private. I have a few theories as to why this might be the case…probably due to being severely bullied by two obnoxious parents and when I was in school – I am a quieter personality and more “passive”. I would like a healthier platform instead of keeping everything inside when someone pisses me off (especially at work) – however, because SO used to freak out I would lose my job for speaking up against something – I am sitting there worried if I say “be quiet or why don’t you listen to my opinion or why do you talk to me like I’m an idiot?” then he will freak out and think I am going to be fired that day. He fucking freaks out over the slightest of conversations and always thinks I do/say stuff to get myself fired.
At times I can definitely be more aggressive with my opinions but most of the time – I don’t really like confrontation and have better things to do than sort out other people’s shit. I think it’s really unfair that poor introverts like me, can be excellent workers, but get isolated or made to feel like a “bad” person because I couldn’t care less about social niceties. Not nasty but I would rather do other stuff like get on with my work than deal with workplace gossips and cliques.
Introverts don’t “make up” being shy
Seriously – why would I fake being shy? What’s the fucking benefit? I obviously want to make friends outside of work.
But I don’t want to be constantly stood on or sat on. Which happens quite a bit with poor introverts like me.
I personally feel like I cannot speak when I hear people, especially in meet up groups or team meetings, constantly fighting to talk over each other or “work hog”. It makes me look down on that person.
Introverts often get spoken over by loud personalities
There is an Arabic saying (paraphrased) as “those who talk the loudest have nothing to say”. It’s something that I follow by.
When I was younger I was CONSTANTLY TOLD (because I used to be more of a hot head and would actually speak up if someone pissed me off) that it was against “religious teachings” to be overly vocal and to kind of be quiet and just suck it up. Some asshole with a loud voice is rude to you – suck it up and go cry later on (privately).
If I feel physically nervous or unable to speak to you – I am not going to rock the boat because extroverts can be really OTT when angry. It’s my nightmare hearing someone fucking rabbit on all day and it’s not even fucking relevant.
If you’ve brushed me off – acted fake to me (or insincere) – don’t expect me to be your buddy
I hate fake people. I am no bullshit. As an introvert, I can smell a rat a mile away. I have a pretty good eye for body language and lies (ok the fact I used to deal with liars in previous occupations also does help) – if my SO told me a lie – I would know pretty much straight away. I just have an inbuilt lie detector – and sometimes certain personality types set it off.
In high school, it might be a bully who sucks up to you to get their homework or classwork looked at (for higher grades)…it might be that fake suck up who wants to get credit for your work… or it might be someone who simply acts nice to your face and gets caught out being a gossip.
Usually there are signs with some people that something doesn’t ring true – constantly talking shit about other people and saying personal things about them (such as Grapevine at my current job or the Old Hags in the former workplace) are usual indicators for me.
I don’t like being made to put on a performance for the benefit of others
In my personal life my inlaws and significant other love doing the “visit the people” rounds. R
epeatedly seeing person after person and not having any personal space – being forced to put on a happy performance when I just want to chill out without constantly having to see/talk to people – was personal hell during Christmas in Europe.
If I don’t want to fucking talk and just want to relax at home – don’t fucking force me to do shit I don’t want. Go see your own people and do it as an independent person.
The same applies for work – I will put my best game face on for things like the executive greet or for people I actually feel might listen to what I have to say without instantly talking over me or dismissing me/my ideas. I’m not going to make someone who treats me poorly (or ignores me)
Why can some people not shut the fuck up?
I notice, as a quiet person, some people cannot have a minute’s silence and constantly need to flap their gums. I have family members that don’t take a minute to breathe and stop talking. I have a couple of coworkers who CONSTANTLY talk. From when I get in and then when go home. They aren’t being nasty but they are obviously extraverts who need to be around people and talk…Yap yap yap.
I work with a significant number of people (100s) in my immediate open plan work space. People are constantly fucking talking and the only way I can have a minute of silence is going to the toilet, eating lunch alone or putting headphones on (which I don’t do because I think people think might see that as rude).
SO reckons I need to be more talkative to fit in (at work and probably in general) and come across less as an awkward person (or a bitch – which is a more direct way of saying what he was getting at).
Stop calling me weird/in need of “mental help”
SO said that my shyness is so bad I should seek a professional to “un shy” myself. In the past we’ve had a few fights about “being social” – but I see it as having grown up in a different lifestyle to him. Introverts are creatures of habits – I personally have a lot to offer and being called the “common thread to all my social problems” can be really upsetting. In a work situation, I don’t think anyone has publicly said I am weird because I am shy. But my point is – bringing it up or calling people (who are introverts) nasty names or adjectives can be really hurtful and makes me feel bad for being essentially, myself.
Introverts are selective
I don’t like wasting my time or breath, on things I know are lost causes. Some people are superficial and don’t want to know “about” me. They just want a simple answer and then move onto something or someone they have a better connection with. I am prepared to go to social events, like random meet ups, if I know the “right” kind of person is going to be there – even with the executive morning teas at work – that is the person I want to be good with. Anyone else can be personally impressed through 1-on-1 conversations and relationship building OR my excellent work ethic.
Introverts usually thrive on personal or small group relationships
In work, I got along famously with a notoriously difficult boss. Parrot, my predecessor in the role was apparently hated and didn’t get along with the boss at all. So why me? I suspect, and probably correctly, as someone who is quieter/less fake than Parrot, and obviously intelligent when I opened my mouth – I actually shut up and let the boss be the boss! I used to think about the boss before butting in every second of the day. I used to sit down everyday about what I was doing and ask them what THEY wanted. I didn’t put my two cents in – unless I knew there was a better way of doing something and I didn’t bullshit or throw people under the bus. Whenever I was asked about my reasoning, I could cite my previous job or I could cite my qualifications. People saw what I did and then just asked me for help (which I gave) because I got the boss boost up.
When I moved to a smaller team, where the boss didn’t really acknowledge me from day one, I felt overwhelmed and mismatched. No one seemed to care about my work/what I did. I couldn’t have the morning chat with boss and go through work stuff/concerns. I couldn’t talk up my achievements or I couldn’t say any issues I had.
Introverts don’t (usually) think before they speak
A big thing is – usually gobby people or extroverts – need to say the first things to come out of their mouth. Maybe they like bouncing work ideas or hearing people acknowledge their idea. I personally like to sit down, quietly and alone, come up with multiple ideas and pros/cons BEFORE bringing it to the table. That way, and this is something I do for my personal life, I can argue or have good points to back my claims/what I want.
Introverts are excellent listeners
I don’t know ANYONE who is introverted who wasn’t a good listener. The closest things I’ve had to best friends (or close friends) in the past- all introverts. Sure there have been occasions where people who are MORE introverted than me – have absolutely pissed me off – but at the same time if you want a longer friendship or something that might be “I have an emergency and need a friend’s help” – introverts are usually the first ones who have done that for me.
That concludes some of the things which upset me, as an introvert. I think you should all give poor introverts a break, we are living in an extravert world, open offices…oversharing on social media…some people just need to sit back and have a think before shitting out dribble in daily conversation.