Thought Catalog
June 9, 2017

5 Struggles That Only Shy Introverts Really Understand

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What is the issue?
Omar Lopez

Life isn’t always easy for people who are shy, especially if you are shy and introverted. It just causes lots of problem in lives. Below are some problems that shy introverts face when meeting new people.

1. It’s hard to start talking to people

Being introverted and shy is hard because whenever you meet new people, you struggle to introduce yourself to the person. Your mind starts to wonder ‘Would the people around me think I’m weird? is it weirder for me to say something or wait for them to say something? How do I keep the conversation going? Why can’t I just be at home?’

Remedy: Well calm yourself down. Start with a simple introduction of yourself. Keep it short about 2-3 lines and wait for them to introduce themselves too. Try to find common ground and continue the conversation from there.

2. You are mostly the quiet one in the group at first

Well, now it seems that you and a group of people have formed what is beginning to seem like a clique. They go out for dinner and have invited you to come along. You join them for dinner but you don’t know what to say at most times. Everyone has interesting stories to share and you don’t think you have any such stories. Sometimes you jump into the conversation but you don’t think you are adding any value to the story. You start to think ‘ Why didn’t I just stay at home ?’

Remedy: It’s always hard for introverts especially shy introverts to belong to a group. Start a small conversation with another person who is physically close to you. Learn things about them. Use the Ford technique during the conversation starting a conversation. Ask them about their family, occupation, recreational activities, and dreams. Such topics will make you closer to them. Aim for common ground.

3. Sometimes you just want to be alone and those new to you may not understand that

New friends tend to keep hanging out with each other in order to bond and foster the friendship. However being shy introverts, we just cannot take days of repeated activities with people. Sometimes we want to just have a cup of coffee at the coffee shop alone. Maybe a nice meal alone away from the judging eyes of the group. Let’s face it, sometimes the group wouldn’t want to try out food that you would love to eat. So going alone seems to be the solution.

Remedy: Be honest with the group, say that you need some alone time as it is mentally and physically draining for you to be around people for that many days. Say you need some alone time for you to recharge. Don’t make any excuses and be frank with them that this is just who you are.

4. It’s really hard to talk to unfriendly people, especially when they are older that you even though you need to

Sometimes when you are forced to meet and have conversations and hang out with older people, this could be for work or a distant relative who you haven’t really met in all your life. This could be a problem especially for shy introverts as we do not like to be forced to hang out with anyone. Especially with people who are generations away older than you and who do not seem friendly. You do not know how to start a conversation with them and they seem reluctant to start a conversation with you too. This causes a dilemma, you can’t walk away from the person but you don’t know what to talk to them about.

Remedy: remember older people are just like people your age, just older. Age is just a number, use the ford technique to strike a conversation with them and listen to their stories. Maybe they have more to tell you then you realize.

5. It’s hard to talk to someone of the opposite gender that you are attracted to

This has got to be the hardest and most frustrating problem of all for a shy introverted person. How do you approach and inform someone of the opposite gender that you like them when you are so shy! When you see them on the train, or on the commute to work, its the hardest thing ever to do. You start to think ‘how do other people ever do it. I can never do something like this.’ Even in your group of friends, it’s hard to approach a member that you like and profess your feelings for them.

Remedy: Take baby steps with this one, even non-shy introverted people have problems with approaching someone of the opposite gender. Slowly work up your courage to approach them. It could be a smile when you guys catch eye contact and if she smiles back that gives the go-ahead signal. In your group of friends, it’s essential to start knowing more about the girl more before even thinking about dating her. Take baby steps and talk to her more during group outings and texting her privately. Then slowly ask for more time together and finally pop the question when you feel it is the right time. TC mark