February 13, 2014

18 People Talk About What It Feels Like To Be An Introvert

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What is the issue?
When you’re an introvert, small talk feels really cumbersome and being in a crowd — you feel alone. Networking feels fake and when you need to recharge your batteries, that alone time feels incredibly satisfying. If you’ve wondered what it feels like to be introverted, check out this Quora thread.

1. Ellen Vrana

I feel frustrated when I explain to someone that I need alone time and she responds, “yes, I need that every once in a while.” No you don’t get it, that is my preferred mode, almost all the time I would prefer to be alone. I was just making it sound casual so I wouldn’t offend you or make you think I’m weird.

I feel sad when people take it personally that I don’t want to spend time with them, or start to drift out of the conversation because my emotional battery is winding down and needs recharging. It’s not personal. Unless our conversation cannot get past painful small talk and then yes, it is personal.

I feel pained when people joke that I’m anti-social and hate humans just because they cannot imagine a world where everyone is not as extroverted as they are.

I feel claustrophobic when people ask me on Monday AM what I did that weekend, because:

  1. I hate small talk and feel trapped by this inane question,
  2. Whatever I did, usually something alone, it won’t make sense and I’ll be pitied for having no friends.

I feel depressed when the sun comes out and I know that everyone will be outside playing volleyball or baseball or doing something social, together. I love rain, and I love winter.

I feel fake when I am doing small-talk. I am very interested in you as a person, why do I have to pretend I’m not?

I feel lonely when I’m with a group of people and talking about nothing.

I feel nervous when my phone rings or when I have to make a phone call.

I feel discouraged to read articles about “jobs for introverts” and it’s all stay-at-home work on your computer type things. I’m not a shut-in, I’m an introvert. (I’m not saying that people who do those jobs are shut-ins, just noting the implications).

I feel satisfied when I have a really good conversation with a small group of people about something meaningful that matters to us.

I feel guilty because I often confuse people about being introverted. I am outgoing and friendly in person. People do not realize I’m introverted and therefore, at some point, I have to let them down by not wanting to spend as much time together as they want. It makes me think that I should not be so outgoing, but I cannot change that either.

I feel happy when my friends get to the place where they understand that although I’m not the hangout type, I won’t do dinner and drinks or Sunday brunch, I can be relied on for anything big, any time, anywhere. I’ll also remember things that matter to you and anticipate how you might be feeling before you tell me.

I feel inspiration in nature, reading, thinking, or watching my favorite films.

I feel disappointed, apparently introverts are supposed to be smarter, better thinkers? Damn, I missed that boat!

I feel excited by the increasing number of books, lectures, postings about being introverted, and just how many people have commented that they no longer think they are the only ones who feel like this. Introverts unite!