Thought Catalog

The Pros And Cons Of Being Introverted

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Pro: Acquaintances think you’re smart. Introversion and quietness is for some reason often associated with depth and intelligence, perhaps as the result of our tendency to attempt to fill in missing information where there exists an uncomfortable lack. Whatever the case, if you’re introverted and quiet, people just sort of grant you intelligence before you’ve hardly said a word. They’ll look you in the eye, raise an eyebrow and say “You’re one of those smart people, aren’t you? Got a lot going on in your head, huh,” and shake their head in a sort of respect for the concept of human intelligence; in a sort of disbelief, or something.

Con: Acquaintances think you are upset when they meet you. “What was wrong with her?” they’ll ask your mutual friend once you leave. “Why was she so mad? Is she having a bad day? Jeez.” But what actually occurred was a conversation in which you spoke only when you felt you had something significant to say and you didn’t fill in silences with “Sooooo….” and “Anyways, yeah, um…”

Pro: You’re seen as “chill.” As an introvert, people will see you as a Laid Back guy who Goes With The Flow. The fact that you express yourself less generates the assumption that you’re cool with whatever – you just want to have a good time, you don’t care where, how or with whom.

Con: You aren’t sure if you’re “chill” or “a doormat.” The other side of choosing to forego expressing your preferences is that you begin to have this nagging suspicion that, well, you might be getting walked all over. It’s sort of a weird paradox: you sincerely believe that you really don’t care enough to risk confrontation, but the fact that you don’t care enough to risk confrontation may indicate that you’re just a pussy afraid of confrontation. Thing is, you don’t know which is the correct explanation, and so you aren’t sure if you’re “chill” or actually a “doormat.”

Pro: There seems to be a group of individuals who romantically pursue introverted people almost exclusively. This is probably because introverted and quiet people pique their curiosity while granting the bare minimum amount of insight into their inner-workings. Such a delicate balance is maintained unconsciously by an introvert, perhaps in self-protection, but nevertheless creates an aura of mystery, intrigue, and ‘hidden gifts’ that the pursuer finds irresistible and can’t help coming back for more.

Con: Less people are romantically interested in you. The group of individuals mentioned above is probably much smaller than the faction of individuals who romantically pursue loud or average (w/r/t conversational output) people; being into introverts limits the playing field quite a bit and as such – by comparison – is a sort of ‘boutique’ standard. In other words, if you’re an introvert, there’s a good chance you’re getting laid less than the average Normie.

Pro: You can enjoy a symbiotic, BFF-esque relationship with a loud person. Sometimes if the stars are aligned correctly and the gods are smiling upon us an introvert and an extrovert will meet and an intense and life-affirming relationship will blossom. The two will fit together as simply and perfectly as two pieces of a puzzle – the introvert providing the much needed introspection and quiet deliberation the extrovert lacks, the extrovert being crazy and funny and the really good wingman that the introvert so needs.

Con: Loud people will hurt your soul. If you’re an introvert, being around a particularly loud or talkative individual can be like taking a cheese grater to your soul – it can seriously bug the shit out of you. It’s as yet unknown why this can occur, but it’s certain that sometimes introverts just want quiet, please, if just for a moment, please, will you please just shut the fuck up, please? TC mark

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More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Pro:  I burn about 500 calories  from the strain of trying to sound interesting. 

    • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Lady In BK

      hahaha me to!

  • http://twitter.com/alinatrifan Alina Trifan

    Thought Catalog, thank you for these articles about quiet/shy/ introverted people. I feel less alone.
    Everything written here is true and the introvert in me confirms it.

    • Oilpaints21

       i”m very introverted. i only speak when i have something important or interesting to say. its been really difficult for me to find love because of my introvertedness. i feel alone sometimes. you know like i”m the only introvert in an extrovert dominated society. i only have a few friends. and lucky i am to have a best friend.i”m also the quiet and shy type. but not with people i know and i”m confortable with.i”m also a musician and artist. and i adore beign passionate. lets be friends and maybe even more if you so desire.

  • Grammarfreak

    Typo.

    • Grammarfreak

      Although, good nonetheless.

  • doood

    i love you

  • http://twitter.com/IsaacZS Isaac

    “There seems to be a group of individuals who romantically pursue introverted people almost exclusively.”What?! Where? Can I meet them?

    • Sippycup

      * If you’re attractive

    • DARKSTAR

      The problem is that they’re usually insane.

  • Anonymous

    YES, yes, yes and YES! I’m an introvert and wouldn’t have it any other way. I often feel misunderstood by extroverts, though. The last point was particularly true for me…especially today. 

    I find being around other introverts more appealing than being around extroverts. I feel “at home” with someone else who can sit quietly without feeling the need to fill in the gaps with their loud “ummm…” or incessant babbling about their boring lives. Just sayin’. 

  • http://twitter.com/ichrischen Chris Chen

    I agree with everything you wrote. This pretty much describes me as well and it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone :)

    Another dynamic is the relationship between TWO introverts. I have feelings for another introvert, and it’s interesting because either one of us forces ourselves to be an extrovert to initiate conversation. But when neither of us tries, things could get uncomfortable and awkward very quickly.

  • Anonymous

    sometimes i just don’t feel like talking.
    those loud people who crave the center of attention wear me out, and all i’ll want to do is go watch tv with other quiet people – just so i can have their silent company.

  • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Lady In BK

    This was the perfect read for me as I am an introvert who has just entered into a relationship with someone that is an extrovert and it is just what you have described towards the end!  My previous relationship was with an introvert like myself and boy was it boring! This relationship is much more fun and he is definitely the wingman that I needed in my life… haha ! 

    • SaraJane

      happy for you! :)

      • http://twitter.com/nestevian888 Lady In BK

        Thank you Sara!

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamahmad Ahmad Radheyyan

    hi

  • Diyanah 23

    I don’t think I’m lucky enough to be considered “the smart one” every time I’m silent around people… I’m super talkative around my closest friends, but around people I’m not used to – I turn mute. My brain really empties myself of anything to say, and I feel anything but smart when people ask me simple questions that I can’t answer.

    About people thinking we’re upset all the time, I couldn’t agree less!! Sometimes people ask me if I’m upset so often that I actually do get upset. So I switch off and just convince myself that I’m “chill”until I start feeling like a “doormat”, haha.

    • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

      Glad someone else has the exact same brain drain issue around new people

  • yea

    all my best friends have been loud and in the end i get tired of how loud and attention-seeking they are

    • turningtables

      Yeah, it’s kind of interesting how I have created this pattern for myself.
      Like, “why did I even like you!??”

  • http://maaaaaan.tumblr.com/ wackomet

    the perks of being a wallflower

  • http://maaaaaan.tumblr.com/ wackomet

    the perks of being a wallflower

  • JonQ288

    Stop trying to explain yourself and bask in the misinterpretations, it’s more fun and less strenuous 

  • http://twitter.com/suntwee MarieSa

    But the thing about the “group of individuals who romantically pursue introverted people almost exclusively” is that it’s made up almost exclusively of individuals who make obtuse, inane comments in an attempt to come off as ~deep~

  • Jenna h

    I find the introvert/extrovert construct to be a bit dichotomous, like saying a person is happy or sad. For example, some shy people (like myself) talk a lot because they are nervous. Some naturally social people refrain from talking a lot out of coyness. Some people alternate between being focused outward and inward. And so on..

    My point is that essays written from dichotomous viewpoints are limited.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Megan-Shafer/1169280047 Megan Shafer

    it sorta sounds like you took a page from my diary and modeled this article after it

  • Anon

    OH MY GOD CAN THESE ARTICLE’S DIE?

    • GUEST

      no

  • guest

    I read somewhere that introvert and extrovert don’t just mean “shy” and “outgoing.” Introvert means you get your “energy” from doing things alone and enjoy alone time. Extrovert means you get your “energy” from socializing, and are happiest when being around other people. Outgoing people can be introverts, and vice versa. 

  • guest

    this is great

    • SaraJane

      exactly! i’m an introvert i can SO relate to this :)

  • Bllar88

    I have  a loud, extroverted friend who uses me as his soundboard for the ‘problems’ in his life. I guess he trusts that I won’t tell anyone about his business-which is true, but I kinda drown out his never ending problems by thinking about what to watch on Netflix that night.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    Brandon,  you seem to understand us so well.

    Sometimes I don’t know if it’s worth trying to change the parts of us that have been molded by our surroundings, but it’s nice to see some of the Pros at least.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1198922828 Marianna Elvira

    first thing I relate to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=825630453 Lauren Doster Magruder

    So nice to be understood. Most interesting is when people assume I’m depressed because I don’t want to hang out or go to social events( “Hey Lauren, come join us in Sunday school this week, we’d love to have you! ). The truth is, I would leave those things critically depressed. Introverts are very selective about who they spend their time with.

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