1. Whenever you try to identify yourself as introverted, some people express disbelief, shock, or downright rejection of this predisposition. You can have an outgoing personality but still keep facets of this persona to yourself, and so being told that you do not know know yourself best is often more than a little off-putting.
2. People are quick to suggest you for presentations, big work projects, and other important duties, no matter how suited you personally think you are for the role.
3. As such, you often hype yourself up more than you could ever know. You have become a master of the rally ritual.
4. You often have one or two close friends — who are also secretly shy — with whom you do everything. You feed off of each other, break the tension when the other is in the spotlight, and know that like Abbott & Costello, Scooby & Shaggy, and Kanye & Jay, you’re only half as good if you don’t have your best friend at your side.
5. People are genuinely surprised when you decide to skip happy hour at the bar or some big, buzzy party — but these days are most important for your mental well-being.
6. Your happiest medium is a busy coffee shop or an office where you can tuck yourself away in the corner so that you can observe human interaction rather than being thrust into it at all times.
7. You’re a big believer in the power of a certain pair of shoes, a particular outfit, lucky socks — whatever it is that serves as a security blanket of sorts when you have to go it alone.
8. You get really, really nervous before doing any kind of public speaking, and you always have: everything from school presentations to your BFF’s rehearsal dinner speech is anxiety-inducing for you. But you know that the person who’s requested that you put yourself out there is worth the effort, and so you often refuse to succumb to your anxiety and soldier through.
9. It took you a long time to figure out where that nervousness was coming from. To everyone else you were this confident, outgoing person — and in your mind, you were too! But there was always that dichotomy that you’re only now able to actualize — that you can be a shy person who still wants to open up to people. It just takes you a few extra steps to get there.
10. You were always the one to retreat to a room by yourself in the middle of family get—togethers, no matter how verboten. (New Year’s Eve, I’m looking at you.)
11. You prefer nights in, and actually need to be alone sometimes. You don’t feel like you’re missing out, or that you’re bored — in fact, those thoughts never even cross your mind.
12. But you’re not anti-social. In fact, you connect with people well, which is what makes the dynamic of your personality that much more confusing.
13. You have a pet that you treat like your human best friend, and some days, you genuinely feel like they’re all you need. You brought them into your life because you needed someone or something around, and without them, you’d feel utterly untethered.
14. When you tell people that you’re actually really shy, they usually pause for a second, think about it, and then say “Ohhh, yeah, I totally see it.”
15. Your one annoyance in life is when people keep talking to you when you want them to be quiet so you don’t have to keep up with the charade of pretending you care. It sounds harsh, but it’s the cold truth: shy people naturally feel intimidated by other people and so continuing on in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable is beyond awful.
16. You enjoy classic introvert activities like reading — except your brand of it is reading and then running to tell your friend all about the book that just changed your life.
17. Because speaking of: you’re a “one-or-two-close-bestie” kind of person — you’ve never had, nor will you probably ever, have a big “group” of friends you hang out with (and that’s absolutely fine by you.) You’d rather trust 4 quarters than 100 pennies.