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

4. Daniel Miles

As an introvert, interacting with other people feels like exercise. I feel better about myself every time I do it; it makes me stronger and healthier. It also exhausts me, and if I do it too much I feel sore and cramped. But if I go too long without it, I feel sluggish and stifled. Ultimately, it is the space between that energizes and sustains me. And some days, I just don’t feel like working out and would rather sit on my ass and read a book by myself.

5. Sonali Ila Ekka

I had a childhood with the worst combination of introversion, being an only child and having a father with a transferable job, which meant that I spent most of my childhood being that “weird new girl”.

I spent, and still spend, a lot of my time “inside my head”. From outside I would look like a quiet person, lost or completely disinterested in her surroundings. But if one could listen to my thoughts, there’d be a non-stop chattering inside my head. It’s like talking with yourself silently, and we talk about anything and everything that’s going on around me. As a result, I have a keener observation of my surroundings than many people, though I do tend to get lost in my thoughts sometimes.

My introversion has held me in good stead. It helped me survive my lonely childhood, I would spend my vacations glued to a book or playing board games or simply day dreaming. This was a boon for my parents as I wouldn’t whine about having to move around so often or of being bored and lonely. But since first impressions are the last impressions, I tend to have very few friends simply because I seem unfriendly, dumb and boring.

Its not like I dislike people, its just that there’re so many interesting thoughts going on inside my head that it takes something stronger, much better to drag me out and interact with other people. I do feel lonely at times, but it’s a really tiresome work keeping a steady stream of conversation outside my areas of interest. And no matter how hard I try to be interesting, I would never match conventional standards of interest, so the conversation eventually dies. Though years of job and a B-school have conditioned me to open up more easily to people now, but compared to an average human being, I am still an introvert who’s often mistaken as being rude, disinterested, shy or worse, dumb.

6. Kevin Christy

Sometimes, being an introvert in a crowd can feel oppressive. The “battery drain” analogy is actually a very apt one: being around people, no matter how much I might enjoy it, drains my batteries and eventually leaves me feeling weary in body and mind.

Very recently I spent a couple of days in meetings with colleagues followed by a dinner out, and I realized at the dinner that I. Was. Done. Well and truly done. I admitted as much to the person next to me and did my best to put on a face, but no affinity for these guys was going to change the fact that I really, really wanted not to be there if not being there meant being in my hotel room alone.


About the author

Michael Koh

Follow Michael at @UghHugs.

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