Ever feel like you’re the only one in the world who isn’t outgoing? It’s true that we are a sociable species and that most of the world runs on being interactive, social and extroverted, but do you ever think that being alone is a much better option? Well it turns out you’re not alone! According to a 1998 National Representative Sample by the Myers-Briggs organization, 50% of the population identifies as an introvert. So, there’s a 50-50 chance that you and the person next to you will be able to relate to the following everyday frustrations unique to being introverts.
In a world that often leads us to believe that extroversion is the norm, it’s not always easy to be an introvert. You may feel like you’re the only one who feels the way you do right now, but don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone in your struggles or feelings!
Trust me, there are millions of introverts around the world that can totally relate to your feelings and experiences. Introverts are everywhere, but they often go unnoticed. If it feels like no one around you can understand introversion, check out the following 9 struggles and take heart in knowing that there are millions of introverts who experience the same things you do.
- You feel under-appreciated
You usually don’t talk much. Sometimes you don’t know what to say, other times you don’t have anything to say, and still other times you just don’t have the energy to talk. Regardless, you still wish people would take more time to get to know you, or you wish you had more energy to talk to them.
- You enter a group and become invisible 5 minutes into the conversation
When meeting a group of new people, you try your best to give a good first impression and appear sociable. Eventually, however, you lose people’s attention because small talk isn’t your strong suit and you can’t think of anything good to say. As you continue to feel invisible, you beat yourself up or feel you’re uninteresting or lack charisma.
On the rare occasions that you find yourself at a social gathering you find that you’re not interested in the conversations at all. You crave for long, meaningful and deep conversations but all you get around you is small talk! As an introvert you find small talk quite tedious and exhausting as well.
- You hate throwing parties, especially at your own house
You don’t like to be in the spotlight and letting people into your home is a big deal for you. It almost feels like they’re invading your sanctuary. As a result, you rarely, if ever, throw parties at your place. When you do, you’re reluctant to invite people you aren’t extremely close with. When your friends ask if they can bring a guest, you’re forced to say yes even though it makes you anxious.
- You feel lonelier at social events than you do when you’re by yourself
You could be standing in a room full of people but you still feel isolated and out of place. You crave deep conversations, but all you get is small talk. You consider yourself lucky if you find someone to talk to in the corner of the room.
- You feel totally exhausted when you have to spend significant amounts of time with a large group of people you don’t know
If you have to spend a day or more with new coworkers or classmates you feel completely wiped out by the time you’re done. By the time the day ends, there’s only one thing on your mind: going home and enjoying some alone time. Finally! You often wonder why these situations are so much more draining for you than they are for other people, and you wish you were more outgoing and energetic.
- You find it hard to think when you’re in a group
You can’t keep your thoughts straight when people around you are talking. You think before you speak and often need silence to gather your thoughts and offer insights. You find yourself frustrated at the completion of group projects because you don’t feel you contributed as much as you could have.
- You feel like everything you say must be invaluable and imperfect
You don’t raise your hand in class or speak up at work because you think that everything you say must be superfluous and flawed. You carefully filter your words and feel enormous pressure to say the right things.
Being quiet as an introvert is often misunderstood by others in many ways. People jump to various conclusions ranging from the fact that you must be shy to even that you don’t like them! It’s hard to explain to people why you prefer being alone, or why you don’t want to join their group as it is so easy to be misunderstood.
- You hate phone calls
You hate receiving phone calls and you absolutely dread making them. You frequently ignore a ringing phone and call the person back later or wait for them to call you back later on. You relax if you see that the caller is someone you’re close to, because it’s less draining to talk to someone you know well.
If you’re an introvert, your ringtone usually brings with it a feeling of despair. You don’t like talking on the phone because you usually find yourself tongue-tied and stuck in awkward pauses. You’d much rather text or send an email than pick up a call. If you ever do pick up a call, you unconsciously brace yourself and sometimes even rehearse your opening lines!
- You secretly wish you were an extrovert
On many occasions, you envy the energy and social prowess that your extroverted friends have. You wish that you could share more of yourself with other people. However, group situations are so draining that you rarely have the energy to talk to someone for long enough to get their attention.
Spending time alone comes at a price- you miss all the fun that your friends are having together. And although most of the time you don’t mind spending time alone, sometimes you are struck by the FOMO or “Fear of Missing Out” phenomenon. You feel left out of things and frustrated that you find it so hard to participate. The times that you do decide to be a part of things however, you find yourself wishing you were back in your room!
Being an introvert is a challenge in today’s world. You will definitely be obligated to socialize over many occasions in your life but the rest of the time, you can keep in mind that you’re not alone. Having friends who themselves are introverts or are understanding of your personality will surely help in navigating social waters. But what is important is that you stay unafraid to be who you are.