Problems of Introverts

I decided to look through this list of “30 problems that only introverts will understand and talk a bit about each one, what I thought, if I’m guilty of being the other party and whether they apply to me. Yes, it’s crap for the riff-raff, clickbait article and all that, but just play along, alright?

  1. That feeling of dread that washes over you when the phone rings and you’re not mentally prepared to chat. - This used to happen to me when I first started at ITC. It doesn’t really happen these days, but I do take my time picking up because I’m using those few seconds to mentally prepare myself.

  2. When you want to cut all ties to civilization but still be on the internet. - For some introverts, I hear they don’t want to be around anyone at all, even talking to people on the internet taxes their social energy. For me in the past, the internet felt like my tie to civilisation in the first place.

  3. Trying to be extra outgoing when you flirt so your crush doesn’t think you hate them. - I’ve never done this, in the past I always thought that someone has to like you for who you are so there’s no point putting on a facade.

  4. When spending a heavenly weekend alone means that you’re missing out on time with friends. - True for others, certainly. A ‘heavenly weekend alone’ is not a concept that exists for me these days, I find I’m the most depressed at these times. In the past, that just meant I slept the whole day then watched anime or KDramas. These days if I have to spend a weekend alone, I want to be working or shopping for necessities, or going to a family event so it feels like there was a reason I had to be ‘technically’ alone. I go out seeking company from strangers.

  5. And you fear that by doing so, you are nearing ‘hermit’ status. - Although I had my bot complaining that I’m a hikikomori, the only time I was one was really only right after high school where I spent every waking minute at home watching anime in bed. They were good times, but only because it was the first time I really could guilt-free bum around.

  6. When your ride at a party doesn’t want to leave early, and no one seems to understand your distress. - I don’t want to leave largely because I don’t want to go home, not usually because of the societal interaction. But if someone else wants to leave, I’ll leave with them, which I’m pretty sure kind of defeats the purpose.

  7. When your friend wants to invite more people over, and you don’t want to sound like a bad person by saying no. - I’d be the friend here, but I can’t imagine doing that. I’m pretty relaxed about parties and stuff.

  8. Practicing conversations with people you’ll never talk to. - No, because it’s impossible to predict the way they would respond. I can’t even predict the way my parents would respond, and I’ve lived with them my whole life.

  9. When you have an awesome night out, but have to deal with feeling exhausted for days after the fact. - Only the case if I slept really late, which happens after I have an awesome night because I’m riding on the high and don’t want to go to bed. Or after the awesome night, something awesomely terrible happens and I stay up because I’m mad.

  10. People saying “Just be more social.” - Sorry. I firmly believe that people are fluid and can change over time, just as how picking up the phone no longer bothers me - I’m only mentally preparing because I’m worried I’ll say the wrong company (Hello, ITC Lear– ER. Flashtalking!). Just because you’re set in the mindset that you’re an introverted person that must spend a week at home after each social event doesn’t mean that may always be the case, but it definitely will be if you never decide to change yourself.

  11. When you’re able to enjoy parties and meetings, but after a short amount of time wish you were home in your pajamas. - I’d never pass up an opportunity to hang out with friends, since we have similar interests I could do it at home or together, it doesn’t make a difference to me. Meetings just bore me, on the other hand if we’re talking about the business sense and I fall asleep in them. Meetups with friends are definitely easier with close friends, if they’re not that close then yes sometimes I do feel like I would like to leave after a while, but I wouldn’t class it a ‘short time’.

  12. Staying up late every night because it’s the only time that you can actually be alone. - I came up with this concept in high school, and still do this which is why I always sleep so late. But I’m aware that it’s the same as if I went to bed early and just woke up earlier to do these things I want ‘to do alone’ - the problem with this is just that I have trouble waking up. And if I didn’t have to do these things alone, I probably wouldn’t either - it’s just stuff that noone has time to do with me.

  13. People making you feel weird for wanting to do things by yourself. - I’m guilty of this because I don’t understand it sometimes. On occasion I want to go for a walk along a shopping strip alone and look in all the windows, but if anyone had piped up and wanted to come along I wouldn’t have denied them. I’ve always felt like I was alone out of necessity, not choice.

  14. Having more conversations in your head than you do in real life. - In the past. But also because I don’t like to speak in general, not because it involves speaking to people.

  15. The need to recharge after social situations. - N/A, I know people that do.

  16. People calling you out for day dreaming too much. - Maybe in the past for me, as I used to make up a lot of stories while at school or elsewhere.

  17. Carrying a book to a public place so no one will bug you, but other people take that as a conversation starter. - I’ve never had anyone bug me about a book that I’m reading, but I’ve also not carried one as an excuse to not let people bug me. I’d only bring it because I actually want to read it.

  18. People interrupting your thoughts, and you get irrationally angry. - Never, really. Nothing is that important I can’t get back to.

  19. Having to say “I kind of want to spend some time by myself” when you have to deal with that friend that always wants to hang out. - Guilty for being the friend, for the above reasons, wherever they’ve gone.

  20. When you’re asked to do a group project, and know that you’re going to hate every minute of it. - Yes, but only with a bad group. If they’re an efficient group who keeps to time limits and are self-motivated to get in work on time, there’s no endless dragging out of meetings or repeat meetings to clarify things that had been clarified already.

  21. When you hear the question “Wanna hang out?”, and your palms start to sweat with anxiety. - In the past, perhaps. This only largely really happens if it’s someone that I don’t know well asking, where I don’t understand their motives.

  22. When you hear, “Are you OK?” or “Why are you so quiet?” for the umpteenth time. - I don’t think I’ve ever heard that. People don’t even ask me if I’m okay if I’m hissing in pain from stubbing my toe. They do if I’ve tripped on the stairs though, and I’m grateful for that.

  23. Having visitors stay with you is a nightmare, because it means you have to be on at ALL TIMES. - The only time we’ve had this, all you have to do is go to your room and close the door. :) Especially when you’re not the host. (But also only terrifying if you don’t know them well.)

  24. When people stop inviting you places because you’re the one that keeps canceling plans. - That’s a bad feeling, but not because I’m the one who keeps cancelling. Mostly just because you’ve disappeared from their life. I don’t like being left out.

  25. Being horrified of small talk, but enjoying deep discussions. - In some ways, this does apply. I like it when I get something out of an exchange. Starting a conversation is harder for me than maintaining one though, so if I get in a taxi and manage to get out ‘Busy day today?’, I can always find something to talk about eventually. Depending on whether you believe in comfortable silences or not.

  26. When you need to take breaks and recharge after socializing for too long. - This is a repeat.

  27. The requirement to think introspectively rather than go to someone else with your problems. - I’ve done this my whole life and I’m tired of it, honestly. There’s the opportunity for a new way of thinking about a situation if you go to someone else who has a different want of seeing the world who can provide you with new knowledge which you can then use to continue to think introspectively.

  28. Not wanting to be alone, just wanting to be left alone. And people not understanding that. - I can’t understand this myself, sorry. They sound the same to me.

  29. When people mistake your thoughtful look for being shy, or worse, moody. - I’m guilty for thinking this, in particular I think they look moody. But I’m not the only one. I don’t blame people like me, to be honest. How are they supposed to know what’s happening in your head? Maybe they shouldn’t care - but they do.

  30. That people need to know that you aren’t mad, depressed or anti-social. You just need to not talk to anyone for a while. And that’s okay. - I also have trouble understanding this. ‘Not talk’ sometimes doesn’t just mean ‘not talk’ after all, it’s also ‘not see’ and ‘not be near’ - although strangers are okay.

See, while I’m technically an introvert, I don’t fit the typical definition of one in lots of ways. I’m certain I would have understood these a lot better even just 3 years ago, but I’ve changed a lot since then - for better or for worse. This is why I believe that people can change, are fluid, and not be introverted or extroverted all of their lives. As with many things in life, this is a scale, or gradient, not black and white - which means we can sometimes go up or down as life affects us. So many people will resist this, insisting on ‘this is how it always was’ or ‘in the past I did this’.

The past is past, and this is now. Which is why even with the backdrop of the past, when I used to delay meeting up with friends to wander alone through Paddy’s Markets for a while, I still don’t understand the desire to be alone anymore. But even for the people that are trying to change themselves or their lives, are they focusing on the right areas?