30 Things I Wish You Understood About My Social Introversion
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Health and Wellness

30 Things I Wish You Understood About My Social Introversion

I like being alone, but I like going out too. It's complicated.

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30 Things I Wish You Understood About My Social Introversion

Being a social introvert means living with a set of contradictions. These are some things I wish you understood about being a social introvert.

1. I am an introvert.

Many people mistake me for an extrovert or an ambivert, especially if they have met me in a context where I am most socially comfortable. I am, however, a true introvert, and I need my time alone to recharge.

2. Just because I went out last night, doesn’t mean I’ll want to go out tomorrow night.

Often times, people don't understand why I say yes to some social events and not others. Mainly, I just really need to space out my social interactions. If I went to a big social event, like a party, it'll likely take me at least a few days to want to go to another big social gathering, because I need my time to recharge. Additionally, some events are easier for me than others. I can't entirely explain what makes some social situations easier than others, but there really is a difference.

3. I would usually rather spend time with a small group of people than a large group.

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It's much easier for me to talk to 1-6 people rather than a very large group. Often, I find that I can't construct my thoughts quickly enough to get a word in in a large group. Additionally, I just really like talking to people individually. I find that I can have a more interesting conversation that way.

4. Just because I didn’t talk in class, it doesn’t mean I don’t understand the topic.

Often times, I can't compose my thoughts and opinions quickly enough to speak up in class. It takes me a little bit longer to fully understand the material and process my thoughts about it. But when I do, I generally have a lot of thoughts and opinions about it. I often think of interesting things to say after a class discussion and wish I would have thought of them in class.

5. I’m really okay with eating alone.

I eat alone somewhat often, and I really don't mind it. Of course, I do still appreciate it if someone sits down with me, and I do like to eat with my friends. But at the same time, I really don't mind just sitting alone and people watching. So please, don't feel obligated to sit with me. If you would really like to, I would enjoy your company. But I am not the classic idea of the "shy kid sitting alone in the cafeteria." I'm quite happy as I am.

6. I do genuinely really enjoy spending time with people.

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While I am introverted, I don't hate people or anything. I love spending time with people. I need to spend time with people. I crave it. I just need my alone time, as well. It's all about balance.

7. I don’t do well in crowded situations.

Super crowded situations like parties, concerts, fairs, festivals, etc. can be really difficult for me. I can get very anxious being surrounded by so many people so close to me at one time. I do go to these kinds of events if I have enough motivation, but they are really tough for me.

8. Some social situations are more draining than others.

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Parties or other big social gatherings are far more draining for me than just hanging out with a small group of people.

9. Don’t be offended if I don’t sit with you in the library.

If I am trying to be productive, I will likely want to be alone. I can get my best work done when I'm alone, and I get myself into a really nice flow. So don't be offended if I don't want to study with you, it's not personal.

10. Once you get to know me, I can have a lot to say.

I may seem quiet at first, but once I become comfortable with you and you get me talking about something I really care about, I won't shut up.

11. If i don’t want to hang out, don’t be offended.

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I promise that it has nothing to do with you, I probably just really need my time to recharge.

12. Just because I said no to one event, doesn’t mean I’ll say no to another one.

If I do say no to a party or something, don't assume that means I will never want to be invited to a party ever again. It really just depends on the moment and how much time alone time I've had. So please, keep inviting me to things. I will say yes to some of them, I promise.

13. I get lonely.

While I am an introvert, I can be left alone for too long, or I will get very lonely. Often times, people assume that because introverts enjoy time alone, that we never get lonely. This is however, not true. I can actually get lonely very easily. I need socialization just as much as anybody else, I just also need my time alone.

14. I have a lot going on in my head at one time.

I have so many thoughts spinning through my head at one time. If I seem distracted, that's why.

15. Just because I’m not responding, it doesn’t mean that I’m not interested in the conversation.

Often times, I get so absorbed in listening to a conversation that I don't really share thoughts of my own. Sometimes people think that this means that I'm not interested in the conversation. That is usually not the case. I probably just have been too busy listening to have time to formulate my thoughts.

16. I’m sorry if I lied to you about having plans.

I definitely have done this more times than I would like to admit. It's not personal. Sometimes I just really do not have the social energy to do something, and that just feels too difficult to explain, so I just say I have plans.

17. Deep, invigorating conversations about things I’m passionate about can actually energize me.

If you get me talking about something I really care about, like political and social problems I'm passionate about, I will become very energized, and could talk for hours. And I usually actually end up being energized afterwards.

18. I need to spend a good amount of time alone before heading to a big social event, like a party.

If I know I'm going to a party, I will probably spend the entire day alone until I go to the party. This allows me to recharge and gear up for the party that night.

19. I genuinely appreciate being invited to do things.

Even if I say no, I genuinely really appreciated that I was invited. Please keep inviting me to things, I will say yes eventually I promise.

20.The greatest compliment you could give me is telling me that you appreciate my personality, intellect, way of thinking, etc.

I have so often felt misunderstood and unappreciated throughout my life, so if you tell me that you appreciate my personality, that will mean so much to me.

21.I’m often better at talking to a large group of people than talking to small groups of strangers

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I can actually do very well giving speeches to large groups of people, or performing onstage. However, having to talk individually to these people that I just spoke to in a large group individually would be very nerve wracking for me.

22. Meeting new people is so so so much harder for me than spending time with my friends.

I really struggle with making new friends. I know that everyone does, but I think I struggle more than other people do. I am not good at small talk, and I just find talking to new people awkward and uncomfortable. It also takes me a long time to get close to people and really feel like I can open up to them.

23. I love listening.

I really love listening to people and hearing about their lives. I am often told that I am a good listener, and I am always here to listen to you vent anytime you need.

24. Sometimes I need a moment before I answer your question

It can take me a bit longer to put my thoughts into words, so if I take long pauses in our conversation, that's why.

25. I can absorb the emotions of people around me.

I absorb the emotions of the people I'm with very quickly. If you're anxious, I will be anxious. If you're sad, I'll be sad. This can be very draining, which is another reason why I really need my time alone.

26. I prefer deep conversations over small talk.

I don't particularly like casual, on the surface conversations. I would much rather discuss things that we care about, the things that make us laugh, our true interests, our passions, etc.

27. I don’t do well with sudden changes of plans

If I have my day planned, I won't adjust well to a change of plans. This may be a reason why I decline an invitation somewhere. However, still feel free to ask me, because often times I plan my day out with open times for spontaneous moments.

28. I’m sorry that I don’t reach out more.

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Reaching out can be hard for me. I may feel awkward, or I just don't think that I want to spend time with people. However, if you reach out to spend time together, chances are I will say yes. I'm just not good at reaching out and making those plans.

29. I promise I’m listening to you, even if I appear distracted.

I am a very observant person, so sometimes I will start looking around and people watching if we're out together in a public place. I am still listening, though. I can juggle a lot in my head at one time.

30. Sometimes, I just need a moment alone.

Whether it's just a quick moment alone in the bathroom at a party, or a night to myself after a long week, sometimes I just need a few moments to myself. It doesn't mean I don't like you, and it doesn't mean that I'm depressed or closing myself. It just means I need to recharge my battery.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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