Hell Is Other People At Breakfast - Caring For Your Introvert

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Throwing this article in the Atlantic out for discussion.

Most (if not all) pop-psych articles ring hollow with me, but this one actually resonated with me quite a bit. As usual, I find contradictions with myself - most of the time I'm the introvert stereotype - the guy that lives on the roof who's playing the weird music in the middle of the night and who road trips all over the place by himself, but yet I love to go out and make noise with a group of people too.

It's been a big problem in past relationships as the other person concludes that I'm:
a) pathologically depressed because I'll want to be social on one occasion, and then drop out of society the next.
b) rejecting them for the same reasoning.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 20:52 (nineteen years ago) link

Everyone says they're really introverted. Like "oh underneath I'm really quite shy."

That said, I want to print up this paragraph and beat half the people I know over the head with it because it's SO TRUE and they just don't understand:

"Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses.""

Maria (Maria), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 21:15 (nineteen years ago) link

As someone who's known you for years, Chris -- and probably bugged you more than a few times on the phone when you wanted to be alone! -- I think shifting between the two moods (social/dropout) is perfectly understandable, very perfectly. I certainly sense it in myself, sometimes to an extreme degree, and I think it's very much something I 'inherited,' for lack of a better word, from my mom. I think categories in this matter might being too easily codified by this fellow and by other writers.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 21:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Maria: Everyone says they're really introverted. Like "oh underneath I'm really quite shy."

That's true, but I wonder if that's just normal self-effacement?

Ned: I think categories in this matter might being too easily codified by this fellow and by other writers.

Always an issue with these types of articles anyway.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 21:32 (nineteen years ago) link

It's only self-effacement if you regard it as a bad thing. It might have to do with perceiving extroverts as frighteningly bubbly social butterflies, which would make it quite the opposite of self-effacement.

Maria (Maria), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 21:36 (nineteen years ago) link

Wait, I read this article and assumed it was parody.

Chris P (Chris P), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 22:00 (nineteen years ago) link

People without contradictions = dud. Of course it's never as simple as a 50/50 mix or even a 90/10. That and it's sometimes difficult so tell whether an introvert is feeling like any company at any given moment (There's no introvert light, as opposed to my sarcasm light which works at all times...)

I'd like to remind folks that introversion is not equivalent to shyness. Like the article said, shyness is anxiety in the presence of others. Most introverts i know, myself included to some degree, are perfectly capable of dealing with other humans, just that they don't goddamn feel like it a lot of the time. Root causes are different: misanthropy, disappointment, or just plain avoidance, but the external behavior comes out looking pretty much the same. Folks who are really shy _just can't deal_ with other humans without real difficulty. I think that when most people say they're really introverted, they're just plain mistaken. Most people aren't real introverts. Most people can go to huge parties with folks that they don't know and will do just fine. I'd be screaming and trying to rip out my eyeballs, most likely, or taking a very minimal approach to the human interaction required for me to find the door...

As for the gigantic, sweeping generalizations that the author went into late into the article (to which i think Ned was pointing) he sorta lost me there. Yeah, of course i feel like i'm different from everyone else, but i'm not sure that's the root cause of the mess that we're in now.

Interestingly, the author (a self-defined introvert) didn't even try to give the rest of us A FUCKING CLUE about how to deal with it. But then he probably figured that we couldn't be bothered to listen to him...

I'm unsure how to address the question of how introversion affects personal relationships. In terms of real introversion, i don't know that there's a cure other than finding someone who is comfortable and secure enough in their relationship to you that they can understand you might need more space than other folks. Of course, explaining/identifying that particular necessity is easier said than done.

I've been lucky in this respect, though i must admit that i'm somewhat starved for adult interaction by the end of a day of fathering my 2-year-old or sitting in front of the computer writing/amimating. I guess i'm not a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, but i'm certainly more intro than extro.

That said, i don't look at extroverts as frighteninly bubbly social butterflies; instead i recognize that they're just wired funny.

'Cause i'm okay. Right?


Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 22:16 (nineteen years ago) link

As someone who's known you for years, Chris -- and probably bugged you more than a few times on the phone when you wanted to be alone!

I'm still seeing the 'buggered' thing.

N. (nickdastoor), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 22:18 (nineteen years ago) link

Now THAT'S what I call phone sex! (Vol. 8)

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 22:22 (nineteen years ago) link

You filthmongers.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 22:23 (nineteen years ago) link

The only thing I object to about the article is the fact that they call introverts invariably "him" and have trouble contemplating the idea of a female introvert (except to note that it must be really hard for them... the poor dears). Apart from that, it rings so true it's not even funny.

Odd, because I've developped such a big personality to overcompensate that many people believe me to be an extravert. Trust me, I'm not.

kate, Wednesday, 26 February 2003 22:28 (nineteen years ago) link

The thing that I find really strange in my Introvversion is when I get all the "Are you Okay" and "Whats the matter". I'm at peak happiness and stability..

brg30 (brg30), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 23:28 (nineteen years ago) link

You filthmongers

Filthmongering on ILX? I'm shocked! Shocked!

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 23:32 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm an introvert, no doubt about it. My favorite living situation was being so far in the mountains that noone could hear me if I screamed. It was bliss.

It's not that I hate people, it's that I don't like being around them very often. I'd prefer to live alone, in the mountains, and go to visit people when I want company. I don't want people calling me and coming to visit because they're worried 'cause they've not heard from me for a few days. I don't want people trying to "pull me out of my shell." I'm not in a shell, thank you very much; I am living as I like; I do not need to be "rescued" from the company of myself.
I can do the whole social scene and such, but I find it draining and dull - to be honest, I don't like most people enough to want to be around them for any length of time. It isn't that I think they're horrid or anything, just that they don't appeal to me, for whatever reason.
Given the choice, I'd prefer relationships with an emphasis on individual time alone to relationships where we're often together. Ugh. Living next-door to a lover would be fine - sharing a house is dificult, but can be managed so long as there are separate bedrooms and bathrooms and offices - but actually sharing a bedroom and bath and such, well, forget it. I can't do it. I need my *own* space - and I do not want to share it, with anyone.

Wow - I sound like a bitch, don't I? *laughing* Oh well, 'tis life. And I am happy with my current arrangement, and that is what counts to me.

I'm Passing Open Windows (Ms Laura), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 23:44 (nineteen years ago) link

The thing that I find really strange in my Introvversion is when I get all the "Are you Okay" and "Whats the matter". I'm at peak happiness and stability..

That's not strange at all - I get those questions pretty often too, and not just when I'm in troglodyte programmer mode and have the Acid Mothers Temple turned up,

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Wednesday, 26 February 2003 23:46 (nineteen years ago) link

> Interestingly, the author (a self-defined introvert) didn't even try to give the rest of us A F***ING CLUE about how to deal with it.

May I? --

1) How to deal with an introvert:

Back off for a while (without anger or accusation) when an introvert admits to a genuine need for space. Don't assume that "I need to be alone" automatically means "I hate you" ... more times than not, it just means "I need to be alone". As the famous country song once put it : "how can I miss you if you won't go away?" ... Go away for a while. When you come back a few hours/days later, not only will you find that the introvert is in a much better mood, you'll also find that the introvert missed you -- moreso than if you'd been there during that time, demanding attention and getting on that person's nerves. Try to tune into the introvert's signals : notice the changes in body language, attitude, etc that seem to preface every request for "Down Time". Learning these signals will make it easier for you to predict that person's moods.

2) How to, as an introvert, deal:

Communicate very clearly (without anger or accusation) that you need some space. Don't assume that an extrovert can guess this based on your actions and attitudes alone. [Ironically, the signals that an introvert uses to push people away (grouchiness, silence, brooding, sighing) are the very same signals that an extrovert uses to draw people in. This is the reason why introverts tend to react to other people's brooding by leaving the room, whereas extroverts tend to react to other people's brooding by asking "what's wrong?"]. Be careful that you don't abuse your 'right to remain silent' either. For instance, if you're in the middle of an important discussion with someone else, and he/she brings up an important, but unpleasant, topic, you can't suddenly say "I need to be alone now". That's not introversion, that's evasion. Talk through it, no matter how difficult it seems, reach some sort of conclusion -- then ask for some time alone immediately after. (Even Miss Manners won't begrudge you time alone after you'd made an honest effort at communicating, though the author of the article incorrectly assumes otherwise).

the big theme :


Before you move in with someone, before you marry someone, before you date someone -- heck, before you do _anything_ with someone, try to figure out where that person stands on the spectrum of introversion and extroversion (nobody is 100% introvert or extrovert, I find). Once you think you know, then do your best to adapt, and expect the other person to do the same for you. You can't have a stable relationship without compromise, but you can't compromise too much without jeopardizing your relationship either.

Finding out if you're compatible at the very beginning saves a lot of pain and anger at the very end.

Hope that helps.

stripey, Thursday, 27 February 2003 01:32 (nineteen years ago) link

Thank you stripey.

For my part, I took a Myers-Briggs test years ago for work. Upon receiving my results, my only surprise was that I wasn't completely off the chart for introversion.

j.lu (j.lu), Thursday, 27 February 2003 01:41 (nineteen years ago) link

I too took one years ago at work, and again the year after that, and so on...

Enough already; I know I'm an INTP at this point. I'm sick of these lame courses, but seeing as how it looks good on the old resume to take something like this once in a while I'm sure I'll be in for it again soon.

On the plus side, its an excuse to travel and I did get to go to Space Camp last year (too bad its in Alabama).

David Beckhouse (David Beckhouse), Thursday, 27 February 2003 04:45 (nineteen years ago) link

I think this article is OTM, although it might give the introvert a bit too much credit in, like, not liking to be around people, which is usu. a secondary product to being completely awkward and inhibited around them (as I can attest after my first day on a new job today!).

Dan I., Thursday, 27 February 2003 04:53 (nineteen years ago) link

Thanks, Stripey one.

Of course, if folks could just skip down to tbe Big Theme, they'd be doing themselves a huge favor.

Matt Maxwell (Matt M.), Thursday, 27 February 2003 04:56 (nineteen years ago) link

Hmmm, we seem to have an introvert cluster at UCI :-)

Good contributions all around here though. I see a lot of myself in the article, which is interesting as for the past two+ years, I've been working closely with salespeople, and of course you tend not to get introverts in sales. I think I've become passably good at
playing an extrovert in my job (at least the salespeople and I haven't killed each other yet), but on the other hand I still have the ability to close my door and let phone mail take the calls when I need (occasional) solitude.

Jeff Wright, Thursday, 27 February 2003 05:05 (nineteen years ago) link

Great thread, all around.

I certainly lean more towards introverted, and find myself speaking out loud for the first time in days when I go to the market to respond to the "paper or plastic" question. Usually that same morning I'll have gone out to breakfast, alone with New York Times, looking around, wondering, "Christ, wouldn't you rather be eating alone?"

That said, there is more than one section of the paper.

Colin Saunders (csaunders), Thursday, 27 February 2003 07:42 (nineteen years ago) link

Yes this article is brilliant because finally there's a mention of the excruciating pain 'extroverts' cause with their endless thinking aloud. It's like being physically battered all day, having to listen to ppl's drivel abt nothing. Nothing! Always "just making conversation"! Would you walk up to somebody and start slapping them around and say "I just feel entitled to your attention!" (Well I suppose if you're a male extrovert you do this anyway). They're like fucking dumpster divers for topics, the crushing inevitability of the exponential increase in pain and boredom as they run out of things to say but are cursed with this need to keep talking, and they can't even conceal the panic but resort back to good 'ol plan A (ie keep talking! "So then...oh look, there's a stain on my shoe...I wonder how it got there!...I should take better care of my shoes!...that's me, always irresponsible..." cue downward spiral)

[Self-defense tip though - always pay ludicrously exxaggerated attention to them - for like TWO MINUTES. Keep mental note of EVERYTHING they said, like you're a detective. This gives you enough of their 'material'. Then as they go on, ask them some question referring to what they've said in that inital two minutes, or better yet, expose some discrepancy between THAT statement and current one. Do this repeatedly, and (cf Milgram experiment) ask question repeatedly and more insistently each time, sometimes rephrasing (this can be dragged out indefinitely, as person will usually have no answer whatever). Since the ext. usually a)has no reason to say anything they say, and b)usually can't remember what they've said anyway, they will become vaguely anxious, then completely unhinged as the cognitive dissonance overcomes them, as they're forced to stare into that void within themselves that no amount of self-generated verbal pollution (think of it as aural skunk-spray or other yecchy Discovery Channel shit) will cover up. Remember how Hannibal Lecter disposed of that spunk-throwin' guy in 'Silence of the Lambs'? Like that. (Umm...of course anybody who reads excepted, like if I see you in a pub or something)

dave q, Friday, 28 February 2003 12:29 (nineteen years ago) link

Hell = other people at breakfast. This is so truly profound I can't even begin to express it.

I get told that I'm a rude cunt, that I have no social skills, because I can't chatter nicely and say "please" and "thank you" while I'm trying to wake up and get my "dealing with other people" head on. It's not that I'm being rude, it's just that I CANNOT DO IT. It takes energy to deal with other people, no matter how much I adore them, and I don't have that kind of energy before my first three cups of caffeine. Sigh.

kate, Friday, 28 February 2003 12:51 (nineteen years ago) link

haha, nalini is like that. totally scary before like 11am or something. when we went to berlin we had to be at heathrow for 7am, and this meant getting up way early, i sat in fear for the whole tube journey!

gareth (gareth), Friday, 28 February 2003 13:27 (nineteen years ago) link

two years pass...
This just in....


peepee (peepee), Monday, 20 February 2006 17:39 (sixteen years ago) link

It was really nice to re-read that article. It remains utterly OTM.

Boris and the Johnsons (kate), Monday, 20 February 2006 17:47 (sixteen years ago) link

best line from that interview: "We love people—we're not misogynistic for the most part."

that article was so otm for me when i read it in high school. i think college has somehow made me more extroverted, though. strange.

Maria (Maria), Monday, 20 February 2006 18:04 (sixteen years ago) link

my sister asked for this for xmas:

oops (Oops), Monday, 20 February 2006 18:58 (sixteen years ago) link

That guy treats extroverts like stupid puppies who need more exercise.

The Milkmaid (of human kindness) (The Milkmaid), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:06 (sixteen years ago) link


RJG (RJG), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:12 (sixteen years ago) link

I don't understand.

Boris and the Johnsons (kate), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:15 (sixteen years ago) link

The presentation is kind of hilarious, though, the way he sets it up as a plea for understanding but then keeps circling back to those arch asides: "Incidentally, we really are better." I'm assuming that's a self-conscious joke, largely because of the arrogance question, and the obvious turnaround in the answer: "We're not arrogant, we're just actually seriously better than you."

I dunno, it reads like one of those three-level jokes:

(a) "We're better than you."
(b) Hahahaha, just kidding.
(c) Hahahaha, I'm not kidding at all.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:22 (sixteen years ago) link


RJG (RJG), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:22 (sixteen years ago) link

that doesn't seem very funny.

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:24 (sixteen years ago) link

It's no The List Is Humor At Its Purest

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:32 (sixteen years ago) link

I found it interesting to read the article, and its reponses above. But what didn't sit well with me is this plea for understanding, mixed with obvious generalizations and judgements about "extroverts".

For example:

(from the original article) Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves.

(or, dave q's whole rant, above)

peepee (peepee), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:44 (sixteen years ago) link

B-b-but that's the joke! Clearly this is a form of humor that only we high-minded introverts can understand.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:46 (sixteen years ago) link

"Although sometimes it's interesting to listen to other people talk. It's too bad it's not more acceptable to go to a party and just kind of soak things up."

ha. i know this guy who i would always see at parties who would just sit at the bar alone or stand by the wall, just watching people having fun. we're acquaintances, so i'd always felt bad for him, like "oh he doesn't have any friends here, i'll go chit-chat with him". i'd go over, make small talk, but he wouldn't be that responsive, so i'd talk even more to get him to talk more and 'have fun". i thought i was helping, but i guess really he just wanted me to shut the fuck up, go away, and let him soak things up. oh well. next time, i'll just wave from across the room.

phil-two (phil-two), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:55 (sixteen years ago) link


RJG (RJG), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:56 (sixteen years ago) link

This is why the good Lord invented sexy dancing

senseiDancer (sexyDancer), Monday, 20 February 2006 20:46 (sixteen years ago) link

'introvert advantage' = same advantage as anyone who listens. You pick up information, information is helpful, this is not worth writing a book about.

Erick Dampier is better than Shaq (miloaukerman), Monday, 20 February 2006 20:49 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Me and my boyfriend have different bedrooms because we're both such severe introverts, no matter how much we love each other we just don't want to be forced to share the same space constantly even if it means somewhat higher rents.

Abbott, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Abbott you are a wise, wise person.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:37 (fifteen years ago) link

i did not mean to kibosh latebloomer's new thread on this by posting link to old thread btw :/

rrrobyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:38 (fifteen years ago) link

i am an optimistic misanthropist

rrrobyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link

i am writing a book on it

rrrobyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link

or at least a detailed website

rrrobyn, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Every time I explain the living sitch to others, they're baffled. But when I say to some people, "You know, we're both geminis," they immeiately go, "Oh, okay, no wonder." Not that I believe in it, but easy way to get off the hook. I get tired of explaining that & my congenital anosmia over & over.

Abbott, Tuesday, 15 May 2007 22:41 (fifteen years ago) link

"I need a crowd of people - but I can't stand them day to day"

― calstars, Wednesday, September 2, 2015 11:15 AM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

It's I can face them day to day, and he's talking about celebrity -- he needs a crowd of people because he performs for a living and has to keep feeding the beast, not because he likes anything about crowds.

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 18:37 (six years ago) link


on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 18:51 (six years ago) link

http://www.clickhole.com/article/8-signs-youre-unholy-amalgamation-personality-trai-2895 nails it imo

Merdeyeux, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 19:14 (six years ago) link

at one of the most acutely depressed-feeling moments in my life i had to endure sitting with extroverted friends at dinner making fun of me for my complete lack of affect.

extroverts are morons

j., Wednesday, 2 September 2015 19:26 (six years ago) link

the invention of smart phones has really caused a problem because the "i just enjoy listening" excuse doesn't really cut it when you're looking at your phone under the table.

i think my biggest complaint with extroverts is that they are weirdly self-obsessed--they really think your behavior is some reflection on them!

ryan, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 19:47 (six years ago) link

extroverts are morons

― j., Wednesday, 2 September 2015 19:26 (26 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


what about extroverts who've had a mute button installed by years of savage internet battery at the hands of shut-ins ;)

Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 19:54 (six years ago) link

years of savage internet battery

pistol-whipped by electrons

Aimless, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 20:23 (six years ago) link

it's interesting reading abbbott's comments upthread about separate rooms. mr veg & i share a bedroom but it's not a room you can really "hang out" in anyway... but most days 9 times out of 10 he hangs in the computer room & i hang in the living room, both of us reading or whatever. like, all weekend except meals & a bit of shared tv watching.

i dont think ppl really get it, and they think something is wrong but we totally love each other & talk but silence/not having to talk is one of our great shared treasures

i have spent the past few weekends having a 1-night sleepover with 2 girlfriends and the 8-12 hours of constant conversation is fun & great but so exhausting for me that by the time i get home i am practically RUNNING for my front door to greet the calm loving quiet of my home & spouse

days at work where i have to be on the phone or participate in a lot of meetings are the same, it just takes a lot out of me & quiet recharges me

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 20:46 (six years ago) link

I took a picture of one of my coworkers schedule so I could figure out when to avoid him on the elevator (there's only one elevator at the place I work)

― dayo, Tuesday, January 25, 2011 7:07 PM (4 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


horseshoe, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:37 (six years ago) link

comic noir premise

playlists of pensive swift (difficult listening hour), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:40 (six years ago) link

I haven't read all of this thread, but is there a general sense that extroverts don't feel the need to be as defensive as introverts about their preferences? I mean is there an extrovert superiority complex equivalent to the introvert superiority complex?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:44 (six years ago) link

yeah you guys are suuuuuch bummers *does a big dance* *the dance represents freedom of expression*

Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:50 (six years ago) link

in all seriousness this is equivalent to a no racism against whites type situation and i will own my extrovert privilege

Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:51 (six years ago) link

I mean nevermind that these are completely made-up categories with little empirical evidence to support their actual existence

Why so butthurt, introvert?

(btw I a verifiable ambivert)

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:53 (six years ago) link

TBH the only time it has ever occurred to me to even categorize myself definitively as an "extrovert" or "introvert" is when these clickbait pieces come around, they just don't sound convincing to me as personality categories. I think most people enjoy some mix of social time and alone time in their lives, and then there are also people who face actual social anxiety and/or depression and pathologically avoid social contact, and there are people driven by some kind of unhealthy need for attention from others as well. And there are people who have some mix of social anxiety and need for attention too. But I don't understand what defines a person as an "introvert," like at what point does a person NOT suffering from social anxiety or depression sufficiently prefer aloneness that they can be considered "introverted"? And meanwhile I almost never hear anyone self-describe as an "extrovert."

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:53 (six years ago) link

introverts: dicks

deejerk reactions (darraghmac), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 21:54 (six years ago) link

extroverts: giant mechanised dildos

it's spelt extravert anyway ffs

Yul Brynner playing table tennis with a deviled kidney (imago), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:00 (six years ago) link

at what point does a person NOT suffering from social anxiety or depression sufficiently prefer aloneness that they can be considered "introverted"?

as with so many things, it is a spectrum and people can appear at all points along it, but that does not negate the existence of either end of that spectrum

Aimless, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:04 (six years ago) link

It's just that listicles about what introverts are "really" like always seem so presumptuous, as though everyone else has these "myths" about introverts that need to be cleared up, rather than the reality that no one cares. They sound more emblematic of narcissism than introversion.

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:08 (six years ago) link

increasing trend towards neuro-diversity means = you will be classified in every particular so that the exact parameters of your inclusion can be determined.

ryan, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:39 (six years ago) link

or exclusion

j., Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:42 (six years ago) link

xps abbott’s & vg’s living situations seem ideal to me

max's post about introversion sometimes being misused as a cover for depression also otm. (and something i've only recently recognized about myself.)

seconded. as depression-prone introvert it’s v difficult stimes to disentangle, discern (or decide) where one ends & other begins
and/or dangerously convenient stimes not to (self-rationalizing)

think introversion/depression combo is related (in part) to my <3 of photographing. it’s a way simultaneously to
be out in the world, in swim of things (often among humans, crowd of humans, interacting with humans, in way v attuned & connected to them: rarely feel misanthropy when photographing, more often overwhelmed with <3 )/
yet (nevertheless) alone, luxuriously alone/
yet out of myself (which is good for the depressive self-loathing; cf garry winogrand: “How do I say it? The way I would put it is that I get totally out of myself. It’s the closest I come to not existing, I think, which is the best--which is to me attractive.”)

btw will stick up for extroverts, some of my best friends are extroverts :)

drash, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:44 (six years ago) link

that's a good insight about photography! i need more (semi-)healthy habits like that.

on the heels of my realization about my own introversion/depression, peter sloterdijk's essay "rules for the human zoo" really made me re-think my relationship to books in a totally dispiriting way (and seemed to mimic my own slow process of disillusionment).

ryan, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 23:17 (six years ago) link

Im looking forward to reading this thread. Im a lone wolf. I'm more eager to go on my computer than hang out with the last few friends I keep (kept?) up with. Yet I still find myself lying on my bed when the pc is 8 feet away.

Introverts can be dicks that snap at you like crab in a bad mood
Extroverts can be dicks when their ego goes to their head

I figure its time to do something about it but doing things seems like work and motivational speeches are effective for 10 minutes tops

The Once-ler, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 23:31 (six years ago) link

eleven months pass...


i feel like thought catalog must have a stake in this 'vertical'

j., Tuesday, 16 August 2016 03:02 (six years ago) link

What’s Up with the Name Introvert, Dear?

When Jenn named her blog Introvert, Dear, she imagined a wise, older woman inviting a troubled young introvert to sit down on her fancy chaise lounge for a therapy session. The therapist began her worldly advice by saying, “Now, introvert, dear…”

quincie's post upthread would make a good blog name, "Butthurt Introvert"

jmm, Tuesday, 16 August 2016 19:18 (six years ago) link

That's a good one. It's part of the introvert's lifelong journey, learning to quell the reactive butthurt.

H.R. Giggles (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 16 August 2016 19:38 (six years ago) link

this thread is insane

fuck people

brimstead, Wednesday, 17 August 2016 03:08 (five years ago) link

oh well if you go back to before "man alive"'s posts it seems fine.

still... aklsfjqnwe89fq3kefnlkw;wf

brimstead, Wednesday, 17 August 2016 03:09 (five years ago) link

get your nose out of that book and socialize

brimstead, Wednesday, 17 August 2016 03:10 (five years ago) link

Introvertdear prompted to take Meyers-Briggs for maybe the 12th time. And I continue to get slightly different results, but certainly always Introvert. Does anyone have the latest stats re: percentage of people identifying intro vs extro? I want to say it was something like 25% vs 75%, which explains why these articles and websites for support, or clarification on why introversion is "ok" keep popping up.

A lot of this thread rings true to me, unfortunately, including the stuff about how introversion claims are covers for depression. Not because I think it's true, but because I know some other people do. To me, introversion is simply the concept that interacting w/other people is draining, and time alone is recharging. You still want to interract w/other people, but only until it gets to be too much. I don't think think it has anything to do w/depression at all. Anyone can be depressed.

Dominique, Wednesday, 17 August 2016 15:01 (five years ago) link

For bipolar people depression can alternate with manic elation, which definitely has nothing to do with introversion.

a little too mature to be cute (Aimless), Wednesday, 17 August 2016 16:28 (five years ago) link

I'm like textbook introvert in that 'extraverts draw energy from other people, other people draw energy from introverts' sense. I'm socially functional and I like people (and love the people who are part of my web) but intentionally very low-key (okay, maybe mostly withdrawn, even) on a social level because socialization exhausts me. And it's not just the immediate act of socializing but also all of the attendant scaffolding that needs to be erected around social obligations and expectations. I can do family and close close friends but anything beyond that...I've got like an hour tops before I'm spent.

Going Down On The Anals Of History (Old Lunch), Wednesday, 17 August 2016 17:03 (five years ago) link

ten months pass...

I put off tasks which involve communicating with other people because all the dancing around trying to sound nice and helpful and reasonable, second-guess exactly what everyone wants, not upset anyone = so draining and daunting

this is not a way to be productive or feel good at work (or at home for that matter: feel bad about my total inability to stay in touch with anyone) and also has incurred a few financial costs and complications this year because I didn't want to query things/ask for refunds

I don't know what I'm asking rly, guess not "is this normal" because it isn't, maybe "does anyone else" or "can I fix this" or just a howl into the void

I also don't know to what extent it's some kind of social anxiety and to what extent just plain laziness, as def both are involved and play off each other

(I have failed to negotiate with another team at work, having put off writing that email for weeks and probably worsened my odds of getting a positive response in the process, and now have to ask my colleague to do some inconveniently timed extra tasks, which I am now also putting off as if hoping I'll die in the next hour or so instead of having to do it. this is an extreme example of a repeated pattern of avoidance)

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 10 July 2017 11:02 (five years ago) link

it would help if work conversations could be had 1 on 1 so my awkward conversation could at least not be overheard by 10 other people, but that is not an option except via email, which has its own disadvantages e.g. no way to spot that your request is going down even worse than feared and improvise some concessions

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 10 July 2017 11:08 (five years ago) link

It sounds like maybe some structure to limit the third-guessing and procrastination could help? Seems like that might be somewhere you can exert some control. I've no idea how to make interaction less fraught, sadly.

El Tomboto, Monday, 10 July 2017 12:15 (five years ago) link

Thanks, El Tomboto. What kind of structure? Setting myself stricter deadlines for tasks involving communication? I fear I am too bad at ignoring self-imposed attempts at structure but of course it's a good skill to practise and I should do more of that.

I used to have a boss who I could call on for backup if anyone wouldn't take no for an answer, but the current one is hard to get hold of and I don't trust him to fight our corner

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 10 July 2017 12:49 (five years ago) link

A colleague is leaving at the end of the month and is "giving a leaving lecture" because he finds that less awkward than going down the pub. This is not an academic colleague, btw.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 10 July 2017 13:12 (five years ago) link

APS, Yes, like do one uncomfortable thing every other day. Alternate home/personal with work tasks. Treat it like exercising.

El Tomboto, Monday, 10 July 2017 13:19 (five years ago) link

Deadlines aren't useful but habits are.

El Tomboto, Monday, 10 July 2017 13:19 (five years ago) link

Also "every other day" can be it's own reward mechanism, in that doing the thing means you get to not do it the day after

El Tomboto, Monday, 10 July 2017 13:21 (five years ago) link

This is a thing I need to do in many respects, so, good idea to at least try out.

Also "every other day" can be it's own reward mechanism, in that doing the thing means you get to not do it the day after

I like this thinking!

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 10 July 2017 13:28 (five years ago) link

Scik, what's the leaving lecture going to be about, do you know?

I have found my previous traditional leaving drinks/pub lunches kind of awkward and embarrassing, but public speaking is actively horrifying and having to prepare a talk is exactly the kind of thing I put off forever, so no way would I swap.

a passing spacecadet, Monday, 10 July 2017 13:32 (five years ago) link

I can't believe I just fucked up the apostrophe its

El Tomboto, Monday, 10 July 2017 13:47 (five years ago) link

gonna give a lecture when i move out of my apartment

j., Monday, 10 July 2017 14:34 (five years ago) link

it's gonna be about DOOR-SLAMMING and HALLWAY VOICES

j., Monday, 10 July 2017 14:34 (five years ago) link

nine months pass...

Yes, thank you (although I would argue that most meetings could skip the call step and go straight to email).

Love Theme From Oh God! You Devil (Old Lunch), Friday, 4 May 2018 18:59 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

That you have to have someone call you so you can adjust the ringer volume on your office phone is actually pretty funny.

pplains, Thursday, 4 August 2022 20:52 (one week ago) link

lol had to do that today after getting a new headset...was used to being able to do test calls on Skype for Business but now we're on Teams who know

nashwan, Thursday, 4 August 2022 22:41 (one week ago) link

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