11 Things Introverts Want You To Know. ~ Dominica Applegate

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introvertsed

I didn’t really discover I was an introvert until I hit my 40s.

I know. Late bloomer. I guess I just considered myself shy and perhaps lacking a huge desire to “socialize.” Today, I am proud to announce that I am a hardcore introvert and I’m betting either you are too or you know one or two introverts yourself.

If I run into you at the store and you want to strike up a conversation, I apologize ahead of time. I mean, I am genuinely happy to greet you, but I’m not thrilled about carrying on a conversation. Also, if we are on the elevator heading up 10 floors, just so you know, I prefer pin-drop quiet. It’s not that I’m antisocial. I just prefer quiet over noise and many times I simply prefer to converse with myself up in my own head.

As an introvert and an advocate for others in the same category, I want to share 11 characteristics of introverts that I consider important for humanity to understand, because we really just want to be understood and not prompted to change. I think we’re pretty amazing just the way we are!

1. I don’t mind being shy.

When you introduce me to your friend and add, “Oh, she’s shy,” I don’t take it personal. I am a bit shy and I prefer quiet. When I enter a room full of people mingling, chatting, laughing, etc., I feel an internal shift begin to happen and if I’m not careful, my energy will drain from me like a vampire drains its victims. It’s not that I’m afraid. I am simply out of my comfort zone.

2. I’m really okay.

I would like to get paid $100 for each time I’m asked, “Are you okay?” As an introvert, I’m caught up in my head much of the time. I’m thinking. Pondering. Contemplating. Sometimes I’m just enjoying the present moments as they come in meditative appreciation. I do not need constant noise or chit chat. So I’m often asked, “Are you okay?” because silence can be taken for being sad, angry or socially inept. I assure you though, that I am quite fine. Most of the time.

3. I’m not stuck up or a snob.

I remember back in my freshman year of college meeting my fellow dorm residents in the commons area. We had to go around and introduce ourselves and, of course, mingle. I spoke my name and went about my business, bolting the first chance I got. Later that year I ended up rooming with a girl who became my best friend. She later let me know that at that first meeting she thought I was a snob due to my lack of mingling. I was taken back because I’m the furthest thing from a snob, yet when you are not extroverted and keep to yourself, sometimes you get taken that way. Don’t be too quick to judge. You may be wrong.

4. I actually like to socialize.

It’s true, but only in small groups where I pretty much know everyone. I like to have fun, laugh, converse about all sorts of things, and just feel the vibe of a good time with company, but when it’s a large group or people I don’t know, I feel uneasy. I tend to be quiet. All the noise and carrying on actually starts sucking the energy right out of me. It used to be that I would get a headache when I had to attend functions with lots of people, but through the years I’ve learned how to protect my energy, put a smile on, and chit chat with the best of them—for a little while anyway. At my first chance to exit the shebang, I’m out.

5. I need quiet, alone time.

Take no offense when I run off to the bat cave (garage) or tend to yard work to have some alone time. Or ignore your phone call because you tend to talk for far too long about so many things. I used to really beat myself up about this one. I like to be alone more than most people. I like to sit out on the deck and just stare off into space. I like to lie in bed at night and just lie there in the dark. It’s quiet. Serene. I’m either up in my head or meditating. You know. Keeping the thought life managed. I can’t help it. It’s how I’m wired.

6. Networking makes me uneasy.

As a business owner, networking is essential, but to “work the net” with just the goal of advancing my biz seems awkward to me. I’m passionate about my services, but I don’t want to feel like I’m out there in the mix of the networking world with sales pitches up my sleeve. I crave raw and real relationships, whether it’s biz or personal.

7. Your chatter depletes my energy.

It’s not that I don’t want to hear about the drama going on in your life, but I’m such a good listener that I cannot help but let you go on and on. At some point I would love to say, “Okay! Okay! Enough!” but that’s not very nice now, is it? Just so you know, sometimes you suck the good energy right out of me and hey, I’m your friend, so I want to be here for you, but just know that I must take a time-out, find some peace and quiet, and recharge my battery. Introverts tend to listen quite well, have a good bit of empathy, can encourage like a boss, but it all leaves them feeling exhausted, so do let us have our quiet time to reboot.

8. I probably won’t pick up when you call.

As an introvert, talking into a piece of technology makes me cringe. If you tend to want to carry on long conversations, I might just ignore your phone call and respond later with a text saying, “Oh geez, sorry I missed your call. Maybe we can get together sometime.” That’s code for, “Please don’t call me back, but let’s catch up in person sometime.”

9. There is always chit chat going on in my mind.

As my girlfriend comes into the room 10 minutes after her show has started and asks, “What did I miss?” Um. I have no idea. I was simply staring at the screen while listening to the chit chat going on in my head. I was pondering the deep things in life. Reminiscing. Creating. Dreaming. As an introvert, there is always a monologue going on in my brain, except for the time I take to meditate. In fact, meditation is a welcomed goddess-send that I practice daily.

10. I enjoy abstract discussion.

Too intense? Can we discuss what it would be like to go to sleep and never wake up? Or how about to wake up after never really having gone to sleep? What really happens when our breath escapes the body? Who is your favorite philosopher?

11. I’m a writer.

Of course. Many introverts are writers, as we tend to communicate best in words the brew from the depths of our core. Did you know that J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, considers herself an introvert? Yes, I’m certainly most creatively high energy charged when I am alone creating and crafting a piece.

Accept and embrace introverts. We are not shy (well, some are), we are simply “intro-focused.” We don’t want to change, be more social or be made to feel less important because we are quieter and perhaps less social than the extroverts. As for me, I proudly declare that I am an introvert and quite secure in that truth. Onward introverts! Be perfectly you!

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Relephant: 

How to Care for Introverts (In 12 Easy Steps).

The Introvert’s Guide to a Vibrant Life.
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Dominica Applegate

Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery, creative expression, and raw truth. She loves words like epic and hardcore and needs a bit of chocolate each day. A sought-after author + speaker + coach, her work is ultimately about helping people remove blocks that keep them sad, fearful, lazy, and stuck. Author of Recycle Your Pain: It Has a Purpose, Conquer Codependency, and To You, Weary One, she’d love to meet you. Learn more at her website.

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anonymous Nov 8, 2015 2:36pm

I'm not really a huge fan of this …whole introvert vs extrovert thing because honestly I find the whole concept of categorizing people flawed. There just people who are a little highly evolved in this planet in today's age than the other and they can be either an extrovert or an introvert . Some tend to think-out loud and be happy and nurturing for everyone else around them (Sometimes being an extrovert is hard when you're trying to explain you're zeal to others.) because they believe in being the life of the environment around them its hard to explain the need to socialize and connect to people the need to know other human beings and how they work. Where as some rather think for themselves think about it in there head and to waste their energy on portraying their thoughts to people. I guess im equal parts of an extrovert as i am an introvert . Eventually it boils down to how cautious we are about controlling where our energy is focused on and whether or not we're being carefull enough to let our energy adrift

anonymous Nov 8, 2015 2:17pm

I dont think this is about being an introvert or an extrovert…I guess its more about being an empath ? A real empath ?…. Abstract conversations? Yes..verry much so… lol ,when I speak about souls and individual growth people think I'm high on weed or something. I'd rather speak about such topics on lengths together than get into silly chitchat that dont help me grow in anyway. And yes if i find someone who's willing to listen to such things and converse about it, I'll become an extrovert for that particular period or for that person but generally i just like to keep my peace inside of me. … I was an extrovert for quite a while just to show people that I wasn't mean or a stuck-up ..but man did that give me a serious case of identity-crisis . Every-time i came back home I'd be distorted and feel out of balance like someone had literally taken a huge bite of me. Now i realise that to be an introvert or whatever it is that i am i don't need to ask people's permission nor do i need to be treated special . IF you find me mean or sad? its you're problem . You judge a lot. Dont. I'm going to be quiet and serene utterly serene. Thank-you for the article… Helped me find a little self-balance.

anonymous Sep 29, 2015 8:20am

Thank you for this article! I definitely consider myself introverted but can portray myself as more extroverted if the situation calls for it. It does drain my energy though and take a lot more focus for me to do so. When I'm at home contemplating a business plan or working on DIY projects for my home, I'm at my happiest and most energized. Sometimes I can stand a night out at the bar or whatever after a day like that. I hope to be a business owner one day so this helped me know it can be done as an introvert! 🙂

anonymous Aug 10, 2015 6:29pm

I'm sorry, but I think you are making excuses for those of you who don't want to put forth the energy to be friendly. It hasn't always been easy for me, but I TRY. Why do you think it is ok for you just not to answer our calls, etc ??

    anonymous Aug 29, 2015 7:35pm

    I'm very friendly and work much with the public. I just happen to need quiet time as much as others need to be heard. If I don't want to talk, I don't answer the phone. It's kind of rude to insist I listen to another talk when I need some down time. The majority of interactions involve me validating extroverts, it's draining. I don't need outside validation or approval I just need quiet to recharge. Insisting I talk on the phone is about the same as me insisting extroverts keep their thoughts to themselves. I can scratch my nails on a chalk board all day long without any ill effects so what's wrong with me doing that every chance I get? It's wrong because it bothers other people. For myself chatting on the phone does to me what the nails on the chalk board does to others.

anonymous Aug 9, 2015 7:27pm

When I'm asked if I'm ever lonely, I just say I have an infinite capacity for solitude.

anonymous Jun 11, 2015 11:06am

I find it interesting how many "introverts" seem to find it necessary to write blogs about themselves and how they work inside these days. There's a veritable rash of them around the web currently.

anonymous Jun 10, 2015 5:47am

Yes, yes and yes. I recently read the book "Quiet" and loved it. I've known I'm an introvert for a long time but this book made me realize my strengths and that I don't need to apologize for who I am. I have more grace for myself. Everyone should read this book – extraverts included.

anonymous Jun 8, 2015 10:43pm

Its so nice to hear someone capture the feelings so clearly. I’m 39 and finally realizing that it’s not because I’m not trying hard enough to be social, it’s just who I am. Thanks for making it feel ok.

anonymous Jun 8, 2015 5:58pm

I haven't read such a list of excuses how to disconnect in a long time.

anonymous Jun 8, 2015 4:01pm

Love the Alan Watts quote!

anonymous Mar 7, 2015 4:02am

I am an introvert, but I am ALWAYS able to listen to a friend or family member who needs to talk, and be there for them to give support. And they can talk as much as their heart needs to and it does not sap me. The feeling of helping someone I love by listening fills me with goodwill. #7 is confusing a selfish character trait with being an introvert.

anonymous Jan 14, 2015 8:34am

I see so much of myself in this article that it's actually quite scary. It's really comforting to know that there's other people who get the constant chatter going on. Thank you.

anonymous Oct 31, 2014 7:24pm

Having the energy drained out of you because you're wired that way. No other reason. That's what I wish more extroverts would understand. It's really not personal.

anonymous Oct 16, 2014 3:59pm

This bothers me because I don't see why there needs to be a "How to Understand Introverts" guideline. Why isn't there a "How to Understand Extroverts" guideline? I think the best way to treat an introvert is with respect and like a person. Just because we don't behave the way the "rest of the world" wants us to, doesn't mean we are "different" or need to be "handled with care". No one expects us to do that for extroverts.

    anonymous Nov 6, 2015 6:49pm

    Statistically there are more extroverts than introverts. So, being less in numbers means not being as common and in turn maybe less understood.

anonymous Sep 24, 2014 3:43am

thank-you for reprezenting!

anonymous Sep 23, 2014 11:04am

Thank you for this post! I wish I could explain this to people I am in contact with. I am a politician and urban planner, and it is perhaps a difficult job at best when you are introverted like myself. I do everything I possibly can for my community and spend countless hours trying to make a difference The only reason I can semi-comfortably do my job is that I am dedicated and quite assertive. At the same time, I can be so analytical that I cannot "join the group" and go along with the others when perhaps I should. Because I probably care less about the "social acceptance" aspects, I go about my job very differently than fellow elected officials. Funny thing is, many people actually appreciate that – both from the honesty and attention to detail I offer. Do I leave meetings the 1st chance I can bolt out the door instead of chit-chatting about the new menu at the local restaurant, yes. I don't want to be rude, but after hours of intense discussions and debate, I need to be alone with my thoughts and decompress for my own well-being. Sometimes I wish I could be more extroverted, but in an odd way, I can comfortable with who I am.

    anonymous Sep 23, 2014 1:42pm

    thank you for posting. i am glad that you received some benefit from this post. i can imagine that being a politician would pose some challenged for introverts, but it seems like you have a good grasp on it. It is a relief to know that you are awesome just the way you are:) cheers!

anonymous Sep 22, 2014 11:58am

A more accurate title of this article would be "11 things one particular introvert wants you to know about her." Several points are valid and have been around in the literature for some time now, but numbers 1, 8, and 10 are highly subjective. Perhaps the author doesn't mind being shy, but I have found my shyness to get in the way of my goals, hence, I mind.

    anonymous Sep 22, 2014 1:12pm

    great point! that would be a very suitable title!

anonymous Sep 21, 2014 8:06am

You are an introvert, but more importantly you are most likely an empath. Your comments about energy lead me to think that you are very likely an empath. Many introverts are. I am both an introvert and an empath.

    anonymous Sep 22, 2014 1:11pm

    thank you, kelly. i am an empath. 🙂

anonymous Sep 21, 2014 5:30am

Thank you for this article! Amazingly true and a huge encouragement to accept oneself as one is. I’ve shared it with my friends and am hoping to hear less of “are you ok” from now on! 🙂

anonymous Sep 18, 2014 4:19pm

So what you're saying is that I can ignore people, not participate in conversations, and be generally rude to people and call it being "introverted" and it's okay. Nice to know.

    anonymous Sep 21, 2014 7:21am

    hi there annoyed. thanks for your comment. i can clarify that being rude or ignoring people is not very nice at all. my conscience would normally not allow me to do either (unless, you know, on the occasion that i'm overly stressed or hormonal and i get snappy with someone…and then apologize for it…or i'm dealing with a covert or open narcissist, selfish, or manipulative person, in which case i am all for ignoring them) for energy zappers that are not aware that they continually bring others down by their negativity or incessant drama they attract to them….i may not pick up every time they call or respond to texts. i'm also not afraid to let them know that their negativity or attitude zaps me at times. but to clarify again, you cannot ignore people in general and be rude to people and call it "introverted".

    anonymous Nov 8, 2015 2:24pm

    Lol I'm sorry you had to deal people like that bruh, People be rude and nasty and they blame it on a category of people they don't understand a thing about. lol Being introverted and being rude have completely different meanings XD
    just like Dominicia said above. :')

anonymous Sep 14, 2014 8:17pm

I am introvert but I don't consider others chattering 'energy sapping'. I WANT to hear you chatter about anything, everything! I'm also a writer and I love hearing about what's going on in your head. I'm not the only person on the planet. I can handle socializing in noisy places but I get home I want silence. I take my husband to social gatherings as he can chat anybody up and make them feel comfortable and it's easy for me to join in. Otherwise I'm the person standing on the edge with my drink watching the clock and wondering when I can make a comfortable exit. I'm also active in my community but need my own space and silence. Long runs are great for this.

anonymous Sep 13, 2014 2:37am

To rob, lea and jenny, I recognise myself as an introvert, I am also probably the most loyal trustworthy and true friend to those close to me, I don't partake in the two faced backstabbing fake friendships that most people around me do, so I think I'm the best sort if friend you could ask for. I am incredibly community minded and just because I like my own time and space doesn't mean I don't look out for others. I work in a community based environment and what I provide is genuine and honest, and I take great pride in making those I serve happy. And finally, I'm far from boring, I love to party, love to go out, I can entertain a crowd and out socialise my extrovert friends anyday of the week. If you think being introverted is a bad thing you obviously don't truly understand what the term means.

anonymous Sep 11, 2014 6:04pm

Here's something this Extrovert wants you to know: Being around introverts is equally energy sapping. You're boring.

    anonymous Sep 21, 2014 7:25am

    hi jenny. you made me smile. i do think many would consider me boring and i'm alright with that. lol. yes, introverts can zap energy at times…the introvert/extrovert theme are just categories that refer to a variety of common characteristics in groups of people. some introverts zap energy, some extroverts zap energy. many on both sides do not. 🙂

    anonymous Nov 2, 2014 5:55am

    This is true. I am an introvert and I realize that from an extrovert's point of view, introverts are energy sapping. This is fine, everyone has their own unique personalities and some people are not compatible. The difference is though, and "extrovert" at work didn't like my introverted ways so they spread lots of nasty gossip and rumors about me. I did nothing to them and tended to avoid them and this made them even angrier. So in this case, which is better? An extrovert who actively causes problems for another or an introvert how does nothing to others. I understood our differences and accept their extrovert ways but they did not understand or accept me…

anonymous Sep 11, 2014 2:38pm

You don't sound like a very good friend.

anonymous Sep 11, 2014 10:16am

Giving it a name doesn't make it ok. Our species survives by community.

anonymous Sep 11, 2014 9:52am

This helped me so much! I loved this blog so much! Thanks girl! It really spoke to me because it described me 100%. Glad to know I'm not a freak just introverted. 🙂

    anonymous Sep 11, 2014 7:01pm

    thanks melissa. you're certainly not a freak! accepting that we are simply introverted takes a lot of pressure off, doesn't it? we can just be ourselves! thanks for sharing!

anonymous Sep 11, 2014 8:48am

That was certainly a list to relate to! Almost spookily so. 🙂

anonymous Sep 10, 2014 7:44pm

Love this and totally get it….lets all not get together and hang sometime:)

    anonymous Sep 11, 2014 6:59pm

    haha. let's just text each other;)

anonymous Sep 10, 2014 3:45pm

Amen to this list. I discovered at 34 I was an introvert and it was a complete shock to me as I can work a room and make others feel more comfortable at the same time while I'm at it. But since I learned this trait about myself…wow taking care of myself has become easier!

    anonymous Sep 11, 2014 6:59pm

    so glad to hear that holli!! 🙂

anonymous Sep 10, 2014 2:40pm

Hello Dominica,
Just wanted to say thanks for the information. I will put it to good use. I am sort of in the middle on this issue, depending on the situation at hand. But when an introvert shies away from me I tend to take it as rejection (that's my issue – personalizing everything with people). I'm glad you gave me another way to look at it. Thanks!
Joseph

    anonymous Sep 11, 2014 6:59pm

    hi joseph. yes, understanding that some people just are standoffish or not very social helps us not to feel rejected. it's never an offense….just who we are. thanks for sharing!! 🙂

anonymous Sep 10, 2014 12:16pm

Great article! One great book on this topic that really helped me was Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Wish I'd had that book in high school and college, really would have helped! Another good one especially for work is The Introvert Advantage: Making the Most of Your Inner Strengths.

    anonymous Sep 11, 2014 6:57pm

    thank you! those books do sound like a good read!! 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    anonymous Apr 29, 2015 6:52am

    Read it recently and I feel the same way you do,wish I had the book a long time ago so I at least could have understood myself

anonymous Sep 10, 2014 11:04am

No Jenn, they may not be miserable. But they are definitely bored out of their skull with what is Liam conversation.

anonymous Sep 9, 2014 8:17pm

Will you be my best friend? LOL!
Seriously though, I feel like you were writing about ME!

    anonymous Sep 10, 2014 10:34am

    hi mary! that's funny! i'd like to be your friend. just don't call me. lol.

    🙂

anonymous Sep 9, 2014 8:10pm

I'm not a fan of the introvert vs extrovert dynamic, but i will say what put a negative spin on this article was the photo chosen. That person looks like they are simply having a miserable time…either because they aren't the center of attention, or they went to a party stag. I think a photo that showed a person actively listening would have been more appropriate.

    anonymous Sep 10, 2014 10:33am

    good point. introvert does not mean "not happy in a social setting." 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    anonymous Mar 7, 2015 9:23pm

    Funny! I was about to comment and say that the best part of that article to me was the pic. I have a pic almost identical to that – me at my best friends wedding reception! Sometimes as an introvert I DO have a miserable time in social settings (like weddings where you don't know many people) that even extroverts don't even always enjoy!

anonymous Sep 9, 2014 7:34pm

#7 has just given me insight, I knew I felt like I was talking too much at times to another introvert. How blind could I be? The same thing happens with me, I guess I got selfish. Maybe I am like 95% introvert and 5% extrovert. I enjoy abstract discussion so much I have conversations with myself. I can't seem to find any similar humans like myself, all the close friends I have now are lames. I guess we grew apart over the years, or I am progressing faster than they are.

    anonymous Sep 10, 2014 6:19am

    Conversation is wonderful when it is equally recipricated…. It's great that you see you may be talking too much to another introvert….I have to remind myself to let others talk and ask them questions (introverts) because even introverts tend to like to "vent" at times and if we get a good listener….we can certainly bend that ear…you may be progressing faster than your friends…i do hope you meet another who you feel comfortable with… thanks for sharing.

    anonymous Sep 10, 2014 11:41am

    I wanted to forward #7 to my husband. He's like some kind of verbal machine-what comes to mind comes out mouth. Seriously! I sometimes have to declare mornings to be Quiet Time. Aside from the last one (I'm not a writer), this is me all over.

anonymous Sep 9, 2014 6:47pm

Great reminders for those of us extra sensitive types- whether you identify as introvert, HSP or just sensitive. Thanks for sharing! Here's my list: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/08/why-being-

    anonymous Sep 10, 2014 6:16am

    thank you! i read your post and it was fantastic. actually just what i needed to read this morning! i could relate to so much, especially the part about emotions…. and remembering to take care of self… have a great day!

      anonymous Sep 11, 2014 10:26am

      I am the exact same way and because of this, I am often labeled a bitch. I'm not a bitch. I'm really sensitive to noise and confusion. I relate to everything you said. I love that someone is explaining this so extroverts can understand. Thank you, Dominica!

Mark LaPorta Aug 2, 2016 7:51pm

These are about fake introverts. Most articles about introverts are fake. I take it you know why.