Small talk. Big parties. Awkward silence. The introvert struggles are real.
Being an introvert isn’t always easy. In a world that says being an extrovert is better, it can sometimes be hard to find your footing as an introvert.
Identifying as an introvert in an extroverted world is challenging, stressful and just straight up exhausting at times. Here are just a few of the many struggles you deal with as an introvert.
Ice breaker questions
“Let’s all go around the room and introduce ourselves.” Just hearing that sentence can stir up so much dread when you’re an introvert. Ice breakers are supposed to help people get to know each other better, but really, they just leave introverts feeling stressed and exhausted. Talking about yourself isn’t exactly an introvert’s forte, so those fun ice breaker games usually aren’t so fun for us.
I know when I’m in a group where we have to introduce ourselves, I’m never listening to other people’s introductions, I’m too busy thinking about what I’m going to say before I have to present.
Working as a team
“For this next project, you’re going to partner up…” is possibly one of the worst sentences an introvert can hear.
Even though introverts can play nice with others in the sandbox, we often like working by ourselves more. When we’re alone, we have the space to think and come up with great ideas. When you have to work with others though, it’s often hard to get your ideas across. By the end of the project, it usually feels like it would be easier and faster if you could’ve just worked on it alone.
Attention all extroverts: stop calling your introvert friends!
Phone calls are one of the most stressful things for an introvert.
I have a crippling fear of talking on the phone so anytime somebody calls me, I won’t pick up. Because either a) you’re a telemarketer trying to scam me, or b) you obviously don’t know me well enough to know I only answer texts.
Coming across as shy or rude
Introverts are wonderful, kind, amazing humans. The only problem is usually introverts don’t come across that way at first. It takes a while before we open up to people. So sometimes we come across as shy, cold or rude, leaving us often feeling misunderstood. If only everyone took the time to get to know introverts, they’d see how awesome we actually are.
Trying to find alone time
Introverts love their alone time. And after socializing a bunch, our social battery gets drained and we need plenty of alone time to recharge. But when you don’t live alone (i.e. with family, with a partner, with roommates), it can be hard to find that solo time you need to recharge and regroup.
In our culture, there’s this idea that being extroverted is better. The more you talk, the more amazing/successful/accomplished you are. Whether it’s in the classroom or the boardroom, extroverts are often praised and introverts are well…not.
So it’s hard not to feel that if you’re not talking as much, you’re coming up short in some way. Like you’re not enough. Introverts have amazing thoughts and ideas, they’re just not expressing them in the same ways extroverts do. But by making it seem like the only way to succeed is following extroverts’ lead, this leaves many introverts feeling underappreciated and undervalued at times.
Final thoughts on introvert struggles
There are plenty of struggles of being an introvert in an extroverted world. But you’re not alone. There’s a whole community of introverts out there who are going through the same struggles you are. Even when it feels hard, just keep being your true self. Because that’s when you will shine.