9 Ways to Make an Introvert Hate You

[bigletter custom_class=””]As a lifelong introvert, I’ve long been of the opinion that the world is designed for extroverts. I mean, it IS, though, isn’t it? [/bigletter]

Even although extroversion and introversion are both just personality types (And are, arguably, both part of the same spectrum: I suspect it’s probably quite rare to come across someone who’s either 100% one or the other. I just totally made that up, though, so, you know, don’t mind me…), for many people, extroversion is seen as ‘the norm’, while introversion is viewed as some kind of weird character flaw, that needs to be endlessly commented on, and ‘fixed’. 

All of which, of course, is absolutely INFURIATING to us introverts. It’s like, we just want to read our books for a while, you know? But there you guys are, endlessly prodding away at us, demanding to know why we’re so quiet, and if there’s something wrong, or, hey! Let’s throw a party! Like, RIGHT NOW, THIS VERY SECOND! Because THAT’LL cheer us up, for sure!

*Deep breaths. Veeeeerrrry deeeeeep breeeaaaths.*

The thing is, though, we know you don’t mean it. You’re not deliberately trying to annoy us: you just don’t ‘get’ us – just as we don’t really get you – so, in a bid to make life a little bit easier on us all, here are a few things some extroverts sometimes do that make introverts HATE* them…

THROW THEM A SURPRISE PARTY

Look, I love a good party: because, yes, introverts can and DO enjoy socialising… we just generally like to have a bit of notice first, so we can mentally prepare ourselves for it. So, the thought of coming home, all excited about the nice, quiet night I have planned, and then opening the door to find a houseful of people instead? It’s the stuff my nightmares are made of, seriously. Please don’t do that to me: I might never forgive you…

(On the subject of parties, by the way, one of my introvert traits is that I don’t particularly care about my birthday, and I hate it when you try to make me care, by insisting that I MUST have a party, or going on about my ‘special day,’ or whatever. Seriously, the best birthday gift you can give me is to not make a big deal out of my birthday: not even joking…)

CALL THEM OUT FOR BEING ‘TOO QUIET’

Bonus points here if you do that ‘faux surprised’ thing when your introvert acquaintance speaks, and you go, “OH MY GOD, SHE SPOKE! SHE SPOKE!” Or the sarcastic version, where you’re just all, “WHOA, shut up, Amber, I can hardly get a word in, here!” Yes, I am aware that I’m quiet, thank you: were you aware you were rude, though?

TURN A SMALL GATHERING INTO A LARGE ONE WITHOUT TELLING THEM

There I am, looking forward to dinner with a couple of friends. There you are, busily planning to invite 15 other people, and also their dogs, uncles, and random work colleagues, because, “The more, the merrier!” right? 

WRONG. 

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. 

OMG, SO VERY, VERY WRONG.

Like I said, introverts are perfectly capable of socialising: we can even enjoy it – imagine! We much prefer doing it in smaller groups, though: large ones can be overwhelming, and will make us do that whole, “Too quiet,” thing you hate so much. So, if we’ve arranged to meet up with you, and are expecting to see JUST YOU, please don’t invite everyone you know, or we’ll be forced to, well, HATE you. Sorry.

(My husband is the prime culprit for this one. We have SO many conversations that start with me going, “Let’s invite X+Y round for coffee at the weekend,” and end with him going, “But if X + Y are coming, we’ll have to invite Z, too! And if Z’s going to be there, I bet he’d like to see A, B and C. But if we invite C, we’ll have to invite D+E, and they’ll probably want to bring F. Do you think G+H would be up for it? What about I and J? We’ll need to buy more coffee: or should we just do a buffet, instead? Should I look into hiring a venue?” 

Next thing I know, my quiet cup of coffee with my good friends X+Y suddenly involves the entire alphabet, is costing me a fortune, and will now require outside caterers and a whole bunch of people I don’t even know. This is what happens when an introvert marries an extrovert, people: let this be a warning to you all… )

DESCRIBE THEM AS BORING OR ANTI-SOCIAL

Of course, when the introvert in the party DOES push back against social plans, they’re inevitably described as ‘boring’ or ‘anti-social’. Which is ironic, really, given that we’re not the ones trying to insist on spending an hour engaged in mindless small-talk about the weather, or any other talking-for-the-sake-of-talking activity, are we? You would not like it if we described you as “needy” just because you like being around other people: please don’t call us ‘boring’ just because we don’t…

ASSUME THEY’RE LONELY OR SAD

Just because someone spends time on their own, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lonely. Actually, I only ever really feel lonely when I’m in a crowd… which makes no sense to extroverts, obviously, but ALL the sense in the world to my fellow introverts, am I right? 

TRY TO ‘FIX’ THEM

Introverts are not broken. It is not a personality flaw. They do not need to be ‘fixed’ or ‘saved’ or taught how to be more extroverted, any more than you need to be taught how to be more introverted. So, suggesting there’s something wrong with them is….well, imagine if someone asked you if you’ve ever considered hypnosis for your verbal diarrhoea issue, because their Uncle Tony tried that, and he’s, like, totally normal now? Exactly.

SUGGEST THEY ‘JUMP ON A CALL’ WITH YOU

Seriously, what IS it with this whole, ‘Let’s jump on a call!” thing lately? Because, all of a sudden, it feels like everyone who emails me – no matter what it’s about, or how trivial it is – wants me to ‘jump on a call’ with them, and, to be totally honest, I’d rather jump out of the WINDOW, really.*

(*Note: not really.)

Of course, not ALL introverts hate using the phone: most of the ones I know personally DO, though, so please, do us a favour, and USE EMAIL. It’s just so much easier, because it gives us time to think about what our response is going to be, and we like that. Speaking of which…

PUT THEM ON THE SPOT

On the subject of communication, you know what else introverts hate? Social messaging platforms that pop up a little ‘read’ sign to tell you when someone’s seen your message. We hate those little notifications because they make us feel like we have to respond instantly, and can’t just pretend we haven’t seen the message yet … which means we have to DECIDE instantly whether or not we want to do whatever it is you’ve just suggested, and OH, THE PRESSURE. We need time to THINK, dammit! Why can’t we have time to THINK?!

I’m not asking you not to use Messenger here, though, obviously: I’m just asking you not to be offended if you notice that we’ve seen your message and haven’t replied: we’re not ignoring you, we just need a bit of time to think.

(Unless we ARE actually ignoring you, obviously, in which case, WHOOPS.)

ASSUME THEY’RE SHY

OK, this one doesn’t annoy me personally, because, as it happens, I AM pretty shy, really. Not all introverts are shy, though, and not all shy people are introverts: so there’s no need to speak to an introvert very slowly and carefully, just in case you scare them (Actually, there’s no need to speak to a shy person like that either, obviously: I mean, SERIOUSLY…): they will cope just fine with being spoken to, and are not going to faint at the idea of socialising… they’re just going to need a little bit of time to recharge afterwards, is all…

*

Fellow introverts! What things do extroverts do that YOU hate?

*I’m kidding, I’m kidding! You know we don’t actually HATE you, right? 

MORE POSTS ABOUT INTROVERTS: 

I’d rather be reading 

6 ways to make me feel awkward 

Blogging as an introvert

The hardest thing about parenthood is all the people you have to talk to

COMMENTS
  • Emerald

    REPLY

    Oh Amber, I am guilty of a few of these! As I’ve gotten older I’ve learnt to read introverts (and I love the company of my innie friends – they listen!!). But I did organise a surprise party for my friend Karen when she thought it was a small gathering (she forgave me as she knew it was well-meant, but explained she feels uncomfortable about being put in the spot) and in my twenties I regularly used to introduce friend groups to each other (with some success).

    I totally agree that extroversion is seen as the norm, which I think is really silly since we all have valuable skills to contribute. Plus as you say, no one is 100% one or the other. But I’d also argue it’s considered better for men to be extroverted. As a woman, I’ve sometimes been criticised for being “too brash and outgoing” where a man would be described as confident. It’s really sexist and I imagine introverted men feel similarly peeved.

    January 15, 2020
    • Emerald

      REPLY

      I can’t resist telling you about an extrovert that *I’ve* had to rein in – my dad! By his own admission, he doesn’t enjoy one-to-one company. And whenever we’ve gone out he’ll (we’ll!) end up bringing other people into the conversation. However, he’s not so great at recognising when people prefer to be left alone. And many’s the time I’ve had to kick him under the table because the guy next to us just wants to read his paper.

      One day we bumped into a young twenty-something woman and they began a friendly conversation. She was a waitress at a cafe he frequented and knowing my dad, he would’ve already chatted to all the young waiting staff, male and female, found out their plans for the future and taken a genuine interest. But this poor young woman was mortified when my dad cheerfully said “You’ve got my number, haven’t you? Give me a call after your shift coz there’ll be a group of us in such-and-such pub on Friday. Bring the others!” She *didn’t* have his number and I had to explain that while he knew (and I knew!) that it was a friendly invitation to meet up as a big group after work, she probably saw a much older man, and a customer, being over-friendly and she didn’t know why.

      Pretty sure she was a friendly introvert made to feel MEGA awkward. We have a lot to learn! 😆

      January 15, 2020
  • Sheena

    REPLY

    This post has really resonated with me. There’s someone in my life who seems to have made it their mission to ‘fix’ me, improve me and make me more confident. This drives me nuts and all it has succeeded in doing is make me feel like there’s something wrong with me that needs to be fixed. It’s also very intimidating. Reading this, it’s comforting to know that others feel the same.

    January 15, 2020
  • Mary Katherine

    REPLY

    Yikes – guilty of so many of these! I am an extrovert married to and crazy about an introvert (fortunately, they are the same person). He was even voted Shy-est Boy in his high school, and had to have a photo taken with Shy-est Girl for the yearbook – isn’t that the most awful thing ever?!?!? I’m especially bad about the Drinks for 4 turning into Dinner and Dancing for 75 kind of thing. These are good reminders to Keep It In Check, and appreciate all the wonderful things about him.

    January 15, 2020
  • The thing I absolutely can’t stand is when someone decides to ‘leave the ball in your court’ when it comes to social events, like, ‘Why don’t you pick us somewhere nice to eat?’ or the awfully casual, ‘Let me know when you’re free/what you fancy doing!’ Mate, I’ve already spent the whole day worried that you have better things to be doing than spending time with me, don’t add pressure by asking me to make decisions! Can’t you just tell me where and when to meet you?! I will undoubtedly completely over think it and spend the whole time worrying that my choices are all wrong – have I picked a convenient time? Is that location too far for them? What if they hate the food here? Is it too expensive? Will they think I have really horrid taste? I would much rather someone else takes charge of organising – thankfully my other half is a big organiser otherwise we would have literally no social life!

    January 15, 2020
  • Being put on the spot is the absolute worst and do you know who the main culprit for that is.. my daughter! So many times she’s come running out of school with a friend and in front of their parents has begged to have them over for tea, go to the park with them or go over their house right now. It makes me want the ground to swallow me up, so awkward!! Now she’s 9 she knows better not to do it but her friends still do! Good luck with that in future years 😂

    January 15, 2020
  • Brenda

    REPLY

    Fellow introvert here, married to an extrovert! How does that happen??? We’ve been married almost 21 years and sometimes we still look at each other and laugh. When we were first married, I was probably on the far end of the introvert spectrum and he was on the far end of the extrovert spectrum. The more the merrier, was his MO, while mine was…hiding in the basement. However, as time has gone on, we seem to be shifting ever so slightly towards the middle of the spectrum. Not dangerously close, mind you… just a little closer. My husband is finding that as time goes on, he actually enjoys some quiet time at home reading a book or watching TV. He wouldn’t dream of inviting people over without lots of notice, and he has realized that it’s not the norm to just “pop by” to visit someone without calling first. I, on the other hand have gotten a little more sociable. Like, I actually talk to my neighbours. I don’t mind meeting another couple for dinner (1 couple, not 10!) and if too many days go by without people-other-than-family interaction, I start to look for it. I don’t get quite as anxiety-ridden before we have to go to an event anymore either. I don’t know if is because we are older now? Or because we have embraced each other’s trait out of respect? Not sure, but I certainly see lots of examples where introverts and extroverts get together and seem to compliment one another really well!

    January 15, 2020
  • Melissa Cristóvão

    REPLY

    A tough one for me: people who talk a LOT. Especially because when you talk a lot, you’re having meaningless conversations most of the time, and my personal tolerance for shallow conversation is diminute. Some of these highly talkative people are incredibly good hearted and genuinely nice people but oh please, can’t you SHUT UP for a second?

    January 15, 2020
  • This post made me want to stand up and cheer. I am an introvert married to an introvert. If we had things our way we would probably be hermits by now. Thank goodness we have two kids who, while they are on the quieter side, do like to have a social life. They make sure we leave the house every now and then! I have a very extroverted friend who insists on believing that, because I am quiet, I must never want to talk and must find it hard to carry on normal conversations at work. Being an introvert does not mean I am socially inept (well, not completely) and I have not taken a vow of silence.

    January 16, 2020
  • Aw, this definitely resonated with me! I’m a massive introvert (I did that Myers-Briggs test once and came out like 80% introverted) and couldn’t live without my alone time. I totally get the extrovert-introvert couples thing though because I see it in my parents – my dad is like me but my mam is such an extrovert. She’s one of those people who is happy to ‘pop round’ to see people out of the blue, whereas that would be my worst nightmare! She also loves talking on the phone, whereas I absolutely hate it.

    January 16, 2020
  • Holly T Hiatt

    REPLY

    Well done Amber, so fun to read and see myself in bits.

    January 16, 2020
  • OMG ahahah as a fellow introvert I can totally understand these!

    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

    January 16, 2020
  • Clelia

    REPLY

    If only extroverts would understand if you explain all this, but they don’t. I have to deal with one in particular who is an especially tough case, denying the very fact that she is, indeed, very extroverted (she stubbornly adheres to her own definition of extrovert, which for her is someone who runs around yelling at other people constantly). It’s super difficult to argue with someone who doesn’t even recognize their own character, much less understands yours. Apart from being extroverted, this one is also really needy – if you don’t want to talk she takes it personally. No chance of improving there, ever, I’m afraid (actually, that’s not quite correct : recently i managed to insult her so much with my introversion that she decided to punish me by – wait for it- not speaking to me 😀 how hilarious is that? Needless to say she punished herself with this, because i enjoyed the silence :))

    And the thing that introverted does not equal shy, where can i sign? I am absolutely not shy, I’m the kind of person who has no issue with walking down the main street naked (actually have done so, for a photograph), just for God’s sake don’t ask me to engage in small talk while i do it- or any other time, for that matter.

    January 16, 2020
    • She sounds like an absolute nightmare with no social skills. Hopefully she’ll keep freezing you out!

      February 12, 2020
  • Erin

    REPLY

    Extrovert with an introvert best friend. All true from what I can tell.

    January 17, 2020
  • John

    REPLY

    This is so true! I’m crap at parties, mostly because I don’t like 90% of people I meet and small talk with a stranger seems utterly futile and pointless compared to an insightful, deep and meaningful conversation with somebody I actually do like. Am so bored of people trying to change me or thinking that just dropping a social event on me as a surprise is somehow going to fix me, then they get annoyed when I just want to go home early and chill. They wouldn’t like it if I told them friday night is now an imposed mandatory time to sit in the corner with a book and not speak then berate them for not enjoying it.

    January 17, 2020
  • I have one friend who is a total extrovert and will often bring other friends along when we meet and it drives me mad! Like I’m looking forward to a nice one on one catchup and suddenly I’ve got to also hang out with her other friends from yoga or wherever! And I also hate being put on the spot too. I always try to look at whatsapp messages without the ticks so I have lots of time to reply without looking rude! My husband is also introverted so we both are able to think up excuses together to avoid things haha.

    January 17, 2020
    • That sounds like a nightmare if you’re looking forward to a nice chat – and your extrovert friend decides to bring more people along! The more the merrier, we say. But your friend should *definitely* check in with you first. (And learn to interpret an awkward yes as a big fat NO.)

      February 12, 2020
  • I love this post! I feel like almost everything you said, is like yes…omg YES! super relatable. I’m currently dating “the most extroverted introvert” and lemme tell you, it’s an interesting combo. Great post amber xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    January 18, 2020
    • Jude

      REPLY

      How to get along with Introverts:
      1. Respect their need for time alone
      2. Give them time to think things out on their own
      3. Respect their need to have certain matters kept private
      4. Try to edit your thoughts before speaking
      5. Do not pressure them to socialize or interact with a lot of people

      How to Get Along with Extroverts
      1. Appreciate their ability to initiate activities and conversations
      2. Give them plenty of acknowledgement and attention
      3. Listen to them talk so they can sort things out and clarify their ideas
      4. Go out and do things with them. Interact in the world with them
      5. Understand their need to be with other friends besides you

      Adapted from R Baron 1998

      January 20, 2020
  • Danielle

    REPLY

    I have to say thank you for this post! How eye opening!? I’ve just started my own blog ( danitells.com ) and your page is inspiring!

    January 21, 2020
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