Introvert fades into background

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Dear IntrovertZone,

I am probably the most extreme as far as an introvert. I will go out of my way to not have to initiate a conversation. I feel that the biggest reason for me being an introvert is because I have been shunned by people and have been hurt too many times. An example: At work people around me would talk about an evening out. They would ask me if I would like to join then and I would say “sure”. They would then promise to give me more info. later and that info would never come and I would later find out that the event had already taken place. They would then appologize for forgetting about me.

My other problem is that my husband is the complete opposite. He loves to initiate conversation, he loves being around people and being the centre of attention. We are together all the time and I tend to just let him do all the talking since people enjoy listening to him. Beside him I seem very boring. I only have a handfull of friends. They are people that I have met when I was younger. I haven’t met any new friends since being married (22 yrs). My husband on the other hand knows people everywhere he goes. I just find I don’t know what to say or what to ask. I don’t want to be like my husband. I would like to just feel more comfortable in having a normal conversation and not feel like a geek. I seem like a geek to others because I am nervous and clumsy around large groups.

Photo credit: bigcityal

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14 Comments

  1. Do you feel the NEED to have more friends? One can have a perfectly happy life — perhaps, happier — without too many people cluttering it up. And I’m sure those colleagues didn’t mean to ‘shun’ you, though I can understand how hurt (and maybe a tad bit relieved?) you may have felt… don’t worry, there are millions of us out there and there’s nothing wrong with being the way we are.

  2. Your biggest reason for being an introvert is because you have been shunned by people? I am afraid that would be incorrect. Your biggest reason for being an introvert is your Genes. It is not a “sickness” you catch or develop, it is not a “fixable” mental condition. You are who you are thanks to nature and you have to learn to accept that.

    The biggest reason for you feeling uncomfortable may be the shunning and to touch on your second problem, your inability to “chit chat” with others. Of course it is inevitable for an introvert to feel uncomfortable in a wold built around being extroverted. Have you actually been called a geek? Or is it in your head you feel this way? I have been called geeky and it is more so for my desire to have a conversation that interests me ( not one about the last American Idol winner) then my mannerisms.

    I am not sure I can offer much advice as I still feel the same way around people even after gaining a better understanding of my “introvertness” over the last two years once I understood the term and how it fit me. The best I can do is say try to avoid the situations that make you feel uncomfortable or if this is not possible, try to get the people around you to understand what an introvert is and to understand you have needs that may differ from them. Does your husband know and understand that you are an introvert?

  3. People watching can be fun too. I say let the extroverts mingle and chat each others ears off. Just find a cozy seat in the corner and do some social studies.

  4. Is good to marry someone extroverted, because contact intersocial are easier to be established. I do know its extremely unpleasant to be excluded at partie. Excellent text !

  5. As Scott said, it’s one thing to be an introvert and quite another to be afraid because of hurts in the past. I have a minor tendency to the same thing. I hate approaching people partly because I am afraid people won’t want to know me, because they didn’t used to.
    If it’s actually debilitating (it’s not for me), I would strongly advise seeing a therapist, because this isn’t just an introverted problem. You don’t actually have to have something terribly wrong with you to get some real good out of discussing past hurts and how they affect your present with a therapist who can put things into perspective and help you learn how to heal from them.

  6. This kind of thing is just something that takes real hard work at improving upon. There’s no secret to being social and this is especially true if your self esteem isn’t at its highest. Therapy might help, as someone above suggested, but it’s truly about putting yourself in situations that exit your comfort zone.

    It will be tough and it will feel uncomfortable but this is how you improve socially. You make progress over time. You can’t wake up one day and be the best at socializing, whether or not you’re an introvert.
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  7. You shouldn’t worry about being on your husband’s shoes. Be yourself because its the only way you’ll feel comfortable. Let your husband do the talking since it his expertise but do converse with him sometimes because it is important for the both of you. About friends inviting you, don’t ever expect because most of them forgets invitation especially if you didn’t get to talk much often. I don’t usually go out with friends because I know my limitations.

  8. I am also an introvert married to an extrovert. To me, it is fascinating how he can bond with strangers, something I could never do. Without him I would have very little social interaction. When it comes to my job, I am comfortable expressing myself, I’m confidant in my appearance but I fail miserably when it comes to personal conversations. I loathe parties, hate small talk, can’t wait to go home. The truth is I’m comfortable with silence, I’m always reading or lost in thought, I’m sure that seems boring to a lot of people.

    Sometimes I wish I had more friends even though it’s against my nature. I feel guilt when someone comments on my “quietness”, like somehow it’s a failure of mine. Other times, I feel it is a strength, I feel I’m more perceptive to details than a lot of other people. We have to focus on our quiet strengths.

  9. i think introverts should not feel inferior to extroverts in any way. If you are an introvert discover the passion inside you and transfer this into your work. You will no longer feel neglected.

  10. I also don’t initiate conversation with small talk, and I don’t go to parties. Actually once I shared an office space with a bunch of extroverts, and it was my worst working environment. They were too eager to talk to each other, that they didn’t even care to give me time to talk (introverts take more time to think and then talk). At first I felt bad when they didn’t invite me to their parties, but I realized what is more important is I go to parties with people I’m comfortable with, not with these extroverts.

    Fortunately I have many interests, so I naturally start a conversation with anyone who has the same interest. Would you consider finding out about people around you and start a conversation about it? Actually, being a geek means it’s easier for us to build social connection through our specific interests. You can also try finding social events that has a certain theme that fits your interest, e.g. a choir, a book club, a spiritual organization, especially if it’s a small group.

    Talk to your husband to meet friends in smaller groups, so you don’t feel as clumsy.

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