Introvert says she’s tired of faking it!


This was submitted by a 23 year old illustration student from the UK. She’s an introvert and she has great social skills, but sometimes others have drawn the conclusion that since she’s fun to be with, she must like to socialize all the time. Once she started really feeling the strain and had to slow the socializing down, a lot of the people around her seem offended!

Up to leaving Sixth Form College at 18 I was a perfectly happy introvert. I fully accepted, and so did all my college friends, that outside of college I preferred to be alone (and that to try and drag me out of my house after college was impossible). I had quite a lot of friends back then, because college was a controlled environment. There were set times for socialising and I knew exactly when I could get the relief of a quiet classroom where I didn’t have to chat to anyone. Greetings and departings were never awkward because they were part of the routine. I never felt guilt for not seeing anyone for a while, because I saw everyone at the same times each week.

I have always been great in controlled social situations. I find myself to be the one making everyone laugh, always got something stimulating to add to the conversation and it never took more than a minute to cheer anyone up. I later found these qualities confused me into thinking I was more sociable than I actually am.

As I moved to a different city to go to University my happily introverted bubble popped. The structure of school and sixth form had all but gone and I found it harder and harder to enjoy peoples company during the long breaks between lectures. I tried and failed to make connections with people. I tried being sociable in my spare time, but I was never happy. I couldn’t put my finger on why.

Everything escalated over five years until I finally decided I couldn’t take so much socialising (not that I was doing much of it). I didn’t like hanging out at friend’s houses or having them at mine. I didn’t like going drinking/clubbing/pubbing. It all made me want to run away and hide from the world. It felt like I was faking extroversion. Pretending to be someone I’m not. So I stopped.

But now I’m left feeling horrendously guilty and unwelcome. Sometimes I ask a friend if they fancy a coffee, and once at the coffee shop all I get is “why don’t you come out any more?” “Why haven’t I seen you in ages, doing something interesting were you?!” I’ve tried being honest. I tell them that the things they invite me to really aren’t my bag. But that is never good enough for them! All I get is abuse. Like I’ve betrayed them… Or I’m lying.

Now I’m scared to ask any friends at all if they fancy coffee. And I’m feeling lonely. I have the most wonderful boyfriend ever, who is also an introvert. He seems to be the only supportive person on the issue. He tells me its ok be who I am, and not to feel bad because I don’t please these people. But I still feel lonely and guilty.

Photo credit: legends2k



  1. I think your situation is one that most of us can identify with, at least most of us who can be “bubbly” and “vivacious” to the point that we attract a lot of people – then soon we really want them to go home and let us have some solitude! 🙂

    It’s so wonderful that you have that great boyfriend. I think he’s right – you must be yourself and can’t drag yourself to things you don’t want to go to just to try to please everyone. On the other hand, if there are some people who are still very nice to you and just happen to ask you to do things when you don’t especially want to, maybe they are worth making the effort sometimes. Not for dancing late at night, but for a coffee or a meal when it wouldn’t take you too far out of your comfort zone.

    My best friend is an introvert, yet it seems that when she’s available to do something it’s often a day when I would have been just as happy to be alone – but I do make the effort to see her then, and I suspect the same is true for her. I did lose one good friend – I’d THOUGHT was a good friend for 20 years. She asked if I’d like to go on a vacation trip with her and I was honest – I just really don’t want to travel with anyone except my own family. Wow she was offended and never wanted to see me again.

    Anyone have some good suggestions?

  2. “He tells me its ok be who I am, and not to feel bad because I don’t please these people. But I still feel lonely and guilty.”
    I had the same problem, it was really hard for me sometimes to keep sefl-confidence, but now it’s almost OK, so I feel much more free and happy

  3. I think you should stop feeding your guilt, it will just worsen what you feel. Often, when people ask me those questions (“why don’t you come out any more?” “Why haven’t I seen you in ages, doing something interesting were you?!), I try to tell them that I was busy and had to deal with important stuffs. It’s not an excuse cause we have different definition of the word “busy”. It sounds like a defense mechanism but it works for me. I shouldn’t let other people turn my life upside down. Another introvert here..=)

  4. I have pretty close to the same problem, I went to ASU ( big party college) was very social my first year living in the dorms and it was great. But it all got old quick and I went back to my introverted ways after the first year. If you think what your doing is right that is all that matters, forget what they think of u, if they are your true friends they will understand : )

  5. Your true friends shouldn’t take offence, but they should accept you for who you are. If not, they don’t deserve to be your friend. I agree with Benjamin. Maybe this is the time to find out who is a true friend. It would be draining if you weren’t yourself and had to keep up this persona.

    You could say you were busy with important stuff, but in my opinion, I would keep being honest. I can understand it’s difficult to find connections with people, but please keep trying to seek new and better friends out in the activities you enjoy doing. Let your friends start pleasing you for a change. 🙂 Believe me, I’ve been through a lot of friendship changes over the years.

  6. The reason why your friends get so upset is because they only know you as being an extrovert. They aren’t going to understand when you tell them that you were faking that. How are they to believe that someone was faking having a good time when deep down they would have rather been alone. They simply won’t believe you.

    Deep down they are going to think that you have decided that you don’t really like being friends with them like you used to. They will think you are voluntarily removing yourself from the clique.

    The fact of the matter is that they share different interests with each other than you don’t have in common with them. I think it is time you went and met some new people who are more like you. You don’t need to intentionally destroy those old friendships any more than you already have. Just let them rest while you go find some other people who like to do the things that you like to do.

    You will probably find some people like you sitting at tables by themselves at your local coffee shops.
    Ted´s last post ..Inexperienced Webmasters Must Learn Link Building

  7. I used to have a similar problem but only with a few people who I started finding more and more annoying with time. This got so bad I just cut them out, to be honest I have started to think life is too short for any kind of stupidity or to worry about others. Put yourself as number 1 all the time, if someone is making your life less enjoyable give them a slight hint, if it does not work then cut them out!
    danika´s last post ..New and young drivers – they are different even if their insurance is not!

  8. I use to be like this long time ago. during school days i felt like this. what i do is i just mingled or even imagined those students to be bare naked and that soothes me. I also imagine those people are asleep or even on coma so i can move and breath without hesitations.
    Divine @ Travel Wisconsin´s last post ..used ford trucks

  9. i see… i think that you better cheer up… and stop being guilty.. you don’t have to worry about yourself because you doing just fine. you have a supportive boyfriend and that’s all that matters.
    page´s last post ..– DATING ADVICE FOR MEN

  10. It is not like that you are there to cheer up the people all the time. May be you don’t felt that the people or friends you are with is not understanding your mentality. So be happy with your family and with your boyfriend and more importantly just forget the thing that what you are like an introvert or extrovert. It is what you are. So enjoy your life.

  11. I don’t think you need to be a “friend-pleaser” all the time. You are just depriving yourself of your own happiness. If those friends a true to you and understand you, they still go out with you for a cup coffee. You don’t need so many friends, it’s better to have few but true friends. So don’t feel guilty, have fun and enjoy.
    April @ Park City Real Estate´s last post ..Park City Real Estate Inventory Down, Demand Up, A Must Read Article Published Today

  12. Well for me we need to please just for the times they need it not for all the time it maybe obviously taking advantage.Yeah exactly April what for bunch of friends that you can’t rely to them its useless to better to have 1 friend that is true.Happy commenting!!!
    Laurra´s last post ..Friendship Issues

  13. Obviously if you suddenly change, all your friends and all your family are going to resist. They don’t want you to change. It’s like you become a different person, no longer the friend they knew. It takes some time for them to adapt, or maybe it’s easier to just find some new friends.
    Alice D´s last post ..All Debts have to be Fully Paid

  14. You need to have time between being by yourself and being with your friends. Being introvert or extrovert only show you what is preference. And if they are really true friends they should understand you.
    Rochelle´s last post dating

  15. jasminballaran on

    If he/she is your true friend he/she shouldn’t take offense.But dont be a friend pleaser because if you are a friend pleaser your just depriving yourself for your own happiness.
    jasminballaran´s last post ..angry birds

  16. It can be tough trying to fit in in a crowd after college, where you said you happen to be in a ‘controlled environment.’ But you are not alone in feeling this way, most people feel sometimes that they are just a square peg in a round hole and are often looking for a sense of belongingness. Remember, this is but a phase, nurture relationships, enjoy what you do best, and surround yourself with real ‘true’ friends.

  17. Trixie Montoya on

    Yes i Agree with you guys to have true friend it’s like a big investment in life.and if you have true friends you are comfortable to your’s better to have one friend than many which is not loyal to you.
    Trixie Montoya´s last post ..Dealing With My Own Frustrations

  18. Thanks guys! Reading all these comments on my situation made me feel so happy, it nearly brought me to tears. I am so glad there are people out there who understand, and I am not alone! Its also great to know I’m NORMAL, and I dont ever have to feel bad for who I am. This is all thanks to you guys. I hope you all get to read this and go away feeling that you genuinely have changed the way I think, and I am now pretty damn happy! I love you all!

  19. It’s very stressful to keep up with the fast faced lifestyle…that in my viewpoint as an introvert. Parties, gatherings, and the likes suffocate me. I’m very thankful that we have here the internet. I find peace shutting down all the blabbers around when I’m logged in.

  20. OMG, I can so relate to this. I do have one friend that totally understands, I can now just tell him that I am not up to it, and he says he’ll call another time. Most people don’t, and of course my extravert friends (some of them) take offense. Nice article.
    TimW@Best Buy Kindle´s last post ..Kinstant Kindle Browser

  21. I’ve similar problems with people asking me why I don’t come out any more etc I try to explain that I am not ditching them to hang out with other people but just like to be by myself a lot of the time but I guess its hard for an extrovert to understand how you can prefer to be alone

  22. There’s no need to be down you silly girl 🙂 You can’t be the clown or the life of the party all the time and you don’t have to be one like it in the first place. So stop pretending what you’re not and stick with the friends who truly knows you.

  23. I get the feeling lonely part, but you should NOT feel guilty. I think you should explain your situation to your friends – if they are really your friends they will understand. My best friend who is an extreme introvert was going through this with his friends constantly, which made him even more introverted. I told him he needed to explain to his friends his issue and most of his friends were very understanding. You should be flattered that people like your company! I am not an extreme introvert, I am usually ok in social situations but I do like going long periods of time without going out or seeing anybody, and luckily my friends don’t give me a hard time. They love me and are just happy to see me. When you surround yourself with good people your quality of life really increases. True friends will love you no matter what.

  24. You’re like me, or I’m like you 🙂 I’m a guy. You don’t have to change the way you are, if people don’t like you for what you are and the way you are, then it’s their problem. Lots of people in this world are like sheep, and they believe they are the right ones, but they’re not. Be who you are, and don’t care about people’s thoughts anymore.

  25. I wish that I had that problem. I am a shy introvert, not the life of the party by any means, prefer to be left the hell alone most of the time. Can barely stand my husband talking to me at the end of the day, and I love him. I can fake it a tiny bit, but most of the time I am so silent and soft spoken people think I’m dumb, aloof, maybe even stuck up since I’m considered attractive. My only hope I think is to leave the rat race and work from home where I won’t be judged. Faking is exhausting.

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