Introvert wonders if she’s really being offensive

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Dear IntrovertZone,

I’m 24 and an introvert. My Mom keeps telling me that I’m missing out on all the things twenty somethings , people my age are doing? I don’t understand what she means by this?

But this isn’t the only issue! Shes constantly telling me I’m being rude and I can’t fathom what shes talking about. I don’t see how any of my action , comments or responses as being rude. she gets angry at me when i don’t say Hi or try to start a conversation with people whom a literally see everyday.

An example would be me not telling her good morning when I walk into the living room.

She has told me that she hates it when I speak.

I’m sorry but I don’t understand what I’m missing out on and what I’m doing thats seriously offending her?

Photo credit: Lara604

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42 Comments

  1. I do not know what is the reason of your mom but I guess as a mother she always wanted you to approach her and be open to her. You can be offensive in ways that not talking back to someone talking to you. I do not know but I guess the best way is to change.
    Orlan Bert´s last post ..seo agency

  2. She hates it when you speak or when you DON’T speak? From what you’ve written, she seems to have a problem with both and I think she has more issues than you do

  3. A friend of mine went through something similar with her mother concerning the part about “missing out” on things for her age. Especially when she chose not to attend her prom (which she still doesn’t regret to this day and she is in her mid 20’s).

    It sounds to me like your mother’s personality is very different from yours and she might be an extrovert that can’t accept that you are different from her. I say this because only an extrovert would believe you are missing out on something in life by not talking to every stranger you meet or thinking that you might be missing out on something in life just being the way that you are as an introvert.

    If you have accepted who you are, then explain it to her and gently but firmly tell her that you aren’t going to change. Be sure she knows you are quite happy with how you are living your life, but you appreciate her concern.

  4. I think the only way to solve your dilemma is to have a heart to heart talk with your mom. Let her explain what she’s protesting about so that you can understand her side of the story. And then, tell her about your personality and your issues so that you meet each other half way. At the end of the day, remember that your mom cares for you that’s why she says this kind of things.

  5. It’s easy when everyone is in a great mood and feeling secure, but communication can become difficult if and when someone takes what you’re telling them in the wrong way or vice versa. Miscommunication or ineffective communication can sometimes lead to defensive communication..
    Jazmine´s last post ..Article Writer Devon

  6. I’d like to address the first issue (not attending many activities that other people your age are attending). This is one I am very familiar with. I am 55 years old and have lived years with people telling me I “should” attend many events that I didn’t want to do. Sometimes I caved and went and other times I made up excuses not to go. Now, that I am older, I just tell the truth. I know myself, what I like, what I don’t like, so making the decision is easy. Sometimes I’ll have to make an “appearance” because a person who is having an event means alot to me. Then, I just hang back and make sure I have an exit plan if needed. Looking back, I never felt bad for missing anything that didn’t sound fun to me. Just make sure you stay engaged in those activities that you DO enjoy. In other words, YOU chart your own course. PS. I went to my HS prom and hated it.
    Joanne´s last post ..A day trip to Mass Moca in March with a good friend.

    • @Joanne, you are my hero. How I wish I could say no more often. I’ve caved — and then collapsed — more times than i can count. In fact, I just endured a HORRIBLE dinner party held by my in-laws in honor of MY first wedding anniversary. It was nothing but suffering for both my husband and I but we had to pretend to be grateful.

    • ugh prom was the worst! I got suckered into it by my aunt and mother. Should of went to disneyland instead…now I make up for it with my pass. No regrets there 😀

  7. bellejarre, In the beginning, it isn’t always easy to decline an invite, at least without coming up with some huge fib about the reason why not. But over time, it gets easier. It the people you are saying no to mean a lot to you, just make sure you do take care of them in some way (for instance, arrange another time to get together, more on your terms, maybe with a shorter time committment like going out for dessert or breakfast. Sometimes having an activity is good way to be together.
    If, on the other hand, the people you are saying no to are more of a group of people, like work people, you can simply decline an invite by saying you have another engagement (not really a fib-if you think about it). Just be gracious about it and wish them a great time. It is all about setting boundaries.

  8. I think you need to share some articles with her on what it means to be an introvert. She needs to understand that introversion isn’t a state of depression, it’s just that you are more fulfilled in life by looking inward instead of depending on other people. My fellow friend Michele wrote this article that might help, but there are quite a few insightful articles out there that might help her understand where you’re coming from. I’m sure she wants the best for you and just doesn’t know how to “help” you.

    http://redfeathernetworking.com/through-the-looking-glass/

  9. Your mom needs to understand you, and your needs. It’s okay when you want to be alone, and I won’t think you would miss anything. Speak with your mother about your problem honestly, and maybe she will be more patient with you.
    Julie´s last post ..veneers

  10. I have experienced similar situations with my mom. I completely understand what you are saying because I have felt that way too. I have often felt that other people think I am being rude when I am really just being “me”. Your mom needs to realize that you are not doing things to purposely be rude. I would explain to her that you are introverted and that this is the way you are. I would also highly recommend getting some reading materials to show to your mom so she can educate herself about what it’s like to be you. Show her this website (which I have found to be extremely helpful!)
    Also, two books I would suggest (for you as well as your mom): “The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Olsen Laney, and “Quiet” by Susan Cain. These books will help you and your mom realize there is nothing wrong with the way you are and that you are not being rude.

  11. I do appreciate the loved of your mom. She really cares for you. We know it’s a kind of short notice, but very valuable and informative post! It was a grateful feeling to get some learning here.
    Luisa D Aguirre´s last post ..hormones

  12. I recently wrote on something similar to your situation. My mom tells me I’m missing out on life too. But probably not as expressly as yours. We are so often labeled as rude that it sometimes better to be rude that nice just to spite people a little.

    In my own way, I started to blog about introversion to tell people that I love and care about how I am as a person and that they shouldn’t bug me or worry about me.
    This is just the way I am, and just as I accept them they should accept me as well.
    Glori´s last post ..“No. I Am Not a Snob”: An Introvert Speaks

  13. Give her a copy of Introvert Power (Helgoe) and make her read it. You’d probably love it yourself. I wouldn’t be surprised if every introvert has had at least one person in their life who has told them in one form or another what your mom is saying to you. She needs to educate herself and make an honest effort to understand and appreciate you.

  14. I want through this when I was in my teens to early 20’s. When I don’t feel like talking or socializing, she nags on and on about my attitude towards her, etc. We break out into an argument with me crying from frustration. Frankly, it was exhausting to me trying to explain how I felt and simply wanted her to only listen (of course she never did get it). It one of those mother/daughter complex. Being somewhat older and wiser now I realized that she just wants what is best for me. Communicate with her and get her to try to understand your point of view. Don’t fall into the pressures of what others say who you should be b/c by the end of the day, you are still you. Be happy with who you are.
    PS I went to prom and was bored to death…you didn’t miss much.

  15. I want through this when I was in my teens to early 20′s. When I don’t feel like talking or socializing, she nags on and on about my attitude towards her, etc. We break out into an argument with me crying from frustration. Frankly, it was exhausting to me trying to explain how I felt and simply wanted her to only listen (of course she never did get it). It one of those mother/daughter complex. Being somewhat older and wiser now I realized that she just wants what is best for me. Communicate with her and get her to try to understand your point of view. Don’t fall into the pressures of what others say who you should be b/c by the end of the day, you are still you. Be happy with who you are.
    Carrie´s last post ..knjiga

  16. I once stayed with my grandmother for a period of time, and I was rather shocked to find that because I had not said “Good morning.” to her two days in a row, she was mad at me for ‘being mad at her’!

    These words are just unusually important to some people. I’ve learned to spout them off automatically, not that I would suggest you condition yourself as well. :]

  17. I agree you should explain to mom the introvert that you are.
    When my husband and I got married, he would never say good morning to me. We never spoke about the problem I had with it, but I hated it, I felt as though he

  18. Your remarks sound very familiar! Personally I think a lot and it takes a lot of effort to change my train of thought. Having people interrupt my routines upsets me. On the other hand: family does matter, even (and perhaps even more so) for an introvert. Ignoring them makes you seem arrogant and selfish. You could try a couple of things: try complimenting your mom on things you like and notice the little things she does. Try being approachable for about 20-30 mins a day, by doing the dishes straight after dinner for example. Somebody might com talk to you, they might not, but you are clearly making the effort.
    Second familiar thing is the “being hard to talk to”. With me being hard to talk to comes from being right brained, whole-to-part, visual-spatial or whatever. The way I think is: I start with the bigger picture and then I criticize until I have filled in all the gaps and have the whole, perfect picture. A great way to think. Not a great way to talk. People get really nervous when they hear criticism. Men will become oppositional, overprotective or whatever and for women it is even worse. A man will listen and get on with his life, a woman (and mothers especially) will feel responsible and try and fix it. In this case something that was never really broken in the first place. The way to fix this is to promote yourself shamelessly and train not to phrase stuff as criticism. For every negative there is a positive!

    Hope it helps,

    Regards,

    Brandon

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