41 Comments

  1. An introvert on

    I have a phone interview today. It’s not for a job I initially applied for (was rejected for that, being considered for this instead). I need a job, although I wasn’t thrilled with this or with the other I applied for. So we’ll see.

    • Good luck on that interview! If this turns out to be a job that would be good for your life, then I hope you get it. If a better one is right around the corner, then this interview is still excellent practice. By the third time I was asked, “Tell me about a time when you…” I began to actually have a story in mind and be able to tell it!

  2. Hi. I’m Mariah. I’m having trouble telling my family and friends about my latest business venture. Reason being, this is probably like the 100th idea I’ve introduced to them.

    The thing is, I have an INTP personality type which means I get countless ideas for making society better just from observation of the world. Instead of just picking one idea and giving it my full attention, I create a plan of implementation for it, I tell my friends about it, then I start all over with the next idea.

    No one has complained but I doubt they take me seriously. So I’ve devised a way to use all of my ideas in short term projects and I need their help spreading the word. I’m reluctant to share this time though. I don’t want to wear them out lol.

    Guess it just comes with the territory. I don’t know. Just needed to get that off my chest.
    pariahMariah´s last post ..3 Surefire Ways to Connect with Others Without Looking or Feeling Weird

    • :) I totally understand. As an INFJ, I’m always searching for that perfect niche. One thing that helped me was to take a paper notebook and go sit in the sunshine all alone during lunch hours, scribbling possibilities to myself. Once I had them all out there, I immediately started to see the “why not” about many of them. I’m still having a little trouble with narrowing things down all the way, but I did come up with a good starting point. Maybe you could use Twitter or Facebook or some other way to spread the word without involving them – until you can show them that you have a beginning toward success – a happy customer, etc.?

  3. Hello :) I’m EJ. I’m having some trouble learning how to not to worry about my introversion when it comes to my relationship with my relatively new boyfriend. He’s involved in a business venture that involves a lot of hobnobbing and what I can only describe as extreme networking. To me, a lot of their “business” meetings and seminars are more like a mixture of happy hour and old college mixers (like 70% socializing and 20% of actual business) a couple days ago I attended a monthly event so that I could be there to support him (he was receiving special recognition), even though I knew from my past experience with similar events I was likely to be uncomfortable.( The things we do for love, right?) And i was, indeed out of my element, and spent much of the evening alone as my bf was being whisked from here to there all night. Although I’m personally ok being alone (INTJ :) I worry about not being able to comfortably fit into his world. I feel enormous pressure within and a sort of sadness that I don’t feel as at ease and comfortable as everyone else. I am normally ok with who I am until I’m thrust into these types of events, at which time I struggle with feeling almost like a loser. I just want to fit into that part of his world because I know it’s something he loves. I dont want our relationship to be affected (and my sense of logic tells me it likely will not) but I cant help but feel inadequate and that it makes me lesser in terms of being a good partner. Just having a hard time with this, because I care about this guy a lot.

    • Hi EJ! It was wonderful of you to go to that event because you knew it would make it even more special for him. I totally understand that weird feeling, where you really wouldn’t be unhappy to be alone for some of the time but it just feels so awkward. I’m sure you two have your own give and take, but one thing I always make sure of when faced with an event like that is – give yourself a break on the days leading up to that event. An example would be that on the evening before this event, spend hours with a great book or watching a movie you’ve been looking forward to. Having your calendar jammed with activities creates a stress of its own. And I hope that over time you’ll get to know a few of the people who go to these things – people who have something real (hobbies, education, etc.) to talk about with you.

    • EJ,
      I feel for you. That’s one of the worst positions for an introvert.

      I suggest you look around and try to find a fellow introvert at the event. With introverts being 30%-50% of the population, there have got to be a few around. I bet they’ll be just as uncomfortable as you and would be so relieved to have someone to talk to one on one. Prepare a couple of opening questions in advance like what brought them there. If they are there just to support someone else like you are, you have immediate common ground to commiserate over. If they are a member of the organization, how did they get involved? What do they like about the organization?

      Otherwise, think of some problem you can wrestle with in your head while you wait for your BF, you might come up with some remarkable solution! You can always use the tried and true frequent breaks in a restroom stall.

      • Thanks SO much guys!!! Natalie, I really appreciate the practical solutions. I actually did meet a girl (unfortunately it was at the very end) who seemed to be a fellow introvert (somewhat nervous, uncomfortable, and ill at ease, lol) we met because we were both ducking and dodging trying to stay out of the way of various groups of people taking photos :) It was nice chatting with her for the minute or so that I did, hopefully she (and others) will be at the next event. Thanks again :)

    • Oooh, Tiffany – how about stay in instead and work on whatever awesome introvert art you do – whether it’s visual arts, music, writing, etc., aiming to become rich and famous from that! And the bonus is, no prison time! :)

  4. Hi I’m RockerGirl (I prefer not to share my real name/nickname) and I’ve been looking at this site for quite some time. I find a lot of the articles interesting on here (also quite helpful!) and I am actually seeking advice on a couple of things right now. My mother is an introvert as well, but some things I just can’t seem to talk to her about…

    • Hi RockerGirl! One thing about a blog site is that some of the best stuff gets “buried” over time, so be sure to use the Search box to search for topics you’re interested in. Since its beginning in the summer of 2009, there have been over 5,000 comments on this site – where readers are giving each other advice and understanding about job situations, dating, friendship, family, etc.

  5. Hi there

    I just found this website and cried when I read about so many things that I recognised in myself.

    I am having a REALLY difficult time right now and not sure what to do. I am working in Vietnam as an ESL teacher. I teach adults Mon/Tue/Weds nights and children all weekend from 8:30-6:00. I cope better with the adults but even with them, am starting to struggle. When it comes to teaching children, I am hating it and often teach with tears in my eyes as I am so overwhelmed by the noise and having children in my personal space all the time. The teacher’s room is a big open plan office and there’s a lot of noise and banter, which I’ve discovered can also bring me to tears.

    I thought I was going to make a career of ESL teaching because I’m interested in languages AND in people, but I’m really starting to understand myself and my introversion better and how draining teaching is for me. If someone said I never had to teach a class again, I would be so relieved. I’m trying to work out if there’s something else I can do that’s kinda related, like publishing, editing, proofreading or maybe even private tutoring (still people but one-to-one so better for an introvert) but I have no idea where to get started with any of that or if I can make such good money as I can from a teaching career. I’m struggling, getting stressed, not sleeping enough and feeling guilty that I really don’t like teaching children.

    I’m glad I’ve realised WHY I’m feeling all of this but I’m not sure where to go next .If anyone has any advice for me that’d be great. Thanks so much for this amazing space where I can connect with others like me! :)

    Anni.

    • Hi Anni,

      I just read your post and I felt everything that you said when I first started going to school! I had been home schooled practically from my birth up to high school and I went to college in 2011. I was so scared and so overwhelmed that I cried the whole first week thinking that I should wait until the next year to go to school. My mother told me not to quit just because I was afraid and overwhelmed, so as a result I am graduating in June this year! I also found out that I’m an introvert by taking a personality test in my first quarter for one of my classes. I had no clue what an introvert was so I started doing some research and realized, “wow I AM an introvert!” From reading your post, it sounds like you really enjoying teaching so I wouldn’t stop just yet ;-) if for some reason you just can’t get into it anymore, then I think that’s a sure sign that you probably should consider stopping. I think that your love for languages and people is more than enough to be a great teacher and excel. My mother is a teacher in higher education and she is also an introvert. It is draining for her, but I think you will do great as a teacher! You sound like a very nice and caring person, so you are on your way somewhere :-) I hope you find my comment helpful!

      RockerGirl

    • Hi Anni,

      Is there any way you could stick with the adults class and perhaps find other classes to teach that are only adults? Or would you be all right teaching children if they were smaller classes? It may be that more nights of adult classes in a community college night school environment would be less draining to you than having kids in your space all the time. Also, what about scheduling your energy expenditure WITHIN a certain class day – so that you alternate the spoken and draining part with a part where they have any writing exercises you were going to give? I thought perhaps you could plan that sort of “break” for yourself in between the more hands-on active times when you must be interacting with the students.

    • Welcome Anni,
      How about looking for a position where the classes are smaller or not so open? Are there any like that there? How about translating services? Or doing ESL for corporations?

      My introvert daughter is also an elementary school teacher and having great difficulties. She is looking at different careers too. She’s a big people person but gets overwhelmed by the chaos of children. She hasn’t found anything that calls to her.
      Natalie´s last post ..Spiritual Journey

    • Hi Anni.
      I’ve never posted here before but you remind me so much of myself that I’m signing up simply to reply to your question.
      Like you, I used to teach English in Asia – Thailand, in fact, and like you, found it incredibly draining. I tried teaching children but soon gave it up, which was better than curling up in a ball in a corner of the classroon, which is what I felt like doing. So, I stuck with adults and it eventually got easier, a lot easier.
      Your job as an ESL teacher is not so much to talk as to create an environment where your students can talk. ESL students, contrary to what you’ve probably been told, learn English grammar and syntax more easily when it is explained to them in their own language. Hence, you should focus on having them talk in English. For example, get them to present two-minute show-and-tell pieces and have other students ask questions; get them to give impromptu 60-second speeches about topics drawn out of a hat, and so on. None of these things need you to speak at all. I always think the best ESL classroom is one where the teacher is almost invisible. Anyway, the point is that much of this comes with practice, knowing your stuff, and getting out of the way while the students talk. Actual ‘teaching’ should occupy very little of the lesson. Naturally, for people like us, one-to-one tutoring is a lot easier but the same rules apply: give your students a chance to talk.
      Now, I taught in Thailand for five years and easily made enough to live comfortably, travel and even save, so it turned out to be a great experience, although I certainly struggled at times. I sometimes think that the really valuable stuff is always difficult, don’t you?
      After five years at the chalkface, I moved into editing and proofreading – I imagine your eyes lighting up here – at an advertising and public relations company. I was the only foreigner there but by this time my Thai was good enough to cope – most of the time. I have to say I really enjoyed this kind of work and I’m sure you would too, as long as you don’t mind sitting in front of a computer all day. In between editing, speechwriting, proofreading and so on, I got to write a novel too, so that was really great.
      I’ve moved back to the West now and into a completely different career but I count those years in Asia as some of the best in my life.
      I wish you all the best Anni. From one introvert to another, I send you blessings across the miles.
      Bethany

  6. I am in a job not well-suited to my personality. I answer phones all day, greet visitors, and my desk is out in the open in a high traffic area. In spite of this, I do my job very well and my boss acknowledges this. She also knows that I’m overqualified and that there is nowhere for me to go in our small company.

    She is also extremely extroverted and spends (what seems to me at least) a fair amount of time talking at me about whatever she is thinking. Recently she seems to have decided that my personality needs to be changed. She asked me if I wanted to attend a charity luncheon where her husband (also the owner of the company) is sponsoring a table. I initially declined, but she kept on insisting and eventually wore me down.

    Today, she told me she thought it would be a good idea for her to join a networking group and drag me along (her words). She expressed concern for my career and said that I need to get “out there.” I told her I appreciated her taking an interest, but that wasn’t something I would be interested in. She started to push the point, but got called away to something else.

    I know it won’t be long before she brings it up again. I feel that since it does not affect my job performance, she should respect my decision. However, she feels that she has to pull me out of my shell and make me get out in the world, even if it’s her world and not mine. I’ve also tried to explain that I’m not really interested in getting ahead in business the way she is and am happy to quietly excel in a supporting role. Any suggestions on how to deal with someone who is trying to push their version of success or ambition on you? Am I wrong to think that she is overstepping her bounds?

    • Hi Elwin,

      Is she trying to get you “out there” as far as not letting you be quiet, or is she getting you “out there” exposed to some people who might learn of your skills and want to help you develop your career (perhaps they also own companies but have jobs available that require your skill set)? I had a mentor when I was fresh out of college and it was the best thing that could possibly have happened to me. I also wanted to stay behind the scenes as much as possible, but there’s nothing wrong with having a supporting role or behind the scenes doing something that interests you and pays better. ;)

  7. Not really sure how these comments work so I may be posting this twice. If so, sorry. Have any of you ever taken the MBTI and come out as one thing but you actually fit the description of another? I took it a couple of years ago and came out INTP. The description fit me perfectly so I’ve thought that’s what I was all this time. However, I just took the test twice and came out INTJ, but looking at the descriptions of the two I feel the INTP still describes me better. Is it probably just that I’m somewhere in the middle of the PJ spectrum?

    • Absolutely. That’s what stopped me from even knowing I was an introvert for a long time, as crazy as that sounds. They hardly come any more introverted than I am! :) But questions such as, “I’m energized by being around people” would throw me off. After all, I could remember going to some functions and becoming very energized and even the life of the party, temporarily. I just really didn’t understand things very well. You could be close to the middle of the P vs. J, or it could be the vague wording of the questions you’re answering. It wasn’t until I read Hunter Nuttall’s The Personality Puzzle ebook that I finally figured my own type (INFJ) out – and started being able to understand my friends, family, and coworkers because now I understood what each preference really meant. It was great for me to understand that those “T’s” who had been hurting my feelings sometimes weren’t trying to be cold; they were just very task driven. And the S’s just weren’t going to be excited about all the abstract daydreaming that I was into.

  8. everything is always sorta tough. Wanting to be places but not wanting to talk with people. Wanting to be in the crowd but unnoticed. Nervous conversation. Chitchat. Social events and occasions.

    • Hi Jeff,

      I know the feeling! A lot of times when I go places, I try not to be the center of attention, but people stare at me a lot *especially with bright pink hair!* and it makes me uncomfortable. I get a lot of comments on it too, and I tend to be nervous when I talk to people as well, especially when meeting someone new. Social events are difficult for me as well, but from going to school and work, I’ve gotten better at socializing with people and it’s paying off! Don’t worry or get discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time, you’ll get the hang of it eventually!

      I hope this helps!

      RockerGirl

  9. Just found this site today, it’s pretty cool.

    Anyways, I’m an extrovert, and my ex is a major introvert, (an INTP I think??) anyways lets call him D. I just realized today he’s an introvert, I always figured he didn’t really like people or he was just VERY shy, but no, he’s an intro. While we were dating, he never gave me any feedback, or carried conversations well, he was pretty keep to himself, which made me, a talkative, giggly, center-of-attention, extrovert, made me think he didn’t want me around and that I was getting on his nerves big time, I began watching what I said and felt like every word was offending him, so after about 2 months of dating I broke it off. He seemed hurt, and I missed him, a few days later I explained I though I was annoying him, he seemed relieved, and happy! But next day he said “lets just be friends”. I was fine with that :)
    However he started avoiding me like the plague! And we stopped talking full-on. It hurts, so after four months of no communication, I texted him, we started making small talk until i flat out apologized and said sorry, he said everything was fine and that he was really sorry too. We made up!
    However when I see him at school (high school, I’m a soph, he’s a junior.) i go to wave and he looks away avoiding eye contact and looks a little freaked out, like he saw a ghost.

    I really want him back, now that I understand he’s just an introvert, I can understand him much more, and I think it would work much better, even if its just a friendship. I miss him, how could I get this introverted guy back into my life? If thats even possible…
    Thank you!! Also, does he still like me, I don’t mean like that, I just mean at all.. How can you tell with an introvert?

  10. Dear introvertzone,
    I’m introvert who’s in college. This semester in my computer science class, I fell instantly for this guy from Saudi Arabia, Sal. I didn’t pursue him right away, but gradually I approached him through twitter, which led to facebook and texting. I feel Sal and I have gotten really close, and we even had our first lunch date last week. He’s perfect except for the fact he’s extroverted. I’ll see online that’s he’s going to all these parties and drinking, which he loves but it makes me jealous. I’m not that type of girl, so It makes me wonder if that’s more of what he wants. I just keep telling myself, that it’s okay he partied before he meet me and he can still party now. Plus since he’s foreign, he should allowed to experience as much as he can while he’s here. How can I overcome my jealously of seeing this extroverted guy I really like, hanging out in the clubs with all these pretty girls who are way more extroverted than me :( ??
    Do you think asking him how he feels towards me, would help, cause if he says those girls are fun, but you’re different and special to me I feel that would clear up my negative thoughts. Any advice is appreciated, thank you!

    • *Update, I asked him and he was so nice about it. Turns out he only ever thought of me as a friend and that he’s pretty much dating one of the girl he’s always out with. So I ended-up getting friendzoned, but I’m relieved not having to worry anymore cause it wasn’t going to work out. Plus I still have him as a friend who cares about me, which I prefer anyway

  11. Hi all, I’m an introvert. I don’t like to socialize. But in my
    office there are so many people. They often invite
    me to dinner or going out somewhere but i always
    refuse because i don’t feel comfort. I just want to
    go with small group, less then 5 persons. Sometimes
    I feel guilty about that. I don’t have boyfriend either.
    How can i find one if i don’t like to socialize?
    Sometimes i feel depressed and sad. Please help.

  12. Hi i am highly desperate for an advice, I am currently dating a loving handsome succesful guy and I am so in love with him. I feel like I am going to loose my mind, Initially i didnt know what to think about him until I googled his personality. To cut a long story short, I initially thought that my boyfriend of 2 years was the meanest person ever, that he didnt like me but at the same time I asked myself why else would he still be with me for this lengtened period.

    He is extra quite, talks only when he feels like it. When I visit him at his place we will watch tv for hours without kissing or cuddling. It will be as if he hates or doesnt care that I m there till we get into bed and even then there will be some good loving and afterwards he will turn away and I will do the same.

    I recently got a job 550kilometres away from him which means we are now in a long distance relationship.

    I am an extreme extrovert that his quiteness makes me feel lonely unwanted and confused. I dont know what to do anymore, sometimes when he calls me the sweetest names, I feel I still wanna be with him but other times when he shuts down I just wanna go crazy.

    Please help me because I love him, infact I attempted talking to him once and I shared my feelings on an e-mail. I told him that I think I was just a social media girlfriend and that our relationship was unreal, in that he replied:” Im sorry babes if thats what you think”…WTF I needed more then that but I ddnt get it.

    Please help me somebody!!!

  13. An example would be that on the evening before this event, spend hours with a great book or watching a movie you’ve been looking forward to. Having your calendar jammed with activities creates a stress of its own. And I hope that over time you’ll get to know a few of the people who go to these things – people who have something real (hobbies, education, etc.) to talk about with you.” -totally agree with you

  14. That site is just incredible. At the moment I feel somewhat sad and hopeless – I have the terrible feeling everything in that world is purposely against me..Don’t wanna tell about it into details but maybe I’ve finally realized that the more you wanna others see you like the kind of person you are actually not, the more desperate you start feeling trying to fit in their expectations..:( A few months ago I took the MBTI test because I went to a career counselor – it was just one meeting organized by an educational agency. The test results really shocked me – I had an extremely level of introversion… I never had true friends – I mean ones to hang out or just meet from time to time..That was the reason why I was invited by the counselor to meet her personally and talk with her about my situation. She was really curious to know more about my way of living. In fact, I’m not the isolated one at school – I always have people around me to talk to and others find me a cool person to spend their time with..but I just prefer being alone and doing things I like – or being with someone who I’m really interested in..it’s so confusing..most of my time i have the awful feeling I’m losing my temper and get mad at everyone only because I feel really confused..
    The counselor advised me to do voluntary work and I did but..I was unsatisfied again because I really didn’t feel I’m myself while doing it….I just accepted to do it because I didn’t want to feel the pressure of pointing the finger at me – stares by my parents..they let me be myself but it’s not enough because I feel some kind of pressure..now after quitting that voluntary work I feel a real relief and yeah, I wasted a whole month doing I don’t like but I know now that I wanna be myself and if I do a voluntary work again, it will be the one that don’t make me quit it as soon as possible.. tnx to anybody who read my comment..after writing that I feel full of positivism again and tnx to myself I didn’t drink 1-2 beers trying to escape from the things happened today. oh, and I’m ISTP but that doesn’t mean a lot because I have a really rich imagination and enjoy writing and doing other similar activities..but I’m also good at Maths.. :)))) Keep your head up and be proud of being an introvert!! :))))

  15. I just had a rough year. I began the year with winning an award at work and a nice trip overseas on my own and then the hell started not long after I got back home. Health issues, uni studies, work issues, career uncertainty and depression hit me six months ago. I barely fit into any social situation – whether it is with my friends, people I meet at conferences, my family or my colleagues at work. I feel like there is an unspoken social obligation that I have to force myself out of the comfort zone and converse with others in order to achieve success in life. This takes too much energy especially when I have to talk to people who I don’t feel comfortable with. I am looking forward to tomorrow, where I can just rewind and be alone at a place away from home.

  16. For me, I ‘ve always been a very introverted person. Unfortunately I’ve had to move around all the type and it was always hard finding and losing friends, since I am not always the most outgoing person. Now I am struggling at my work. I don’t really like it, but I need to do something to make money. So I try to focus on other things like going to the gym (used to play a lot of sports back in school, but no more since I work) and learning stuff. Unfortunately had to have an ACL surgery, which really set me back :(
    Peter´s last post ..Why I train?

  17. For me, I ‘ve always been a very introverted person. Unfortunately I’ve had to move around all the time and it was always hard finding and losing friends, since I am not always the most outgoing person. Now I am struggling at my work. I don’t really like it, but I need to do something to make money. So I try to focus on other things like going to the gym (used to play a lot of sports back in school, but no more since I work) and learning stuff. Unfortunately had to have an ACL surgery, which really set me back :(
    Peter´s last post ..Why I train?

  18. great post to reduce my stress……no no nope due to life. It’s the job that killing me. now life is too hectic, that you can’t get the time for your family and kins.

    but at the same time you need to earn as well for your family. but when your family doesn’t understand you and treat you just like money making machine…. then the worst night mare starts…. they never understand for whom i am going out and making $$$…
    but still i have job (to offer a better life to my family), just wish me luck
    Arshi Farha´s last post ..A new way to upload photos to Facebook on iPhone

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