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u/begentlewithme · 17 pointsr/introvert

Hey man, I'm 23 years old, and I was a pretty big loner too back in high school. I'm still very much an introvert but I'm far from the social recluse I was back then. What I'm about to write probably won't change your life around, but at the very least I hope you might one day reflect back on it and hopefully help you a little bit.

For starters, high school doesn't really matter. It might seem like the biggest thing in your life currently (or not), but most of it won't affect you years later. Even now, some of the more popular kids I knew back in high school have retained like 2-3 friends from back then at most, while everyone else faded away and gone about their own ways. The people that will actually matter, as in your love life and work life, are the people you'll meet outside of high school.

Second, friends and connections don't come without effort. Life isn't some romance-comedy film, where you, the protagonist, meets some whimsical girl on a whim and suddenly click with her. You have to put yourself out there. Now I know, that's pretty much the opposite of what being an introvert is, but here's the thing, I'm not telling you to become an extrovert, far from it. I'm proud to be an introvert, and I'm happy to correct anyone who says/accuses me of having social anxiety, etc. That being said, I don't shy away from opportunities.

What exactly does that mean? Well, for starters, really analyze yourself as a person. What do you enjoy? What do you like? Video games? Anime? My Little Ponies? Death Metal? Soccer? LARPing? Fantasy novels? Game of Thrones? Are you Asian? Black? Indian? It doesn't matter, because I can fucking guarantee you right now that there's someone at your school who shares the same interests, but you have to make the effort to find them. How? Well, clubs and activities are a good place to start, if your interests line with one that's available at your school. Does your school have some online forum? Trying seeking people there. Point is, you're not the only person at your school with your tastes, but you're not going to find them without at least making some effort. But here's the thing. If you don't or can't find anyone by the time you graduate, it's okay. The world is a big place. In the last 5 years since I've graduated, I've met people with similar interests as me in places I never thought I would. I promise you that you will too.

Third, start caring about your physical appearance. I don't give a damn if you're the kind of kid who thinks worrying about how you look is superficial and shallow and you're above it all, because believe it or not, how you make yourself appear matters a whole lot more than you think, not just in social settings, but in your work life as well. No one's going to hire some punk ass teen who looks like he hasn't showered in days and smells like he hasn't brushed his teeth in weeks, and wears baggy ass clothes that don't fit. You might think you look cool now, but let me point you to /r/blunderyears and show you how much of a fool you might look. Start eating healthy and go buy nice, fitting clothes. Button ups, collar shirts, plain-color Tees, etc., I recommend /r/malefashionadvice, even if it has a tendency to circlejerk at times. Start hitting the gym regularly. Trust me, no one judges you, and no one cares you're there, if gym anxiety is what you're afraid of. I'm not making fun of you or criticizing you, we've all been there. It's better for you to realize it sooner and start working on it now than to be an unfortunate (yet hilarious) individual who ends up posting in that subreddit. Bless those souls who have the courage to post there, because I have my fair share of blunder pics that I'm too embarrassed to ever put on a public forum.

Fourth, don't be an asshole. This is purely anecdotal, you may not be like this at all, but when I was in high school I was an elitist prick. I thought I was cool for listening to indie and hating on mainstream radio songs and was a judgmental asshole. I also thought anyone who was religious was an idiot for believing in the supernatural. I studied philosophy, works like Thoreau, Kant, Marx, etc. I thought I was so much smarter than everyone. In retrospect, it's that kind of attitude that repelled people. Look, if you have some passion or interest that you have some insight or knowledge into, that's great! But don't shoehorn it into a conversation unless it's with someone who shares the same interests, and don't act like you're better for having some niche interest. Everyone you meet is your superior, because everyone you meet knows more than you on something, so treat everyone with respect.

Lastly, I highly recommend reading these two books: How to Win Friends & Influence People and Introvert Advantage (both non-affiliate links). I know, it's a silly sounding book, I sure as hell was embarrassed when I bought it. Hell, you might even think the contents of the book are obvious. But in the last 5 years since I've read that book, I ended up employing a lot of the techniques in that book without realizing, and it's paid off. Even if you think it's stupid, as long as you keep the key points of the book in mind, you will subconsciously execute them in social settings, and you will see it pay off, I promise. The second book, Introvert Advantage, will help give insight into your life in more ways than most people in your life will be capable of, because the book will understand you. Your parents, your guidance counselor, or hell your therapist if you have one might not, because not everyone understands what it's like to be an introvert, but this book will. Try giving both a read.

More than anything, I want you to know that high school isn't the end all be all that defines how you'll live for the rest of your life. I was borderline suicidal in high school. Thoughts of how to kill myself was my only solace at night. I honestly thought I would have ended up offing myself by the time I was in my mid-20s, but here I am, happier than I ever was back then. It takes time, a little bit of luck, but mostly a lot of effort on your part.

u/sacca7 · 7 pointsr/introvert

>How do I continuously be happy and keep up a good mood daily?

Andrew Weil just wrote a book and in it he talks about how we can't expect to be happy every day all the time. Basic contentment is what I work for, and it happens as I just appreciate what I have. Since I hike a lot, I appreciate being home with running water, shelter, and lots of things many take for granted. Appreciation of what we have (food, shelter, medicine, health, etc), over and over again, can bring a lot of contentment.

>How can I stop judging people, and myself?

Notice the difference between judgement and discernment. We always have discernment, as in, "do I want an apple or an orange." It's not bad, it's just the way we make decisions. If you are constantly seeing the bad in yourself, start to look for the good: kindness, humor, awareness, intelligence, truthfulness, gratitude, etc.

We always have discernment, it's necessary, and self-judgement diminishes when we actively look for the positive in ourselves as well as others. We're all a mixed bag, no one is perfect.

>How can I not be jealous?

Learn to be happy for another's happiness. The jealousy may be strong at first, but realize there is no limit to happiness, it's like air. The possibilities are as open as your creativity. So, if you are jealous of your friend with a girl, be happy for him. When your friends are doing better, just be happy for them.

After years of working on jealousy, I've found I really appreciate my life and what I've got. It's weird, but I don't want to be in anyone else's shoes. My life, as boring as it may be (though it's had lots of excitement, just not by movie-worthy standards), I wouldn't trade it for anything.

>For some more experienced introverts, how did you handle high-school, and how did it turn out for you?

In high school, back in the dark ages of the late 1970s, I enjoyed my classes and teachers, but never really related to my peers. Within a year of graduating I was no longer in touch with any of them, and I don't regret it. They are and were fine people, I just never really clicked with them. I never go to any reunions. Looking back, it was a rather dysfunctional time for me on many levels. When I got to college I found people who had similar interests, was relatively social, and I'm still in touch with several friends from that time.

>Are these all skills that I can acquire with practice or is there something I'm missing?

There are definitely social skills I practiced when I was in my 40s with a therapist and some close friends, but they were not things I could have done on my own. You could do this sort of thing, but it requires another person. Or, if you're interested in "How to make friends" I suspect there are books out there. For me, I had to work on some listening skills as well as validating skills, as well as some other fine points.

I have no immediate advice about hanging out with friends or not. I'd say stay true to yourself. If it's not working with friends at this time, it's just not working. You're all going through a lot of changes, year to year. That settles as you get older, and the changes that do happen are less noticeable outside, but very worthwhile inside.

u/simiangeek · 5 pointsr/introvert

Almost everything here is great advice, so much so that I'm probably going to send my wife a copy of this thread so she can finally 'get it.' Just my two cents on the topic as well:

As you can probably guess, I'm introverted, my wife of eleven years is an extrovert. She's a talker. Loves to talk to people, anyone. At length. She wouldn't know concise if it landed on her head and crapped in her hair. (She's also very (ugh) touchy-feely. Still love her, though.)

She's had many of the same complaints that you're expressing in your post: Physical contact (like holding hands, little touches out in public, PDA's, etc) and communication (or the lack thereof, in her opinion). I tell her the same thing, everytime:

I'm just not geared the same way you are.

It's not that I don't like social situations, it's just that they are mentally and physically draining for me. Small talk sucks. Especially if I don't know anyone there, those are the worst. Having a few 'go-to' friends around helps. Making sure there is someplace I can retreat off to, even if it's just a chair in the corner, to recover a bit, helps. Understanding if I tell you I need a break for 5-10 minutes to recharge the batteries, and noticing if I do need to take a break (body language and if I'm getting cranky), helps. Please don't get mad at me when I do these things, it's just what I need.

Conversation-wise, I'm not a big talker, unless I'm with close friends or family. Even then, I tend to only say what I think is needed. I'm not big on small talk; I'm fine with silence, I don't need to fill every space in a conversation with, IMHO, unnecessary noise. That being said, please don't take my silence for being cold, or distant, or me ignoring you. I choose my words carefully, and unfortunately that takes a few moments in my head. If you're asking a question, please give me time to contemplate my answer. It's important, because I value your understanding.

I absolutely need me time, with no one else around a lot so I can enjoy some of the things I love doing and clear the clutter and the noise and all the flotsam and jetsam of sound and light that accumulates in my head; it brings me clarity and peace, and allows me to feel so much better. Please don't be offended if I ask for time alone, or if I shoo you away when I'm in the middle of one of my solitary tasks; instead, support me with understanding. I need time to myself just as much as you need time out being social. Support me and who I am, and you will discover yourself receiving more than you give in return.

I think the biggest thing is understanding. He's probably got similar complaints about the strange 'crazy extroverted woman' that he's going out with, and trying to figure you out as well.

This last year, I read a couple of good books that helped me understand my own introversion better:

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, and
Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength. I found them at my local library, just linked them to Amazon for pictures. They definitely gave me a deeper understanding of why I am how I am, and much better knowing that there were a lot of people just like me. If you can find one or the other, give it a skim, or even sit down and read it through with him. Might just help.

[Edit: Just found my copy of The Introvert Advantage here. I'm done with it, and would be happy to throw it in the mail to you. Just have to promise to pass it on to anyone else here in /r/introvert when you're done.]

u/annalisa27 · 7 pointsr/introvert

Yes and no, though for me it’s more social anxiety than shyness.

Yes, because we live in a society that values extroversion, and we’re made to feel guilty for not fitting that mold. There have been times I’ve wished (albeit briefly) that I was more extroverted because it seems like life would be so much easier.

However, I try to remind myself that my introversion is deeply connected to personal qualities of which I’m proud: thoughtfulness, deep-thinking, being a good listener, etc. Life might be easier as an extrovert, but being an introvert isn’t something to be ashamed of (though I’ll admit that it’s taken me time to realize that). I know it sounds cheesy, but there’s a book called “The Introvert Advantage” by Marti Olsen Laney that helped me feel less guilty/ashamed and more proud of qualities that our pro-extrovert society doesn’t necessarily appreciate. I’d recommend checking it out. It may also help you articulate some of the things you’ve struggled to explain to your friends. It made a huge difference when my very extroverted mother read it - she told me she finally understood some of the things I did that had baffled her or that she had completely misinterpreted.

Please try not to hate your shyness or introversion. There are always going to be some people who will judge you for not being extroverted, but you know what? Screw them. If they aren’t willing to make an effort to see what lies beneath the surface, it’s their loss.


Edit: I just looked back at my copy of "The Introvert Advantage" (I really do hate that title, but it IS a good book), and there are a few bits the author wrote on shyness that you might find interesting (bold emphasis is mine):

[Introverts] are people who need private space to refuel, who do not gain their primary energy from external activities, and who usually need time to reflect and think before they speak. In this chapter I will discuss what they are not. They are not scaredy cats, shrinking violets, or self-absorbed loners. Nor are they necessarily shy or antisocial. As a society we don’t see introverts accurately because we are looking at them through a lens of incorrect assumptions. Most introverts don’t understand their own temperament because they have grown up with their own misconceptions about introversion.


Shyness is social anxiety, an extreme self-consciousness when one is around people. It may have some genetic roots (in the form of a highly reactive fear center), but it is usually learned from experiences at school, with friends, and in families. For some, it comes and goes at various ages and in certain situations. Shy people may feel uncomfortable with one-on-one conversations or in group situations. It is not an issue of energy; it is a lack of confidence in social situations. ....Shyness is not who you are (like introversion), it is what you think other people think you are, and therefore it is responsive to behavior change.


So perhaps a big part of the problem is that we've come to accept the fact that terms like "shy" are foisted upon us, and that doesn't help the situation. The author mentions some books that may help you feel more confidence in certain social situations. Since I haven't personally read any of them, I hesitate to recommend specific books. I would first read "The Introvert Advantage." I think that just feeling more comfortable understanding and accepting why we are the way we are can make a big difference in feeling more confident in certain social situations.

u/foreveraFWB · 2 pointsr/introvert

therapy is great. Barring that, mindfulness is exactly targeted to becoming more present and less caught up in worries. Headspace is a great app with some guided meditations and videos for beginners. The first ten episodes are free, and actually you can just use them over and over and it's great.

Barring that, assuming you want to learn to be more productive with your inner monologues, learn more about how to use them productively. "How to be an Adult" by David Richo is an amazing book for personal growth. Great for understanding what is going on inside of you. Another one that is more of a workbook but is really tied in to what you're describing is called "Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life". It has some great descriptions about what goes on in the mind, with a series of increasing and varied activities for you to practice dealing with them.

Doing other activities can help in the short term, like a distraction, but ultimately your growth in this arena will come from seeking to understand and work with your thoughts better, not just avoid encountering them.

Good luck!

u/AntiMS · 7 pointsr/introvert

First off, don't do anything just to satisfy other people. More often than not, they don't actually have your best interests in mind (even if they themselves think they do.) One of the greatest strengths we as introverts have is the fact that we don't need the external validation in the same way as extraverts do. In that sense, we're independent in a way our extraverted counterparts are not.

If you have your own reasons for wanting to get out and about with other people (and not just the opinions and urgings of the people you reference), then and only then should you pursue such a course of action.

Seeking out other introverts to interact with could be an easy way to get out there. Introverts tend to just "get each other" in ways that make socializing feel natural and make you forget to "try" to be a good conversationalist. If you're wondering where to find other introverts, I'd recommend events which are about a subject or activity rather than about the people there. That is, gravitate toward crafting groups, conventions, book clubs, and such rather than parties, bars, clubs, mixers, etc. Also, groups which involve fewer people (or at least groups where you only end up interacting with a few people) are better.

Finally, I'd recommend you make some effort to find out what is good about being introverted. I honestly can't recommend the book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World enough.

u/IntrovertIN · 0 pointsr/introvert

Probably yes...
On a high level, I'd look on what actually drains energy from you vs how you recharge :-) but both would be very individual.

Especially that, everyone has some energy "store" and even a very introverted person, is able to handle most high stimulating situations in a way, nobody would notice it is sucking their energy. They will afterward need to take a rest for a while (knowing this preference one can plan their schedule accordingly).

Humans are more complex then only intro/extroverts... everyone would be somewhere in between of those two extremes - depending on how their brain and their nervous system reacts to external stimulus.

I think the most important is to understand yourself and build your life on what you have, and not to have a label. Knowing yourself, you can use a framework (like introversion/extroversion, or more detailed like MBTI) to add some structure to your self-awareness to make planning your life easier (I know I have like 90% characteristics of the INTP type and do plan accordingly).
Still, you shall be prepared that there won't be a 100% match with any type and, that you'll find in yourself, traits of several types.

To better understand what is introversion you may want to look into a book, explaining in more details how an introverted mind works and what suits introverts best... I'd suggest starting with Quiet by Susan Cain or The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney

Take care.

u/Mylegiscramped · 3 pointsr/introvert

I disagree, tell people you're not interested in it. Be straight up, don't try to lie, if people want to pressure you then they don't deserve your time. If the person respects you, then they won't try to pressure you.. If they respect you, they won't try to change who you are.

This does take some explaining to them though.

For me I tell people, "I appreciate the invite. I'm not really into parties, but it doesn't mean I don't think you shouldn't or can't have fun at them, they just aren't for me. I'm an introvert. Large groups make me anxious and I feel too drained from them. I'm down with smaller groups though, so let's go to a park, or go long boarding some time. Hell we can even go skydiving."

There's nothing wrong with you, don't feel bad about not liking parties. I spend most of my time alone, that's when I'm most comfortable and most happy. Learn to love yourself, and know it's ok to be different from people.

The following books were really great for me to start accepting myself for who I am and to learn to love myself.

Quiet: the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking

Mastery of love is specifically about relationships, but you should keep in mind you also have a relationship with yourself as well.

u/Yohfay · 5 pointsr/introvert

A good summation of how I deal with things like that is:

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. That said, I've been through a lot of therapy so I know a lot of techniques I can use to make that change occur. I've been working through a self help work book for one of my classes that I think is particularly helpful. The best I can do is suggest the book to you. It's written for the layman, but is based on a third wave cognitive behavioral therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Here it is on amazon for like 13 dollars.

Edit: Oh, you can even look at the first few pages on amazon by clicking on the picture of the cover. So you can see if you're interested. Damn, I love amazon.

u/icanteatoxtailsoup · 1 pointr/introvert

This book! I haven't read it, but check out the synopsis:

>Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and a successful consultant who speaks to thousands of people every year, found that most networking advice books assume that to succeed you have to become an extrovert. Or at least learn how to fake it. Not at all. There is another way.

>This book shatters stereotypes about people who dislike networking. They’re not shy or misanthropic. Rather, they tend to be reflective—they think before they talk. They focus intensely on a few things rather than broadly on a lot of things. And they need time alone to recharge. Because they’ve been told networking is all about small talk, big numbers and constant contact, they assume it’s not for them.

>But it is! Zack politely examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the “dusty old rules” of standard networking advice. She shows how the very traits that ordinarily make people networking-averse can be harnessed to forge an approach that is just as effective as more traditional approaches, if not better. And she applies it to all kinds of situations, not just formal networking events. After all, as she says, life is just one big networking opportunity—a notion readers can now embrace.

I know you said you are shy, but it sounds like a lot of the information in there will still apply to you. One of the reviews was even titled "Great for the shy".

You can also Google "networking for introverts" and "networking for shy people" - I just tried and came up with a lot of articles for both. There are heaps of people in the same position as you, and there seems to be a lot of help available these days. Good luck!

u/toupeira · 10 pointsr/introvert

I'm in a similar boat as you, but at the moment I don't have any friends at all and so far was never able to really build a deep connection with anybody (I'm 28/m btw). But one thing I've learned is that there's always hope, you're only doomed if you tell yourself so.

One thing that really helps with finding balance is meditation, read a good book about it and/or look at some online tutorials (looks like /r/meditation has some good resources as well) and just give it a try for a few weeks, and don't be discouraged if you don't get immediate results.

If you have a dislike for spiritual stuff you could instead read up on cognitive behavioral therapy, which is used to treat all sorts of things such as depression and social anxiety. This book gives a good introduction and has very simple exercises to get you started. Of course you could also visit an actual therapist, if you don't mind talking to a stranger about your intimate problems ;-)

Also, please don't look at your life as "empty", if you're anyting like most other introverts you probably have a very rich inner life, but just because you can't easily share this with others doesn't mean it's worthless. Just keep doing the things you enjoy and ignore people who think you can't possibly be happy unless you're socializing all the time.

I hope

u/tasteface · 2 pointsr/introvert

You know, you don't have to "fit in" or do anything you don't want to do. You want to be hermit? Be a hermit. You want to be a healthy introvert that has healthy, introvert-style social interactions? Then be that.

It sounds like you need some validation. I was there once. I recommend this book: Give it a read. It's written by an introverted woman who has been there, done that, came out on the other side, and can tell you that being introverted is what you make of it, and there are lots of us out here that live wonderful, introverted lives. It is very much possible.

Yes, if you try and pretend you're an extrovert and you try to act in an extroverted way, you'll end up being miserable. Yes, as an introvert, you will be the life of a party, the center of attention, etc. less often than if you were extroverted.

However, primarily, it sounds like you've got some social anxiety issues. I've been there and done that as well. You CAN work through it and learn to not be so goddamn anxious in social situations. Social anxiety is not forever.

You're young. Everything feels so urgent and immediate when you're young, and I know it seems like OMG IS THIS FOREVER?!? It's not forever, though. Hell, my teenage years were easily the worst in my life. Every year of my life since then has been WAAAAY better.

So you'll get through this. Be patient. You don't need to have all the answers right now. Just know that you'll figure it out when you need to. And really, don't worry too much about whether your mom really, truly understands you. You just need to understand you.

Finally, here's another way to look at things: Introverts might be in the minority on this earth, but LGBT people are an even smaller minority (maybe 1 in 10), and yet somehow manage to get through EVERYONE not understanding them. And many end up living long, fabulous lives.

u/ohsuplauren · 1 pointr/introvert

I was lucky enough to be raised with a fairly introverted father, my other siblings (both extroverts, one massively so) usually stole the attention and allowed me to hide in the background where I was comfortable.

When I do have to communicate with my siblings, and my more extroverted mother, I usually write to them. It's always more effective for us. I get a clean, precise version of exactly what I'm trying to say without having to address their reactions on spot, and (unless they don't read it) they get everything I want to say all in one sitting.

If I were you, I would write a letter to my mom. I would include with it as much literature on introversion as I could. (I'm making my mom read a book called The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World right now so she can understand me better). Present yourself very case in point, explain what you're feeling. List the things that make you anxious or nervous. List the things you enjoy or what gives you energy. List things you've tried to make it easier for yourself.

I went to counseling when I was in high school because I couldn't deal with myself. I learned a lot about myself in doing so. I write A LOT. I make journals with lyrics, stories, pages upon pages of curse words in different fonts, whatever I feel goes right to paper. It helped me get out what I couldn't vent out any other way. You need to find what balances the rest of the world for you. It's different for everyone, but we're all in it together.

Introverts are a small part of the population. We need you to stick around. So hold out, do what you need to do to gain internal balance. Years pass by very quickly, you'll be on your own before you know it, and then you can live however you like. Trust me, it's worth the few uncomfortable years.

u/Willbo · 2 pointsr/introvert

Good on you, we live in an extroverted world so a lot of times you're going to have to act as an extrovert in order to be successful (socially, professionally, etc). There's times where you just have to be extroverted, but there's also times where you're allowed to be introverted. Just because you act as an extrovert at certain moments doesn't make you an extrovert, and it certainly doesn't mean you're not being true to yourself.

Being outgoing will come as second-nature, but you'll be comfortable with it over time, it takes practice. If you'd like to learn more about introverts and the world we live in, I suggest reading Quiet, you can probably find a PDF of it somewhere online.

u/pradeep23 · 2 pointsr/introvert

Not sure if this will help,
Psychology Today has some good articles.

Also I have heard The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World is a good book.

Also you could use some video like this It was posted here. I guess it covers more of shyness in general. Something on the lines would be great. A short 30 sec video to capture the audience.

I guess gathering resources is not going to be a problem as there is tons of resources you can find. I guess it would be more challenging to decide what to include and what to exclude. Best of luck for the talk and do post it here. If I do come across anything special I would certainly post it here.

u/DrMnhttn · 1 pointr/introvert

> I wish I Wasn't lonely/Shy,I want to be normal.

Being shy is totally normal. The first step to becoming happy is to change your mindset. As long as you see your shyness as a problem that needs to be fixed, you won't be happy. As cliche as it sounds, you need to accept yourself for who you are. I didn't learn that lesson until my late 30's. Once I understood myself and stopped trying to be someone else, I opened the way for others to love me too. Now I'm happily married. :)

Reading Quiet, by Susan Cain really gave me the perspective I needed. I wish I'd had it at your age. Give it a try.

u/6i9 · 6 pointsr/introvert

Chronic bitch face isn't easy to get over but I've found that smiling with your eyes and making eye contact can do wonders. Also, this book has helped me a lot in appearing more confident and, as a result, more friendly and open.

u/israellimon · 11 pointsr/introvert

Yup that makes three of us, I'm sure there's more people in this subreddit like this.

I know I have lost friends and relationships over this thing, so here's the conclusions that I have reached, please correct me if I'm wrong because I also need the feedback:

  • It's all about being social nowadays isn't it? social media, social networks, everything is SOCIAL now, the internet used to be the one public place where we could hide in but not anymore, we're living in introvert's hell in a way, good thing there's places where we can meet where we don't have to take pictures of ourselves and can just write anonymously right? (thank you for this reddit)

  • I think all introverts at some point realize that even though we have been like this since we were born, the world as it is right now is not made for the introvert but for the extrovert. Being social is seen as a quality whereas being withdrawn is seen as a defect of character, I never knew what the world was like for left-handed people until now.

  • We are introverts till the day we die, we are never going to like being social as much as the next guy but that's ok because we hold a lot of wonderful and amazing things in higher regard than becoming socialites. That being said I don't think introverts want to be stigmatized as social outcasts (everyone wants to feel included) so until people become more tolerant about it we have to work on our social skills but without straining ourselves unnecessarily.
  • As it is pointed out in this neat little article right there on the right hand side of the screen there's a difference between being introverted and being shy, so we have to work on dealing with the shyness (if we have it) as much as possible, perhaps it is a matter of raising self-esteem or as it is now more aptly called: self-compassion.

  • In some other cases it may be a matter of learning how to trust people more, even strangers (I know it takes me a while to warm up to people) so we can talk to them as easily as we do to the people that we have known for years.

  • We have to work on our people skills, social etiquette, emotional intelligence, perhaps learn how small talk even if we hate it (I know, I know, boring conversations we can't relate to, etc.)

  • BUT we also have to learn the limits of this: first and foremost that we cannot ever become extroverts, so if we can't get it 100% right in social situations and can never learn to enjoy socialization as much as the rest of society THAT IS OK, if we can educate the people that love us into understanding us, they will eventually learn to tolerate what they may perceive as shortcomings. Socialization is not our biggest strength but we have many others and we have bigger fish to fry.

  • Finally, I believe it is important to present yourself as you are, yes "faking it till you make it" is an invaluable tool that can take you very very far, especially if avoiding social situations is becoming an obstacle in your career or love life, but if you fake it all the time (especially with people you are intimate with) and create a false persona, eventually you're gonna get tired and the mask is going to fall off and although it is unfair, people are going to be disappointed.

    Better to be with people that know you are an introvert and know that you are trying your best, than with people that only like you because they think you're an extrovert and as years go by, come to realize that you are not.

    THAT being said, I wouldn't begin courting someone by stating that I'm an introvert, I might as well say that I'm shy weirdo, not very sexy (of course, this may change in the future).

    (I brought enough grammatical errors for everyone, please don't get excited about pointing them out, English is my second language and I'm at work so I can't proofread what I just wrote)
u/anarttoeverything · 6 pointsr/introvert

There's such a stigma around introverts, and it's really unfortunate, because *there is nothing wrong with you*. If you're happy, you do you. If your partner makes you feel really guilty about it, sit down and have a real conversation with him/her about how you feel and how introverts like yourself "work" and feel happiest.


Would highly suggest reading this book: I think it might help you feel a little more empowered and confident in being an introvert.

u/thelonebanana · 3 pointsr/introvert

Have you tried keeping a journal? It really helps me get my thoughts into a place where they can be worked on. I've been trapped in my mind more or less my whole life and journaling is one of only 2 things I've found that can provide immediate relief from the negative thought loops with no side effects. The other is running, but I know that most people find it too easy to find an excuse not to do that. There is no excuse not to try journaling. Make it your new years resolution and just make yourself do it every morning for a month to form the habit. It is a vital tool in every introvert's mood management tool box. Also, check out this book if you haven't already.

-hug- Hang in there buddy. It gets better, I promise.

u/akajimmy · 11 pointsr/introvert

This is something I've always felt, and had confirmed when reading Quiet. She talks about one of the common related traits of introversion being High Sensitivity, which sounds to me like what you're talking about. You're really sensitive to your "emotional surroundings" as it were.

The way I think of it is like this: if you had super-sensitive hearing, being out in the world all day would be a real trial. Hearing cars zoom by, constant chatter, etc would wear you out and you'd need to go home and get some silence to rest your eardrums. I feel that way about emotions/people. After a day or two of being around other people a lot, even just being in the office, I need some "emotional quiet time."

I also have the same reaction to awkward/embarassing things in movies or TV. My first strong memory of having that reaction was during the Mr. Bean movie, which I saw with my family. In many scenes, they were laughing uncontrollably and I just wanted to look away.

u/skeptical2011 · 7 pointsr/introvert

No one is purely an introvert or an extrovert. Just like most other things, there is a spectrum. You want to be alone to recharge, then you want to be with people to fulfill a basic human need for belonging.
This book is amazing. I read it a couple of times. The basic idea (in reference to what you're asking advice for) is to plan. If you know that there is a party or some get-together coming up, you need to be alone for a period of time beforehand. Once you've been alone for a long enough period of time to recharge, you'll be ready to get out there and socialize, thus reducing the "I really want to talk with someone but can't" reaction.
And then sometimes, like all introverts, you'll find that you can't plan this out and you just need to forgive yourself for not wanting to talk to other people.

u/optigon · 5 pointsr/introvert

Check out Susan Cain's book Quiet. If anything, it may make you feel a little more vindicated for being who you are.

With that, yes, the world is pretty well built around extroverts at the moment, but it is navigable if you have the tools. I recommend finding a therapist, not just for developing tools for your introversion, but also to maybe get some help with your social anxiety. If you can't afford one, and can't find a sliding scale one, a friend of mine with bipolar disorder highly recommended this book for developing some basic CBT therapies for navigating whatever kind of anxiety you have.

u/Nefari0uss · 11 pointsr/introvert

Those kind of people can fuck off. This representative clearly lives in a bubble. Don't be ashamed of what kind of person whom you are. If a person is a friend of yours then s/he will respect your introversion. Now, yes, extreme introversion is an issue (as is with any extreme), but there is absolutely nothing wrong with simply having an introverted personality.

Now in regards for something more productive, I would go and talk to your dorm representative and attempt to have an honest discussion on why her perspective is demeaning, misunderstood, and incorrect.

I highly recommend the book by Susan Cain: Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. Introversion is something that is highly misunderstood and it is extremely important to have open discussion.

Edit: Spelling is hard. Added link.
Edit 2: Spelling is very hard.

u/Vampnemesis2 · 12 pointsr/introvert

Also check out this book:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

It's a good read for understanding ourselves and hopefully help your Mom too.

u/AgrippaTheGreen · 1 pointr/introvert

There is nothing wrong with being introverted. I used to think there was something really wrong with me, but now I know I am just introverted and that is normal. I know reading philosophy and books about introversion helps. Here are some good one worth checking out:

Living with parents is tough. Have you thought of making a plan to get into your own place? The economy is rough right now, but there might be some options out there.

u/bestPoet · 6 pointsr/introvert


I believe you're referring to this talk and this book. It's a very interesting book, I actually just finished reading it a couple days ago... gained some good insight.

u/vespaholic · 6 pointsr/introvert

Welcome to the club, also this book is awesome :
Quiet by Susan Cain

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/introvert

I highly recommend this one. It's a best-seller and has been talked about a lot in introvert circles. Chapter 10 in specific deals exactly with introvert-extrovert relationships. It's great.

u/TiVO25 · 11 pointsr/introvert

I try to remember that extroverts don't know how to handle us any more than we know how to handle them.

Then, you can be snarky and tell them "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt", but that's not likely to endear you to anyone that doesn't already know you well.

Alternatively, you can keep a copy of Susan Cain's excellent book in your desk, maybe even on your desk, and offer to let anyone making these comments borrow it.

u/RubberDucky451 · 3 pointsr/introvert

Wear some noise isolating earbuds. They're essentially constructed like earplugs (IE: triple flange).

I have these, they'll cancel out pretty much anything. It's possible to mow the lawn and still hear my music comfortably.

u/TheAethereal · 3 pointsr/introvert

Wow that is actually hard. I've read 10+ books on it over the past few months and it is actually hard to remember which was which. A few that stick out where a couple by Joe Navarro: What Every BODY is Saying and Louder Than Words.

I also really liked The Power of Eye Contact.

Edit: Oh, also: Crime Signals.

u/JohnCub · 4 pointsr/introvert

In the book, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," Susan Cain tackles this question in depth in chapter 8, "Asian-Americans and the Extrovert Ideal."

The short answer, from what I understood of the book, is yes. Different cultures value different things, and introversion/extroversion is one of those things.

u/x-auto · 1 pointr/introvert

Maybe this has been posted before here but this is so inspiring and we need to listen to this speech time to time in order to keep sanity with this loud world.

Here's her book which she mentioned in the lecture:

Thanks !

u/compFix · 1 pointr/introvert

I suggest reading The introvert advantage. The author does a great job explaining how the differences between introverts and extroverts has to do with different dopamine pathways inside our brains suggesting that we are all born with these set of traits.

u/codefocus · 3 pointsr/introvert

That's almost a literal quote out of Quiet by Susan Cain. It's a great book.

u/alpha_ninja · 1 pointr/introvert

No problem! And I recommend reading this book! It will help you understand yourself better!

u/supertrolly · 1 pointr/introvert

I liked this better Networking for People Who Hate Networking. I bought this a while back it has good tips in it for networking for introverts. I was able to go to a large convention and even ask questions to the speaker without feeling over whelmed. It focuses on meeting a few people at a time and taking short breaks to go out side or go to the restroom or your car and just relax for 5-10 mintues.

u/slayerboy · 3 pointsr/introvert

I want this. So much more of an elegant way of saying "go away" than what I used to have.

u/CMac86 · 30 pointsr/introvert

I think a good companion book for Quiet is The Secret Lives of Introverts.

Over the last few years, I have made an effort to find myself again. I realized pretty quickly that I am introverted as hell, so these two books (Quiet and Secret Lives of Introverts) helped me figure out what all components were due to introversion as opposed to other reasons. It was tremendously comforting reading about how others have experienced life in a similar way.

u/BornGhost · 2 pointsr/introvert

If you want another book to read about introversion, I've been reading through Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking and it's been pretty good so far. It seems to have a strong focus on the workplace rather than general day-to-day, but that could be something useful for your career. Apparently we can blame Harvard for our problems.

u/Echollynn · 5 pointsr/introvert

Reading the book Quiet, by Susan Cain really helped me learn about, understand, and accept myself as an introvert. It was so helpful.

u/strider1551 · 2 pointsr/introvert

I'm ISTJ and studying to be a Catholic priest. I think it would surprise people how many members of the clergy are introverted... and, like you're saying, how much of the vocation is really suited for introverts.

Maybe you've read it, but there's a book written by an introverted Evangelical pastor on introversion and church life (especially as a minister): Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture.

u/ohforthelove · 2 pointsr/introvert

I just borrowed an ebook from my library.

And I've already read Quiet. Plus, there are books on the power of introverts, or leadership for introverts.

Basically, I think your drug is planning solitude in your day. There are famous speakers who hang out in the restroom for 20 minutes before they speak. When you read about these people you realize there's nothing wrong with you. Extroverts don't have this rich inner life/mind to tap into. We do, but being around people is exhausting.

I think it's about time management and hacking your experience to give yourself what you need. Even if you have to lie. Like, working the hell out of a networking party for an hour, then saying you have another party to go to, but you really go home.

u/RoadieRich · 1 pointr/introvert

You might consider (anonymously?) gifting her a book such as Quiet.

u/insanemetal187 · 2 pointsr/introvert

I've found body language does wonders even if they aren't expressly picking up on it, it starts to feel uncomfortable. A guy I work with can literally talk non-stop for an hour and often repeats stories he's already told in the process. Sometimes I go to him just to burn time off the clock when I don't have much work to do but when I do want to get away I do stuff like point my body/feet away from him. I start doing work related things. I walk away while trying to keep eye contact which gives mix signals so he doesn't feel like I'm actively ignoring him, as he did snap at me once for just walking away calling me rude.

There's always this point where it creeps towards uncomfortable and then I take that uncomfortable silence (which I'm usually not only comfortable with, I feel at home there) and walk away or just go towards doing whatever I need to, then he feels weird and walks away. Extroverts tend to hate uncomfortable silence.

I will say if you aren't comfortable in uncomfortable silence, learn how to love it, it's a great ally. Also learn about body language as it's a great passive way to get your way without actively being a dick to do so.

I think I specifically read this book years ago and it helped a lot with body language.

u/peronium1 · 1 pointr/introvert

Have you tried slapping them with a copy of "Quiet" by Susan Cain or her TED talk on introversion?

Can't guarantee results but it helped my parents shut up about my "problem"

u/TwoEightRight · 1 pointr/introvert

I use an mp3 player and a pair of earplugphones nearly every day at work. Sometimes I use regular earplugs, but usually there's still enough noise leaking through to make it hard for me to concentrate.

The only problems I've had are when people try to get my attention from across the room; sometimes I don't hear them right away.

u/Willtheemulator · 5 pointsr/introvert

I once read this book called Heat Wave by Eric Klinenberg. In it, he mentioned how the most vulnerable population during the catastrophic heat wave of Chicago in 1995 was elderly men. This was because women tend be in charge of social affairs in heterosexual marriages, and when older men widow they are less likely to make new friends or reach out to family members for help.

I'm in a very happy relationship with someone who is even more introverted than me (and also shy). I worry about being alone without him, because I would just be sad and miss him, but I worry more about him being alone without me, because I could totally see him falling into that vulnerable group.