How to be Friends with this Introvert

A Facebook friend of mine recently posted about HOW TIRED she was of hearing about introverts.  I guess I can understand that as articles and memes about introverts are very popular right now, with good reason. Being a member of the exhausted by people clan, I can tell you why we are writing and making funny pictures about being introverted.  It’s because we are TIRED of being told that we need to “come out of our shells” or “get out more.”  I’ve been told this by friends and family my whole life.   Strangers join in with the unwanted advice, too. Some random dude on Twitter just put me in a list called “Introvert Problems.”  This guy claims to be “Exploring introversion, shyness, and social anxiety to break free from the pain of being in our shells and succeed in life and business.”  Screw off and go read a book. Introverts are not shy; we just need more time to ourselves.  So, if you want to be friends with one, you need to follow some simple rules to avoid frustration.

No last minute invites.  This throws me into a tizzy.  I plan out my weekly schedule on the calendar in my head.  Same day invites are not on that calendar and I can’t just up and change my schedule.  I have all of my tasks planned at least 24 hours in advance, if not longer.  If you want to make plans, give me a few days notice.

Don’t invite me to anything loud or crowded.  I’m not the kind of girl who wants to go clubbing or to a super crowded festival.   Not only do I just not like being smashed between bunches of people, I really can’t HEAR in situations like that.  I wear hearing aids.  They make EVERYTHING louder, not just your voice. So, thumping club music and carnies on cheap microphones are both nos for me.

Please don’t require me to make small talk. I hate small talk. So, I have a tendency to listen for a few minutes and then stare into space and think about all of the other shit I have to do, like actually work on that novel I’ve been writing for four years, and how listening to this person, who I can’t really hear, is taking time away from that. This is a lose lose situation.  If people I don’t know will be there, please have a dog or cat for me to hang out with, preferably a cat.

Understand that I WORK FROM HOME. By “work from home” I don’t mean that I have a fabulous business opportunity for you at Jamberry, or that I am counting my Scentsy inventory.  I mean that I have a big girl job with an online university. I’m not hanging out waiting for a social invitation, and I can’t babysit or pick you up from the airport. I’m expected to be online during business hours.  After that, I have a part-time job, also online.  AND then, I try to find time to cook dinner, do laundry, and WRITE. I never have enough time to write. If a writer doesn’t get time to write it’s like being constipated in the brain.

DON’T call me!  Don’t take it personally, but I hate the phone. I probably won’t answer.  Just text as nature intended. And text before coming over.  If you just show up at my door, I will let my big dog jump on you and lick you.  She eats her own shit.

I know it seems like a lot to ask, but that was only five rules.  If you can just follow those, we can be friends. Well, we can be friends who get together like once a week or month or so.  Just like world travelers need a day for each hour they travelled outside of their time zone to get back on a normal schedule, introverts need days without any social plans to recover from the last social occasion.  So, give me my down time and I will be somewhat energetic the next time I see you.




10 thoughts on “How to be Friends with this Introvert

  1. Weird, I consider myself an extroverted introvert. I overcompensate for wanting to be left alone and disliking most things and people by people overtly friendly and grossly nice.

    I like the phone one…100%

    1. I didn’t know I was an introvert until the minister (Unitarian) who married my husband and me made us take a personality test. When he told me I was an introvert, I said, “But I do stand-up!” He said a lot of entertainers are introverts. They’re great onstage but then they need some alone time. That is me. I’m funny and sociable at a party, but I don’t want to hang out with people every day.

      The phone needs to just go away.

  2. So true! Especially the “don’t call” part. One of my “more than an acquaintance but less than a friend”s tried to call me the other day and I ignored it (not just because I didn’t want to take the call – I was eating. Although I also did not want to take the call). She then immediately texted, all upset that I didn’t answer (I guess she knows me well enough that she felt safe in assuming I was ignoring the call instead of being busy with something else). I’m not going to apologize for not wanting to answer the phone – it’s like having someone just show up on your doorstep unannounced. You are suddenly forced into a position where you have to interact – even if you don’t want to. Now, sometimes only a phone call will do – but most times, texts can handle it.

    1. The phone ringing is just like the doorbell ringing. It is instant in your face communication, and it’s NEVER on my mental calendar. I have my own list of priorities. Talking on the phone is never on that list. Now, for the day job, we do have SCHEDULED conference calls. Those are OK. 🙂 Texts and email can handle most things, though.

  3. I have a friend that just doesn’t get it. At all. She wants to see me at least twice a week, but would begrudgingly hang out once a week if that’s really all I can do. When I don’t, I get guilt laden text messages, and comments about how she’s going to go eat worms etc. then go eat them and shut up. Give me a fucking break! I hate people, I’m clinically depressed, I have chronic pain, a job that kicks my ass, a kid, a husband 4 dogs and a cat. I’m not just sitting around in my bathrobe eating Bon bons. But even if I were, why is it strange and unfriendly of me to want time alone? Why do people get so judgmental and butt hurt? It’s frustrating to even think about. I feel like I’ve gone through all of this before with her and it’s like she just doesn’t comprehend it. I know it seems easier to ditch her, but it’s complicated so I won’t go into it. Basically, I feel your pain.

    1. Susie,

      And I feel yours. Jeez. Extroverts DO NOT get it. They get energized by hanging out with people. We get our energy from alone time. They think of alone time as depressing. I’m with you. I have shit to do, but even if I don’t I enjoy being alone. Hugs to you from afar!

  4. “Please don’t require me to make small talk. I hate small talk”.

    I take everything back I said at EBWCC. I thought I was only being my boring ass normal self.

    1. Hey, we talked about important and interesting things. That was not boring small talk!

      And WHY does this blog always mark comment from you or your wife as spam? UGH!

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