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20 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re Introverted

There are certain things that all introverted people know to be true; the things that make us unique and special people. While we wish extroverts could relate, here are 20 things you’ll probably only understand if you’re introverted.

1. It takes time to warm up to people.

This is a big part about being introverted. Even though we can be really quiet when we’re first meeting you or getting to know you, don’t automatically assume we don’t like you. It just takes us more time than it takes extroverts to get to know someone; once we’ve gotten to know you well enough, you’ll wonder where that loud and fun side of us has been all of this time!

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2. The struggle of running out of conversation.

Running out of conversation is the worst for introverts, especially when we are trying to get to know someone. Introverts will try to start a conversation by asking the typical get to know you questions, such as “What is your major?” “What year are you in college?” or “Do you have any siblings?” When introverts run out of these kinds of questions, they’re put in a pickle. They just pray that a time-consuming question will magically pop into their heads…

3. Envy towards conversation pros.

Going off of number 2, introverts get envious when their extroverted friends can make a conversation with someone they just met go on for hours. As soon as my extroverted friends finish talking about one thing, they can immediately come up with something else to talk about. I always ask my friends who are conversation pros if they can teach me their ways.

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4. The *joy* of group projects.

If you ask anyone, they’ll probably say they hate group projects. Introverts have a special hatred towards them because they involve having to speak up to suggest their ideas and opinions. Introverted people are afraid to suggest a dumb idea or turn down an idea that the rest of the group likes. Speaking up around their friends can be hard enough as it is, so having to work with people they might otherwise not talk to puts introverts in an uncomfortable situation.

5. The need for an extroverted BFF.

Introvert/extrovert BFF combos work well because introverts need an extrovert to make up for their quietness/shyness. Having an extrovert for a best friend brings out the introvert’s loud, crazy, and fun side. Being best friends with extroverts has helped me to break out of my shell, and when I’m with them, sometimes I even forget that I’m introverted!

6. As well as the need for breaks from socializing.

Introverts can only take so much socializing in a day. They like having time to themselves to recharge and blow their social bubbles back up. If an introvert spent the whole afternoon socializing (not just with their best friends), and a friend invites him/her to dinner with a group of friends, the introvert will likely respond, “No thanks…I’ve already reached my socializing quota for the day.”

 

7. Alone time is essential.

Being busy all day can make introverts feel like they’re being productive or have accomplished something, but they need adequate time to unwind. This means that after a long day of constantly doing things, introverts need to have time to do something that relaxes them or that makes them happy.

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8. The feeling of breaking out of their shells.

Feeling like they can be their self around someone has to be one of the greatest feelings an introvert can experience. Since it takes introverts some time to warm up to people, nothing feels better to them than reaching the stage in a friendship where awkward silences are no longer awkward and their hidden loud and crazy self comes out.

9. Quality over quantity.

Introverts prefer to have a few really close friends rather than a bunch of only okay friends. Since it takes introverts more time than it takes extroverts to make friends, having 3 or 4 friends that they can confide in, trust, and be their true self with is way more valuable to them than having a bunch of friends that they aren’t as comfortable with. It’s easier for introverted people to invest their time and effort towards forming just a few strong bonds.

10. Hatred towards any activity where you have to speak up.

I can name close to a handful: Heads up, 7-Up, Bingo, Telephone, and the beach ball icebreaker. For all of these activities, if you’re “chosen,” think you’ve won, or if it’s your turn, then you’re forced to talk in front of a big group of people and you have to think of something to say on the spot.

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11. Unexpected group dinners.

If you ask an introvert to join you for dinner and you don’t say anything about other people also coming, the introvert will expect to only see you at dinner. Introverts love having alone time with their friends, so tell them ahead of time if more people will also be joining you guys to eat. This way the introvert won’t be (as) disappointed or overwhelmed by all of the people. Unexpected group dinners might lead introverted people to feel like this:

12. Being quiet doesn’t necessarily mean you dislike someone.

People will assume that an introvert doesn’t like someone because the introvert never seems to want to talk. I’ve experienced this firsthand. Just because an introvert isn’t saying much or is keeping to him or herself, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like you! In most cases, an introvert does like someone…but they just may not know what to say or ask.

13. The struggle of group conversations.

Since introverts don’t speak up/say much when they’re in a group, a lot of people will think introverts don’t have anything to say. This is usually not the case. Introverts have lots of things that they would like to say or are thinking about, but they are too nervous or shy to voice their thoughts. With so many people around, it’s easier for introverts to just sit back, take in everything that they are hearing and seeing, and observe their surroundings.

 

14. The awkwardness of getting to know another introvert.

When I was in 10th grade, I dated another introvert. That made for weirdly silent car rides because neither of us wanted to talk. It can be difficult for two introverts to keep up a smooth conversation, especially if they don’t know each other very well. Luckily all of my closest friends are extroverts, so I don’t have to worry about this.

Two introverted people will probably look something like this…

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15. Not liking small talk.

Small talk can be awkward and difficult for introverts because they have to keep thinking of new things to say on the spot that aren’t that interesting for them to talk about. Introverts would rather use their energy to talk about topics that interest them or that are relevant to their life; these kinds of conversations are thought provoking and can last for a while.

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16. Being great listeners.

People may not realize it because introverts don’t like to draw a lot of attention to themselves, but they are really good listeners. Since they don’t like to speak up when they’re with lots of people, they will instead listen to what everyone is saying.

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17. Jealousy towards the hand-raisers in class.

Almost everyone knows it’s nerve wrecking for shy people to raise their hand and participate in class. Introverts just assume that everyone feels the same way about participating in class because they don’t know what it feels like to not get nervous. Whenever someone raises their hand in class, introverts get jealous of them for having the courage.

18. Stories are easier to say over text.

Going off of number 13, introverts have a lot that they want to say, but it can be a struggle for them to say or explain something in person. I prefer to say apologizes and tell stories over text because then I can say exactly what I want to say; I can delete words or sentences if I don’t like them, I know I won’t be interrupted by the other person, and the other person’s facial expressions/body language won’t impact what comes out of my mouth.

19. Constantly being “stuck” in other people’s conversations.

If someone is talking, an introvert won’t want to interrupt them; if a conversation is going on between multiple people, it can be a task for an introvert to speak up and interrupt the conversation so they can announce that they have to leave. Introverts would rather stay quiet and just listen to what everyone is saying.

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20. It’s worth getting to know us.

Even though introverts are quiet and it takes time for them to warm up to you, don’t let that stop you from wanting to get to know them. Introverts have big hearts and will put you before themselves. They always try to see the best in someone and are some of the best listeners. So just be patient with introverts, and you’ll see just how wonderful they can be!

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Rachel Schaal

RACHEL IS A STUDENT AT SUNY FREDONIA STUDYING COMMUNICATION DISORDERS AND SCIENCES. SHE LOVES FOOD AND DOGS, HAS AN UNHEALTHY OBSESSION WITH GILMORE GIRLS, AND DREAMS OF TRAVELING TO ITALY.

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