Six things introverts know to be true.

If you get your facts from scrolling through social media, you'd be forgiven for thinking being an introvert simply means you hate people. Not so. 

While people avoidance is a classic introvert trait, hating them is not a given. 

But worrying that people will think you hate them, is. In my experience, introversion prompts anxiety – which leads to more intense introversion, which leads to more anxiety. It's a vicious circle. Here are six other things only introverts will understand. 

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1. People expect us to be boring (and gasp in shock when we're not).

The thing about introverts is that we're often reserved and quiet when you first meet us. Many of us live with resting b*tch face. Upon first (and sometimes second or third) meeting, we can seem… boring. Rude even. 

It's only once we get to know you, or we're in a comfortable environment, that our real personalities come out. And then we're faced with comments like: "So you do talk!" or "OMG, you're so different to what I was expecting." 


A few years ago, I took on a senior management role. After a couple of weeks, at the first team social event, people actually told me how relieved they were that I was "fun" and "not a prude", contrary to my first apparent first impression. The stigma stuck though and I continued to attract gasps and guffaws anytime I made an *outrageous* comment or joke, which would be a non-event if it were anyone else. The same thing happened to me at age 11 when I changed schools, and the girls I was assigned to as buddies expressed the same sentiment – so she is fun – phew. 

2. We struggle to make incidental adult friends (unless an extrovert decides to adopt us). 

For the reasons above, making friends at random places, like the gym, school gate or at the shops is pretty much impossible. That's because we're likely to get in there, do what's required, and leave – without making an impression on anyone, other than perhaps our apparent unapproachability. 

Get to know us though, and we’ll be friends for life – great friends! I've made amazing friends at all of the places I've worked, and still have strong school friendships. That said, if an introvert is lucky enough to be targeted by an extrovert, you'll likely form another life-long friendship. Two incredible extroverts adopted me at the school gate when my kids were younger, and are now some of my best friends. 

Don't be put off our silence and stoney face, we want you to befriend us. 

3. Opportunities that excite most people fill us with dread (but we'll still seek them out).

This year, I experienced the aftermath of the very introverted process of writing a book. Writing is an introvert's dream – we can communicate and share our thoughts (something we actually love to do), in the privacy of our own home, without the fear of being judged. 


The aftermath though is that the book is published, and subsequently, there's a launch and press tour. These were things I actively pursued – it's part of the deal – but every single public speaking request, podcast feature, or even telephone interview, sent me into a state of panic, to the point that I genuinely considered cancelling several at the 11th hour (another very introvert thing to do). I then required a solid lie-down afterwards. Faking extroversion is tiring. 

4. You'll be having the time of your life… and then you're done. 

Contrary to popular belief, introverts do love to socialise. We're just very specific about who we socialise with, where we socialise, and – most importantly – how long we socialise for. 

For every social occasion I plan or agree to, I'll generally follow the same process – spend the preceding days super excited, followed by a few hours of pre-event regret, which kicks in a few hours before it starts, and continues until go-time. At that point, I flick another switch, and I'm all in – loving the interaction, sometimes even the life of the party, until… I'm not. 

There will come a time, where I'll abruptly shift from social butterfly, to get-me-out-of-here. It's a visceral response, at which point I become the person you probably thought I was when you first met me. 

5. The anxiety you feel when you ignore a phone call.

It's pretty common knowledge that for many introverts (and many others) they will not answer their phones. But it doesn't happen without a psychological consequence. It's not simply a matter of ignoring the call and going about your business. No, when the phone rings, we'll pick it up, stare at it, then contemplate the meaning of life while we tell ourselves we're deciding whether or not to answer it (we're not) — a thought process that differs depending on whether we know the number of not. 


If the number was unknown, we'll continue to stare at the phone until a message comes through, which we'll promptly listen to with bated breath. If we know the person, we'll be consumed with guilt until we next speak to them. 

6. Saying no to something and then being consumed by #fomo.

While introverts love to socialise with the right people at the right time, certain social situations can prompt high levels of anxiety. Specifically those where you know few people, and the people you do know, know more people than you do. Often, the impending dread of small talk and awkwardness will be enough for us to find an excuse (that we convince ourselves is legit) to bow out. That is even though deep down we know we'll probably have a great time if we did go. 

Inevitably, from the safety of our couch, we'll become aware the event has begun, and promptly experience an overwhelming sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) – about the event itself, and the prospect of being excluded from future events (something that hits hard, even though we probably won't go). 

But alas, this is the journey of an introvert. 

What are some other classic things introverts know to be true? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Getty.

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