I'm an introvert of the highest degree...or close. I hate attending parties, feel extremely awkward at places where I don't know anyone, sometimes even hate entering a gathering where I know everyone else. I love spending a lot of time alone, sometimes doing absolutely nothing. I can sometimes spend a lot of time talking, and then suddenly switch off and say nothing for hours. I get upset when I don't get recognition for good work, but also feel extremely uncomfortable when I'm suddenly in the limelight. A lot of people might find this behaviour weird. However, my close friends and family understand that this is my personality trait and that there's nothing unusual about it.
There are certain things that you should avoid saying to an introvert. If it's your spouse, you should NEVER EVER say these things. If you do, you should be prepared to see him/her clam up, at least for the rest of the day...if not longer.
Never say something like:-
- "Why are you so quiet?" - An introvert is already self-conscious about his lack of verbal prowess. Asking him something like this will only blur out any hopes of making him more confident of speaking. A big no-no.
- "Why are you so shy? Behave like an adult" - This will only make him feel like pulling on the garb of arrogance. Better to look arrogant and snobbish like an 'adult' than look shy like a 'kid'...no?
- "Let's go out na" - We might indulge you once in a while. But make this a daily routine and we'll start going missing.
- "My friends think you hate them" - They're your friends. It's not that I hate them, but I'm already exhausted knowing the people I do. Also, I'm not exactly in the mood to carry extra emotional and sentimental baggage.
- "Why didn't you say hi / why didn't you smile at him / her?" - Very often, we introverts are in a hurry to end conversations with strangers. Hence, we might not pay attention to people's faces or names during first encounters. Consequently, the likelihood of us not remembering faces is close to a 100%. It's our fault, we admit. But then again, we're slaves to our personalities, and there's not much we can do to rectify this.
- "You should learn to live a little" - Well, why don't YOU go get a life??
- "You're so much more lively on Whatsapp and Facebook. Why not in real life?" - Well, social media gives us the time to measure our words and responses. Also, you tend to get the chance to stay anonymous on social media. Best of all, people on social media tend to judge you a little less than in real life, or so we think. Hence, we're much more confident in the virtual world than we are in person. If you can't live with that, then it's your problem.
- "What's wrong? Is something wrong? Tell me please" - Okay, I admit I was staring at the wall / floor with my mouth slightly ajar. I must have suddenly gone quiet. It's only because I'm recharging my batteries after spending a lot of time talking or doing things I completely abhor. If something's wrong, it's me...not you honey. Now please chill and stop judging me.
- "Aren't you happy? You didn't smile" - Well, now that you've pointed it out so blatantly, forget about it.
- "I think you don't love me anymore" - This is the ultimate heart-breaker for an introvert. Maybe I was a little more expressive about my feelings in the beginning. Over time, I only became more comfortable with you and hoped you'd understand that I've found stability with you and felt you'd feel my love without me having to shout it out from the roof tops. Just because I now don't express my feelings as explicitly as you'd want me to doesn't mean I don't love you. Just the fact that I open up to you should have been enough for you to understand that you mean the world to me.
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