You’re Not Weird—You’re Just An Introvert

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Let’s start with a short quiz:

When the doorbell chimes, you:

1. Leap from your chair, tap dance to the door, and welcome an unexpected social interaction.

2. Scurry to a place of maximal concealment, hold your breath, and pray the caller goes away.

When the phone rings, you:

1. Grin widely, pump your fists, and chirp “hello” before the answering machine picks up.

2. Startle like an idiot, stare at the device while your pulse normalizes, and let voicemail do the rest.

If you answered #2 to both questions, welcome to my world.

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art

Avoiding doorbells and phone calls are vices I never would have dared admit B.S.C. (Before Susan Cain). But since reading Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, I understand the stunned-rabbit response is not a weird-Carrie thing.

It’s a normal-introvert thing.

That doesn’t mean I can’t conduct phone calls or deal with unexpected encounters—I hold up just fine in a professional setting. But at home? Unless you’re a delivery person or an urgent phone call, don’t expect my greeting.

Introverts don’t like talking on the phone or answering the door. Ha. All this time I thought it was just me.

So, to my fellow introverts, here are a few other normal traits you might possess:

  • You think text messaging is the best invention of the twentieth century.
  • You become so engrossed in your work, you soon resemble a corpse.
  • You loathe small talk but enjoy imprisoning a friend or family member in deeper discussion.
  • When put on the spot, you wish you had five minutes to type out a response rather than speak it.
  • You’d rather labor by yourself than with a group, even if the project takes twice as long.
  • While deep in thought, you find hand grenades less annoying than repeated interruptions.
Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art. Plus Sheldon…

Image credit: Microsoft Clip Art. Plus Sheldon…

  • You prefer working on one job at a time; multi-tasking is a pain.
  • You need twenty-four hours of solitude after two hours of socialization.
  • You feel a deeper response to a sad story than anyone else in the room, but you’ll never let on that you do.
  • You’d rather suffer a day-long wedgie than listen to someone else’s T.M.I.
  • You appear aloof to others when really, you’re just lost in your own cerebral world.
  • When Facebook creates a video montage for all their users’ private profiles, they can’t create one for you. Because you only have six pictures in total. Which they’re kind enough to send you anyway.

That last one might just be me. Thanks, Facebook. As if I didn’t feel awkward enough.

So if you experience some of the above, don’t despair. You’re not weird.

You’re just an introvert.

Related links:

1. 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

2. Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert

3. You Might Be an Introvert If…

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Carrie Rubin is the author of The Seneca Scourgea medical thriller. For full bio, click here.

297 Responses to “You’re Not Weird—You’re Just An Introvert”

  1. Andrew

    I’m actually part of the group “Avoiding doorbells Anonymous”, so I can relate. But I’ll joking aside, yeah being introverted isn’t so bad. If being quiet is the worst thing someone can say about you, then I think that’s more than okay.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Very true. Plus we’re less likely to put our foot in our mouths, though I still do that more than I should. As a doorbell-avoider myself, I know exactly of what you speak!

      Like

  2. Gail

    I read Susan Cain’s book too – well, I started it anyway. Reading about my quiet side was too close for comfort. 24 hours of quiet time needed after 2 hours of socializing is definitely me!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      My copy of Cain’s book is dog-eared and highlighted to the extreme. Definitely hit home. My husband’s reading it now–to better understand me. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  3. Rachel

    Another amazing invention? Online shopping! Only an introvert would think, “Well, I COULD go to the store tomorrow to get one….OR, I could just get it on Amazon with 2 day shipping…what’s another day, really…” ;)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh, yes, I forgot about that one! I can’t remember the last time I went to the mall. I do most of my shopping online. I do, however, enjoy trips to Target. That store is like a drug to me. :)

      Like

  4. bethteliho

    this is no surprise to me, I’m in introvert through and through, but I still laughed at so many of these because they struck so close to home, haha! The 24 recovery period from 2 hours of social time made me LOL. And my husband is always busting my chops for ignoring the phone.

    AND texting IS the best invention EVAH. I want to do Christmas over text.

    Like

  5. Chris Donner

    Yes to all of the above. My fave is “While deep in thought, you find hand grenades less annoying than repeated interruptions.” Amen to that. Multitasking is a myth. I feel sorry for those who can’t think quietly.

    Thanks for stopping by my my introvert blog

    Like

  6. Britt Skrabanek

    Holy crap, I love this!

    I’m kind of a sneaky introvert, since I have my outgoing moments. Any time I used to claim shyness, people would give me a strange look and ask: Haven’t you danced on stage in front of, like, a thousand people? Why, yes. But, that’s also different, I was playing a part.

    So, I’m often mistaken as either a snob or a weirdo most of the time for possessing the traits you listed above. Oh, well. : )

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Introverts can easily be misinterpreted. They can come off as aloof and arrogant as you mention, when, often, the exact opposite is true!

      From what I understand, many performers are introverts. Some are even very shy. But that doesn’t keep them from doing their job, just as being an introvert doesn’t keep the rest of us from doing our professional work in an extroverted world. Being on stage and playing a role is very different than interacting as yourself face-to-face with others (or so I imagine). I’m sure many people who know me are surprised to learn of my introverted ways. I can easily burst into an exam room and chat up the kids and the family. That’s the job, and I enjoy interaction with people who all have a child’s interest in mind. Of course, I was usually drained when I got home, but that didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the encounters.

      Thanks, Britt, and thank you for the twitter share!

      Like

  7. SereneDelusions

    Are you sure this post wasn’t about me? It sure seems that way. People never believe me when I say I’m very introverted because I’m friendly. It’s hard to explain to them why I don’t pick up my phone and even get angry sometimes when people just stop by unannounced. Take your social spontaneity elsewhere please! But text me later, maybe we can get together next week!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      So true. People assume introverts can’t be social or don’t like people. Neither is true. We just prefer our social interaction in smaller groups or one-on-one, and we prefer it on our own terms so that we’re prepared for it. Phone calls and doorbells take away our prep time!

      Like

  8. Pink Ninjabi

    HAHAH.. I laughed so hard.. This is soo me! And explains why when a cute guy approaches me, I am like a rabbit stunned, and pounce away. HAHAAH.. Glad to know i’m normal! And um.. hard to catch.. hahahaa.. :D

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Nothing wrong with making a man work for it a little. ;)

      Glad you enjoyed it. Welcome to the normal-introvert club! We’re happy to have you. :)

      Like

      • Pink Ninjabi

        Hahah… I think the guy I like is introverted too… so um… this might be going nowhere fast…. maybe passing notes would be easier than having a conversation…

        but you’re totally right! He’s gonna have to ask ME out.. I almost did yesterday, thank God I didn’t. Timing wouldn’t have been right. I’m still trying to figure out me, much less figuring out someone else… Besides.. the idea of having a conversation with him is enough to give me a HEART ATTACK… haha.. introverts on a date… lots of um, silence? Mulling over the perfect words? Sooo awkward…… :D

        Like

  9. maisymak

    I loved this book. So eye-opening for myself (I definitely do NOT scurry to the door!) and how I see other people.

    Like

  10. It's 5 past 50

    Really? I’m not weird? ;)
    Great post, Carrie! I had no idea my doorbell and phone phobias had anything to do with being an introvert. But it makes perfect sense. Halloween is a nightmare for me. I turn out the lights and hide in the back room. ;) And thank God for caller ID and voicemail.
    But I’m still a bit confused about exactly what I am (maybe socially awkward?) Anyhow a post has been brewing in my head about this very topic. Maybe in a week or two I’ll make time to sit down and write it out.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I’m saved from Halloween because we live on a busy street with no sidewalks and kids never come. But I always buy candy just in case!

      Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      You’re also good at volunteering and spending time with people (I’m thinking of your elderly friend). Unfortunately, my introversion keeps me from volunteering for things like I should.

      Like

  11. michellejoycebond

    I am totally introverted and am startle so easily, it’s become a joke in my family. That’s part of my tunnel vision, deep thought mode. It’s funny though, when I need to socialize/present etc., I put on extroversion like another skin. I’m myself then too–just my crazy, here’s-this-part-of-me-that-needs-more-sun-no-thank-you-writing-addiction self. :)

    Like

  12. Kourtney Heintz

    Sounds like another great book to add to my TBR pile. My mom never gets why I don’t like answering the phone but I love email. :) I used to have my answering machine announce the caller name and number out loud too. Mom and I just had a huge discussion about why she absolutely cannot interrupt me when I’m working on revisions–it really messes up my concentration and takes 10-15 mins to get back in the groove. :)

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Interruptions definitely take me out of the groove, too. My husband can go in and out of his work like it was nothing. But I’m like you–it takes me time to get back to where I was. Then I get frustrated and just want some chocolate. :)

      Like

      • Kourtney Heintz

        My head was bobbing as I read this post. Why is it people can’t understand introverts better? You made me feel closer to normal than I’ve felt in years. ;)

        Like

  13. jbw0123

    We just read Quiet, too. I’m in the middle of the spectrum, but am married to a classic introvert. I like the one above about imprisoning a family member for deeper discussions.
    How many introverts does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. Lights encourage people to come and visit.
    OK, I’ll stop interrupting now. Cheers!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      It’s much easier online; I keep more to myself in the face-to-face world as most introverts do. Three cheers for social media. :)

      Like

  14. whiteladyinthehood

    Really enjoyed this post. I’ll always be the shy, quiet person in a room full of people. I have to feel extremely comfortable with who I am with to break out of that mode, but I do admire the person who can step in and be funny and confident. I’ve gotten better over the years…but if I have to speak in front of strangers…I’m shaky and red-faced!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      I, too admire people who can step up with confidence. This world would be boring without extroverts. They’re the ones who get things started and help draw out the rest of us!

      Like

  15. Inion N. Mathair

    I love it when I can find one of my own species. LOL. Mathair tends to be a bit of an extrovert. She loves socializing and upon entering a room, her personality takes up all the space, but I love that about her. She’s a true force to be reckoned with. That being said, I am the complete opposite. Upon entering a room, my personality retreats to a corner and holds up a sign that says, “Do not approach the introvert”. Mathair borrows the introvert skin when we’re waist deep in our writing process, but I’m a 24hr/7 day a week gal. I never thought it was odd, even when others went out of their way to tell me otherwise. It suits me and I’m comfortable in my… discomfort with the world. I think I might be over to the far side of the spectrum, in that I also get nervous when talking on phones or live chatting with people online. I became a writer because I love the craft and the art of creating stories with words, but also because the stigma that follows a writer suits me. Glad to hear I’m not the only one, Carrie. Power to the introverts!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Oh, yes, I forgot about live chatting. I, too, avoid Skype. I’ve only used it briefly once with a sick family member. It’s cool that Mathair is so outgoing. I have great admiration for people like that. They’re the ones that hold a party or gathering together. Thank God for them! If it was all introverts, there’d be little excitement. :)

      Like

  16. Valentine Logar

    I am an ‘it depends’. This means it truly does depend and is truly situational. I am perfectly happy and content with my own company, I am not overly found of strangers and do not like crowds at all (this wasn’t always true). I need downtime, alone time especially after forced interaction. However, I am perfectly comfortable in certain controlled public situations, I enjoy small groups of friends, I love talking to my friends on the phone and my work forces me to interact sometimes for long periods.

    In some cases, I actually enjoy the interaction for short periods and when I feel comfortable in the physical environment.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      You may be an ambivert, someone who straddles both worlds.

      Crowds do me in. I think that’s one of the reasons I avoid malls. And concerts.

      Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Considering your work mates, I’m surprised you can even make it through the door there! You must need some major solitude when you get home. :)

      Like

  17. Amy Reese

    Some of this definitely applies to me, Carrie, especially needing space after many hours of socializing. Sometimes, a text does the job just fine!

    Like

  18. Polly Robinson

    Carrie, I’m certain sure that you’ve done an MBTI profile. If not, I’m a qualified practitioner. Much of what you say above is entirely fitting with Myers-Briggs. Love these posts :) x

    Like

  19. daniheart21

    Hmmm… I think I might be somewhat introverted. :) I have always sucked at multi-tasking and cannot stand to be interrupted when working on a project…lol ah well. giggles.

    Like

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