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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

    • Carrie Rubin

      Great minds, Sandee. That article link you gave me is the same one I listed below in my ‘Related Articles’ section! I agree, it was a great rundown. I loved the red shoes in a sea of white. I so get that.

      Like

      • Sandee

        Ooops! — I scanned the comments to see if anyone else had posted the ink but failed to look at the end of your post. I love that list because to me it says more or less that introverts aren’t necessarily shy and it aptly explains how our energy can get depleted by people. That was a perfect explanation for me. While I love giving parties and I can stand in front of a crowd and speak, or yell out to a crowd, I need quite a bit of alone time to regenerate. There have been times I thought, gee, I’d like to go to a show, whom shall I invite of my friends — there are times the answer has been, I’d much rather go with just me 🙂

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          Yeah, a lot of people mistake shyness and introversion. They’re two different things. While my shyness has faded, my introversion hasn’t.

          Like

  5. Joanna Aislinn

    I think an inner extrovert has always lurked inside me, but the outer introvert reigned until my early 20s. When I decided I didn’t like the status quo, I started taking action, one step at a time. Had texting, email, etc been around in those dark ages, I’m sure I would have embraced them for a slew of different reasons. Great post!

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thank you. I think over time most introverts learn to function as an extrovert. We have to. We can’t avoid the every day social interactions, nor do we really want to (an introvert is not the same as a hermit). We just need our recuperation time from socialization much more than extroverts. Extroverts feel energized after an outing. Introverts feel drained.

      Like

  6. PinotNinja

    While I love personal interactions – bring on that doorbell and the fun surprise behind it — I join you in hating to talk on the phone. If you aren’t my mom, my husband, or my one really old friend who insists on communicating only by phone and I love her so much I would do anything for her, I am not picking up.

    Without email and texting, I would probably have no friends.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      It’s interesting that you don’t like talking on the phone but you don’t mind answering the door. It’s like you’ve got one foot in the introvert door and one foot out. 🙂

      I often wonder how I survived before email and texting. I obviously did, but I doubt I could again!

      Like

  7. acflory

    -giggles- I can’t ignore either the phone or the doorbell, but that’s just because I’m scared both portend something ‘awful’ that I need to know. Other than that, everything else is me to a ‘T’! I was born without the small talk gene. Glad to know there’s a name for my syndrome. 😀

    Like

  8. ParentingIsFunny

    Facebook hasn’t even offered a montage for me. What’s that all about? Now I feel even worse than you!
    I most definitely hide when the doorbell rings because I have no interest buying anything, I have no interest in joining Jehovah’s Witness or Mormonism, and I have no interest in being seen by anyone other than my immediate family in all my unkept glory on any given day.

    Like

      • unfetteredbs

        Yup. I have read Cain yet but I’ve read other introvert books and felt so much better afterwards. I especially am partial to the 24 hour alone time after socializing. Texting is grand.

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          So are blog comments. If we had to contact every blogger by phone to leave a comment…well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be blogging… 😉

          Like

  9. captelaine

    That phone and doorbell thing is me to a T… but I have lots of pictures on Facebook… so I’m very gregarious on the computer… not so much at a party. Very interesting blog post, I’m glad Pamo shared your link.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It’s often surprising to people how active online introverts can be, but that’s where we’re most comfortable so it’s easy for us to socialize on social media sites. I’m not very active on my private FB site, but I post to my public page a fair amount, and I always enjoy the back-and-forth interaction with people.

      Like

  10. Sheila

    Yep – that’s me but I still think I’m also weird. 🙂 When email first came out, I was thrilled because then I didn’t have to talk to communicate. Whenever I try to talk, it all comes out wrong. Now unfortunately FB has replaced email. I never tried to do a FB movie because I only had one picture in there so that would be pretty boring.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      FB did the video montages for us. It was nice for those people who had a lot of images and status updates, but for those of us without many, it was a bit embarrassing. Three of my pics were profile head shots and one was my header. Talk about tacky.

      Like

      • Joanna Aislinn

        I have lots of FB pics and comments and NO movie. 😦 What’s up with that?

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          They didn’t send you a movie? And yet they sent me my collection of six photos, three of which are profile pics and one of which is a header. Somebody at FB dropped the ball on that one!

          Like

  11. Noted in Nashville

    About ten years ago, I took a personality test and was determined to be “an extreme introvert.” But I never really followed up on what that means for my daily life. This information is so helpful and encouraging. I’m sure, like a lot of introverts, I found myself saying, “Oh My Gosh!” and “Wow” a lot because it’s uncanny how spot-on it is. One thing I have learned on my own is that – as an introvert – it’s really important that I don’t allow myself to spend too much time alone, in my own head. Sometimes, when I least want to socialize (or answer the phone) is when I most need to.

    I’ve been thinking lately that being an introvert has a lot to do with my stage fright too. So, thank you for posting this. It’s just what I needed right now, and I’ll be reading more.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      Glad you found it helpful, Anita. Thank you. I think you’d like Cain’s book. It’s research-heavy at times, but it’s a real eye-opener for any introvert who doesn’t know much about their personality type.

      You’re right, though when you say we have to be careful to not spend too much time in our heads. Given I’ve always worked, that wasn’t an issue for me before. But now with some time off, I have to be careful to not become a hermit. That’s one of the reasons I joined a book club. Good for me to get out there, plus, by nature of a book club, the discussions go deep enough to be very enjoyable.

      Like

      • Noted in Nashville

        I like the way you found something that allows the socialization with the deeper discussions. Looking back, I think introversion(?) is why I’ve never liked church socials, baby/wedding showers, Mary Kay/Pampered Chef/Creative Memories/Thirty-One/Etc./Etc. parties. . .

        Like

  12. Rebel95

    I like this article. Very funny XD
    woooo!!! Glad I’m not the only one!! ^_^
    LEVEL: “special” 😉

    Like

      • Lisa Henderson

        I enjoyed this article! 🙂 I pretty much fit every item on your list. However, instead of viewing introverts as weird, whenever I meet one, I am more likely to think, “What a charming and sensible person.” Lol

        Like

        • Carrie Rubin

          Ooh, I like your characterization of ‘charming and sensible’ much better than weird. If only we could get the rest of the world to think that. 🙂

          Thanks for reading!

          Like

  13. Carol Weber

    I’m still chuckling at the “…hand grenades less annoying than repeated interruptions”….TOO funny. My husband is constantly objecting to my exclude-all-in-the-world focus, telling me he can read the paper, watch the news AND chat with me about the day’s events. Yuh-huh.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      You’ll have to give him a copy of Cain’s book. He’ll have a whole new understanding of you after reading it!

      And I suppose if I must fess up, a hand grenade would not be much fun at all… 😉

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I bookmarked your webpage as a resource for future editing services should I need them. I may be heading that way in the future.

      Like

  14. G M Barlean

    Had such a busy day yesterday, I never got to this. Wow. It was like looking in a mirror. My husband has rolled his eyes and scolded me for years about refusing to answer the phone. I have one “friend” who refuses to text or email me and insists on calling me because she’s determined to “fix” me of my problem. I will be reading this book. It really is nice to have a label for my little quirks… turns out I’m just an introvert.

    Like

    • Carrie Rubin

      As always, I add humor to my posts, but until I read that book, I honestly thought there was something wrong with me for not wanting to answer the phone. I’ve always made my husband do it, and if he’s not around, it’s straight to voicemail (unless it’s my mother or someone close like that–but my most of my family’s just as introverted so they text, too…). That’s what Cain’s book did for me. It made me realize there are many people who feel like I do. We’ve just probably learned to fake it so well in the real world that we don’t even recognize each other face-to-face. 😉

      Thanks so much for the twitter and blog share. Very much appreciated!!

      Like

      • G M Barlean

        The thing that’s funny is how people confuse shyness for introversion. Two different things. I’m not at all shy. And I’m a bubbly personality in public. I just dread that one on one connection and have to mentally prepare for it.

        Like

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