How introverts react to extrovert bullying

Turtle vs. Porcupine

“[A]t school you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell”—that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and that some humans are just the same.” ~Susan Cain     

The Protective Shell

Like turtles, introverts arm themselves with a protective outer shell.   This comes in handy when we face people and situations that endanger both our energy levels and our self-esteem.  It also helps us survive insults and criticism from insensitive extroverts. Unkind words bounce off our shells instead of penetrating our soft, squishy interior.

Our shell manifests itself in our guarded nature.  We tend to be slow to trust new people and slower still to reveal our true selves to them.

The Porcupine Effect    

 For some introverts, metaphorical armor isn’t enough. Years of enduring hurtful comments from brash extroverts (ie. “you’re weird”, “party pooper”, “you’re too quiet”) can cause us to develop a porcupine-like exterior.  Our spikes begin to come out at the mere mention of the word “extrovert”.

One need only browse through the comments section of introvert blogs and pages to confirm that many introverts harbor feelings of hostility toward extroverts. Some honest self-examination revealed that I too have succumbed to the porcupine effect.   Well-intentioned extroverts stir up hostility in me because they remind me of people who hurt my feelings in the past.  Speaking of which …

The Extrovert Bully                                                                                                         

A few years ago, while standing in line in front of Darcy’s Pub, I encountered an introvert’s worst nightmare: the drunken, obnoxious extrovert bully.  I’m sure you’ve come across his species before.  This kind of extrovert is loud, pushy and completely oblivious to the feelings of others.  He relishes spewing slurred insults at anyone who seems different.  He is also master of pointing out the obvious (ie. “you’re really quiet”).

That fateful night, Captain Obvious decided that I would be his target.  Being the genius that he was, he immediately picked up on the fact that I was different.  “Why are you so quiet?” he stammered loudly.  “It’s weird and I don’t like it.  You should talk more.”

Words escaped me.  A vicious retort formed in my mind, but couldn’t find its way past my lips.  Instead, one of my loyal and totally fierce extroverted girlfriends unleashed her fury on him. But it was too late.  The damage was already done.

This experience and several others sharpened my quills and made me more leery of all extroverts.

The Wounded Turtle                                                                                                        

Of course, the porcupine effect isn’t the only way that introverts react to extrovert bullying.  Often, neither sword nor shield can protect us from hurtful words and situations.  Instead, we internalize things. We begin to believe that something is wrong with us.  We become like a wounded turtle whose shell has been ruptured.

So, what happens when a turtle’s shell is penetrated and her gummy green interior is pierced?  Well, if this tortoise is anything like me, she’ll lock herself in the bathroom and cry for 20 minutes because someone told her she’s strange (don’t tell anyone, but this actually happened to me last week – can you recognize me in the picture below?).

Wounded Turtle

Has anyone else had a wounded turtle moment like mine?  Do you become a prickly porcupine around extroverts?  How thick is your shell? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

 

 

69 Comments

  1. I’ve learned how to deal with a lot verbal, insensitive junk over the years but ‘one-liners’ can be the worse. I’ve spent many hours in my mind, coming up with my response to something said to me but probably already forgotten by the person who blurted it out. The more I understand the dynamics of introvert/extrovert, the easier it is to deal with but it still catches me by surprise and I either retreat into myself OR slip into the bathroom, lock the door, turn out the light and process the hurt.
    The good news is that I’m able to keep my thoughts much more constructive these days which helps me a lot. I refuse (the best I can) to slip into feeling sorry for myself or be a victim. I’m really thankful for the resources for helping myself such as this blog. Thank you! Also, I just finished Susan Cain’s book,, QUIET and it was a huge help in equipping myself to function WELL in an extrovert biased culture.

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    • I haven’t been a wounded turtle in years. My shell has become way to thick for outsiders. The only thing that can hurt me are my own thoughts, and I do not need any assistance in that department.
      Happy on the outside, a steadily chugging diesel with a heart of iron on the inside.

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      • Sorry, meant to make my own comment, not a chain on yours.

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      • I do have a shell but also a hot temper and can be very aggressive when need be!!!!

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    • I used to get people coming up to me and saying “You’re so quiet.” Once I heard a couple of colleagues whispering “She’s so quiet.” When I was younger and more shy I would take this home with me, and brood.

      Later as I matured and grew to be more comfortable with who I am, someone else came up to me at work and said “You’re so quiet.” This time, I turned around to face him with a big smile. “Yes, why yes I am. Do you have a problem with that?” He mumbled no, and left. Which was fine with me.
      I can’t tell you how empowered I’ve felt since employing that little phrase. It works like a charm!

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      • My favorite’s to use are “and your point is..”,”yeah,and what about it”. then just stare at them for 2 seconds until they feel uncomfortable and they walk off.

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    • Marge,
      You are an inspiration and you just touched on something I’m trying not to do: to slip into “poor me.” The way I fight it is to tell myself that I am too tough and competent for that “self-pity crap” as I love to say.

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  2. I relate entirely to this. It’s like you want to speak up, but your tongue doesn’t want to work. It’s a really debilitating feeling. 🙁

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    • Sometimes just keeping it simple, with a statement like “You’re kidding, right?” does stop them in their tracks… there are no hard and fast rules, but reacting to someone as if they seem like an unruly child (which is how they seem) does seem to shift the dynamic in such a way that these folks don’t quite feel so overwhelmingly dominant.

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  3. HorseFreak That is a great way of of explaining it.  You always think you will know what to say, but when the times come, the words just won’t come out!

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  4. I don’t think said bully is actually a bully, they’re just really outspoken and unsympathetic.

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    • I agree with you there. When I get into arguments with my extroverted friends, everyone else thinks I’m in the wrong because they are good people. I just can’t tolerate their mouth diarrhea.

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      • “mouth diarrhea”! hahaha PERFECT!!

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  5. I was, and have always been, a wounded turtle. Just looking at your (lovely, by the way) drawing of the turtle reminded me of all the times I’ve done this. I went to therapy for a while, and one day my therapist told me that she though a lot of my problems were caused by the fact that I was this “wounded turtle” (she used the word internalizer). A lot of the things I would talk about were the mean comments people, especially my brother (who is an extrovert through and through), would tell me. It never helped that I was an HSP, so everything bothered me. It’s taken a while, and occasionally I slip up, but I’ve gotten better at allowing comments to just bounce off so I can ignore them. I hope it gets better for anyone out there who is a wounded turtle too!

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  6. When I was a young teen I was bullied by extroverts a lot (even forced to participate in stupif stuff), and it wasn’t long before I took on the porcupine effect. When I did, though, that’s when they accused ME of being the rude one. -_- Even my own parents did. But all I was trying to do was defend myself against the scolding and teasing.

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    • Hi Anne, sorry to hear that you were so unfairly treated. It must of been especially hard having your parents side with the bullies. I’m hoping that with more awareness and understanding about introversion, more and more parents will learn to teach their children that being introverted is okay.

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    • Yup. I hear you! We live in a culture that favors extroverts, in part by viewing them as strong and friendly go-getters. Introverts are depicted as all of the negative opposites to that: weak, self-centered and unmotivated. What ever happened, “Still waters run deep?

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    • How awful of your parents! What is your relationship with them like now? Have you ever talked to them? What an unloving thing for them to do, and how badly they let you down in that respect. I’m so sorry. I was lucky in this regard, with my family. We were all introverts. Whatever other problems my family had, they were civilized people who were sympathetic to me at almost all times.

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    • for my last comment, when I said “have you ever talked to them” I meant have you ever been able to talk to them about this topic, and their betrayal. I assume that overall you do still talk to them… wasn’t meaning to imply you didn’t…

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  7. When I was young I use to cry and avoid people…. as I got older I started to lash out and tell them to get out of my face (and they did, they left me alone LOL). They were not use to me saying anything at all. So when they saw that I had had enough they were shocked! In fact there was no repeat! When all was said and done….then I would go home and cry….!!! I did not enjoy acting like that at all, because that wasn’t me….
    Once I was alone only then I would cry….

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    • Sorry for messy message…. I have my cat trying to help me type!!!

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      • That’s okay,I know how much cats love putting their paws wherever they feel like it. Thank you for sharing your challenges with this. I know that there are a lot of introverts out there who can relate.

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      • A cat is an introvert’s favorite animal. I have one too

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  8. My years of harbor inc resentment for individuals whom were extroverts. The typical loud and boastful type has caused me to carry a lot of rage and bitterness to the pony of wanting to physically harm someone. But my true nature seems to keep me on level ground and helps me make the right decisions compared to those typical extroverts who react the instant someone makes them upset. I like and dislike the person I am at the same time if that makes any sense. But the biggest criticism that’s difficult for me to handle at times is when people say I don’t stand up for myself. It’s so frustrating at times I even thought about taking my own life.

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    • Hi Joshua, thanks for sharing your experience with this. You bring to light the heavy burden of carrying the weight of resentment toward extroverts (or anyone, for that matter). I’m glad that you can see how your introverted nature has helped you to take the higher road even when it has been difficult. And I hope that with time you’ll be able to release some of your anger so that you can feel more lightness and joy. 🙂 Much love. Xo Michaela

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  9. someone told me, “weirdo. you always sit there and stare at people.” then suddenly, a ran out of patience and said, “at least i’m not empty.. like you.” 😀 then she ran. 😀 lol

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  10. I am a wounded turtle .I can definitely relate to your situation .

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  11. Gday m8. I wonder why its ok for these people to constantly insult us. IM pretty sure mr loud mouth would not appreciate it much if i told him he is to noisy and he should shut the f up more. Any one els c a double standard. Thanks Michaela love your work.

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    • yep definitely a double standard! i think this is because extroversion is much more common in society than introversion and is therefore seen as normal, so we are considered to be in the wrong for criticising this “normal” behaviour. at least in my own experience, extroverts have always seemed far more likely than introverts to both conform to and reinforce societal norms of behaviour and more importantly, to expect the same of others. i have met far more introverts who are willing to accept each individual for what they are rather than how they socially fit into their surroundings.

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      • I actually think introversion is more “normal”/common than true extroversion. Most of us have some varying degree of what we are calling extroverts. I read an article recently on the extroverted-introvert, which was – in essence – about people who can pretend to be extroverts in social situations but would rather be home. So the real reason for the double standard, as I see it, is that our society has created an ideal about extroverted people. The reason is that extroverts appear to be confident; they seem to be willing to take the kind of risks that expose you to criticism, but also increase the chances of success; they appear to be able to withstand attacks because the are willing to speak up and respond. As a result they give off the impression that they are brave, and we all want to be brave; we that “one moment in time when [we are] more than we thought [we] could be.” The thing we have to remember is we are not alone and that we can be successful, happy, and brave just as we are.

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  12. I think I’m more of a porcupine compared to a turtle. Well in my country school toilets are unsanitary so I usually cried most of the time at class or outside. At class I rest my head on top of my hands and cover it firmly to avoid being seen by others,because of oblivious bullying commentary. I was a child back then I didn’t have much of a shell, but the shell that was meant to form within years of experience is still not strong enough. I have now created a social façade to lock and store my introverted self in the presence of others. But this social appearance isn’t enough to retain my chitin shell. Certain days I do feel like that my rage( even though there has been several anger issues in the past, my parents counselled and helped me most of the time) is beginning to erupt regardless of how many counselling that I have gone through. When I’m angry, anguished and feeling threatened my so called friends begin their extroverted attack on me until their satisfied (But I do take my revenge, at least sadistically especially during exams and homework) and now I’m a porcupine reserving malicious ways of exhibiting hostility towards anyone i.e extroverts who can’t shut their trap about the interact society, debating etc.

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    • And I wrote this comment from my smartphone using only my right hand. It’s difficult to navigate through grammar and punctuation. Please Understand.

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  13. Well..I usually end up make making those insensitive extroverts my enemy…If they try to hurt me..then it’s futile..I have little to none emotion inside me…they will end up hurting themselves more than I’ve sustained…

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  14. For me, when someone says “You’re too quite” to me, I don’t react to it because that commnt is a fact. And I’m not insulted by it. The worse case scenario is when the person is pushy and persistent and is trying to drag me out of the shell. I’m a very respectful person and try to understand everyone. If they don’t return the favor for my privacy and needs, that’s when I develop the spines and carry on the hatred especially when I even explained my introversion. Because those what I really need, understanding and respect for it.

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    • Hi Gabriel, that is a great point that being told that you’re quiet is just a fact and, on its own, not an insult.

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      • Thanks Micha
        Anyways this is a great post
        Maybe there are others that you made?

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  15. I’ve noticed that a lot of people love to point out how quiet I am, whether it’s an intentional put-down or not. I think naturally everyone is drawn to pointing out differences over potential similarities. I’ve had to train myself to smile and chuckle amongst those who’ve only met me for the first time. And for those who are making rude comparisons I’ve also rehearsed a few sarcastic comebacks, which I deliver in a deadpan tone…”Why are you so obnoxiously loud?” Usually it’s enough to throw them off guard so I can walk away. But of course, that’s not to say I haven’t been hurt before by abrasive confrontations.

    I think it’s a matter of realizing that disrespectful people exist and personality type has nothing to do with it. As introverts, we just have to see those comments for what they are, a reflection of insecurities, a need for power, etc. — and realize it’s not worth our care. Going out can drain me, but I’m 26 and I love craft beers with good friends. I’m not about to let some tactless person (extroverted or not) ruin my fun.

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  16. Thank you for this post! I am an introvert that also happens to be an HSP (highly sensitive person) but I am THEE QUEEN of snappy, insulting, & soul crushing one liners ;D. I tend to keep to myself unless cornered, pressured or provoked and those that have ever attempted to do such, have met my wrath with the result being that their feelings are thoroughly hurt and/or they never mess with me again (muhahahahah!!). For instance, I am usually the “quiet one” in group outings and as such, I APPEAR as an easy target. So, in this particular instance, I was hanging out in a nightclub with friends. This idiot guy decides to come over and tell me why my attire was so “uncool” and then proceeds to apologize because it is “uncool”. So I respond “Really? because I actually feel special/cool because you thought enough of me to interrupt your whole night to come over and tell me how uncool I am”….needless to say, the conversation was pretty much done for. On another separate occasion, I told a guy that I was sorry that his mom had abandoned him as a child (which was disclosed to me at an earlier time). He attempted to use my past against me only to have me laugh blatantly in his face. As an intuitive introvert, I have the uncanny ability to “see” peoples strengths and weaknesses. If the person is a good spirited person, I inspire them to be better . But if the person is a narcissistic A-hole that only cares about themselves (which is the only reason why anyone would go out of their way to BULLY others), I use who they are against them and destroy them. To the drunk annoying extrovert guy mentioned in this post,“Why are you so quiet?” he stammered loudly. “It’s weird and I don’t like it. You should talk more.” I would’ve said A. “well, thank god I do not exist to appease your desires (insert eye roll and ignore face here LOL) ” or B. “Whats weirder is you thinking that I give a shit/actually care about your opinion” (snap!)

    Any introverts interested in learning the art of the snappy comeback should email me LOL free of charge!!

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    • You definitely sound like a scorpio.

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    • You certainly have some good responses there! I need inspiration like yours to deal with an old pork chop who’s badass malicious, will your skills work for workplace? I have retaliated back at her at times but there’re many incidents where I ignored it because she is highly skilled bully at that and i need shut her up effectively. What is your email address?

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    • Hello. Can I please have your email address as I need some of your snappy comebacks desperately. I hope to learn them for when I need them and will use them as amp. Thank you so much !!!
      Samuel

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      • I Samuel, snappy comebacks aren’t actually my specialty. Being honest and unapologetic about your needs is usually best. 🙂

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  17. Yes. I used to do this very thing at my inlaws house. I would go in bathroom or my car and cry. I’ve done it at my own parents home as well. I have set up strong boundaries since then. I often wonder if the extrovert has any idea how mean they sound in these situations- granted sometimes I can handle it better than others. I have learned staying away either all together or very limited visits are the key. Now to just deal with the guilt that sometimes goes with the boundary setting. I have to learn that I might make others mad by these protective strategies but I wonder if the E’s who bully ever worry about hurting my feelings- NO!

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  18. Introverts like me don’t love loud, useless, pointless chat. It freaks us out inside. And people call us antisocial or boring, cause we don’t talk about a new perfume or a new remix album. We just say what we need to say and just as much as we need to say. We can talk all day for a reason, if it comes to that. We have our own wonderland within ourselves and only one or a few person we find very special can see that world. And we care deeply, we see deeply, we feel deeply. I think people who tell us to come out of our shells, don’t truly understand the calm and the depth introversion gives. But everyone is different, so we respect the extroverts just the way they should respect us.

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  19. Great article. Why are we so quick to THINK of good comebacks but have a hard time verbalizing anything when under fire?

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  20. as a young child to becoming a young adult,i never really understood my need for solitude . it probably wasn’t until my early 30’s that started realize the nature of my being . I grew up learning to be the turtle ,just crawl into my shell and hide . yes , I taught my self to go out and socialize ,but a lot of times it was so tiresome .I became a drunk ,so that I could tolerate the rest of the world .been working on that problem above . thank you for helping me to understand even more about myself .

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  21. In high school my shell was extremely thin. For my ENTIRE freshmen year, I hid in the bathroom during lunch time just to avoid the crowd. My family and I moved more than 1000 miles away and the people in my new city seemed so different and unfamiliar to me. I was just warming up to the people in my old city and then BAM, I have to start all over again. Anyway I was teased a few times in my new school and didn’t really know anyone that well and felt safer in the bathroom. I am so ashamed of this and have been for so many years. I’m upset with myself for doing that to myself. I should have done something else like, read a book outside or ate lunch alone somewhere other than the bathroom. I was just afraid of being ignored by others and overlooked. I had no idea I was introverted. I thought I was just weird. I’m so glad I’m comfortable with myself now. I’ve grown so much through the years and feel more accepted in the world.

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    • That all resonates hugely with me Kemi – and probably a lot of us here. I think school is most likely the first place we are exposed to how different/’odd’ we are. It took years after I’d finished school for me to realise why it had been so exhausting and stressful. Think about it; shut us in a room full of 30 (or however many) kids, many of whom will be hostile by default to anyone ‘different’ and expect us to concentrate and learn?! No wonder the teachers thought I was lazy – I was having to zone out that incredibly hostile environment in order to survive the day! As you say ‘I had no idea I was introverted. I thought I was just weird’ Perfect desciption.

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  22. All my life I’ve put up with the usual comments from extroverts but there was one extrovert in particular who took extreme offence to my introverted nature. I was at a party with a good friend and a lot of people who knew me well enough to allow me some time to warm up to the party but it was the first time I had ever met this bully and I got all the usual comments from her within the first 10 minutes of meeting her , “why are you so quiet? what’s wrong with you?” etc. Later on in the night we all went to a club and she sat next to me and demanded to know “what my problem was”. I finally snapped and said “what the fuck are you on about you don’t even know me” after which she tried to punch me in the face. Absolute psycho.

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  23. I worked in an office full of extroverts before I truly understood what it meant to be an introvert and got this constantly. It was so stressful it made me sick.

    Now, I think the key issue here is that it’s them feeling uncomfortable by us “*I* don’t like it … Talk more” – it doesn’t make it any easier for us, but it helps to distance from their crappy behaviour.
    And socially, if a guy did that to me – I’d flip him the bird, then have some angry tears at home. No one should demand that we perform – we’re not monkeys.

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  24. A few weeks ago I went out to lunch with a few co-workers. We went out and got pizza which sounded really great at the time. I ordered a piece of cheese pizza and thought to myself “This may look really stupid, but I am going to eat this pizza with a fork because I don’t want to look like a pig”. A couple bites into my pizza a loud co-worker asked me “Do you always eat pizza with a fork?” Her comment caught me off guard and I replied “No, but the pizza slice was too big”. The entire table started laughing and I became so embarrassed that I started balling in front of everyone. I turned away and told myself that it was so stupid that I was crying about this. I left the restaurant wanting to live under a rock.

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    • I get teased a lot by extroverts myself. It’s happened so often thar I want to punch them hard in the mouth. However, the alternative for me is to wear headphones. I confess, if extroverts don’t get the message I have no trouble being rude to them. I think that the ideal hell for extroverts is having their mouths permanently shut.

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  25. I’ve encountered the extrovert bully, and that is what they are! Usually find they require liquor to loosen the tongue so the nastiness can easily drip off;) I go tortoise, retreating inside for safety…also my ability to say anything vanishes.

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  26. I’m reading this at work at the start of the day and truly my eyes began to moist… I recognize every bit of it. The last cartoon is so lovely. Not so long ago I described myself also as a turtle during a piece I wrote. It was for a girl I was totally gone for but of course I never send it. I just put in on Facebook hoping she would read it sometimes. She wasn’t even one of my FB-friends! :-). Meanwhile I got the nerves to ask her and later on I couldn’t stand it anymore and send her the story in a private message. She reacted nicely. And a few years ago, during a course, I had to think of a plant which described me. I came up with a very long small cactus with a beautiful flower on top. One has to look up to see the beauty. See the comparison with the porcupine? 🙂

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  27. My mom is extroverted, and often rebukes me for not interacting more with people. I’ve tried, but it’s killing me inside..

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  28. I have spent my Easter break with a group of friends and at least a couple of them are competitive extroverts; they not only need to speak louder than the other, but also keep interrupting each other, telling the same stories over and over again in which they seem to take particular pride in boasting about partying and drinking. The rest of my friends, being a lot more modest, seemed to join in and participate. I suspect that in some cases it was just to feel like they did fit in, but still. Meanwhile, I felt like I had been left aside as a mere witness without the right to even give my opinion, because they would simply not pay attention to the fact that I too had something to say and was indeed trying to do so. Whenever I mustered the courage to voice something, I was interrupted or they would just raise their voices so that mine was not audible. I even told some of them that I was feeling pretty bad and their answer was something like, “well, this is what happens when you travel with us”. There was no trace of understanding whatsoever. He basically implied that it was all my fault because it was me who had to either accept that behaviour or not join them in the first place. I could take it or leave it. There was no way they would try to step in my shoes. The result is that I would simply keep quiet because trying to fight that back on a daily basis was draining me and also because I needed to organise my feelings and ideas in order to discriminate what was making me feel so miserable and still does.

    Today I finally reached the conclusion that the root of this problem was whether I was asking too much from these people or had the right to ask them for some understanding and support. And today I also found this blog and I am thankful for these posts and comments, because now I can see that I am not a problem or have any. I am probably and introvert and there are other people out there who share my problems and understand me. I am definitely starting to feel better.

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  29. Funny thing: When an extrovert told me I was “too quiet, ” I always accepted that as a compliment. I translated that phrase to mean that I wasn’t like the messenger, who was often rude and in other people’s space.

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  30. Introverted behavior to me seems like good manners, extroverted behavior seems like poor manners, and extroversion seems like a very unattractive personality trait. I’ve always had a hard time understanding why extroverts questioned and even critiqued me rather than emulating my behaviors. I felt bad about the snide criticism of course, for a time, when I was young, but it also made me angry and contemptuous–why were people with worse behavior questioning me?? underneath it I couldn’t make heads or tails of their baffling implication that the extroverted behaviors were somehow “better.” If anything, extroverts should strive to become more like introverts–quieter and more thoughtful and emotionally self reliant. Extroverts just seem like problem personalities to me. Even the nicer well meaning ones are often irritating, hyper, demanding, draining, and dull. The unpleasant ones just don’t seem like good people. I know this might sound harsh to some people, (which is very hard for me to understand, I feel like I’m making fair, coolheaded observations here) but i know this is hard for some people to take. Extroverts themselves, or people with very extroverted loved ones, sometimes balk at my criticism of extroverts (even as they encourage or make excuses for extroverts who bafflingly, inexplicably criticize introversion!) Yet I stand by my observations.

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  31. At this point in my life (now middle age) if someone says something foolish to me or insulting or insensitive, my instinct is to say “You’re kidding, right?” People usually seem taken aback and don’t know what to say. I wish I had had that insight when I was young. I attracted the strangest inappropriate comments from the most impertinent personalities on the planet. Fat lot of good it did them, I barely recall the foolish remarks, but only in a broad sense, in general, that I got foolish comments. I don’t recall the individuals who made them at all. Only that I encountered a lot of bad personalities with lousy manners in my time. And they never managed to change a thing with me. Oh well!

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    • Well said! I feel exactly the same way!

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  32. “Why are you so quiet?” he stammered loudly. “It’s weird and I don’t like it. You should talk more.”
    Jesus,i guess i never heard such stupidity in my life.If that was with me…
    First,i would make a choking sound in my throat.Then,suddenly i would explode in a loud laugh.Finally,i would ask him sarcastically: “Really?*Smile*I should talk more,just because you want?Wow, i didn’t know that i lived to please others.*Roll eyes,pick the cup and take a sip*

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  33. Occasionally I have the thought of looking up someone on Facebook who said something foolish or insensitive to me (usually at work) and I was too introverted or shy or timid to say anything back at the time. These comments might have happened YEARS ago but they still sting if I think about them. Anyway, the thought is to message them and tell them what I really thought of the remark and how it made me feel back then. I have never actually done this but somehow the thought seems soothing to me. I doubt if the perpetrator would even remember the remark…..or remember ME for that matter.
    Has anyone actually ever done this and how did it work out? Just curious.

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  34. I am an introvert who has been bullied, teased, and harassed by behemoth-mouthed extroverts. It happened to me when I was going to dinner at a hotel tonight! A security guard bullied me by screaming at me for throwing my after dinner garbage in the “wrong” waste can! I was so furious with her! She did it because she felt that I would not stand (oh, big surprise, I reported her to her supervisor!) What was messed up was that two couples were screaming, cursing, and getting into a fistfight! Yet when I tried to talk to a restaurant employee, they absolutely refused to confront that guard! Needless to say, she allowed those fistfight to happen and didn’t do zip about it. So I pose the question: Are loud, rude, and aggressive the new “norms” for so-called “good behavior? ” Note to self: The irony is insane, for lack of a better term……

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  35. Well I have as a result of being assaulted today

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  36. Responding to a bully in an aggressive manner has worked for me several times, particularly in school. The problem is subtler if you need to function within the complexity inherent in most “grown-up” environments, e.g. like working in an office.

    Somehow, ‘talking and laughing too much’ or ‘making a lot of noise’ (most likely for no reason at all) are traits people often attribute to the “good guys”, even if that’s not even remotely the case… These people will make everything to provoke you in front of others, but to deal with it effectively presents a more complicated challenge: If you don’t respond and ignore them, they will think you are submissive and therefore easy to manipulate. If you do respond – even in a polite, yet firm tone – they will tell others (who are usually more fond of them instead of you) that you are rude and aggressive and that you cannot even stand an ‘innocent’ joke (they easily switch between the roles of the ‘aggressor’ and the ‘victim’) – so your character is inherently problematic and it is ‘justified’ for them to hate and sabotage you.

    Another problem with extroverts is that they tend to master the “art” of pretense, so even when they smile at you and pretend they want to be friends with you, it is likely that they say the worst things about you behind your back. I think that this is the more damaging kind of “war” towards an introvert, as they can hardly respond to back-stabbing attacks (you need a clique to deal with it, something that an extrovert possesses for sure). They will also quickly point out your mistakes (if any at all) and exaggerate about them, while they may even spread malicious rumors about you… Such cowardly behaviors pose a greater threat to an introvert than words directly told to him/her.

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  37. I find extroverts to be really annoying. They act like they know it all when they are right about something or have achieved something but if you havent its because you are stupid or not confident enough. For example at college today our dept. Head came in to do a feedback survey. She was asking for improvements to the course or school and i suggested that during enrollment self funded students get fast tracked as they dont need loan advice which is a middle step in the enrolment process. This loud guy was like well you should have asked to be fast tracked, did you ask? I said no and he said well you should have asked then, I did and I got seen straight away. It was said in such a na na na na nah tone and really antagonistic. They seem to take pleasure in stepping on people who are already down. Anyways, I was always taught que jumping was impolite but these boorish types do all sorts of socially unacceptable things and get away with it. Then I was having a conversation with someone else about not continuing the course next year as it has not helped with my employment prospects. That guy had an argument with me saying he refutes that there is no work, theres plenty of agencies, and that im not looking hard enough. Ive been a PA office manager for 11 years i know how to go about looking for a job and i tried agencies with no luck. But he totally embarassed me in front of the class making out im being defeatist. I was so annoyed but of course couldnt say anything because of this curse. The words just dont come out. I feel like introversion should be a disability. People are so mean to me for no reason. I have never said an unkind word to this man yet once he had the opportunity he took it upon himself to engage in a confrontation with me and make me look weak and stupid. He just hates me for no reason. He has always avoided me but talks to all the other loud mouths until today when he thought he would pick on me. I hate being like this. If introversion was a gene that could be cut of of my future kids i would so do it. Then again i will not have any future kids because this disease is hereditary and i wouldnt wish it on anyone. I live in a big city where extroversion is praised at work and the city is built around them. I feel like im suffocating and theres no country to hide in because everyone is like this and strives to be like this! I cant take it anymore why was i cursed with this disease? Ive heard all the positive stuff about nothing being wrong with introverts but if the rest of the world cant see that yet then you are at a disadvantage. This has badly affected my life, no one takes notice of me unless to bully me and kick me when i am down and i lose out on promotions because of introversion and fear of public speaking. I even get anxious and need to warm up to my friends if i havent seen them in a while. I dont want to die but living like this is so hard.

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  38. Freshman in high school, got a crush two months ago, thick she’ll in back to take bullying, thin front for live related stuff. I planned out telling her how I felt on Monday at luck on a Saturday. I rehearsed every outcome I thought of (I thought) Monday comes, I walk towards her table. I see her friends encouraging her towards something she’s nervous about, I’m confused. She tells a guy (I didn’t ever really even like this guy) that she likes him, they start going out. Front is shattered, back is thinned, I’m extra vulnerable for the next week, I take everything seriously. I shut myself off, I talk to nobody unless necessary, not even my friends, always listen to music, in order to shut myself off from conversations. I retreated into what was left of my shell to avoid getting hurt like this ever again. Front never healed, back is fine now. I’m still in my shell after two weeks, and I haven’t talked to her much after it. I still beat myself up inside sometimes over it whenever I see them together.

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