Introvert: 8 Sneaky Signs You Are About To Self-Destruct

We’ve all been there; we’re peacefully going about our business and generally feeling okay about life, and then WHAM, our introvert energy meter dips into the self-destruct zone.  This red zone is where fits of irrational anger, and tears occur.  It is also where our most unkind thoughts about ourselves and others dwell – definitely NOT a place we want to be!

In truth, there are usually warning signs that we are entering dangerously low energy levels.  Read on to discover the 8 sneaky signs that you are about to self-destruct.

1. Everything is irritating. Even people and activities you normally enjoy grate on your nerves.  

grumpy cat meme overjoyed sarcasm

 

 

2. You become very self-critical.  It’s like the little troll in your brain is working overtime to make you feel like crap.

you suck troll inside head introvert

3. You start ruminating over something that happened a long time ago.

introvert can't talk right now

4. You have ZERO TOLERANCE for small talk.  

no more small talk

5. Your answers to questions become more and more incoherent.  Even you don’t know what you’re trying to say.

introvert don't know what to say

6. Your personal space bubble keeps getting bigger.  Just brushing shoulders with someone feels like too much.

introvert personal space bubble

7. You no longer have the energy to control your facial expressions, so you let your resting bitch face take over.  

marge simpson annoyed

 

8. You start to believe that you are a horrible person and you will never be happy again.

leave me alone to die cartoon

If you begin to see any of the above signs, run for cover, because you are about to self-destruct!  Do yourself and those around you a favor and find a quiet corner to recharge.  Sweet solitude is the only anecdote at this point.

 

How to deal

Wondering what to do when you’re in the self-destruct zone? How about when you can’t think of the right thing to say at the right time? Or pretty much any other introvert dilemma on the planet. Signup for my mailing list and receive everything you need to develop self-love, connection, and confidence as an introvert. You’ll also get my 50-page Introvert Connection Guide to attract your ideal friends.

48 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post. Helpful to me as I navigate the challenges of being a US postie.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Edward! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Yep. All of them are right. Anyway, you can kind of carry this if you can’t bé alone (WARNING: The best solution is REST AND BE ALONE. Only use this in extreme situations).
    1. Just Daydream.
    2. Think very well what you are going to do. And remember than you’re self criticizing because you need time alone and only because of that.
    3. Try to think of other things. Yeah, I know it’s hard, but try at least.
    4. Try to redirect the conversation or tell straight you don’t wanna talk about it. If the other person keeps small talking, daydream and connect on the last words to answer coherently.
    5. Hard one. Try to think what you’re going to say, I guess. If you haven’t heard, ask them to repeat. If you ask too many times, they will stop talking to you, but in that situation, that’s perfect.
    6. Avoid contact. Again, you should tell straight that, in that moment in particular, you don’t wanna touch anybody.
    7. What’s wrong with the RBF (Resting Bitch Face)? Let it take over.
    8. That one is unavoidable. Get in your room.

    Anyway, the BEST solution is to simply get some alone time.

    Reply
    • Great advice, Ivo! 🙂

      Reply
    • Spot on! Great advice, Ivo!

      Reply
  3. Are introverts more susceptible to self destruction? Do we have a harder time containing ourselves?

    I’ve shown the signs above and try to cure it by being harder on myself, driving myself harder … seeking more perfection. But this just leads to more negative feelings about who you are.

    Reply
    • ‘Self-destruct’ was just a light-hearted way of phrasing it. I think we’re more likely to feel overwhelmed and pushed to the point of exhaustion because of societal expectations designed by and for extroverts. In order to overcome this, we must be kind and understanding with ourselves.

      Reply
  4. Really appreciate this blog Michaela. Thank you!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Michelle! 🙂

      Reply
  5. Very well put together. All the above would have happened to me in my school days if I hadn’t been aloud time alone. The introvert mind NEEDS this type of downtime, to wander off somewhere, in order to collect thoughts accrued during the day and digest them.

    Reply
    • Exactly, Chris! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Oh my goodness two semesters ago in college I had a homework meltdown. I don’t want to go into all the details, but it was quite the knock-out, I had to stay in my room for about a week. Thanks for the blog Michaela, and for being so honest!

    Reply
    • You just reminded me of why I never want to go back to college, Austin! I would often spend the first week of Christmas break recovering from the exam period. I read all 1000 pages of Gone With The Wind in about a week during one such break.

      Reply
      • Wow, I’ve done things like that before, like reading a few 500 page books in a week just to escape, but I’d end up getting burned out reading… No rest for the weary… I mean introverted.

        Reply
  7. Wow, glad to know I’m not the only one. Especially number 6 when that happens that’s when I really get scared lol

    Reply
  8. Thank you for This post. It’s hard to be an introvert and a teenager. Now it’s clear that I was in my self-destruct zone during the past 2 Years and I’ll still be in it for the few years to come.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Guillaume. And, yes, it is tough being an introverted teen. I remember those uncomfortable days all too well!

      Reply
  9. Thank U @Micheala, often times I used to wonder if I’m having a deformity just coz of my reserved self, but I’m better informed about who I’m truly are.

    Reply
    • You’re very welcome, Greg! xo

      Reply
  10. Worryingly on today of all days, I had some of these signs. It can border on be crippling and horrible and I feel horrible and mean to people around me.

    Reply
  11. Wow! Reading your blog on introverts helps me to see that I’m putting a load of extroverted pressure on myself. I am not honoring the way I’ve been made, and it’s leading me into a dangerous shutdown state of surviving rather than living. I was self-destructing before Christmas. The way self-destruct shows up for me is getting sick or getting severe headaches, and wasting time rather than using it well to refuel and take care of myself. Thank you for pointing the way back home.

    Reply
    • Hi Valerie, happy to hear that my blog has helped you to see that you don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself. 🙂

      Reply
    • I too for the longest time wondered why I would get stressed out when around people and I would find peace just being alone or with someone who I was close to. I don’t like small talk. People seem to look down on me for being a loner, but I’ve accepted it and at a point in my life not caring what other’s think. I can’t be happy unless I am myself. Having to like myself the way I am toke a long time too. It helps to see that other’s struggle in this area too and the advice is a great help. Refueling for me is listening and singing and reading books.

      Reply
      • Glad that it helped you see that you’re not the only one who feels this way, Rachael. I like singing, too. 🙂

        Reply
  12. Hello. This is very interesting because lately I’ve been having all the above symtomns. Actually I’ve been alone most of the time for the last few weeks (Christmass break), only going out for shopping food. The thing is, being around people is very tiring but when I spend a lot of days alone, the symtons get worse whenever I need to go back to the outside world. Should I avoid being alone for long periods of time? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Ayu! Sorry to hear you’ve been experiencing self-destruct symptoms. Spending too much time alone can definitely have negative side-effects. How much time an introvert needs alone varies for each person. Also, sometimes it can seem inconsistence. For instance, if I’ve had a lot of social time, like during the holidays, I can spend more time alone in subsequent days/weeks. 🙂

      Reply
      • Thanks Michaela 🙂 I feel like that all the times, but on a more serious note, I think they can be early signs of depression. So as much as enjoying solitude may help lessen these feelings/ frustration, talking to that one or two close friends/ family members can be very helpful too.

        Reply
  13. I really love this web! 🙂
    May I write it in my language? I post it on my blog : rizkakamsalil.blogspot.com and of course i put the source there. and also i have a question, sometimes i confused with my personality. My blood type is O, where a lot of people say I must be extrovert but look at my personality, i have a lot similarity with introvert ._.
    Sorry for my bad english, i still learn about it, thanks ^^

    Reply
  14. Wow thank you for this post! I have displayed all of these symptoms from time to time, but didn’t realize that some of them were also signs. Gonna bookmark this article for reference. And thank you Ivy for the suggestions, great ideas!! 🙂 I have actually explained my INFJness to my friends so that they won’t feel bad when I have to withdraw to help them understand just a little. I have to say pretty much all of my friends are extroverts 😉 I explained the energy thing, and also read that Introverts create their own energy whereas Extroverts take energy from others. This is so true because in some situations I can actually feel myself being drained! Like my energy actively being sucked out of me. And when I get too low, I go into ‘survival’ mode and look around for an exit! 😉

    Reply
  15. Oh..so that’s what that means..

    Reply
  16. Yup. I definitely have met all eight signs. This is where I am at right now. Except I don’t have a place to hide

    Reply
  17. Its still hard for me to be who i am freely. At this instant im being blamed for having a crapy personaly,
    not letting any1 in, i cant help being the way i am, i cant help who i am. Im an introvert and people just dont get it. Mostly they say im rude or too quiet.. And my responce is ” Thank you”

    Reply
  18. Every. Single. Word I identify with… I’ve been getting to the very last second of that bomb counter and I’ve gotten fed up with it and I’ve kept telling myself “I’m just depressed it’ll pass” when really I’m just trying so hard to be an extrovert when I’m a screaming introvert! (ironic isn’t it?) anyways, these feelings have led me to look more into why I’m feeling this way and I’ve been fortunate enough to find my way to this site which is so full of support it gets me excited to be what I am so to all of you who also enjoy this site I just want to say one thing, Hi!

    Reply
  19. I’ve living alone for more than 3 yrs cos I like to left alone…but have been getting so depressed after loosing my job early last year including some of the above signs too….so I really maybe my lonliness is contributing to all this too…pls I need ur response

    Reply
    • Hi Francis, yes, I’m sure loneliness is part of it, too. We innies need love and support, despite the fact that we sometimes don’t know how to ask for it. I offer a lot of advice on this in my free ebook Alone But Not Lonely : 7 Steps To True Connection For Introverts. You can download it here: http://introvertspring.com/alone-ebook?ap_id=admin

      Reply
  20. I like the new site. Number 2,3,5 are the main things I get. That’s when I need some space to process.

    Reply
    • Thanks Pete! 🙂

      Reply
  21. OMG!!!! That nails it! Thank you for spelling it out!!!!!!!

    Reply
  22. Sad part us, I get plenty of recharging time. I just have severe anxiety I believe full heartedly came as a result of my depression.

    Reply
  23. Hi
    I have been working for the last fifty years and I am starting to lose it. I am concerned about not working and it’s effect on my social being. I am very sensitive and because of that I tend to be alone more because I can’t deal with what people might think of me.
    Any suggestions on how I might turn my life around .?

    Reply
  24. I’ve been living alone for 11 years, and half that time, I’ve spent deployed in combat zones…as an introvert, I never got time to decompress..working, eating, rooming with others takes its toll…I have a long break right now between deployments and it’s hard to cope with my feelings and sharing my experiences. It’s ironic that I’d rather be by myself or have one or two people in my circle of trust, but at the same time, it’s hard to talk about my feeling, worries and thoughts…introverts need love and support, too and I seem to forget that and try to go it alone.
    Self destruct is a good word because today, I went off, blew up at some minor thing. Really blew up, I could feel the negative energy build up..after, I felt better like I released a lot of pressure but at the same time I was physically drained and my head hurt and I had to spend the day in bed..being an introvert, with anxiety and depression is something I have not learned to manage, but the article gave good tips about how to just make it through the day.

    Reply
  25. Oh, I very much understand this. Especially today. I started a job at a daycare recently and obviously there’s not much time for yourself when you have a bunch of 5 year olds running around! And today was just a lot of self destruction for me mentally! I was so glad to get home! It’s really interesting to see all the things I do when I get mentally exhausted written out in words. Now I am really aware of what’s going on with me, I just need to be alone!

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing that, Sophie! I used to work at daycares so I know how exhausting it is! Happy recharging dearest. 🙂 xo

      Reply
  26. I am so there! I just broke up with my boyfriend of 5.5 years and I am so depressed, I feel really worthless, I’ll never have another boyfriend, etc. Sigh.

    Reply
  27. Thank you for this fantastic article. I just found this gem after having been through all these points, and it’s incredibly frustrating how little understanding there is about our situation, I ended up with bad thoughts and crying.

    Reply
  28. Such things are not unique to primary cognitive introverts. They can and do happen to us all. When I studied multiple models of personality type, I found that reactions to stress on multiple levels – cognition, interaction style, and temperament – can lead to behaviors of various kinds. Dr. Linda Berens’ workbooks on these areas of personality are unparalleled in my experience to date, and examining why we react as we do under stress on all three levels is one of the reasons why.

    Reply
  29. Thanks for a great site. I have just missed out on a job for being an ‘innie’… I didn’t fit the profile. I was doing the job for 4 years and ‘burnt out’, didn’t have the tools to recognise the signs, left for three years and tried to get back in, but, no good. Your comments and tips have been a great help. I live with 6 extroverts… so never a dull (quite) moment… time to watch some more rugby on tv 🙂

    Reply
  30. Anyone got any advice for fast and effective relaxation?, I have all these signs in spades at the moment but can’t take any holidays until feb next year, I’m always angry and am even started to get irritable when my partner comes home from work my work shifts are all 10 hours a piece with majority of that spend around people, I get 2 days off here and there but just when I feel like I’m starting to recharge I’m back at work

    Reply

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