Introvert: When your mind turns against you

introvert mind

Let’s talk about a situation that makes a lot of introverts hate themselves. This particular scenario used to happen to me a lot when I was around extroverts. It can happen anywhere, but let’s just say you’re are at a bar:

You go in feeling pretty good about yourself. You know bars aren’t really your scene, but you’re with your friends, and you have some liquid courage on hand.

Then you start to feel tired. As your energy plummets, everything around you picks up speed. More people show up. The music gets louder. All of a sudden, new people are sitting at your table with your friends.

This is when it begins.

No matter how much you will yourself to “be cool”, “chill out” and “have fun”, your mind will not oblige. This makes you feel like the bad guy. After all, your friends invited you out expecting you to join in their fun. No one likes a party pooper. But you can’t help but sulk. Then your sulking turns to shame.

Before you know it, you’re comparing yourself to the jovial extroverts at your table. The little troll in your mind points out how much better they are than you in every way. They are friendlier, prettier, more articulate, more likeable.

Then the troll turns his bony finger at you and asks, “Why would anyone like you? You’re so boring and uncool. Everyone can tell you don’t belong here. What’s wrong with you?”

The troll is most vicious when you are tired, or outside your comfort zone.

In this particular scenario, you have both circumstances working against you. The troll is in the heyday of his cruelty.

Like I said before, I have experienced the above scenario countless times. I know how much it hurts. Even though I felt confident and successful in many other situations, a scenario like the one above could knock my confidence down at the knees.

What I realized was that I was missing a key piece of the puzzle. Really, it was the central piece – the one that holds all the other pieces together: self-love.

It wasn’t so much that these situations made me hate myself. It’s that they revealed the self-loathing I had kept hidden. I know that a lot of other introverts have felt this same sense of self-hatred. This makes me so sad.

I want introverts to feel whole. I want to kill the troll.

If you feel like overcoming your self-hating thoughts is a losing battle, I encourage you to signup for my Unshakeable Self-Love for Introverts virtual workshop.
In this 1.5 hour live virtual workshop, I’ll share my L.O.V.E method for stopping self-hating thoughts in any situation. You’ll also discover  7 surprising shortcuts to self-love made specifically for introverts.
Join us LIVE Wed. Nov. 30th at 11am PACIFIC and embrace the freedom, peace, and happiness that true self-love brings.

Build Unshakeable Self-Love The Introverted Way

In this 1.5 hour live virtual workshop, you’ll discover:

– 7 surprising short-cuts to self-love specifically made for introverts
– How to leave behind self-hatred and literally fall in love with YOU
– The secret to loving and accepting yourself 100%, even if you feel totally unloveable
– How to overcome persistent negative thoughts and make your mind a safe, loving space
– Strategies for staying self-loving when you are overwhelmed and full of self-doubt
– How to speak the language of self-love so that your true worth finally sinks in

When you signup for Unshakeable Self-Love For Introverts, you’ll receive:

– 1.5 hours of online training to develop unshakeable self-love
– A workbook containing questions, actionable steps, and exercises
– Lifetime access to the workshop video recording
– The opportunity to ask questions and share your experiences via email

*I’d love to see you in the live webinar room, but you do have the option to watch the replay, which is sent shortly after the live broadcast ends.. 🙂

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  1. This is so true and it has happened to me quite often ,and I have never known why.This article has taken me a step further in understanding what it means to be an introvert. Thank you.

    • I’m so happy to hear that the article help you, Chris! xo

  2. You completely hit the nail on the head with this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt exactly like this. I’ve been working very hard at accepting myself more, but I do still have setbacks. I love your blog. ☺

    • I suspected I wasn’t the only one. Well, now you know most other innies know your pain. xo

  3. Michaela,

    I just had a friend find this website for me. It seems great. Thank you for it. I am introverted myself but as a teenager I felt I did have friends (and I came from a large family). I worry about my son(who is an only child) and his ability to make friends and if he has any now in high school. He is a junior and I worry how he will get along at college and which is the best college for introverts who are also self-conscious and shy. He does not speak up for himself. I will take a look at your on-line courses and e-books. After we take your courses can we view them again? It does take several go arounds to learn new things for me (and my son).

    We live in Wilmington DE and I would love to see if you know of any resources in my area?I am trying to find a group of moms/parents of teens so we can meet face to face maybe. I really don’t like all this technology that makes it feel like we are so disconnected. I am introverted but do need to TALK to actual people to feel that I am not alone in my thinking, feeling, and to not overthink things and have the “troll” enter. Maybe it is the female/parent part of me that needs this?
    Thank you.

    • Thanks Vicki! I’m glad you found me. I’m not sure of any local resources in your area. I’m more familiar with online resources because they are my stomping grounds. But maybe you could start a Meetup group. Some cities already have introvert Meetup groups.

    • If I can give you some advice, Vicki, it would be to put your son in a small college, one with no more than a few hundred students. This way, he’ll enjoy several benefits: (1) There will be far fewer distractions — something your son, if he’s also an HSP, will very much appreciate. Most universities today are huge, sprawling complexes, weighed down with undergrads, grad students, research institutes, departments, professional schools, as well as all manner of bohemian hangers-on. And in a setting with so much stimuli, an introverted HSP can easily become overwhelmed to the point where he crashes and burns. I know I did. (2) There will likely be fewer fraternities and sororities and, consequently, a lot less peer-group pressure, much of which can often be anti-intellectual. (3) There will also likely be much less of an emphasis on intercollegiate sports — something that has steadily corrupted colleges and universities, particularly in the U.S. (4) There may also be a lot less drinking, boozing and pub-crawling — something most introverts have never been particularly good at, I wager.

    • If you want a list of small colleges in the U.S., Vicki, try to get your hands on a copy of “The Unique Individual,” by Johnson O’Connor. Although the book was written decades ago and may be hard to find, it does, I think, list many small colleges that may be just the thing for introverted HSPs like your son. O’Connor, who died in 1974, was an interesting person in his own right. As the founder of the Human Engineering Laboratory in Boston decades ago, he pioneered aptitude testing in the U.S. Perhaps more important, he developed a word association test to determine if a person is objective (extroverted), or subjective (introverted). Surprisingly enough, the test, when I took it at age 13, showed me to be extremely subjective — a finding that has been borne out in the decades since!

  4. I’m glad I found this site. I’ve read a few articles and this one strikes true among most of the other posts I’ve read. I often question myself as to why I don’t have any friends. I’m married with one child and another very soon on the way. And what I was planning my marriage which ended up at city hall with close friends and family I kind of got upset at myself for not having a best man to call to be at my side. But fact is, this article really explains it. I can’t help but not want to please the “friends” that call me there’s who end up getting mad at me for not staying in touch when NONE of them did in return. I was never able to find a true introverted friend and the closest person that I’ve ever come across is my wife. And in all honesty, she’s basically dead centre of being introvert and extrovert. She does make my life a little more interesting but only on the aspect that I can brag about things that I’ve done with her with family members do adhere to conversation small talk in which I’m not one to do in the first place. Because everybody is a damn troll. I apparently have to have some sort of conversation skill in order to be “friendly” or “nice” when it has nothing to do with it. People like to talk about stupid stuff that has not value. I read a lot of books and on my way to starting my first novel of a large series (of course, I can’t start small). I’m technologically savvy and I read up on the world. But do I brag about it? No. Do I use it to start a conversation with others? Only if I know they’re interested in it. Is everybody interested in the things I am? Heck no. But apparently everybody things I’m interested in the things they are. And if I tell them that it doesn’t interest me, then I’m a rude person. Even if I said in the most sweetest, polite manner humanity possible.

    The society I live in is strange to me and I feel very alone. But the strangest thing is that I’m not unhappy. I guess this is what confuses a lot of people that question my solitude. I’m often being mistaken for being depressed or anti-social. Well, perhaps anti-social but I don’t hate the world as most believe in that definition I just simply don’t like participating in it.

  5. Self-love is great, but Christ defines us. Base your self-love on that fact. 🙂

  6. I just read the story of my life. I always thought that something must be very wrong with me and because of that people won`t like me. My big problem is that i can`t do small talk with people I don`t feel close to . But… if I have a subject, I can talk quite enough. Should I mention that I work as Recruiter and also as Trainer ? I can`t understand why do I have self confidence when in talk in front of large groups of people, but when I shoud have a friendly chat about weather I freeze up.

  7. Is it still possible to watch this webinar somehow, I’d really love to!!

  8. I’ve never ever been able to verbalize this but you did so perfectly. So many nights out I fight with myself inside my head bc I’m not like everyone else. I have to expel so much energy to even feel like I’m part of the group. It’s absolutely exhausting and I hate it and wind up beating myself up every single time. It always makes me feel so very alone and angry at myself. I withdraw and recharge and start the cycle over again… With time comes wisdom and learning and self-love. I’m getting closer each day to acceptance of who I am.

  9. I really wish that there was more discussion about this topic. I am struggling with this right now and I have a very public type of occupation.

  10. Hi Michaela,
    Great site you’ve created here. I’ve wanted to do something like this for many times but always felt like I needed to have some kind of credibility to do it. Anyway, I particularly like this blog/forum. I imagine if you’re talking about over coming self-hate it’s something you’ve had some success with. What’s been helpful/worked for you in this area? It’s a huge struggle for me and I’ve found myself in different addiction cycles as a result. When I finally get over one a addiction, I’m okay for a while and then end up with a new one which reinforces self-hate which drives the addiction more. I so badly want to get out of this.

    • I’ve added a lot of self-love practices to my daily life, and this helps. 1) I work with my weaknesses instead of constantly trying to fix them. 2) I know what makes me feel loved (ie. good food, quality ‘me’ time) 3) I choose the healthiest, most fulfilling addiction (for me it’s writing). 🙂

  11. I can sooooo relate to it!!
    You have explained it so well and I’m feeling much better about myself after reading this. I have recently experienced something very similar and its so nice to know that i’m not a wierdo. I’m glad to find this website 🙂

  12. I tried to make friends at work, a small group if us went to the local horse races and there was a huge crowd! I was the only chick wearing jeans lol. Anyway I was miserable and my closest friend could see it but he thought I needed to come out of my shell and enjoy myself. I just felt lonely and bored. A few of them were drunk already and their company was just horrible.
    When my friend walked off to make a bet (he was half ignoring me so id mix in) I walked off. I went as far from them as I could and ended up standing in a quiet area where they first bring the horses in to parade them. There, I was comfortable and I stayed there by myself until the end. I had no idea at that point I was an Introvert. But there is a clear example.

  13. When you talk about the discomfort that introverts feel at bars and clubs, Michaela, I know exactly what you mean. Although I’ve never felt comfortable in such settings, I’ve tried hard to do all the things the self-help gurus tell us to do to enjoy ourselves: make small talk, make eye contact, smile, loosen up, lighten up, talk in terms of the other person’s interest, yadda, yadda, yadda. But it’s never really worked. Moreover, the crowds, the loud noise and the flashing lights just make things worse. I remember once being very angry when at a synagogue dinner that was suppose to be gay, the rabbi came by where I was sitting and not-so-playfully tried to force a glass of wine down my throat. Obviously, he thought I was (A) too stiff, (B) uptight, (C) not fun-loving enough, (D) too stand-offish and needed to be fine-tuned.

  14. I kind of deal with it everyday at a job. But, my mental health is better than it was in previous jobs I have worked. Although I am still shy/quiet (not as much), I do not show it. I appear as confident and maybe mean-looking to some co-employees at my job.

    Which is worse: showing fear or showing other people that you don’t care what they think?



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