Top 7 Introverted Teen Problems (The Struggle is Real!)

introverted teen girl

The teens are tough for anyone. But being an introverted teen comes with its own specific set of painful problems.

There is the pain of wanting to belong, but instead, always feeling out of place . There is the absolute agony of always understanding, and never being understood. Then, of course, there is the confusion of having a personality that turns inward when everyone is pushing you to be more outgoing.

As an introverted teen, you also struggle with the pain of constantly being forced into places (i.e. school) that highlight just how different you are. Isn’t it ironic that being quiet and observant is something that makes you stand out nowadays? You are the black crow in a crowded jungle of parakeets. You are simultaneously ignored and singled out for your quiet nature.

So, yeah, being an introverted teen isn’t easy.

Hopefully, today’s article will help you see that you’re not alone, even if you desperately want to be. Here are 7 introverted teen problems that show that the struggle is real for young introverts:

1. Pretending to be immature to fit in.

As an introverted teen, you tend to be more introspective and reflective than many of your friends. While others focus on the superficial, you think and feel deeply. Basically, you are an old soul in a teen body.

This isn’t exactly the norm in your high school, so you force yourself to be more superficial and fun. You act immature so that you don’t get called out for that weird inner Yoda thing you’ve got going on. Here’s my simple advice for you:

A wise one you are. Change you should not.

introverted teen meme

2. The loneliness of being misunderstood.

They say that loneliness is the human condition. I prefer to think that loneliness is the result of human conditioning. When you enter your teens, the pressure to fit into a narrow definition of normal is at an all-time high. You are conditioned to behave in a way that makes others feel more comfortable (smile more, talk more, make lots of friends!!!).

But acting this way makes YOU feel about as comfortable as a cat taking a bubble bath. If one more person asks you why you’re so quiet, you’ll want to scratch their eyeballs out (but you won’t because, as an introvert, you hate drama and conflict).

You’re backed into a corner: Conform and feel exhausted, and lonely. OR be yourself and get singled out for being different. The latter can leave you feeling just as worn out and lonesome as the first option.

Thankfully, nowadays you can go online and quickly find people who really get you (like me, and the rest of the awesome innie community we have here at Introvert Spring).

introverted teen meme funny

3. Bullies.

As an introverted teen, you’ve likely experienced some kind of bullying. It may not have been the violent, overtly aggressive kind that you see on T.V., but it was bullying nonetheless.

Bullies are people who make you feel small so that they can feel big and important. They might do this by teasing or insulting you. “You’re weird,” says the puffed up bully, “why do you act like that? What’s wrong with you?”

Bullies think that your quietness is a sign of weakness, an invitation to be dominated and controlled. For a while you might be tempted to believe them. Don’t.

Quiet wisdom will take you further than loudmouthed ignorance. Be patient, and stand your ground. It will get better, I promise.

4. Feeling overwhelmed by the other humans at school.

Are you the kid that always sits at the back of the class? Do you count the minutes until lunchtime is over so that you can get the hell out of the crowded cafeteria? Do you get home feeling completely flattened by the weight of the day, even though nothing stressful seemed to have happened? If so, you’re not alone, and there’s nothing wrong with you.

As an introverted teen, you are more prone to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the school environment. Think about it, schools are giant buildings crammed to capacity with other humans. Most of these other humans spend a whole lot of time talking at you, and little to no time listening to you.

All this talking and peopling is incredibly mentally exhausting for introverts. This is because you have a different threshold for outward stimulation. After a while, you need to be alone, and turn inward. And that’s okay.

i did a thing yesterday

5. Being underestimated because you’re quiet.

This one sucks so much. You have all these amazing thoughts, ideas, and emotions inside you, but you can’t express them as freely as the extrovert sitting next to you. So, people assume that there’s nothing going on in there. They think you’re boring, or stupid.

Little do they know that you do know the answer – plus a whole lot more. You are just keeping quiet about it because you don’t feel the need to verbalize every passing thought.

This is one of those things that can change if you want it to. You can get better at expressing yourself in ways that feel more natural (like writing!). Just remember this: you don’t need to say a lot to show the world who you really are. You can be quietly compelling, and inwardly expressive. 😉

don't underestimate me because I'm quiet

6. Parents pushing you to get your extrovert on.

As an introverted teen, things will be especially rough if your parents don’t understand your introversion. Your mom and/or dad might buy into the idea that you have to be outgoing, popular, and extroverted to succeed in life.

Because of this they push you to go out more, do more extracurricular activities, and make more friends. The operative word here is MORE. They don’t understand how exhausting this is for you. They don’t see that less really is more for quiet sensitive introverts like you.

If you’re lucky, your parents did a Google search and found an article on “how to parent an introverted teen”, and they are starting to let up on you. If you’re not so lucky, they found all sorts of articles on mental illness, and decided to “diagnose” your introversion as something that needs to be cured.

For the record, introversion is simply a personality type that 1/3 to 1/2 of the world’s population shares. It’s not something that needs to be fixed or changed. Embrace it, baby!

7. Finding friends you actually like.

Contrary to what many believe, introverts do want and need human connection. As an introverted teen, you face the challenge of finding friends who don’t drain the life out of you. This can be tricky because your quiet nature often attracts overbearing, bossy types.

You may want to connect with the other introvert in your class, but neither of you is willing to make the first move. Popularity can also be a problem for innie teens, but not in the way you might think.

I know this might sound like a contradiction, but there are actually plenty of popular introverted teens. Introverts are perfectly capable of making lots of friends. The hard part is feeling a real connection with these friends. Oftentimes, popularity is just loneliness in a different dress. Even though you are surrounded by people, you still feel just as misunderstood and different as ever.

Advice for the introverted teen

At this point in your life, it may seem impossible to get others to understand and accept you, which is all the more reason to make it your #1 goal to fully understand and embrace your true self. Read blogs and books on introversion, sensitivity, and Myers-Briggs personalities.

If that sounds boring to you, just look up funny memes on these topics, and you’ll get more or less the same result. You’ll feel like maybe you’re not such an unloveable anomaly after all.

You’re an introvert, and that’s pretty awesome.

A question for introverted teens

What say you introverted teen? Do you relate to the problems I shared here? What else do you find challenging about being an introverted teen (okay, I guess that was three questions, but you don’t have to answer all of them!).

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂

Xo,

Michaela-Signature

25 Comments

  1. I’m glad you’re doing this Michaela, it’s nice to see you include others and share your wisdom with those that may not be heard. We have a lot in common. 🙂

    Not to sound intrusive as this is for the teens and I want to be a part of the solution here, I can say that from what I’ve seen not much has changed since my day in school. I’d say the bullying is still going on in spite of having anti-bulling laws, most of what I see has now moved online when kids are bullying others via social media platforms, I’m glad to see others take a stand against it. I do feel especially bad for the girls that get bullied, mean girls suck and as a teen I saw them as so competitive, that they’d trash introverted girls or try to steal guys away from them with gossip and what not. When I was in school I found myself defending many kids, introverts and the disabled mostly, anyone that was different. Home wasn’t so bad I had an ISTJ dad, so that helped, he wanted me home more often then out anyway. Introverts don’t need many friends, I still have my original 3 friends from high school and that seems like a century ago, so don’t worry about popularity, many of those loud mouth guys will be working for you one day, so you’ll get the last laugh.

    This is a great post, I don’t see too many like this, and it’s truly unique and very INFP as I have come to expect. Trust Michaela guys, she’s knows her stuff and all of us introverts have been through much of what you’re going through, believe it or not. If any of you have problems with people bullying you, tell a trusted adult make it their responsibility to stop it, it’s the law nowadays after all. If no such law exists, advocate for it. I fought for the rights of myself and others in high school and you can too, don’t let others stifle your voice as you are capable of amazing things, come hell or high water, as a collective of fellow introverts, you can overcome any obstacles.

    P.S. If any teen needs some good advice, don’t hesitate to contact Michaela, she’s amazing with kids of all ages, she understands your pain and frustration like no one else I’ve seen and she’s good at what she does because her motto is Love all, trust a few, and hurt no one. In my mind, she is uniquely qualified to teach what she does as she’s lived it and learned what it takes to succeed as an introvert in todays world.

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    • Hi Michaela, I’ve subscribed to your newsletters for quite a while now and your content always strikes a chord. I found my teenage years difficult. With hindsight, I can see my introverted nature was quite a big part of this. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be popular and found not many people really understood me, including to some extent my well-meaning but unenlightened parents. I just wanted to say a big thank you for your work in helping introverts understand and accept themselves and the rest the world understand us a bit better too! I’m sure you’ve helped so many of us feel better about ourselves and find our place in what often feels like an extrovert’s world!

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    • I wish I had read this 20 years ago. I look back now and feel so awkward about those years and I can especially identify with feeling flattened by the weight of all the events at the end of the day when there really wasn’t much going on. Now in my 30s I still go through exactly the same things as I did in my teens. Thanks for this article it was perfect!

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  2. Even though I am not a teen , I just wanted to commend you for yet another magnificently written article. 🙂 I faced every single problem you named here when I was a teen, and I am speechless with the level of understanding that shines through your words.
    Another masterpiece Michaela, well done! 🙂

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  3. Thank you so much for doing this, Michaela! I’ve always felt being understood for once in almost all of your blogs, but this one truly hits home. Especially that ‘parents pushing you to get your extrovert on’ part. Luckily for me though, my dad has become understanding of my introversion (ever since I showed him Introvert Spring), and I’ve never been so free. It really felt like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Therefore, I appreciate what you’re doing so much. I can never thank you enough for this, and for all the advice you’ve given. Lots of love!

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  4. I disagree with #7. My husband and I are both introverts with introverted daughters. They’re 20 and 18 now. I am well-informed about this personality type and can empathise with them. We reared them in such a way that they always felt secure and happy with who they are. They always have a strong opinion about things that don’t flow with the popular trend. I allowed them to express themselves in the way they dressed. Both of them show exceptional talent for writing and the younger is very artistic as well. I have had to protect them mostly from family members who didn’t understand that they thought on a different frequency. Now they are strong and independent. My prayer is that they will continue to live their lives as formidable forces of influence.

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  5. I’M NOT ALONE 😊
    I relate to every one of these.
    Thank you for writing this, now I feel a bit more understood (especially with the parents one🙄)

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    • You’re very welcome Katie! So glad they make you feel like you’re not alone. 😉

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  6. Very good article. I am 33 but I still have some of this problems. I wish I had read something like this when I was younger. My life would have been so much different. But thankfully, now I can see there are other people like me.

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  7. Thank you so much for this article! I can relate to it completely. I am a 13 year old, sort of popular introvert. Im only ‘popular’ because all the other teens in by class keep having teen problems and i generally try to make them feel better – if not for that, i’d be literally invisible. I face problems with bullies – they say i’m stupid because i never or rarely talk if i dont have to. My parents tell me that they’d stop if i start talking in the class, interacting with friends… they invite my ‘friends’ over in the weekend and that leaves me with no recharge time. I used to think i was the only one who faced all these problems… im so glad im not!

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  8. As an INFJ, I witnessed every single thing you said.It was really crazy especially because I was in a boarding secondary school run by the army. It was standard for everyone to be a tough person,but I couldn’t adjust. Many times my quietness was taken for weakness, and I just tried to fit in even as my grades dropped.
    After Secondary (or High) School,i came out of my shell and was able to appreciate myself more. I got into music(singing,playing the guitar,talking drum,recorder and keyboard) which made me very popular in the University.
    Now I’m studying Art Design to improve my drawing skills on the computer/with my hands. I’m happy to be improving on all my talents(writing,music,teaching,art,archaeology and more).

    But now I’m at a stage with scares me. A girl who’s an extrovert and popular in my secondary school and I got talking recently. She actually told me recently that she loves me. I actually started a rumor about us being in a relationship then in High School and me being angry with her for being rude. Everyone said she actually dumped me. We actually never spoke.
    I haven’t seen her yet except for our chats on Facebook/whatsapp.Now she says she’s in love with me. And I have to see her soon. Secondly, im supposed to be going for a reunion of my Class in High School,and I’m having jitters.
    HELP!!!
    This is scary

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  9. I wish I’d known this when I was a teenager; I think it could have made me feel more at peace with myself and perhaps I could have avoided some of the pitfalls of trying to fit in and be what I thought I was supposed to be, or what others thought I should be. I hope this article will make a difference in the life of a teen facing this dilemma today.

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  10. Another great article Michaela.

    When I was a school, quite a long time ago actually, I was picked on for 2 reasons. 1) because I was skinny. So other kids teased me about that. And 2) I was quiet, so kids teased me about that too. So my best friend was Lisa who was also slim and quiet. My Dad used to tell me not to take any notice of bullies. So if someone said something not nice to me, I used to ignore them and walk away. Not that I wasn’t upset inside though!

    One strange thing was that one ‘horrible’ girl in particular, I saw her at another friend’s house a couple of years after we left school. I pretended that I didn’t remember her and she was nice as nice to me. I don’t think she remembered being nasty!

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  11. Another thing. Every morning I used to feel sick before going to school.Now I realise that it was because I was introverted!

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  12. Thank you so much. This is my first time reading your articles and i’m looking forward to read it all.
    i’m 21 and still facing those problems.

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  13. I am 66 and still facing problems. In my days of schooling I was always called a “loner”.
    I seldom went to any dances or parties – going home to my room and listening to my music or reading a good book was the best things for me. Thank you so very much Michaela for such a wonderful article.

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  14. Aaaah man, number one brought me back to high school hahaha. And finding friends you actually like is a life-long endeavour, as people come and go in your life. Having read this as a teenager would have been very uplifting, glad you’re sharing it!

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  15. Greatiful

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  16. The fact is my society think being introvert is a crime !

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  17. Oh yeah!!!
    I hope I would have read this 8 years ago. That me. Bullied and misunderstood. Even today.
    Thanks.

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  18. All are so so so true!!
    I’m 25 and still struggling with #7! The real connection is tough, if not impossible, to find!

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  19. Literally everything in this article is so true! It sucks that so few people really understand how introverts work, and most of them unknowingly make life just that much more difficult, even if they have good intentions. It’s really encouraging to read all the comments and be able to see that I’m not alone. Thanks for all the awesome articles, Michaela!

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    • You’re welcome, Zach! I’m so happy that it resonated with you! xo

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  20. I relate to every single one of the problems you listed, and I have been doing so during all of the years that I have spent in school (in this moment I’m about to turn 17). Ever since I was a little girl I have been yearning graduation and then getting to study at university, although I believe I have glorified that too much, chiefly because of these problems. Thank you for a lovely website!

    Reply
  21. Hi all, I’m one of those horrible parents who never understood my daughters introvertedness. As a matter of fact I probably hurt her so badly when she was younger that she will always remember it. She sees a counselor when she feels overwhelmed with life. I told her when she was in second grade she would never have friends the way she acted around them. I know horrible. I regret many of our horrible fights. She should not have had to endure. I just never understood her anxiety and shyness. She is 16 now and we are a lot better. I keep thinking with age communication skills will improve. Alas, they are still mediocre at best. This really makes it hard for her, on her because she is an athlete who is always trying to make everyone happy as I am understanding that is their nature. So she is never coaches favorite, teachers favorite, has trouble finding and keeping friends and boys because she is just so unsure and seemingly needy. It hurts her to her core. I try to constantly reassure her of her skills, talents,a brains, athleticism. I have to confess I lose it quite often when she harps on all the negative things when she is so blessed in life. Albeit introverted but extremely blessed. I know most people will not have nice things to say and believe me I beat myself up for the words I can never take back. Parents please have as much patience and understanding as possible. Our children are our greatest blessings in this world.

    Reply

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