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.
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).
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.
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. 😉
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. 🙂