Introverts are annoyed by a lot of the things that extroverts get all giddy about. This can lead others to believe that we are “party poopers” who are hard to please. Really, we just feel bent out of shape from trying to conform to the extrovert ideal all the time.
So many social norms and pleasantries are based on extrovert preferences: small talk, party etiquette, “appropriate” group behaviour. Can you blame us for feeling cranky sometimes?
It’s natural for introverts to develop a few (or a few hundred) pet peeves . Most of the time, we stay quiet about our mini resentments. But every so often it feels good to vent. So, that’s exactly what I intend to do in this post. Here they are for your reading pleasure, and my venting pleasure – the 5 biggest introvert pet peeves:
1. People commenting on our quietness.
Yes, introverts are quiet. We are all aware of this by now. Unfortunately, some people are determined to point out the obvious.
They look at us with tilted heads, and say, “you’re quiet.” If we’re lucky, they’ll leave it at that. If we’re not, they’ll continue by saying, “what’s wrong,” or “why are you so serious,” or “are you mad at me?” All of which are just as irritating, especially when we were perfectly content in our quiet state. Emphasis on the were. Comments on our quietness make us feel self-conscious.
When people point out our silence, we feel like a foreign specimen under a microscope. Ever noticed how little single-celled organisms say? Never heard anyone point that out.
I could write an entire post about this one pet peeve … in fact, I did. Read it here.
2. The extrovert’s game of conversation.
There are lots of things about the way that extroverts communicate that annoy introverts. For one, many extroverts treat conversation like a sport. In the extrovert’s conversation match, the person who can talk the longest, and respond the fastest wins.
Points are awarded for endurance, speed, and agility. Bonus points if you can fire out useless facts and events in rapid succession.
In the extrovert’s conversation match, every void must be filled with words. This can be quite painful for introverts, who just want a few moments of quiet to collect our thoughts.
3. Unexpected visitors.
I absolutely love it when people pop by my house unannounced just to say “hi” – especially in the morning.
Not only is this a pet peeve for most introverts, it also verges on being a phobia.There is something downright frightening about someone surprising us at our home. It feels like an enemy infiltrating our secret bunker in extrovert territory.
Remember when leaving a flaming bag of dog poop on someone’s doorstep was the ultimate prank? I think I’d prefer that over an unexpected guest showing up on my doorstep.
4. Talking on the phone.
I know that talking on the phone is unavoidable sometimes. But most of the time, I’d rather communicate in person, or via text. To be honest, I’m not even into texting that much. All the buzzing and beeping disrupts whatever it is I’m intensely focused on at the time. Part of me wishes we could still communicate by smoke signal. The other part is leaning toward Morse Code.
The bottom line is that introverts are annoyed by nearly every aspect of talking on the phone: the unexpected interruption, the incessant ringing, the loss of visual cues. I talk about why introverts hate talking on the phone in-depth here.
5. The more the merrier philosophy.
I’ve never heard an introvert say “the more the merrier,” and actually mean it. If we do utter these evil four words, it is through clenched teeth. Instead of feeling merry in large groups, we often feel more alone. This quote by Henry Rollins says it best:
“Yes, I guess you could say I’m a loner, but I feel more lonely in a crowded room with boring people than I feel on my own.”
Not only do crowds make us feel more alone, they also drain our energy, and leave us feeling irritable. No wonder we get annoyed when people cheerfully announce “the more the merrier”.
Did I miss any?
So, there you have it. My introvert rant. I swear I’m not a cranky old Scrooge. I’m just like any other introvert living in an extrovert’s world – I keep quiet about my pet peeves most of the time, but enjoy being noisy about them on the Internet.
If you feel like you need to do a little venting, go ahead and share your pet peeves in the comments below.