People say a lot of annoying things to introverts. Most of the time, we just silently swallow the insults and patronizing comments. We pretend that it doesn’t bother us.
But the truth is that it gets really frustrating to hear these kinds of comments on repeat. Since most introverts hate conflict, we probably won’t voice our annoyance in the moment.
This post is our chance to vent about all the annoying things people say to introverts. I’ve summarized most of the ones I can think of in the video.
Feel free to add to the list by sharing in the comments. And remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more innie videos. 🙂
Oh, you shouldn’t label yourself.
During a client project meeting, the organizer made a point about picking a successful project team:
“Agile projects have difficulty succeeding with introverts.”
It’s 2017, I almost didn’t believe what I was hearing, especially on a software development project! There aren’t a lot of extroverts around to begin with in this field, so that person just cut out their talent pool by more than half!
actually, statistically, with most software projects, it’s 85-90% of the talent pool.
do you want to be happy or right ?
“You can step across the isle (church setting) and greet your neighbor whether you have an introverted personality or not.” Yea.
“You’re so quiet I never know you’re in the room.”
I don’t remember this one…”What are you thinking about?”
“You wear your heart on your sleeve.”
“I guess it’s ok to be an introvert. It takes all kinds.”
Yes! I HATE it when our pastor does this! So very, very awkward! Sometimes we were expected to walk around greeting people for a full five minutes! Ugh!
“You wear your heart on your sleeve.” My favorite coworkers, a female and a male, have both said this to me.
Oh, now your blushing ! You shouldn’t act so shy, be assertive, get out there !
Where did you go? You always seem to disappear!
“Where did you go? You always seem to disappear!” I was invited to a party at a former coworkers home that was attended by current and former coworkers that I like. I arrived, said hello to everyone and engaged in a one on one discussion on things that matter with everyone. After speaking with everyone, which took about an hour, I slipped away while they were all busy chatting with one another in groups. The next day, two of my favorites asked, “Why did you leave without saying goodbye?” My response is “ummm…urrrr….I’m not going to interrupt people that are having a conversation to announce my departure.
“I didn’t even know you were here you’re so quiet”
“You don’t know how to have fun, do you?”
Lynette: “I have different things I consider ‘fun’…reading a book…taking a walk…listening to music…writing in my journal…” (or whatever your ideas of fun are)…that’s how I would reply to a comment like the one you posted…
If an introvert has the boldness to ask someone why he or she talks too much, then that would be great.
I am around people who love to talk and interact. Some of them do give me unwanted attention. But, they know that I am different.
I am not going to feel the same way about coworkers (or acquaintances) and total strangers as I do with my family.
I have to attend meetings all the time with extroverts who talk, talk, and talk very loudly! To me it is chaos — so I just wait quietly. There is eventually a break in the conversation. So when I start talking, they’re all shocked and I have everyone’s full attention. Doesn’t always work out, but it usually does.
I’ve gotten that one too. “She talks?!”
My son gets bombarded with comments like, “can you at least smile?” or “you could look excited once in a while.” I am introverted also but have “adapted” coping skills just so I don’t get as many comments like that (I feel fake doing it and it takes a lot out of me though) but he’s just turned 13 and figuring things out. I told him, the next time someone makes those comments, he could try an experiment, just say “Would that make you more comfortable?”. The comment fits his personality and puts it back on all the extroverts trying to make him different.
Ohhhhhh, how absolutely on the mark you are, about these kinds of comments from the ignorant masses!!! I am an actor, and more than once, a dear friend said to me “I don’t understand how you could do such a good job on stage and yet call yourself an introvert”!
My abridged reply is that the stage is my way of communicating, loving, giving.
She has confronted me with this, along with an exasperated expression so often that I think she feels I’m lying to her when I explain the difference.
I wish we could share this list with non-introverts! Recently someone said to me “You’re such an introvert, you really should get over that!”.
The other one that gets to me when people are trying to bring me out of my shell, “Smile!!”
Yessss – “Smile” is my biggest pet peeve. Especially from complete strangers!
Nobody should tell anyone else, especially a woman, how to arrange her face. Frankly, I think people that walk around smiling all the time look a little nuts.
yeah, I agree. I have this one friend who smiles all the time, and he’s a bit scary.
smile. people tell me to smile. I am happy until that moment. thing is, in addition to being introverted, I have RBF, so they tell me that more often. 🙁
I’m an INFP, and I fantasize about extraverts* seeing what we think about them and what they say. It calms me to think about that.
*extrAvert is the correct spelling, not extrOvert. intrOvert, extrAvert. it’s simple.
‘You can’t be an introvert. You’re not shy or quiet..’
(At a party) ‘Smile. It might never happen’
‘I think people can change over time’ (as in, it’s not a fixed trait)
‘You think too much. Don’t be so hard on yourself’
“You don’t ACT like an introvert!” “You’re not an introvert…you tell jokes at work!” “You’re not an introvert, you have a BLOG!” “You’re not an introvert…you just … aren’t!” “You can’t be an introvert..you are TALL!” Yeah, all of these are true! LOL!
wait, so you’re tall, and therefore you can’t be an introvert? wow. :laughing emoji:
After becoming my private art tutor and friend: “I have to tell you that I never used to like you…I don’t like it when I don’t know what people are thinking. But I guess you are a different person than the one you were years ago!” No, I am not, it is because she got to know me.
Or how about this one. My coworker who had an office across from me said in front of me and a group of people, “It’s quiet at this end of the hall.”
I was told by a boss once that being an introvert plus my hobbies (reading, music and artwork) made me unsuitable for my job as a with a major national nonprofit. He had someone do an MBTI for our staff so he knew each of our profiles. Ironically I actually was quite successful at fundraising and exceeded my set education and PR goals, but left because of my blowhard extrovert boss.
My last boyfriend of three years broke up with me because he thought I was depressed because I needed so much alone time and recharging time. I tried and tried to explain introversion to him to no avail. I even started seeing a counselor because I thought maybe he was right. Turns out, I’m not depressed at all, just different. (Go figure?) And that’s a hard concept for so many people to accept because WE need to fit into THEIR comfortable norm or THEY don’t feel right. I’m done fighting the fight. People either accept me and like me or they don’t. I’m good with myself.
Oh, she’s just backward.
“You talk too much.”
“Shut the @#$% up! God you’re so noisy!”
“It’s the quiet one’s you have to worry about.”
“He’s probably a psychopath, and plotting our demise.”
“Hey Charlie Manson, what’s up?”
” What the @#$% you staring at motha @#$%^&?!”
“I thought you don’t like me, because you never talk.”
“Why can’t you be more like, the neighbor, guy I know or so and so’s husband?”
“Be more out going, you don’t how to talk to people, you’re not a normal American.”
“Only if you talked more, been more open, more extroverted, more like someone else…”
I think the staring off into space or staring through people, gets them, not so much the quiet. Who knows I’m happy being me, just enjoy myself regardless of what other’s think.
Why are you so quiet is the worst one 😀
Attending a tertiary staff conference recently where in one session they were discussing the Open Plan workspace & academjc staff resistance to this. “There’s been studies showing that most academics are introverts. Yes they’re on the spectrum” then collective eye-rolls throughout the room. I’m not one of the academic staff but was speechless at what was being implied about introverts by this person with a qualification in Design.
“You’re not introverted. You go to parties and you’re not weird”
“Why are you so standoff-ish?”
Oh she doesn’t like anyone. She thinks she’s too good to talk to anyone. She’s stuck up. She could take if she wanted to, she just doesn’t want to.
Oh, she just likes being wierd.
She’s s nerd. Leave her alone with her computer.
She’s just different than the rest of us
The best one yet has been “You read too much. Stop reading and start talking more.” (Said by a relative)
“What are you reading” is the most annoying phrase someone can ask while I’m reading. They’re interrupting a good book. I usually just show them the cover and go back to it. If they ask again I get kind of mad.
My favourite answer to this one is “It’s called a book….”? Xxxxxxxxxx ❤
You don’t say much, do you?
“Are you a spy?”
“You just keep quiet.”
At work after every wekkend even after years of working with the same people and knowing it will be at every workplace we go to its this awful question;
no party over the weekend?
And how ever its explained that useless interactions with shallow minded steriotipes that think only in steriotipes
Competing to say the loudest nothing like some crazy ass bloted chestbumping bird that has no way to go in life without the constant care to showoff their mediocre nest built with stolen bent and broken tweeks until it all falls to peaces and then its time to start again.
is not on the list of whats important and healthy fun.
This might be a dark description of a true think but it get hard to be a weird guy for fucking ever.
Sorry I said fuck.
Have some kickass thoughts
Cheers & beers!
Her (a stranger at a party) “So, tell me about yourself.”
Me: “Get a warrant.”
“Introverts didn’t exist in my time…”
When my husband and I are in the car and he is driving, he insists that I answer his phone if it rings. I don’t even answer my OWN phone if I am not expecting a call! He is a fire captain, his calls are usually work related, and even though I know his coworkers the last thing I want to do is make small talk on HIS phone. ?
Jenny–Mine does that too! I don’t want to talk to the person any more than you do!
Hi how are you doing?
How about “Don’t be emotional, it makes you look weak”
I was at a training day and it was geared towards extrovert people and they were asking personal questions in a group and expecting me to speak about myself in front of a group of mostly strangers… nightmare in itself… and when I said I’m an introvert and don’t like public speaking I was told, “We’ll knock the shyness out of you.”
How about… (after attempting to explain the concept of introversion – specifically, the draining of socializing – to an extrovert) “Just keep working on it, you’ll get better at it.” *insert eye roll emoji* As if it’s a bad habit to need to recharge.
All of these are so great!
Why are you so shy? I don’t know anything about you!
That was so good, and funny. Love your work, and you?
“You were stand off-ish, so I thought you were a b*. Now that I know you- you’re really cool!” I wanted to say “Yea, maybe you shouldn’t judge people so quickly” but I just smiled and said “Thanks…”
I was recently out to dinner with my husband’s ENTIRE family–20 of us. The restaurant had us set at long tables together in a line–it was against a wall. I strategically sat myself on the wall side so as to avoid everyone coming in having to pass by me. I was seated next to my two teenage sons having a perfectly lovely time with them and avoiding the irritating small talk. My husband commented to me several times about being “alone” at the table and I told him I was perfectly fine. Suddenly, he announces to everyone, “Rebecca has social anxiety so that’s why she is sitting by herself.” or something along those lines. I said to no one in particular, “And announcing it makes it so much better.” Grrrr! My introversion makes him uncomfortable because he is an extreme extrovert.
That sounds like a nightmare, Rebecca! I hope you told your husband how it made you feel afterwards.
I was married to a extraverted woman who knew I’m Introverted. Eventually we divorced which broke my heart. I went through a month of counseling which I ended when the counselor stated,’you can change that about yourself you just got to want it and force yourself to be extroverted’ Wow! I told her, I love myself and I’m not living a lie for anyone and told her I wasted my time seeing her and ended it.
“You need to get out of your comfort zone”. No. That’s why it’s called a comfort zone, because its comforting. I’m quite happy here.
“Fake it till you make it” No. Aside from lacking integrity, pretending to be something I’m not would be an invitation to mental illness for me.
“you’re so quiet.” thanks, Mr. obvious. I’ve gotten this one hundreds of times, and I’m only a 6th grader. can’t wait for the comments of the rest of my life.
I used to have this one kid at school who always said everything, with no regard to how other people feel. one day, I think I was staring at the desk I was in, when she said, “you know, you’re always so quiet.” it was annoying, so I just changed the shape of my irises, (which is a very rare condition), and she looked away.
aside from being offensive, it also almost put me in a rage that I sometimes go into after being stressed for too long and then offended. 🙁