introvert communication

Does anyone else find this scenario really annoying?

You walk into a cafe, kindle in tow, in the hopes of having a nice warm drink and nibbling on some fiction. But when you get there, electronic music blasts from the speakers.

You sit and wonder whose brilliant idea it was to crank up the music so loud you can hardly think. I mean, seriously, who wants to listen to a Justin Bieber remix as they drink their morning coffee?

These were exactly my thoughts the other day when I went to lunch at what appeared to be a cute little local cafe—the perfect place to linger and read. But no.

The music was so loud I could barely even eat without twitching with anxiety, let alone read my book. And what did I do about it?

Well, I did what most introverts would do.

I sat and stewed. I had arguments in my head. (Excuse me, but what is the logic here? No one is going to walk into a quiet cafe and think, what? No mind-numbingly loud top 40 music? I’m outta here! But at least half your customers will find the music insanely aggravating.)

I silently raged for a while, and then I decided to do something that is incredibly hard for an introvert.

This is so tough for introverts

Don’t ask me why this particular thing is so tough for introverts. It doesn’t really make sense, especially if you’re a fairly confident and rational person.

You’re not afraid of talking per se. But you find it hard to…

  • Tell your massage therapist that you’d like her to be more firm if it’s not too much trouble, thank you very much, and sorry I asked.
  • Tell the waiter that something’s wrong with your order. He’s so busy and you don’t want to come off as demanding. Besides, it will take you half the meal to formulate exactly how you’ll phrase your complaint.
  • Ask your bus or Uber driver if maybe perhaps they could let you off at the next corner—oh but when is the right time to let them know? You spend so much time thinking about when to speak up that you miss your chance. (If you’ve never used Uber, here is a coupon for $10 off your first ride)

I consider myself a confident introvert and I find all of the above situations challenging. For some reason, I still find it hard to ask for what I want in certain scenarios. Which is why what I did at the cafe was so out of character.

The next time the waitress came to my table to check on me (yes, I waited patiently for her to come over instead of flagging her down—baby steps), I asked if she could please turn down the music. And she was like, “yeah, of course”. And she did. And that was that.

Isn’t it funny that we turn asking for what we want into this big scary thing when the other person is usually happy to oblige?

The request is a flicker in their day that they’ll forget in an instant. We introverts, on the other hand, give a great deal of thought and energy toward the act of asking.

But like so many other things, the fear of asking is all in our head. So, the next time you feel afraid or embarrassed to, say, ask for some extra sauce for your sandwich, or tell your hairdresser to go easy with the layers this time, just go ahead and ask.

It won’t hurt—at least not as much as you think it will. I promise.

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What about you?

Can you relate to the annoying scenario I shared? Do you also have trouble asking for what you want? Please do share in the comments below. ?