The Introvert's Corner

How to live a quiet life in a noisy world

Another Thing Introversion is Not

Introverts can be passive aggressive, but that's not because they're introverts. Read More

Kevin Drum's article on Obama

Kevin Drum's article on Obama is a backhanded compliment to the President being an introvert...the last line of his article is passive aggressive and utterly negative; while John H. responses are idiotic.

I think it's amazing that Obama is an introvert...I had not even realized that. So not only is he the first black president, he's probably the first introvert one as well. America is doing something right. In a country of extroverts and majority whites, he's a beacon of diversity.

Like the late Princess Diana, she was known as the "People's Princess". The same should go for presidency; the president should be the "People's President" and work for the people, and not for the interests of the few. I think Obama would do well with the "People's President" than Romney any day.

I don't live in America, but from what I know about Republicans, they are nasty and they love wars (wars for profiteering benefits the rich). Some people believe that you don't make history, unless you start a war...kinda like Luka Magnotta looking for infamy in all the wrong places. LOL.

"The trouble with being quiet

"The trouble with being quiet or withdrawing is that sometimes, people insert their own messages into our silence, and that presumed message is often negative."

That is my beef too.

I don't know about other introverts, but when it's something trivial such as choosing a restaurant, I'll let others make a decision --- because my palate is wide-ranging, so I don't care and I'm always up for trying a different place. However, I think most introverts know though that if you're in a group, the decision tends to be made by the "popular" person anyway, so the introvert's input (if different) would make no'll be what the MAJORITY wants (which often favours the popular person). If you're the newbie to the group, this will ring even more true. Also if you know the group is into western food only, asking them to go for Chinese food is just going to make you the odd one out.

I used to every now and then have lunch with these two girls, one a mutual friend and we always met at the same restaurant (close to them), then one time I suggested meeting up at a different restaurant that was a little closer to me, for variety (they drive, and it was not out of the way) but offered the same food fare. So we did that, but after that day we never met up as a threesome. The other girl had lunch with my friend separately at the same old restaurant without me.

Changing subjects.

The first time I was ever made aware of "surface talk" (in hindsight) was when i graduated college and was working at a temp job, my co-worker had asked me: "How are you doing?" and so I told him (in brief) how I was doing that day. Actually he could NOT care less how I was doing, because he started admonishing me and told me that was not the right response that he expected or was looking for! He went on correcting me by saying that, the next time he asks me how I'm doing, that I can just reply simply with "good" and that would suffice for him! Can you believe that??? Why bother asking me if you have the answer already to how I'm doing??? Pleasantries are not all that pleasant when they're INSINCERE.

social cues

I think social cues, is ALL about following what and knowing what the majority wants...and copying/mimicking them. So DON'T be different is the message. If you know what the social cues are, and don't follow them because you just want to be yourself and feel it's your right, you are then labeled "anti-social" or unfriendly. This is like the unspoken rule of society. You either play the game or you're a loser. Whoever stays in the game the longest, advances and wins.

Another great blog post

Here, here! I had to correct someone recently when they started ranting about introverts not liking people and being terrible public speakers. There are so many inaccurate stereotypes out there {grumble}.

Your point about energy management is well-taken. I can attend a party and interact with people quite well, but my tolerance for this activity is more limited than someone with extroverted tendencies. Just because I need to leave early doesn't mean I didn't have a good time.

"I don't care"

I've personally found that one way to keep people from thinking that I'm being passive-aggressive about decisions is to modify my language from saying "I don't care" to "I'm impartial". "I don't care" is easily taken as flip or emotional withdrawn, and for people who have an emotional reaction about every little thing, being told "I don't care" appears to come off as hostile. "I'm impartial" seems to be a bit less emotionally-loaded when dealing with certain people.

This is personal experience, of course; ymmv.



They want you to ask how they are

Great article! It is so true that people get confused among introverts, social phobiacs and shy people.

Social Shyness

I'm all about social shyness.

I don't dislike people/crowds, but I seem to freeze when the situation presents itself.

Hopefully, I've learned when I can participate, and when I cannot, and decline when I know it's best for me.

"Some people seem to believe

"Some people seem to believe introverts refrain from making decisions, such as choosing a restaurant, because we don’t want to be held responsible should the choice turn out to be a stinker. Wrong again. I mean, yes, some introverts might do that. But it’s not because they’re introverts. It’s because they’re passive aggressive introverts.

While I can be dithery about decisions, it’s usually because I genuinely don’t care"

Or if someone's a shy introvert (or maybe a shy anything-vert) they might be afraid of people disapproving of their choice, especially if other members of the group tend to shoot people's decisions down harshly.

"If you frequently say “yes”

"If you frequently say “yes” to invitations and then back out at the last minute, you’re passive aggressive."

I'd call that flakiness rather than passive aggression, unless the person always intended to back out.

Mistake you for something else

I find that, if your a women and your quiet, and dont react to everything thats said , you are often percieved as a doormat. i am outwardly quiet and tolerant, but am actually stronger inside. People get the wrong idea, start playing you, and then are surprised when you then tell them. Often then ,they dont want to know you

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Sophia Dembling is a widely published Dallas, Texas-based writer. Her latest book is The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World.


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