Introversion

How To Piss Off An Introvert

Want to make an introvert angry? Here are a few things you can say.

Posted Jun 14, 2010

Kristen Stewart as Bella SwanIntroverts tend to be, by nature, fairly mild-mannered. But that doesn't mean we don't silently-and sometimes not-so-silently-seethe.

Look at poor Kristen Stewart, an introvert in the limelight. This young actress (Bella Swan in the wildly popular Twilight movies) gets all kinds of grief because she was awkward on Oprah, hates being stalked by paparazzi, and generally doesn't seem to enjoy the pander-to-the-public aspect of her acting career.

"I think it's funny that when I go onstage to accept an award, they think I'm nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward--and I am--but those are bad words for them," she recently told Elle magazine.

Not only that, but some of her fans and followers seem to feel that she owes them something--that because she has become famous in her chosen field, they are justified in demanding her soul. People insist that because Stewart won't gush intimate details of her life on Oprah, because she finds the red carpet experience overwhelming and unpleasant, because she tries to maintain some semblance of privacy, she is failing in her role as movie star.

And that pisses Stewart off.

"I hate it when they say I'm ungrateful, and I fucking hate it when they say I don't give a shit, because nobody cares more than I do," she said.

Yes indeedy. Introverts do sometimes get angry over assumptions made about us and behaviors directed at us, and given the opportunity to vent, we have plenty to say. You can see that in the comments on this blog--people finally feeling free to blow the raspberry at everyone who has ever told them the introvert's way is the wrong way.

Let's get a few of our pet peeves out in the open all at once, here and now. In honor of the beleaguered Kristen Stewart, we'll call this game "I f***ing hate it when they say..." Feel free to send this post to any and all offenders in your life.

"She's stuck up." Just ‘cause I'm not chattering at anyone within earshot, it doesn't necessarily follow that I have judged people and found them wanting. Maybe I just don't have anything to say at the moment. And really now, who's judging whom here?

"You don't know how to have fun." I believe we've covered this in a previous post. I know how to have fun. It just doesn't involve crowds, high decibels, or costumes. Maybe you're the one who doesn't know how to have fun--d'ja ever think about that?

"She has nothing to say." Ooooooh, that one makes me steam! Someone once said that about me because I had such trouble inserting a word into his monologue, I finally gave up. It's not that I have nothing to say, it's that he had too much to say. Give me a little space and I will dazzle you with my insight and eloquence. If I feel like it.

"Oh, come on!" That's an unacceptable response to my polite refusal to participate in something that doesn't look fun. And if you grab my arm and try to drag me into it, I am not responsible for my actions. I promise you, expletives will occur.

"Party pooper!" Do what you want, I don't care. I'm not pooping on your party. If anything, I'm pooping on my own party and that's none of your beeswax. I'm pretty sure you'll manage to continue having fun even if I'm not there.

"You hate people." I do not. I like people, especially people I like. But even those I prefer in small numbers and controlled doses.

"You're not an introvert." Maybe I'm not what you think an introvert is, but if you'll shut your piehole and let me explain, I'll tell you what makes me an introvert.

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My book, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released December 4, 2012, just in time for party/festive/family-togetherness season. You know you need it.

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Copyright 2010 Sophia Dembling