12 things you should never say to an introvert

Introversion isn’t a flaw.

And yet a lot of us certainly act like it is, treating them like they need some help and telling them insensitive things.

If you truly care about the introverts in your life, here are the things you should never ever say to them.

1.  “Just say something—anything!”

If there’s anything that introverts absolutely hate and could use having less of, it’s being forced to talk when they don’t want to.

And most of the time, they simply don’t say anything because there’s nothing they could say that would add anything new to the conversation.

So don’t force them.

But don’t worry. If they have something to say, they’ll speak up. In fact, you might even find it hard to get them to stop talking if they’re truly passionate about something.

2. “You don’t care.”

If someone is clearly not outwardly enthusiastic about something, then the last thing you should do is guilt them into getting involved.

If your S.O. prefers to stay at home instead of going with you to your friend’s party, don’t take it to mean they simply don’t care about your friends.

They probably just find parties unpleasant in general, or perhaps they’re just all out of energy to spare.

A well-adjusted introvert knows their limitations, and they know they’ll only be miserable if they were to force themselves.

3. “Don’t be shy.”

People naturally just assume that introverts are “shy” or even antisocial simply because they stay quiet and don’t socialize much.

They’re not, and that’s why this phrase is a pet peeve of introverts.

Introverts simply find social interaction exhausting and would rather not drain their social battery unnecessarily.

This doesn’t mean they are shy.

So don’t assume that when someone is not talking, it’s because they lack self-confidence to talk. Chances are that they simply don’t want to, and that’s perfectly fine.

4. “You’ll never have friends this way.”

Just because introverts don’t party every weekend or make small talk with random people doesn’t mean that they’re friendless.

In fact, introverts tend to have a handful of close friends. People simply aren’t aware of it because they keep to themselves.

And by saying this phrase, you’re insinuating that one must act a certain way to have friends—that you can’t comprehend that someone so quiet and withdrawn will ever be liked enough to bond with others.

This is when you should step back and think about what friendship truly means to you. Introverts tend to have rock-solid friendships, and perhaps you should ask yourself why.

5. “Don’t you have a life?!”

Contrary to popular belief, introverts DO have a life. In fact, their lives might even be more interesting than yours.

Who are you to judge the life they live, after all? All of us have different goals, different priorities, and different forms of enjoyment.

Someone might consider being rich and famous “the good life” while to another that same situation might as well be a nightmare.

So if they’re perfectly happy playing video games at home right after work, then one could argue that they’re already living their best life.

You know what “not having a life” means? It’s doing something you don’t truly enjoy. And that’s NOT what introverts are doing.

6. “Why didn’t you say anything beforehand?”

Sometimes, when we get in trouble or something happens that inconveniences us, the first thing we do is look for someone to blame.

Introverts, unfortunately, are easy scapegoats. It’s very easy to just say something like “why didn’t you say anything?” or “why didn’t you try to be more assertive?”

And this is plain manipulative.

You are responsible for your own actions, and it’s really unfair to dump the blame on your introverted friends if they didn’t speak up or didn’t assert themselves firmly enough.

7. “You should go out more.”

Unless they’ve been holed up indoors for so long that you can’t help but worry that they’re not getting their vitamin D, there’s absolutely no need for you to impose how they should live their lives.

Just let introverts be!

They could be painting or writing and so they find it necessary to isolate themselves for a spell. Or perhaps they are charging their batteries in solitude, indulging in their hobbies, or just letting time fly by.

What’s important is that they are happy and content (and not hurting anybody), and chances are that they are. You insisting that they go outside might actually be what’s pissing them off.

8. “Are you depressed?”

A lot of us have a very, very bad misunderstanding around happiness and depression. Just because someone isn’t as bubbly as a freshly opened can of pop doesn’t mean that they’re depressed.

Some of the most depressed people hide their depression behind exuberant joy and vibrant smiles, and some of the happiest people don’t go around showing it on their faces.

In fact, if there’s anything that would drive introverts to depression, it’s how people judge and stereotype them all the time!

Introverts aren’t any more depressed than extroverts. They’re just a bit more subdued with the way they show their happiness… and that’s okay.

9. “Stop staying in your room.”

This world we live in is not at all friendly towards introverts. There’s just too much pressure to perform a certain way around others to “fit in”, to always think about a thousand convoluted social rules… and it’s all too exhausting.

It’s for this reason that introverts like staying in their rooms. It’s a quiet, isolated space where they’re in total control and can rest.

But the problem is that a lot of people misunderstand this. They think that introverts are simply being lazy or that they’re trying to shut people out of their lives.

What introverts want us all to know that this isn’t about YOU, it’s really about them.

They just NEED to be alone for a while (sometimes, a long while) so just give it to them.

10. “Be more assertive.”

There’s this stereotype that introverts are meek, ineffectual, and even cowardly.

That’s a mistake. They’re not pushovers, and they’re not just going to take whatever people throw at them.

The thing with introverts is simply that because they have so little energy to spare, they choose their fights wisely.

If something bothers them but they deem it unimportant, they’ll just avoid or ignore it. It’s only when they see that they really must take their stand that they do.

And trust me, when introverts get assertive, they get really assertive.

11. “You need people, you know?”

You might think you’re making sense. After all, we ALL need people and… how are introverts supposed to know people if they just sit around being quiet or alone?

Well, the secret is that introverts do know how to make friends and they do befriend others—often fellow introverts who can understand the way they act and feel.

The usual extroverted ways of hanging out simply don’t apply to them. Why would they go clubbing or go on a date night when they could just stay in and chill with one or two friends?

No-one is truly an island, and honestly you really should try not to judge the way introverts choose to socialize. It’s different from how you do it, but trust me—they have their needs met.

If anything, I’ve seen plenty of introverts with healthier social lives than half the extroverts I know of.

12. “That’s all you have to say?”

Statements like “speak louder” or “is that all you have to say?” are incredibly annoying to introverts and will earn you the stink-eye.

They would rather not say more than they actually need to, louder than they actually have to. And it all goes back to just how limited their social battery is.

Introverts don’t want to waste it by having to talk loudly or to interject more in a discussion than they actually need to. If they don’t have anything to say, then they simply will not say anything.

So don’t pressure them into speaking up because you think they haven’t said enough—they have said all they wanted to say. And if they ever said less, that’s because people talked over them and annoyed them.

The lonely introvert’s guide to overcoming loneliness

In our society, there is often a misunderstanding of introversion that leads to a common and misplaced stereotype that introverts are perpetually lonely. However, it’s important to differentiate between loneliness and the introvert’s preference for solitude.

To delve deeper into this topic, it’s worth watching Justin Brown’s illuminating YouTube video on introversion and loneliness. Brown, a thoughtful and engaging speaker, focuses on the subject of introverts and loneliness, offering a fresh perspective that encourages introverts to embrace their solitude instead of attempting to conform to extraverted norms.

Brown’s video, which is both enlightening and empowering, stresses that introverts should not feel pressured to behave like extraverts to avoid feelings of loneliness. Instead, they should understand that their comfort in solitude is a normal part of their personality trait and not a sign of being antisocial or having no social skills.

Brown goes on to illustrate that introverts can have fulfilling social lives on their own terms. They can form deep, meaningful relationships with fewer people, spend time alone without feeling lonely, and engage in their preferred activities that do not require constant social interaction.

For introverts, loneliness may arise from feeling misunderstood or pressured to adapt to extraverted expectations rather than from being alone per se. As such, Brown encourages introverts to embrace their nature, relish their solitude, and shape their social lives in ways that suit them. He advises that acknowledging one’s introverted characteristics and learning to navigate life in harmony with them is the key to personal fulfillment and happiness.

By understanding and accepting themselves, introverts can turn their solitude from a source of loneliness into a resource for creativity, personal growth, and self-care. Brown’s video is a must-watch for introverts seeking to understand and embrace their unique attributes in a world that often misunderstands them.

So, rather than seeing solitude as a problem that needs to be fixed, it should be recognized as a fundamental part of an introvert’s life – an aspect that can bring peace, creativity, and genuine contentment when embraced fully. Ultimately, this shift in perspective can help introverts to manage feelings of loneliness and live a life that is authentic and rewarding.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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