14 “Insignificant” Things That Make An Introvert Cringe
Being a shy, socially awkward and anxious introvert, there are so many situations I find extremely upsetting. Most normal people wouldn’t think twice about these things, but just writing this post is making me squirm. If these 14 things make you cringe, you’re an introvert.
- Wearing heels that make noise. Cute shoes are nice, but most of them make a God-awful racket that takes away any of the fun in wearing them. For me, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than making unnecessary noise. Nothing draws more attention like a pair of heels clicking on linoleum.
- Getting haircuts. Why? Small talk. Unsuccessfully attempting to describe the new hairstyle you want before inevitably defaulting back to your usual cut. More small talk. The fear of being silently judged for dandruff, split ends or whatever else. What’s not to love?
- Trying to walk behind people in the grocery store aisle and getting stepped on because you’re so quiet. I feel invisible when I shop. It seems like people back into me on almost every shopping trip I take.
- Being left alone at a table even for three seconds. Whenever I’m out to eat with someone and they go to the bathroom or do anything else for a second, it feels like they’re gone for an hour. Like I’m a dog that thinks its owner is leaving forever when he goes to work. I don’t know if it’s because deep down I’m afraid people will notice me sitting alone and think I’m weird. Or if it’s because I feel like everyone’s staring at me when I’m alone (they’re not). Or because I have to stop eating and then I look awkward for not eating. Because what if I do something embarrassing and there’s no one there to laugh about it with? Like shove a whole piece of sushi in my mouth and not be able to chew it without looking like a squirrel. You get the point.
- Worse than that, being left alone for a minute with a friend’s friend who I don’t really know. I always end up saying something really stupid (“Oh look, it started raining” *facepalm*), or worse, saying nothing at all. That probably makes them think I hate them.
- Trying to have a conversation with someone who’s being really nice but you don’t know what to say. The nice people at the coffee shop down the road are trying to get to know their customers because they just opened. They make a point of asking me where I’m from and what I do, which is super nice. Clearly they want to make you feel comfortable there and become a regular customer. But I feel creepy when I ask where they live even if they just asked me the same question, and it would be redundant to ask them where they work (at the coffee shop — duh).
- Listening to voicemail. It’s not the listening part. It’s knowing you have to call them back and talk on the phone. Why can’t people just email?
- That awful moment when you feel like you need to ask your friend for permission to use the bathroom at their house even though you’ve been there a ton of times and they’d think you’re a weirdo for asking but you still have to ask anyway because you just have to.
- Being told to “Make yourself at home.” I know people are just trying to be nice and welcoming when they say this. It’s a statement, not a request. But this phrase really rubs the part of my INFJ personality that hates uncertainty the wrong way.
- Ordering food because you’re too quiet and no one can ever hear you. One time my husband and I were out at dinner and it was super loud, as it always is. I tried telling the waitress my order anyway, and obviously she didn’t hear me. So Zach translated for me and she was like “Wow, you must have supersonic hearing!” It was funny, but also sad because I was honestly talking as loud as I could.
- Being asked to give your opinion on the spot. It’s hard for me to do anything other than stammer “Uh, I don’t know.” Obviously no one’s going to do this, but if they want an introvert to respond in any other way, they’d email me the question and give me a day to get back to them.
- Having to tell your boss you noticed a mistake they made. Sure, they could take it personally or try to pin it on you, but that’s nothing compared to what would happen if they found out you noticed it and didn’t say anything. There’s really no way to win.
- Getting up to go to the bathroom at work and wondering in your co-workers are paying attention and silently judging you for how often you go to the bathroom.
- Being publicly complimented. I can’t take it! I know it’s super nice and I should just shut the hell up and take the damn compliment, but being called out in public makes me want to die, even if I’m being praised.
Can You Relate?
Did this make you cringe? If you relate to all of these, you might even be able to categorize yourself as an INFJ without taking the Myers-Briggs. However, no matter how sure you are of your personality type, you really should take an official personality indicator test if given the chance.
I was fortunate enough to take the Myers-Briggs for free in college when my Writing Center advisor gave us access to the test. Normally you have to pay for it. But it’s so incredibly worth it to know what your true personality type is. Reading about my personality type is like getting a hug from the universe telling me it’s okay to be who I am. Even if you like being alone, nothing’s more comforting than knowing there are other people who know exactly how you feel.