20 Things Introverts Don’t Like Doing (So Don’t Make Them)

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By Darryl Henderson

Introverts are often misunderstood as shy when, in reality, introverts only have a certain amount of energy before they need to be left alone. With this in mind, there are many things introverts certainly don’t have the energy to spare, just like these 20 things they don’t like doing.

Making Small Talk

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Small talk is extremely draining and guaranteed to deplete introverts’ minimal social energy. It also puts a lot of pressure on them to think of something to chit-chat about, which results in them feeling uncomfortable. Introverts much prefer deeper, more meaningful conversations than superficial small talk.

Attending Large Social Gatherings

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Introverts do better with one-on-one interactions, and according to The New York Times, introverts “seldom feel motivated to make new friends.” If there’s one thing that’s going to make an introvert sweat, it’s a huge social event. This can be overwhelming for them before they’ve even arrived.

Answering Unexpected Phone Calls

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Introverts won’t like answering the phone full stop, but when it’s unexpected, it’s even worse. That jolt of terror as the screen lights up is unmatched, and it makes them feel anxious because they haven’t prepared. Introverts need time to prepare what they’re going to say, so text or email is always preferred.

Speaking in Public

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If there’s one thing introverts don’t want to be, it’s speaking in public. Any cause to speak in public will definitely be one they’re anxious about. Because introverts prefer written communication and more intimate reactions, public speaking to a big group is a huge no.

Being Made to Participate in Group Activities

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Team-building exercises, active weekends away, or huge family vacations with a focus on ‘bonding’ are nightmares for introverts. They will likely feel overshadowed and struggle to assert themselves with other people, so they much prefer solitary activities to group activities.

Networking Events

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Networking events have to be one of the worst social obligations for introverts, especially because they connote ‘making a good impression.’ Networking is everything an introvert worries about, so as CNBC discussed, introverts prefer jobs that don’t require such collaboration.

Being Interrupted

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Introverts need to prepare what they’re going to say before they speak, so being interrupted can really throw them off their thought pattern. Not only is it frustrating, but it also results in them struggling to focus again on what they are trying to say. 

Dealing with Conflict

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Introverts much prefer maintaining harmony for their own energy levels and for the people around them. This means whenever conflict rears its head, they’re not going to like it. They’ll feel uncomfortable with confrontation, and it’ll throw them off their game in terms of what they’re trying to say or do.

Attending Loud or Busy Events

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Unsurprisingly, introverts hate busy nightclubs, packed concert halls, or anything that calls for noise-canceling headphones, as they make them feel anxious and overstimulated. When they can’t make their voice heard or hear what others are saying, their anxiety levels can increase even more, and they’ll crave the quiet.

Being the One to Start a Conversation

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Being expected to initiate a conversation can make an introvert feel cornered, going over and over in their mind about how to start. Then comes the fear of rejection, or how awkward it’s going to be if the other person doesn’t respond well. Introverts will always prefer others to take the lead when possible.

Sharing Personal Information

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Chat to an introvert about all your interests, and they’ll happily converse, but ask them a question about their own hobbies or personal preferences, and they’ll be on guard. They’ll feel vulnerable; introverts can feel like their very soul is being exposed if they have to talk about themselves, so don’t make them!

Spending Extended Time in Crowded Places

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Introverts have an energy meter constantly running, which, according to author Time Magazine, is “kind of like a battery they recharge.” The longer they spend in the company of others, the more it’s ticking down. Large, crowded places are going to drain them because of the constant stimulation, so they need time in solitude. 

Attending The Work Christmas Do (Or Any Work Event)

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When it comes to social gatherings, work-related events have to be the worst for introverts because they feel obligated to attend when they’re guaranteed not to enjoy it. Work social events mean a balancing act between professional and personal boundaries, and introverts desperately want to keep their private life just that: private.

Being the Center of Attention

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Even if it’s for a positive reason, such as their own birthday celebration, introverts aren’t going to like it. Putting the focus on them makes them feel anxious and in the spotlight, meaning they need to lead and initiate all interactions. Introverts would much rather observe from the sidelines.

Making Eye Contact for Too Long

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There are unspoken social rules about how long you should maintain eye contact with a person in everyday situations. Prolonged eye contact will leave introverts feeling exposed or uncomfortable, making them unable to think of anything else, lose their train of thought, or feel overly anxious.

Participating in Icebreaker Activities

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Icebreaker activities are designed to help thaw a new and uncertain environment, but they’re everything an introvert hates. They expose, which usually means revealing personal information, and they put the person in the spotlight in a group setting. Introverts will also feel stumped on an ‘interesting fact’ to come up with.

Entering a New Social Situation Alone

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Social situations are always going to be difficult for introverts, but they’re even worse when they’re new and when they have to deal with them alone. The nerves of meeting new people will overwhelm them, and they will be faced with the dreaded small talk. Established social circles are far more preferable!

Dealing with Unexpected Changes in Plans

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Psychology Today speaks of the importance of an introvert “planning accordingly,” and the further in advance, the better. When plans change abruptly at the last minute, introverts will feel anxious and underprepared, struggling to adapt to this new and unfamiliar situation. 

Engaging in Anything Competitive

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Competition means heavy pressure to perform and perform well. Especially in a career setting, like battling for a promotion, an introvert is going to find this uncomfortable, unwilling to take the spotlight to be the winner. Collaborative tasks instead of head-to-head competition are always preferred.

Being Told To ‘Come Out of Their Shell’

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Finally, introverts are often misunderstood by others, especially when told they need to speak up more, be more social, or show more confidence. They actually have bags of confidence; they just hate to be pressured to be more like others and often feel judged or misunderstood. So, never tell an introvert to ‘come out of their shell’!

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