Too Many Sounds of Silence

seven_reasons_men_dont_listen_womenExtroverts are lovely people but require constant care and attention. For example, nothing drives them crazier than an introvert’s tendency to be quiet – the quieter the more annoying. You are not officially an introvert until you’ve heard the words, “Why aren’t you saying anything?”

Scientists are unsure why extroverts require a constant stream of verbal stimulation. After all, who wouldn’t want to sit alone contemplating life for days at a time? However, until a cure is found, introverts must reply to an endless stream of queries about their lack of verbal communication.

Here are some helpful responses to popular inquiries.

When they say:

You say:

Why are you so quiet?

Actually, I’m speaking to my dog but at a frequency only he can understand.

Hello, anybody in there?

Just a minute, I’m bagging my emotional garbage.

Why aren’t you saying anything?

I want to wait until your day is completely over before I ask how it was.

You haven’t said a word all evening.

Excuse me, I’ve been talking non-stop to myself since the waiter seated us.

Do I have to talk to myself?

Don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it.

Talking to you is like talking to the wall.

At least with the wall I have a fighting chance to get a word in edgewise.

Am I boring you?

No, I’m absolutely fascinated by the way your left eye roams a little to the left.

You didn’t say a thing to my friends.

 Doesn’t vigorously staring count for anything?

Would it have killed you to have said something?

 Funny you should ask. Here’s a note from my doctor.

Your silence scares me.

And to think I was going to surprise you next week by saying “Happy Birthday.”

Surviving Team Building Exercises


Nothing elevates an introvert’s blood pressure more than a good team building exercise. It’s like a Bataan Death March with fewer bathroom breaks. It’s also your employer’s way of saying “Total mismanagement of our company has failed to raise profits; how about trust exercises at a Holiday Inn.”

Look on the bright side. Your colleagues know you as that sullen woman who never talks to anyone and hasn’t made eye contact in a meeting since 1993. What better way to show your cubicle mates there’s more to you than the back of your head?

Still not convinced? Who can blame you? But if you don’t attend it might affect the bonus your company has been vaguely promising for years.

It’s not going to be easy. There will be times you think you can’t go on. But you’re a trooper, granted an introverted trooper.

Here are some Team Building Survival tips. They can make the difference between a horrifying experience and a merely traumatic episode easily managed with generous doses of psychotropic drugs.

  • Team Building Exercises frequently begin with each participant telling everyone something interesting about themselves. This is a trap. Do you really want HR to know you enjoy collecting stamps in the nude? Simply state: “If I told you I’d have to kill every one of you.”
  • When instructed to break into teams, declare you’re a free agent and go out for a cup of coffee.
  • Politely decline involvement in all games by announcing you are a conscientious objector.
  • After the first exercise, enthusiastically yelp, “I’m jazzed. Let’s rob a bank.”
  • Before the Trust game, offer to clean the room of hidden listening devices.
  • Pace yourself. Take quick 8-hour bathroom breaks.
  • Every time the spotlight of attention is pointed at you, nervously roll two steel ball bearings in your hand and mumble something about “a traitor in our midst.”
  • In every problem solving situation, say “I know a guy who can make that go away for $500, no questions asked.”
  • Keep insisting there is an “I” in “Team.”
  • When all else fails, revert to the fetal position.

10 Signs you’re an Introvert

You are constantly texting the voice in your head.

You often feel alone in a mosh pit.

Small talk is agony but small talk with a small person is torture.

It’s hard to make small foreplay at orgies.

When attending public events you always sit in the back row, even if it’s on someone’s lap.

You notice details others don’t. For example, you’re the only earthling at the party.

People keep telling you to “say something,” particularly while being interrogated by police.

Your favorite exit strategy for fleeing social gatherings is yelling “FIRE” while casually leaping out a window.

According to your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, you’re an observer, best suited for a career as a peeping tom.

You often get lost in your thoughts. In fact, your mind has drifted and you’ve stopped reading this.


Advice – Andy Brightman – Monkey See, Monkey Needs his Space


Dear Andy,

I’m an extreme introvert. How extreme? I’ve yet to make eye contact with my goldfish.

I was recently required to attend a cocktail party hosted by my employer. It was the kind of social gathering I avoid like a plague, the kind of plague in which I don’t know the other plague victims.

To help survive the evening I enlisted the assistance of an amateur hypnotist friend who claimed he could get me to act like an extrovert. Unfortunately, he thought it would be funny to transform me into an extroverted monkey every time someone said the word “strategize.”

Aside from one small incident when I hurled my feces at the VP of Sales, the evening went well. I even approached and flirted with our new intern from Uzbekistan. She speaks little English and found my outgoing simian airs enchanting. We’ve since been dating regularly for two months.

Here’s my dilemma.  Continuing to speak and act like a monkey hasn’t been a problem. Continuing to speak and act like an extroverted monkey has. It takes so much energy and is exhausting. I like this girl and don’t want to lose her. What do I do?

Going Bananas in Birmingham

Dear Bananas,

There is nothing wrong with going ape for a girl, even a girl who can’t tell the difference between a human and another mammal. But in the end you have to listen to your inner primate. You’re an introvert and will always be an introvert. Give your Uzbeki intern a chance. If she loves you as an outgoing monkey, she may come to appreciate you as a solitary, thoughtful chimpanzee.

Andy Brightman is a former CIA intelligence officer. “To Hell and Back: My 35 Years in Cubicle 289D” is his recently-published autobiography. 

Introvert Singles – Featured Profile – Solitary Sal



Eyes are the sealed shutters to the soul


I am looking for: A man who will love, respect, and cherish me from a safe distance

Occupation: Professional medical experiment participant

Education: Home colleged, double major in Philosophy and Laundry Folding

Proudest accomplishment: I’ve had a running monologue in my head for 14 years and have NEVER split an infinitive.

Last great book I read: “The Five People You Meet in Heaven and How to Avoid Them”

Music that puts me in the mood: Any show tune played on a dulcimer

Favorite movie: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” I prefer movies that end with fewer people.

My perfect getaway weekend: You and me, a Bed and Breakfast in the Berkshires, preferably in separate rooms

The five items I can’t live without: A new spot on my body to pierce, My imaginary life coach, Alienating-Thought-of-the-Day calendar, 23 3/4 hours to decompress, My lucky nose chain

Turn ons: Playful non-eye contact, Looking cute while shutting down, Flirting with my inner voice

Turn offs: Whistling nose ring, Dirty small talk, You flirting with another girl’s inner voice, Grammatically incorrect tattoos

More About Me: I’m your average goth girl next door. When not absorbed in my own thoughts, I like staring at people shopping and staring at people staring at me.

What I’m looking for: I’m looking for a guy who will avoid looking me straight in the eye and say, “You looked so hot in a previous life.” They say that all the good ones are possessed by the devil but I’m not giving up.