It’s important to know when you’ve reached your socializing limit. Here are some typical points in time at which an introvert should say “no more!”
- When a host says, “Thanks for coming to the party.”
- When a boss says, “Moving on to slide 2 of the PowerPoint presentation.”
- When a stranger at a wedding yells, “Let’s do the Chicken Dance!”
- When anyone asks, “What are you reading?”
- When the president calls and says, “I know I said I wouldn’t disturb you but World War III has begun.”
- Immediately after a job interviewer says, “Thanks for coming in to meet with us.”
- In a moment of passion when you just don’t have the energy to scream your partner’s name.
- When the second patient of the day asks, “How long have I got, doc?”
- When a policeman says to you, “You have the right to remain silent — but let me tell you how my day is going.”
- When anyone asks, “How was your day?”
She lives in the Loch Ness lake in the Scottish highlands by herself.
She is said to have a snake-like head with a perpetual angry expression that’s a turnoff to most monsters.
She never socializes with large groups of monsters.
No one has ever made eye contact with her.
There’s nothing she hates more than meeting new monsters.
If you really want to make the Loch Ness Introvert angry, throw her a surprise birthday party.
She’s been spotted more frequently since she started dating the Loch Ness Extrovert.
If you spot the Loch Ness Introvert by herself reading a book, that means she wants to be alone.
She does have a small group of close monster friends, and she’s a good listener.
The BBC is planning a miniseries about The Loch Ness Introvert. She will be played by Dame Judi Dench.
Introvert/Extrovert relationships often work because their differing personalities complement each other. This has not been the case for Chelsea and Simone Chesterfield, Siamese twin sisters.
“No matter how many times I say “I need to be alone” my sister just doesn’t get it,” says introvert Simone. “I hate to be a party pooper but I hate parties. We can’t even sit alone on the couch because Chelsea always wants to flirt and dance.”
Extrovert Chelsea tries to be understanding but it’s frustrating. “I get it, she likes her solitude, but I need to socialize. I’m not asking Simone to double date. She can bring a book or daydream or whatever.”
Simone says she’s been accommodating. “Not to be too graphic but after Chelsea has been drinking all night, guess which one of us gets sick and has the hangover? Last year, she signed us up for an ocean cruise, and I still haven’t recovered from the limbo contest.”
Chelsea defends herself. “If it weren’t for me, Simone would have no idea what the outside world is like. Pulling four hamstrings in a limbo contest is a small price to pay for the opportunity to watch a beautiful Caribbean sunset.”
“Yes,” adds Simone. “Watching the sun set while I’m telling a drunken ship’s mate he’s got his tongue in the wrong ear.”
“I understand our situation is unique,” says Chelsea. “She’s my sister and I’d never leave her. But I can’t change. To paraphrase Frank Sinatra, ‘I’ve gotta be us.’ ”
You can’t stand being around people, and you’d rather get a cavity filled by a discredited shopping mall dentist than engage in small talk. There’s no doubt you’re an introvert.
But are you a good introvert? Here are some indications you may have work to do:
- It’s admirable you welcome solitude but did you know Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter for president?
- You’re not a good writer. In fact, you think alienation is a planet from a Star Wars movie.
- You notice details that others don’t. Unfortunately, you notice them while peering into your neighbor’s bedroom with a high-powered telescope.
- You’re sensitive. You frequently break into tears but only when people ask, “Do you want fries with that?”
- You look at the big picture, although you were recently arrested for helping some guys get the big picture out of an art museum.
- You seek profound and meaningful conversations. However, your UPS delivery man is getting tired of your questions about existentialism in the era of shipping bar codes.
- You’re a loyal companion, but did you have to talk your best friend through her first lovemaking experience?
- You can get high on being alone. It shouldn’t, however, be the same high you get from taking tainted mushrooms.
- Being unimpulsive is good but not while 500 people in line at Old Country Buffet are waiting for you to decide between carrots and peas.
- Yes, introverts intrigue people. Don’t assume that’s why a scientist is attaching electrodes to your head.
Introverts of the world – or at least the ones reading this book – for too long we have been marginalized by a society that values talkative, engaging people with competent social skills.
It is time we collectively rise up and say under our breaths, “No More!”
Together we can show the world that introverts are more than quiet people who prefer to stay at home and read a book. We also like to stay at home and watch TV, write in our journals, and defrost our refrigerators.
Movements that change the world often begin with mass rallies designed to excite and motivate followers. Since large gatherings are the last place introverts want to be, let’s recite from the privacy of our homes the Silent Revolution Declaration of Purpose:
- If I see something, I will say nothing (for reasons altogether different from the Mafia Declaration of Purpose).
- If a friend wants to know if I’m interested in going to a party, I will screen her phone call and not answer it.
- Whenever I am in a diner or a park reading and someone asks, “Is that a good book?”, I will act as though I can’t hear them.
- At work, I will always pretend I’m taking an important phone so no one bothers me.
- If someone still insists on bothering me while I’m pretending to take an important phone call, I will pretend to say, “How much longer does he have to live?”
- If I can’t find a chair in the back of the room, I will sit in my car.
- Whenever someone asks, “Why are you so quiet?” I will try not to scream, “Because I have nothing to say!” – but I won’t try very hard.
An Indiana wife confronted her husband after discovering he was involved with someone else – himself.
“I have to accept some of the blame,” said Marcy Klein. “From the moment we met, I sensed he wanted to be alone but I ignored my instincts. I finally confronted him: ‘What do you have that I don’t?’ He’d said I was crazy, that I was the only one. The fact that he never remembers my name should’ve been a tip off.”
After enduring his aloofness and almost-total silence for three years, she was certain he was seeing another woman. Klein hired a private detective who tracked him to a nearby motel. Shortly thereafter, she confronted him with photos taken by the detective, pictures that clearly showed Harold in bed alone reading a book.
When faced with the irrefutable evidence, Mr. Klein quickly confessed. He admitted he was an extreme introvert who’d been carrying on a lifelong relationship with himself. “I’ve never been able to say no to me,” he sobbed.
Harold begged Marcy to give him another chance. He even gave her permission to cheat on him with herself to get back at him. She made reservations at a local bed and breakfast but couldn’t go through with it.
He then suggested they see a marriage therapist who recommended the Kleins go on a double date with their inner selves. “I haven’t been able to wrap my head around that concept,” said Marcy “but I’m willing to give it a try for the sake of our marriage.”
An Introvert-Extrovert Alliance (IEA) was formed at Barbra Streisand Vocational High School in Pacific Palisades. The Alliance is a student-run club that brings together introverts and extroverts to support each other and provide a safe place to socialize.
Gail, the only introvert member of the organization so far, said she appreciates her extroverted classmates’ concern. “I’d probably attend more meetings, or even one meeting, if it weren’t for the group hugs.”
Senior class president, Phil Tyler came up with the idea for the Introvert-Extrovert Alliance.” I always felt bad for the quiet students who never went to parties or hung out with everyone else – particularly the ones who didn’t seem like losers.”
So far, Alliance has attracted more extroverts than introverts. “For some reason, our weekly parties aren’t as popular with the introverts,” said Tyler. “I’m not giving up. It’s important we create a safe and supportive environment for every teenager who wants to be left alone.”
We’ve have all been there. Okay, this introvert has been there. You are asked at a job interview, “Do you enjoy working with a team?”
Inside your head, you’re screaming “Hell no!” Another voice surrenders, “I need to pay my rent.” So you gather your strength and say, “I love working on a team.”
It’s not a good position to be in, but wouldn’t it be great if you could at least answer that question honestly and still get the job? Here are some suggestions:
- What’s not to love about discussing cubicle etiquette during five-hour staff meetings?
- Does teeming with anger count?
- I believe in teams. In fact, a team of wild horses dragged me to his job interview.
- Do I enjoy working on a team? A team of what?
- If by being a team player you mean having to acknowledge you presence at least once a year, I’m your woman.
- I’m a team player, but I only high-five co-workers after they apply hand sanitizer.
- There’s not better team player than me – unless you count everyone else.
Good news for people who enjoy exploring the world beyond the hallway to their bathroom: Travel tours for introverts are currently the quiet rage.
Still, introvert travel packages can’t shield you totally from exposure to talkative, friendly Midwestern couples telling you where to find the cleanest restroom at the Coliseum.
Are you looking for the total introvert vacation experience? Consider Chernobyl Deserted Inn located off I-95 in Ukraine. Forbes Travel Guide rates it below the Fukushima Motel 6 but slightly above the New Jersey Turnpike Exit 5 rest stop men’s room.
Feel everyday worries disappear the second you enter the nuclear contamination zone. The first thing you’ll notice is total silence – and the two-headed elk. Don’t worry, even the half-men half elk won’t bother you with needless conversations or invite you to a party.
The Deserted Inn staff couldn’t be friendlier since there isn’t any. Choose one of 500 rooms. We recommend one that still has a door and a working lock to keep out the hungry bears – particularly the two-headed hungry bears.
There’s plenty to do and see in Chernobyl including the Plutonium, the Safe Energy of Today Exhibit (no waiting), Uncle Ivan’s Glowing Wax Museum (no waiting), and the birthplace of circus oddity, Sasha, the half introvert, half extrovert woman (no waiting).
Make reservations to see Chernobyl now. You only have 20,000 years until it’s inhabitable again for humans and extroverts.
Did you ever wonder what it would be like if everyone was an introvert?
- Everybody could feel alone together.
- No more small talk. Simple greetings would last for days.
- Nobody would go to parties where they didn’t know anybody, thus eliminating parties.
- Dance floors would be equipped with individual booths so no one is the center of attention.
- On the slim chance people came to a party and they didn’t know each other, it would be considered good manners to silently grab something to eat and leave.
- All classroom seats would be located at the back of the room where everyone could avoid being noticed.
- As a precaution, designated introverts would be assigned to call other introverts and say, “You haven’t left your apartment since 2009. Let’s go out and throw the Frisbee.”
- Meetings would end sooner since no one would talk just to hear the sound of their voice.
- A successful job interview would consist of being unapproachable and not making eye contact.
- The phrase “the more the merrier” would be outlawed.