1. Please, no. Not a phone call!
No one to pass the phone off to? Mom busy and can’t make your appointments for you? Don’t worry, you’ve got this. If it’s a doctor appointment you need to make, I always try to remember that the receptionist does this literally all day. Even if you embarrass yourself like you did in the worst scenario you dreamed up in your head, I’m certain she’s heard worse.
Just a random phone call? I’m always a fan of going into the call knowing what needs to be accomplished, then signing off with a classic “well I’ll get you go, have a great rest of your day!”
If you’re catching up with someone, what always works for me is the reflecting questions method; i.e. ask THEM a bunch of questions so it’s less talking for me.
2. A social hang with *gasp* no one there you know.
Ok, I’ll start by saying first off that this is my least favorite. I’m a classic introvert in the sense of, I need someone to look at to continue the random conversation when my brain shuts down for no apparent reason. But, sometimes my “friends” (using quotes because, how dare they leave me in this situation) are busy. I guess they have lives too? Anyway, I’ve discovered that having a solid exit plan works wonders. Aka, the event starts at 7, I show up at 7:15, and say I have *insert whatever irrelevant but relevant event to go to next, probably laying in my bed* at 8! This way, I have a mental timer. Basically, just extrovert for 45 minutes, then you can go home and introvert again.
As far as conversation, my go-to is always something I’m interested in. Example, “wow, I love your top!” Or “wow, your makeup is incredible, what foundation do you use?” Then the conversation leads to all things I know and can talk about. Need to exit a conversation? The old, “I’m gunna use the restroom,” or “I’m going to go say hi to another pal I see!”
3. When you really want to bail, but you know you can’t.
This is mememememe. I make plans, sounds great at the time, then the day arrives and I wish with everything in me that my past self hadn’t said “yes.” But, here we are, in this situation yet again!
Now, for those non-introverts, us bailing has absolutely nothing to do with you, at all. We just get in this comfortable little bubble and making conversation and an effort to hangout with someone takes a lot power from our “introvert battery.”
First off, 9 times out of 10, I feel amazing after I go to said hang that I wanted to bail on, so I try to remember that going in.
Second, I’ve realized that my brain only focuses on the awkward or bad things that could happen in this hang, as opposed to the great, fun memories that will be made. I mean, all my nights spent browsing Tumblr or Instagram with a movie on in the background have all kind of blurred together at this point.
Third, there might be another introvert at this hang who is just as nervous as you are! And take it from me, living my entire life around extroverts, they don’t care if you’re awkward. You’ve gotta find the extroverts that take you under their wing. (And believe me, they’re everywhere.)
Now if your “introvert battery” is just flat-out DEAD, which trust me, I’ve been there, this is when in my mind it’s okay to bail. I know my limits and what I can handle, so when my battery is dead, I know I’m not helpful or pleasant to anyone around me.
4. First Dates. (Can we just, like, skip to the good part?)
I hate first dates with everything in me. I’ve been on more bad than good and some of them still haunt me to this day. (Yet another classic introvert symptom, replaying awkward moments like a highlight reel in your brain when you least expect it.)
But, over the years, I’ve realized that it’s either dating, or being alone forever. Once I got that concept in my head, it made the scariness of first dates disappear a little. Yes, they’re awkward, but what first date isn’t? Every married couple has been on an awkward first date, so hey, you gotta start somewhere.
To prep, I always think of topics and questions to bring up on the date if it gets, well, quiet. I used to put notes on my phone too, to look over when I went to the bathroom. Creepy or genius? I’ll let you decide.
Oh, and if you don’t wanna go for the first date kiss cuz you’re just not feeling it, hit them with the friend-zone hug, accompanied by a really nice back pat and the phrase, “let’s do this again sometime” with no actual intention of doing this ever again.
5. Getting stuck in the minefield of an introvert brain.
Introverts are notorious thinkers and observers. This leads us to coming up with brilliant ideas, but also can lead us down a spiral of negative thoughts as well. If I have too much time on my hands, I get caught running down the stairs with a suitcase of negative thoughts, accompanied by anxiety. Although this is a negative to being an introvert, I’m learning to control the negative thoughts by keeping busy. I like to do things that challenge by brain and make me think positively or presently as opposed to the latter. Writing, new tv shows, forcing myself to get out and hang with my friends, walking around target, whatever it might be that day! Introverts truly have an incredible gift of thinking, so the sooner we start to learn how to use that powerful thinking tool for the good, the better.
Everyone has different things that make their thoughts swirl, so when you find one, write it down! Start a list. Then, when you find yourself spiraling down the negative staircase, force yourself to do something on the list. It’s a skill that will take you a while to develop, but once it’s there, you’ll be thankful to yourself for taking the time to do it.
Overall, being an introvert can seem like a downer sometimes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I was an extrovert. But, this is the personality God gave me, and I know it was for a reason. Introverts are special humans and I have a new found respect for them. Life might not always be as easy, but with a little practice, you can make it wonderful.