Either you’re thinking here we go again with the whole over usage of shaming and bullying. Or you’re on the receiving end of it and thinking “Hallelujah” someone is finally going talking about this. Honestly I can totally understand how you could feel either way. Yes there is a part of me that feels that the word shaming and bullying has been used way too often. But in the same breath, as an Introvert I know from personal experience that introvert shaming or introvert bullying really exists. So let’s discuss it. This way you know how to deal with it or so you avoid doing it unknowingly.
Have you ever been called too shy, anti-social or too quiet?
It’s basically when an extrovert calls out an introvert for being who they are. Introverts can socialize for a set period of time. It may vary depending on the person or situation. But there is battery that is being used up as we socialize. So like any battery, it will get drained and we need to recharge. We may express this in various ways. Depending on the situation, we’ll either be quiet or we may slip away for some time alone. This usually makes extroverts uncomfortable since they get energy from being around people. So they naturally view our actions as rude or weird. Unfortunately this is where the problem starts.
Because extroverts don’t understand and/or care about our needs, they go on the offensive. They start spitting out comments that they assume will help us feel more comfortable in the situation. But it’s actually having the opposite affect. For the most part their intentions are good. But on the receiving end, it just makes an introvert annoyed or feel bad about themselves. And who wants to be around people that unknowingly make you feel bad about yourself? So it just continues a vicious cycle where an introvert is far less likely to socialize and the extrovert continues to feel slighted.
Well the first step is to recognize that it is actually a real thing. You’re not being sensitive and you’re not required to deal with it. There is a zero tolerance for bullying in school and for other groups of people. And there should be the same level of respect for the introverted community. But we’re not quite there yet for our cause. So let me give you a number of ways to deal with it until we are.
Depending on your relationship with the person, let them know flat out that you’re not feeling their comments. You can explain to them in kind way that you just need time to yourself. It has nothing to do with them and you want their understanding about it. It’s the approach I’ve used with my wife and certain other people. I know these folks tend to be more open minded so having that type of discussion has worked well.
But then you have the knuckle heads who just think you’re being difficult or anti-social. No matter how much you try to break down your nature and the fact that there are others like you, they’re not trying to hear you! In their minds you just need to snap out of your “alleged funk” and be more social when they want you to. So for those know it alls, you can get snarky or militant with them.
I tend to resort to this with certain family members and friends because they’re so aggressive with their shaming and comments. I already know explaining the concept of being an introvert is going to be like talking to a dead end street. It’s going no where. So at that point when I’m ready to recharge, I either slip away quietly. Or if I’m feeling up to it, I do let people know I’m going because I’ve had my fill of dealing with folks. So don’t come looking for me because I’ll be recharging for the next couple of hours or 24hours depending on the situation. Inevitably some people will get offended or make comments. But at that point I could careless because forcing myself to engage will just lead into some ugly standoff.
Another passive but friendly way of dealing with this situation is to get creative by making excuses for your departure. It’s not my favorite technique but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t used these. I apologize to any of my family or friends that are reading this. But it shouldn’t be a surprise to any of you that know me well. lol For the rest of you, you may want to use one of the following introvert tested excuses.
At the end of the day, you should use anything that works for you or the situation. It all depends on the type of introvert you are. I tend to be more snarky and don’t really care what people think of me (for the most part). So I just tell people I’m leaving. Or I will pick up and just quietly slip away to avoid the comments if I opted to say goodbye. That just may not be for you and that’s fine. What’s not fine is dealing with the verbal abuse of extroverts.
Again I don’t think all extroverts are being malicious when they shame or bully us. In their mind they really think they’re helping us have more fun. But we all know it’s a very limited view of life. Unfortunately most of them won’t get it even if you explain it to them.
They’ll argue you’re just being too shy and need to get over it. You’ll have more fun if you do x,y and z. You’re being rude if you don’t do more of XYZ, etc. etc. I can go on and on because I’ve heard it all. The take away is that introverts are different and people have to deal with that. We shouldn’t be made to feel bad for being who we are. After all we don’t shame or bully extroverts for being too damn chatty, clingy and social. Sorry that last comment slipped but you get what I mean. You don’t have to feel bad or explain yourself to people who won’t take the time to understand. Hopefully some of the techniques I’ve mentioned above will help you through it.
Either way I’d like to hear your experience of bullying or shaming. How did you deal with it? Have you been guilty of doing it to others? Do you think this is all bull? I’d love to hear your thoughts down below. So leave a comment either way.
Eddy with a y
I Am Not Anti-Social, I Am Just Pro Me! I want to help fellow introverts embrace their unique personality in this extroverted world. It's time for us to unite & empower each other...but from afar in your own personal space away from me. lol