“Don’t be fooled by my quiet exterior. It hides a wild mind and a passionate heart.”
(John Mark Green)
Do you notice your classmate who does not seem to talk much, but once he does, his words are full of wisdom and gems? That makes you want to take a peek inside your introverted friend’s mind. How does his mind works? One thing is for certain – if you think Netflix has too many shows, try looking inside an introvert’s brain. There is always a steady stream of thoughts running through their minds. According to a paper published by Condon & Ruth-Sahd (2013), introverts are introspective and sober in their thinking. They focus more on internal thoughts, feelings, and moods rather than external stimuli (Helgoe, 2010).
With that said, are you curious what are the things introverts think but never say? Let’s take a look at the list below:
- I don’t always want to hang out, but I still want to be invited.
Have you ever felt so drained once you reached the weekend and decided to spend your solitary time at home to recharge? It has been a hectic week, full of exams, that your idea of fun is to retreat into your introvert shell and read that new book you just bought the other day. However, you heard that your extroverted friends had made plans to go out to the beach and spend time surfing the waves. “I don’t want to go out, but it will be great if they invite me,” you think to yourself. For introverts, time alone is essential. For them, weekend plans are as simple as no plans at all. The conflict in their lives is between wanting to be invited to things but not wanting to go.
- Would they think I’m boring and uninteresting?
“Introverts crave meaning, so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche.”
Do you ever think you are uninteresting to others? Perhaps you are fond of enjoying your own time, sipping tea in an isolated place, while creating imaginary worlds in your mind. Introverts usually are quiet around people that they do not know very well. They might be afraid of what the person might think of them or what they say. Coupled with their disinterest in small talks, some people may view introverts as uninteresting. However, when introverts find an interesting topic to discuss, they can ramble on for hours.
- Is it okay if I’m not saying much?
Have you ever been in a conversation and worried about how your conversation partner perceives you? Perhaps you are on your first date, and you are more comfortable being the one to ask the questions and listen to your date’s talking. Then it occurs to you, “Is it okay if I’m not saying much? Would he think that I’m not interested?” You know you’re entirely invested in the person in front of you since you’ve been studying his facial expressions and the words that he uses that are unique to him. People with introverted personalities often ponder or observe things while thinking in their heads constantly. Apart from that, introverts thrive in silence. As an author, Khaled Hosseini had once penned down in his book, The Kite Runner, “Quiet is peace. Tranquillity. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.”
- Is it obvious that I screen my calls and messages?
Do you become anxious when your phone is ringing? To you, a ringing phone is like somebody jumping out of the closet and saying, “BOO!” The calls demand immediate attention and distract you from the task at hand. Even if someone they like calls, introverts may not answer. Nevertheless, they will call the people back next time they are mentally prepared and have acquired the energy for the conversation. Introverts might also greatly appreciate it if the person who wants to call them schedules the call over text. This way, they can look forward to talking with the person and avoid the dread that always comes with the surprise of a ringing phone. They might wonder, “Is it obvious that I screen my calls and messages?”
- I hope they cancel our plans so that I don’t have to.
Have you ever received an invitation from your friends to hang out, but you secretly wish that they cancel the plan so you don’t have to cancel it? Your friend’s call to let you know about the cancellation causes you to take a deep sigh of relief and dance around the house. When plans are cancelled, you feel free. Solitude! More time to imagine! Extra introverting! Sometimes, introverts tend to say “Yes” to every plan and go out of their way to see people even if these activities leave them feeling depleted. Therefore, they feel relieved because they don’t want to make their friends feel bad when they cancel the plan themselves.
There are various types of introverts, and not all of them are the same. If you paint each personality type with broad strokes, you will miss all the subtleties and details that make each person unique. Hopefully, this video gives you a better understanding of how people with these personality types think, act, and feel. Till next time, Psych2goers!
Cain, S. (2013). Quiet. London: Penguin Books.
Condon, M., & Ruth-Sahd, L. (2013). Responding to introverted and shy students: Best practice
guidelines for educators and advisors. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 503-515.
Dykovitz, L. (2022). I Don’t Always Want to Hang Out, But I Still Want to Be Invited. Retrieved 16 April 2022, from https://introvertdear.com/news/i-dont-always-want-to-hang-out-but-i-still-want-to-be-invited/
Helgoe, L. (2010). Revenge of the introvert. Psychol. Today 43,54. Available online at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201009/revenge-the-introvert