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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You're an introvert? No, you're an asshole.

My name is Matt and I'm an introvert.  I'm one of those weird ones who craves massive amounts of attention and spirals into downright, beside-myself depression when I feel it's deserved and I don't get it, but that's my own cross to bear.  The point is, I'm an introvert and I always have been.   I've mostly shed the shyness part that comes with being a young introvert, but I still live primarily in my own head.

However, I am also a citizen of the world, and as such, I am forced to interact with other people, introverts and non-introverts alike.  I do not view this as some kind of unbearable burden, but rather the reality of being alive in a society populated by people with widely differing personalities.  I am able to live and thrive in this world by being respectful of other people's points of view, following the rules--written, unwritten, and traffic-based--and fostering a general attitude of 'who gives a shit' in most situations.  It's not difficult to be introverted and survive in modern society.  I mean, it isn't, right?

A couple of months ago, this appeared all over the place on Facebook:

As a proud introvert with many introvert friends, I was appalled.  This might be the dumbest thing I've ever seen.  How to Care for Introverts?  What are you, a special needs child?  A three-legged dog?  I assume you are neither one of these things as you have your own Facebook account on which to post this dreck.  You're an introvert.  You don't get special treatment.  No one should get special treatment, you know, other than special needs children and three-legged dogs.  If you find yourself in a situation that is not "introvert-friendly,' you grin and bear it like everyone else, asshole.  That's right.  I said asshole.  Let's look at this thing point by point.

1. Respect their need for privacy--Of course.  But you should respect everybody's need for privacy, shouldn't you?  This could be on a list of How To Care For All Human Beings and Some Monkeys.  Everyone deserves their privacy.  

2. Never embarrass them in public--Who enjoys being embarrassed in public?  Do introverts think extroverts enjoy public humiliation?  They don't.  Nobody does.  Why do you think Double Dare is no longer on the air?

3. Let them observe first in new situations--Who's stopping you from observing first in new situations?  Are you an introvert or a wuss?

4. Give them time to think; don't demand instant answers--It would be nice if people did this one consistently.  I'm faced with this bullshit at my place of employment several times a week.  I'm-a give you this one, introvert chart.

5. Don't interrupt them--You probably shouldn't interrupt anyone.  Especially me.  Not only am I an introvert who craves attention, but I also have a short fuse when it comes to being interrupted or ignored. You know what?  I may actually just be an asshole.  Let's read on and find out.

6. Give them advance notice of expected changes in their lives--Oh, fuck you.  Sometimes this is just impossible.  Suck it up, introvert!

7. Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing--See above.

8. Reprimand them privately--Hey, if your boss or your boyfriend or some bully in the Home Depot parking lot is publicly reprimanding you, that's on them.  That person is making him/herself look bad.  

9. Teach them new skills privately--I should've been home schooled then?

10. Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests & abilities--Who is keeping introverted people from making friends?  Whoever you are, stop it.

11. Don't push them to make lots of friends--Who is pushing introverted people to make lots of friends?  Whoever you are, stop it.

12. Respect their introversion; don't try to remake them into extroverts--How 'bout just respect everybody.

Look, introverts, I'm one of you.  I get it.  But, c'mon!  This fun little chart makes us look like a pack of assholes.  "Cater to me!  Respect my (implied) superiority to you!  Stop trying to be my friend!"  Ugh.  Can we just agree that being introverted doesn't mean that we are maladjusted?  We're just quiet, creative types who need a little more alone time than others.  That's all.


Anonymous said...

good article
really tired of introvert snobbery (i am one)
you're a third of the population you are not special :P

Matt said...

Thanks, Anonymous.

I guess with a name like Anonymous, you kinda can't help but be introverted, eh?

Sunfell said...

Some of these 'tips' sound more like how to care for someone on the autism spectrum. That might make sense for that sensory set- but common sense should rule in any interaction- be it with extroverts, neurotypicals, or cranky, sensitive eccentrics like me.

Babs said...

Oh thank god, someone said it. I'm an introvert too, and I did some reading up on it a couple of years ago, and like 90% of all articles have this smug sense of superiority to them that really rubs me the wrong way.

Things were being tossed around like "introverts think things over more deeply and reach better, more meaningful conclusions than extroverts" and made me feel offended on behalf of the extroverts in the world. Who the hell are introverts to judge the quality of someone else's thinking? Just because it's different doesn't mean it's automatically ~*super special*~ and better.

Whew, that felt good to get out.

Anonymous said...

I like this post way to much.
Consider me subscribed to this blog!

Andrew Facchiano said...

Oh thank ya kindly sir.

I don't know what I am. I like to be social... and I want my god damned privacy from time to time.

What I am not is someone who needs special attention for...existing OR someone who should feel OBLIGATED to pay special attention to others if they don't want to talk to me.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! My thoughts exactly! I consider myself an introvert and I have been mildly offended with all of these new "How to treat an introvert" lists. For example, I read something like, "Introverts hate small talk so please don't talk to us about the weather or your cat. We don't care." Um...well I don't think extroverts are crazy about small talk either, but they understand that's how you begin to connect with people. The few best friends that introverts claim to have...well, it probably began with some sort of small talk as it's unlikely the convo started off with "Hi my name is my complex theory of blah blah blah is..." Another one is something like, "If we chose you as a friend, feel honored. You clawed your way in or we were confined together for a long period of time and forced to talk" What??? hahaha I don't think anyone is knocking down doors to be anyone's friend that doesn't reciprocate back. Get over yourself. Fact is making friends and connections is work for anyone, and this statement makes introverts seem lazy. I like to be proactive rather than leave it to fate to accidentally bring me my friends. And, if being an introvert equates to being a pretentious asshole, I think I'll cross over to the extrovert side. At least they are having fun living life and likely not reading a how-to guide on how to coddle an introvert. Great article!

Anonymous said...

You are all traitors! You all will go straight to Introvert Hell. Loud teenagers will yell on their cell phones, women will gossip about mundane celebrity news. Men bro bump their sweaty chests against your scowling face. Starbucks will play Lil Wayne and you will never have coffee. A hell hound g will bark at you to take it for a walk but you will never find the leash. And finally, 666 minutes business meetings!

Muhahaha burn! Burn heretic!

Anon said...

Do you have idea what the hell you just posted?! You are a big fuckin' excuse for an introvert who looks down on others. Hell, you're hypocritical in that you claimed to be introverted when you sure don't act like it.

Maybe the reason why there are many introverts who act snobbish is because many extroverts give 'em crap for being who they are. In other words, they bully their victims for the fun of it. And they're fuckin' sick of it.

If I didn't know better, I'd say that you're a traitor to introverts. Same thing goes for all those other so-called introverts who suck up to the extroverts of the world and expect others to kiss their asses.

If I'm you, I'd respect those introverts who you bitched about for who they are. If they wanna act superior and shit, let 'em.

It's ironic that you blamed introverts for bein' assholes when you come off as one yourself.

You know? Try to be more sensitive and understanding to those introverts who have been victimized by extroverted assholes. Maybe then you wouldn't talk down to them just as you wouldn't make them feel like they've been bullied for fun. I know what it's like to be bullied and I hate it!

AS for the asswipe who posted on JUly 14, 2015, I'll tell him or her (most likely, him) this:

"You're really full o' bullshit and contribute nothin' to this blog. Did you get dropped on your head or something? Hell, you remind me of some twenty-six-year-old prick who's been spammin' a website called Topix like there was no tomorrow by fantasizin' like he's some kind of villain. He also spammed two other webpages by postin' useless shit on it.

As far as I'm concerned, you maybe that guy, who's a major hypocrite in that he called other people on Topix babies and children when he's super childish himself.

So do me a favor an' shove horseshit up your ass. Better yet, burn in hell like the hypocritical liar you are."

Anon said...

One other thing that I want to tell you, blogger, is that you aren't my kind of introvert. You see? MY types of introverts aren't attention-whoring weirdos like you. Instead, they're serious-minded and intelligent folks who don't put up with bullshit like bein' made fun of.

As for the commenters who agreed with you in this blog of yours, they're sheep like extroverts.

Matt said...

I think the people who agreed with me understand that this is primarily a comedy blog. If you don't find it funny, that's OK. And, what, I can't make fun of my own kind now? Look, I may not be your kind of introvert, and that's OK too. I guess I'm the kind with a sense of humor. And I may be "attention-whoring," but a "weirdo?"

I just skimmed your comments, but I must say 1) I don't know what Topix is, but I assume it is something for teenagers, and I'm not one and 2) the overuse of foul language is a crutch. You constant swearing and invitations to "burn in hell" don't make me want to listen or consider your point for even a second.

Matt said...

I'd like to add, I just re-read my post and I have no idea why you are mad. Your response is ridiculous. I'm glad I'm not your kind of introvert.

cosmos said...

Thank you for writing this. I have introvert acquaintances ( used to think they were friends) and I have come to the conclusion that they are very selfish. They continually cancel on me even when it is they who have asked me to go something and they never accept an invitation from me saying they don't feel like it. Guess what sunshine, I sometimes don't feel like it either but I suck it up like everyone else because I like to support people! I have one who refused to answer phone calls saying they are rude and stated that her mobile phone is for her convenience to contact people, not for them to contact her! I think that was when I started hating her!