17 Things You Should Never Say to an Introvert

Introverts, who make up a significant portion of the population, prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments and often need time alone to recharge their batteries. When interacting with introverts, it’s important to be mindful of the things you say, as certain phrases can be particularly off-putting or even distressing to them. Here are 17 things you should never say to an introvert.

“You’re so antisocial.”

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Introverts are social with people they truly care about. They don’t believe in superficial interactions between large groups and short-term engagements. Calling them antisocial is inaccurate and quite insulting.

“Why are you so quiet?”

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Introverts are naturally less talkative than their extroverted counterparts. Asking an introvert why they’re so quiet can put added pressure on them and make them feel self-conscious, which in turn makes them less willing to speak.

“You’ll never have friends this way.”

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Founder of IdeaPod Justin Brown advises introverts to “connect with others based on your shared sense of purpose in life…. Once you’ve learned to be comfortable alone, then there’s a real sense of internal strength, there’s a knowledge of who you are, and there’s an ability to form very deep and meaningful relationships with others based on this shared sense of purpose.”

“You need to get out more.”

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Just because an introvert isn’t out in the crowds and being social in the way you prefer doesn’t mean they need to get out. Many introverts find their solitude and hobbies at home far more fulfilling than being out for the sake of being out. Unless you’re worried about their physical health, leave them be.

“Don’t be shy.”

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Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy. Some introverts are very confident people who can be extremely social in the right settings. Introverts tend to sit back and observe before interacting in new social circles.

“You’re overthinking this.”

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Juan Martin Picardi explored the reasoning in an introverted brain after reading speaker and author Marti Olsen Laney’s, PsyD, book The Introvert Advantage. “The introverted brain has a higher level of internal activity and thinking than the extroverted brain. It is dominated by the long, slow acetylcholine pathway… [which] slows the body down… This explains why many introverts can sit for long periods while they are concentrating.”

“You come off as a little cold.”

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Introverts may take longer to open up, which is often mistaken for aloofness. Once you’re part of their inner circle, most are compassionate and kind people. Many empaths are introverts because the level of care they have for the world can be draining, making it necessary for them to seclude themselves to recharge.

“You don’t care.”

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Introverts care deeply but may not always show it in expected ways. People can believe that because introverts aren’t always up for hanging out, they don’t care, which isn’t true. As quoted by Sahej Anand Kaur Khalsa, “Canceling plans with people less than twenty-four hours beforehand has nothing to do with them and everything to do with my self-care.”

“Let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves.”

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Icebreakers and group introductions can be intimidating for anyone. Who really has a fun fact about themselves just ready to go? For an introvert, these situations can bring on a lot of anxiety with the unwanted spotlight on them.

“You would be happier if you were more outgoing.”

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Part of an introvert’s core personality is the desire to emotionally recharge alone. They are happiest in their own company or in small groups of close friends. Assuming someone would be happier going against their innate preferences is dismissive.

“You need to speak up more.”

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Introverts have their own way of making their thoughts known. They won’t shout over people or force the spotlight on themselves. They will, however, wait for the room to quiet down and speak when they have a point to make. They’ll also approach the person who needs the information the most one-on-one to make sure there is time to clearly state their point.

“You’re missing out.”

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If you hate heights, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on jumping out of an airplane. Introverts also have no regrets about not attending events they would not enjoy. While you’re thinking they’re sitting at home with FOMO (fear of missing out), they’re perfectly content doing their own thing.

“You don’t like people, do you?”

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Introverts love people; they just don’t like being around them all the time. They have a preference for smaller, meaningful interactions, which can lead to a deeper connection with the people they choose to share their lives with.

“You’re so boring.”

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If you feel like an introvert is boring, just leave them alone and go about your life. Introverts have rich inner lives, hobbies, and passions that keep them creative and fulfilled with their lives. They may feel that an extrovert’s endless need for small talk and shallow interactions is boring, but they’re too busy enjoying their peace to say so.

“You’re too sensitive.”

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Sensitivity is not a flaw. Introverted people can be overwhelmed by too many people and noises because they’re deeply thinking people. Feeling deeply in whatever form should not be considered a flaw, and saying “you’re too sensitive” is telling someone their way of experiencing the world is wrong.

“You’re too quiet to lead.”

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Success and leadership don’t belong just to extroverts. While yes, being a “people person” may seem like an easier way to get ahead, introverted leaders have an effective approach all their own. They tend to be more thoughtful and considerate in their approach to leadership.

“You’re not trying hard enough to be social.”

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They can fake being social until the cows come home, but that will never change the fact that they need alone time to recharge their batteries. Being an introvert is not a personality flaw they need to work past or get over. It’s a beautifully unique aspect of who they are.

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