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Old 01-23-2013, 06:26 PM
 
342 posts, read 906,360 times
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I have dealt with this my entire life. I'm an introverted person. Yes, I have friends, but I like to spend time by myself also. I rarely will speak up in a large group setting (such as a class or something, not with just friends). Pretty much every friend I've ever had has joked that when they first met me they thought I hated them but I "changed" when they got to know me. I don't get it all, but mulitple people have said this across multiple settings for years, so obviously it's true. What sparked it today was that one of my friends from work mentioned that during our orientation week a bunch of the other new employees were talking about how they thought I didn't like them. I actually got marked down in my evaluation at work for appearing to be "closed off." Out of several "performance outcomes" this was the only one I got a negative rating on. I had excellent marks on this at my old job, but it was a smaller place and I was really comfortable with everyone. I haven't heard this one in a few years, but people used to accuse me of giving them dirty looks when I was just sitting there too. I make a conscious effort to smile at people or say hi when I see them in the hallway, and I go out of my way to be "talkative" when I meet someone as much as I can. Like at the orientation my firend mentioned, I tried really hard to find at least something to talk about with everyone...yet I am still giving off this vibe. I don't know how to stop! I even make a conscious effort in some settings to maintain a "pleasant" expression so I'm not accused of "glaring" at anyone. Some people that are super "friendly" just seem excessively fake to me, and I don't want to be like that because I feel like it's so obvious and silly, but I suppose that's better than being "closed off." Are there any other introverts that deal with this and what has helped you?
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Canada
3,896 posts, read 2,723,463 times
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For starters, here's something easy you could try: work on improving your body language. Just do a Google search of the subject to learn some tips.

For example, there's this article: 25 Acts of Body Language to Avoid
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
4,826 posts, read 7,268,682 times
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My daughter is like this and I have a friend who is like this. It honestly comes off as rude. I know you're NOT being rude but it comes off that way when someone doesn't know you or how you are.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:16 PM
 
Location: The Emerald City
1,065 posts, read 1,554,358 times
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Being an introvert all my life, this sounds familiar. I typically want people just to leave me alone and not look at me so I scowl most of the time in public and older I get, the more I don't give a rats ass what people think about me anyway.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:26 PM
 
342 posts, read 906,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AT-AT28 View Post
Being an introvert all my life, this sounds familiar. I typically want people just to leave me alone and not look at me so I scowl most of the time in public and older I get, the more I don't give a rats ass what people think about me anyway.
You know, if it was just social it wouldn't bother me as much, but it's gotten to the point where it's affecting my job too. As a probationary employee I can be fired for any reason, even just "not being a good fit" so it's important that I don't come off this way at work. It is exhausting to constantly be thinking about it...no wonder I prefer time alone!
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:28 PM
 
13,807 posts, read 14,640,285 times
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just try to smile more. social skills takes practice. smiling more is the easiest.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: San Marcos, TX
2,572 posts, read 6,568,672 times
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I don't have answers for you. I guess trying to smile more would help but for me it always feels so fake. We introverts are outnumbered (supposedly we make up about 25% of the population overall) and it's common to be misunderstood. Sucks.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,602,914 times
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Pretty sure this is a classic aspergers case. Take DMG it is a treatment for autism which will help. You'll need like 500mg + daily... I recommend country life brand that's what I take.

Most normal people operate socially on just being normal. Exactly the same idea how introverts can easily get along with each other. The difference being normal people are socially inclined and introverts aren't. It's a downward spiral socially for introverts and the opposite for normal people.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
2,377 posts, read 2,602,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amisi View Post
My daughter is like this and I have a friend who is like this. It honestly comes off as rude. I know you're NOT being rude but it comes off that way when someone doesn't know you or how you are.
This. Most normal people think that just because you aren't being normal then you have something out against them. And most introverts can't understand why people think they hate them because introverts think they are being normal. Despite being "socially superior" it's surprising that the norm's don't get it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:39 AM
 
Location: So Ca
15,753 posts, read 14,989,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrison21 View Post
I haven't heard this one in a few years, but people used to accuse me of giving them dirty looks when I was just sitting there too. I even make a conscious effort in some settings to maintain a "pleasant" expression so I'm not accused of "glaring" at anyone.
Years ago our personnel director told me that she herself had a mouth that "turned downward" so people thought she was angry when she was not. She was attempting to prepare me for an upcoming interview...and possibly warn me that others who don't know us form opinions based on images we project but are not be aware of. (Maybe her way of saying, "smile more, even if you're nervous"?) When I was young (high school) I was frequently accused of being a "snob," when in reality I was simply shy. Later I had to learn to make eye contact with people I didn't know, smile, take the initiative, etc.

Quote:
Some people that are super "friendly" just seem excessively fake to me, and I don't want to be like that because I feel like it's so obvious and silly, but I suppose that's better than being "closed off."
Temperament, of which introversion/extroversion is a part, is determined at birth and little can be done to change it. Introverts are outnumbered in society by 4 to 1, so it's not surprising that many introverts do feel awkward. Nobody can be someone they aren't.

I read years ago that introverts get their energy from being alone and extroverts get theirs by being with others, which I thought was a good description. Whatever category we fall into, we can move on a spectrum but would never be comfortable trying to be at the total opposite end of that spectrum.
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