Extroverts and Introverts: Share things you don't get

In the partying thread, there are a number of posters who say they just can’t get why “partying” is so much fun for people. I imagine many of those posters are introverts and most if not all the “partiers” are extroverts.

I’m curious which “introvert” activities and behaviors are as equally befuddling.

Let this be an opportunity for us to learn from each other and not bash.

The disbelief that I’m an introvert when I’m in no way shy. “But of course you’re extroverted!” is something I hear a lot. No, I like people. I just need to not be around them to recharge.

At my previous job, I would get that a lot. “But you’re so outgoing and extroverted!” Dude, the only reason I come across that way to you is that after work, I go home, close the door and sit in a dark corner for the rest of the day, and hardly ever go outside on weekends. Whenever I’ve actually lived with other people, especially as I’ve been getting older, it has been completely draining to me, reducing me to a worn-out, grumpy misanthrope in no time flat. I need my alone time.

And yeah, being introverted certainly isn’t the same as being shy. I’m not afraid of people, they just make me tired.

I’m exactly the opposite of this.

At work and at home, I can go weeks, if not months, without actually verbally completing a full sentence to anyone. But get me out and about, and I’m a wild animal (and it’s not about binge drinking). I’m basically just “switched off” in a working situation and at home I’m relaxing, but I flip that switch on when I’m out; I’m like a totally different person.

  • I don’t get how anyone could want to be the center of attention all the time. I distrust or actively dislike people like that.

  • I don’t get how someone can be in a place (bar, club, whatever) and just walk up to someone they don’t know and start a conversation, or try to dance in front of everybody.

  • I also don’t get how you can’t pick up on the fact that I’m not comfortable at all in those situations. Berating me about how I have to get out more and trying to drag me to places isn’t helping; you’re just pushing me further towards a panic attack.

I think a lot of the things we don’t get could be answered by just switching perspectives.

Like not getting wanting to be the center of attention. I can understand this desire when I examine why I choose to not be in this position. I feel more comfortable being in my head, where things make sense. I feel more likable when I’m not “loud”; I feel more personable when I’m dealing with just one person at a time. I feel more in control of things–myself, other people’s reactions to me–when I’m keeping to myself and being low-key.

So imagine an extrovert would say something similar about why they don’t have a problem attracting attention to themselves. They feel more comfortable and more personable, more in control, etc.

I actually understand the dancing thing. Dancing is fun. I’m very much inhibited in public because I am, ahem, a rather unconventional dancer. But if I could actually groove to everyone else’s rhythm rather than just to my own, I’d dance in public all the time. It would have nothing to do with other people, though. I just enjoy moving my body to music.

I’ve never understood the concept of “having” to eat with other people, especially in a lunch situation at work.

Maybe it’s because I’ve worked in retail for all these years. Lunch time is my sacred time. I already have my book-of-the-week in the car. I take my lunch, go out to my car, read and eat. I don’t have to pay attention to anybody. I can be alone with my own thoughts. I can decompress.

People I’ve worked with could never understand this. Some of them were gobsmacked – “How can you eat by yourself? That’s so lonely!” And as much as I’d try to explain to them that no, it isn’t, and no, it’s not because I’m unfriendly, they just couldn’t get it.

the thing is, I can imagine someone saying that, but I have no idea what it means. Without knowing why one wants attention, or what the goal/payoff is, I can’t comprehend it.

I am a major, MAJOR introvert, yet I enjoy dancing in public. I’m not dancing for attention, not dancing for others, not dancing WITH others. I just like dancing, and the best music/venues for dancing happen to be out in public. I’d rather be alone on a dance floor, to be honest, but it’s not a killer for me to be in public dancing, and when I’m really into my dancing, I tune others out.

Dancing isn’t an extro- or introvert thing. It’s a dancing thing. I actually tend to find most devoted dancers in electronic dance scenes and ballet dancers are pretty introverted. I do understand your befuddlement if you look at the folks who are just flamboyant about their dancing (I have a highly extroverted friend who wants the dance floor CLEAR if some Michael Jackson comes on, and his nightly bragging consists of how many people were watching him do MJ moves), but that’s a subset of the larger group of dancers.

I feel the same way. This is something extroverts struggle to understand, but some of us just truly enjoy having a little break from dealing with other people during the day.
It’s not even about liking or not liking my coworkers. Sure, at the places where I disliked my coworkers, it was an extra reason to want a break from them. :slight_smile:
But even when I like the people I work with, I still enjoy having some alone time to relax and recharge.
However, since extroverts tend to think it’s a slap in the face if you don’t want to have lunch with them, I feel obligated to eat with others if someone else is taking their lunch break at the same time.

I don’t get how (some) extroverts ever get shit done. If you’re spending days at work and 4 nights a week “out” immediately after, then how do the floors get vacuumed and groceries get bought?

Lots of differing definitions of these terms here. Martian Bigfoot describes close to the clinical definition, e.g. it has nothing to do with outgoing-ness necessarily, merely a description on whether they prefer to be in situations with high or low stimulation.

Noise. Clubs, bars, live music, movies: all of these things are unpleasantly loud. I woud love them all if they weren’t about 30 decibels too high. Other people seem to find the noise a fun part of the experience. Even many restaurants, especially the chains, have designed the building so that it’s quite noisy and buzzy. Why do people like this? (I don’t know if this has anything to do with the introvert / extrovert thing at all. I always score exactly 50% on the self-tests, so I’m either neither or both.)

I don’t get how I can be so shy and socially awkward, yet seemingly not a true introvert, since I dislike being alone and find it very refreshing on the days I get to interact with my friends. Are there other people like me?

I’m not especially introverted or extroverted. However, there is one thing about extroverts that I just don’t get. In the recent thread about how much of the attraction of travel is new and exciting food, several people said that they thought that trying local foods gave them a reason to start conversations with local people. That is baffling to me. Striking up a conversation with a stranger is something I almost never do. I mean, I might comment on the weather or how slow the elevator is, but I’m not going to sit down with someone I don’t know and really talk to them. That goes extra for when I’m travelling. That sort of behavior is so far out of my comfort zone that I can’t comprehend it.

I can talk with anybody - and I have been to huge parties with big name celebrities and started conversations (no, not as a “fan”, just a guest) as well as striking up a conversation with the catering staff. Seems easy and I don’t understand why others have a problem doing so.

I have never had a problem in a crowded bar going up to someone and introducing myself. I can pretty much talk to the scariest of gang banger in the street, to the CEO of a large corporation with no problem. Maybe it is because I grew up in a political family and sort of inherited the gene that allows me to speak with anyone, any time.

Maybe it is the “been there, done that” syndrome, but I now prefer to stay at home with my SO and not have anybody over to the house, nor go to anyone’s house for parties. I rarely accept invitations to parties anymore - not because I am suddenly anti-social, but they just aren’t fun for me anymore.

I am sure if I ever had to go to a party/club/gala/event of some kind, I would fit back in like a duck to water and mingle easily. I just prefer not to anymore.

This and the above post describe me exactly. My job requires being extremely social, and I do it well and enjoy it, but then I go home and hang out by myself and that’s the best part of my day. People always seem surprised on Monday morning when they ask me what I did over the weekend and I tell them I hung out alone for two days and loved it.

It’s hard for me to imagine that spending time with other people might actually feel relaxing for some. I definitely need a break from social activity in order to recharge. I might seem comfortable in groups but I would never call those interactions relaxing-they’re work!

on Cracked, of all places, I found something that sums it up perfectly:

Yes, being awkward means making every decision based on how random judgmental strangers on the street might perceive you. Welcome to our club. Once a week we meet at a bar where the music is too loud and the bathroom stalls don’t have doors. We hate it.

For my mother, a lot of it is about controlling the situation, which meshes nicely with what monstro said. I want to control my life; Mom wants to control the world.

I think that’s social anxiety, not introvertness. If you can be an introvert without being shy, it makes sense that the inverse is true.
Re: eating alone. I like eating alone if I’m at home, or at work and can eat in my car, for all the reasons people stated. But I dislike eating alone in a restaurant, especially a sit-down one.
My last boyfriend insisted he was an introvert, but is the most extroverted person I know. And he didn’t get why I found spending EVERY weekend - usually the whole weekend - to be just too much. I love the dude, but he can be exhausting.

I’m a pretty extreme introvert, but I don’t think there’s anything I don’t GET about extroverts - frankly, they tend to be extremely easy to understand, what with the lack of depth (smiley goes here). I get them just fine. I just think they’re wrong about everything to do with the concept of “fun”.