From Episode 10 on the Introverted Intellect Podcast
Do you sometimes wonder why you don’t connect with other people?
Maybe you don’t have many friends?
Or maybe you have this strange feeling that people are trying to avoid you?
(Want to skip to the main point? Skip to point 3 at the bottom.)
Some time ago, I came to realize something after spending time with two different groups of people on two separate occasions.
SET ONE: made me feel socially exhausted at the end of the day.
SET TWO: listened, gave positive feedback, and showed a lot of support that made the conversation fun, engaging, and at times, very sentimental.
As introverts, not all people will take energy from you. There are those make you feel exhausted and drained from chit-chat, and there are those who make you feel energized.
Considering these two experiences along with deep reflection and discussion with another close introverted friend of mine, I came to realize three reasons as to why people could potentially be putting up a wall with you.
1) WHEN YOU HAVE A STRONG OPINION
Don’t get me wrong, having a strong opinion about something shows you have deep values and are rooted in some kind of foundation in your life. Likewise, having a strong personality isn’t bad either. But the difference is this: how you present these concerns of yours.
If they respect you, your attitude and how you present your opinion with others influences their own outlook and approach in communication towards you.
For instance, I personally hate junk food.
I’ve gone on passionate rants about junk food because I know that it was the cause of a lot of depression and tiredness throughout my college days. Often times, I would get so passionate that I would sound like a preacher on a pulpit, demanding that people eat healthier food or else they are damned to a life of misery.
The worst thing about it was, I didn’t realize I sounded that bad. Speaking the way I did about it merely just seemed I was passionate about it, to me at least. However, speaking about it without considering the fact that others love eating and trying out sugary treats from time to time, was quite inconsiderate.
You can, of course, have a passion for something, but you have to be careful when it may threaten and put down what others like or enjoy in their lives. And perhaps it’s something you truly believe in and desire for others to know about, however, screaming, shouting, and putting it in someone’s face won’t get others to listen very well.
Be wise about your approach to evangelize what you love, or else, don’t be surprised when they exclude you out of conversations.
2) WHEN YOU GET UPSET OVER SMALL THINGS
I have a friend who has parents that would get upset about petty things that she does. During that time period with them, she had to tip toe around her parents as to ensure that she didn’t upset them in any way. She’d strategize on what to say, how to say it, and what she should be doing in every moment of her life with them.
It was a sad life for her to say the least. However, whatever her parents may have been going through, what they didn’t realize was the reality that their own daughter was becoming exhausted having to continuously try to please them.
In the same way, when we get upset and complain, what kind of person does that make you? Ungrateful? Scary? Edgy? All of the above actually. No one wants to be around someone like that. The bad vibes you give out will turn people away from you and before you know it, you’ll have no friends and wonder why.
Stop complaining. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be an example of positivity and patience towards others. Those good vibes are contagious and can really help someone’s day and only benefit you and your future.
3) MOST IMPORTANTLY: WHEN YOU ALWAYS SAY NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT PEOPLE BEHIND THEIR BACKS
Bottom line here is this: when you keep talking bad about other people, you just can’t be trusted. In other words, who is to say that you won’t say bad things about me?
I can almost guarantee that people I know who talk bad about others around me, also talk about me behind my back as well. I know, I get it, you want to gossip, be Judge Judy, feel better about your own life, but ultimately, you have to question, how does this in any way help your life overall?
Not only are you seeing the bad in someone else, but the person you’re telling isn’t seeing you as some kind of angel either. Without fully realizing it, they’ll start to hold things back from you and you’ll begin to wonder why they’re so quiet around you.
Usually, when I’m quiet around people, it’s because I don’t trust them.
I don’t trust that what I say won’t be judged by them. Sure, I can say to myself that I don’t care what people think, but in those moments, you don’t quite realize you’re keeping yourself quiet because you don’t know how to navigate this person telling you all of these things. Plus, who honestly wants to feel judged?
Too often I see this issue with people. They usually think that talking behind people’s backs with you will give you a sense of camaraderie and trust towards them, but it does quite the opposite at times and I believe this is often missed.
Get into the habit of not speaking badly about others. Be positive and see the good in others.
JUST, LEAVE A LEGACY
How you are remembered now is the kind of legacy that you will leave. If you were that person who always spoke ill of others and never had a good thing to say, then that is the legacy that you leave.
Or perhaps you’ll leave that legacy of those remembering how angry you always became when you forgot to buy milk the night before.
Or the overly passionate person who kept talking about how they bought clothes that saved the environment and made others feel bad for wearing socks you bought from Target.
Be wise, be smart, love people, leave a legacy.
a big awkward introvert (Jonny Raxa)