When we talk about personality types, one of the things that often comes up is whether a person is an introvert or an extrovert. We just sort of accept that some people are quieter than others.
Interestingly, that personality trait isn't a fixed one. It's very possible for a person to be boisterous and outspoken when they're young but end up as a more reserved adult. The opposite is also true, though, and that's what we're going to talk about today.
We're focusing on that quiet kid in the back of the class who grew up to be more of an extrovert. Those of us (guilty as charged) who wanted desperately to be outgoing would really love to know...
So let's get straight to some answers, shall we?
I'm still quiet, but now people realize that I'm a great listener and everyone tells me things they usually don't tell anyone.
I'm trustworthy for no reason lol
I ended up working in a grocery store that prided itself on customer interactions so I ended up being forced to converse with strangers. Ends up conversation is a skill and like all skills you can improve with practice.
People assumed I was quiet in HS because I was smart, which really fed my ego. Now people assume I'm quiet because something's wrong with me, which is really sapping from my ego.
I moved out and was no longer out shone by my parents and family. I dared to open up more and kinda found myself
Both my parents are successful musicians and often play big concerts with big orchestra. My brothers were also quite good musicians and my youngest bro is actually studying at the conservatory at the age of 12. The other one played the drum and violin and the tuba for a few years in elementary school. And then you had me. I suck at music, I can't sing, play an instrument bc I'm tonedeaf (I don't hear the difference between different notes, neither do I hear a bass) or read music sheets. I showed interest in the piano and guitar but after realizing it would lead no where bc I'd always need support from other to, for example, tune my guitar, I gave up. I was more talented in other ways, I like to draw and write and create poems. I love to come up with characters and made detailed stories for them. My parents were... disappointed, to say the least. Especially my mom who (I think) had a dream of creating a mini version of her own. My dad in the other found it sad but he was happy I had at least tried and he still supported my other talents. At school I was an average kid, B - grades, not many friends, a wall flower.
This was due my insecurities from home among other things. So it was no wonder that my parents and brothers out shone me. I was... Just me and they were successful and talented and it was always "OH how is your brother doing" and "OH did you go to your mom's concert, she played amazing, didn't she?!" or "How is (brother A) doing, is he still playing the (instrument)?". It was barely "Hey how are you OP?" and "How is school going?". When I moved out, I had a couple rough fights with my parents bc of this as they still expected them to support them and help them and babysit my siblings who are bc much younger than me. I didn't mind doing it if it wasn't for snide remarks I sometimes got like "you barely visit us!" (I was last week at your place wtf are you saying mom?) or "We help you out so much and you never do something in return!" (wow geezz thanks dad) and don't forget the famous "You are always too busy to call of come by, we are your parents!" (Yeah, I know, congrats for figuring that one out, Sherlock Homes but I have my own life and things I need to go to. I can't call you for every fart). It's been now a couple years and I am still in contact with them bc they realized I was my own person and have my own life. Bc I now no longer lived at home and I was pretty young when I moved out people started giving me attention and got curious about my life. I also dared to open up more and more and explore my own talents and learn how to socialize.
Sorry for the long story 😅😅
I have a job that requires me to host meetings, establish report with clients and vendors, and everyone thinks I'm an outgoing extrovert. I am not. It's torture everyday. I cringe everytime the phone rings. I would love to just have a quiet, stay-in-my-cubicle all day kind of job. Or better yet, be able to work from home. Looking forward to a quiet retirement someday.
Not Quiet, Polite
I work in a lab with other former 'quiet kids' and now we're all loud and cracking obscene jokes with each other.
Turns out I'm not quiet, I'm polite and most things that go through my head aren't easy for normal people to like.
I discovered alcohol and realized I'm actually a lot of fun and have tons to talk about. Who knew?
Worked very hard at not being quiet, and realized I had something to offer and that the stakes are usually very, very low if a conversation doesn't go well. I was quiet because I had low self-esteem etc.. so luckily I was able to improve that. One light that got turned on just a few years after high school was someone said they thought I was a snob - so probably a bunch thought I had been a snob. Though it was the opposite (I felt I was not worth taking up someone else's time) it would have looked exactly the same on the outside. So the fact that I was walking around making people feel bad didn't sit right with me and I tried my best to make people at least comfortable.
Here's What Helped
What helped: my best friend was very outgoing and had a lot of friends, and I would sometimes observe her to try to better understand how she interacted so easily and comfortably in many different situations, and would sometimes ask her questions about about it. Also, I discovered a book by a psychologist named Philip Zimbardo who did extensive research on shyness. The book had advice and behavioral exercises to help build more social confidence. I read the book when I was 14 and began trying to do one thing every day from the list of suggestions/activities, and it did help. Some of the activities were low-risk, and others forced me to step out of my comfort zone, which was a good thing. I checked that book out from the library several times over the next couple of years. I just looked up the title. "Shyness: What It Is, What to Do About It."
Another thing that helped a great deal was experimenting with behaving as if I was not a shy person in situations where I did not know many people. I was active in my church youth group, and 2 or 3 times a year, there were youth conferences where kids from a bunch of different churches were all together at one of the larger churches, or at a college campus for a weekend. I saw this as a good opportunity to experiment with "outgoing" behavior, because if I somehow accidentally embarrassed myself, it would not be around kids that I saw all the time. I made friends with girls, talked to boys (a couple of whom flirted with me, and another that called me at home later). I found the experience liberating, and I enjoyed it so much that I started to be more outgoing at school. Getting a part-time job when I was 16 at a restaurant where most of the employees were teens, some from my school and some from other schools, was an experience that forced me to become more comfortable making friends.
In college, I got a job as an RA in the dorms my junior year, and was surprised at how good I was at the peer counseling part of the job. I had not expected to enjoy helping students who had personal problems, academic trouble, roommate conflicts, and so on, but found I was good at it, in large part because as a quiet person, I knew how to be a good listener. Eventually, I became an art therapist - that is a mental health counselor who uses art in therapy sessions to help clients express their emotions. I still tend to be quiet in large group situations, and very much prefer one-to-one or small-group social situations, and I need some time alone every day, but I feel happy with my life. The first time I saw the term "gregarious introvert," I thought "That is exactly what I am, and my husband, too!" We both enjoy meeting new people, but need some alone time every day. Our two young children seem to have the same disposition.
Authorities And Peers Were The Problem
First, a customer-facing job. Others have covered this well. Practice.
The other thing is that as an adult, being quiet is considered more of a 'personality type' and not so much a 'dysfunction that requires constant attempts at intervention'. And that goes a long way! Gained a huge amount of confidence in a hurry when I was all of a sudden no longer surrounded by both authorities and peers who assumed something must be wrong with me.
There are few things more annoying than when you are seeking advice and someone responds with a boring platitude that helps no one. Believe it or not, if you choose to provide advice, it needs to be specific to the situation and shouldn't be dressed up in trite phrasing. Does saying, "Keep your head up" actually contribute anything if that's all you have to say when someone comes to you in search of a listening ear?
But this goes deeper than just advice, to be fair. Some of us are sick of greedy corporations that stress the importance of being a "family" while refusing to pay proper wages. Still more of us are tired of people using certain language when other language can suffice.
After Redditor BensReddits asked the online community, "What is a phrase you absolutely hate hearing?" people shared their stories.
"At any sort of conference..."
At any sort of conference/gathering/presentation:
"How're you all doing today?!? C'mon, I know you can answer louder than that! HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING TODAY?!"
Instant resentment every time.
I second that resentment.
I attended a conference once where the main speaker did this several times in the span of thirty minutes as he announced different initiatives.
Such a headache.
"At my work..."
At my work upper management has started using the word "activate" a lot. As in, "We are working on plans to activate underutilized spaces." And, "Let's activate a few other teams on this." It just sounds silly to me and like they are trying too hard to avoid using simple, perfectly adequate language.
I'll take your "activate" and give you...
What is wrong with the word "use"?
"I was born in Australia..."
"Your English is so good!"
Thank you, I was born in Australia and English is literally my first language. My standard response these days is, "Oh thank you, yours too!"
This one is especially annoying...
...if you're not alabaster white.
This is a big one:
"Where are you from? No I mean where are you from."
Also annoying if you're not alabaster white.
"Someone saying to a teenager..."
Someone saying to a teenager, "These are the best years of your life!" I am in my mid-40s now and most people my age remember high school as horrible and awkward. The more appropriate thing to say is, "Hang in there kid! I promise life gets better. Just get through adolescence the best you can."
High school sucked.
My life vastly improved in my 20s. Let's not convince teenagers that they have nothing to look forward to after high school's over and done with.
"That's nothing... " when I tell them something only for them to turn it onto a competition and say something worse that happened to them.
The chronic one-upper.
"But she's your mother!"
Yeah, well she should've acted like one.
"I've heard it from people..."
"When you have your own children you'll understand."
I've heard it from people who don't understand that I want nothing more than my own family but being pregnant will kill me, and when I bring up adoption as a valid way of having children they'll buckle down on that phrase as to say adopted kids are not the same. It's disheartening to hear as a formal foster child and has reinforced my beliefs that no one really saw me as enough. Why would you say that to someone? All kids are the same and those without kids shouldn't be dismissed.
"I lost my daughter..."
"God has a plan" or "It happened for a reason."
I lost my daughter when I was 36 weeks in because of a sudden placental abruption followed by a uterine rupture, lost 2.2 litres of blood. I can't carry again without risking the child or myself. And I had to listen to a variety of phrases that made me want to hit those people. Those two were the worst. Followed by "You can try again" or "Did you get the child baptized?" (got this one only once though).
"Who on earth..."
"When are you going to have kids?"
Who on earth are you to not only insist I should stop and redirect my whole life for kids, but then put me on the spot and make up a timetable to change my whole life? Not everyone wants kids.
Now that you've learned a thing or two...
...you could say that all of the responses here are an exceptional opportunity to improve your social skills.
Have some of your own stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Dating is difficult––and truth be told, I don't know how anyone can do it right now, what with a pandemic going on and all. Just the thought stresses me out. Dating is especially hard for people who defy expectations in a heteronormative society. Take bisexuals, for example.
Bisexuals have been open about their struggles maintaining relationships with both men and women, even having to lie about their sexuality if they want to date certain people.
"I feel like if I end up in a straight relationship, I'll look like I was just experimenting all these years, but if I end up in a gay relationship people will say I was never actually bisexual," one man told the BBC in 2019. "Then if I don't have a monogamous relationship people will say I'm just greedy."
Indeed, the pressure to be either gay or straight can be a lot to navigate. After Redditor Trevor-on-Reddit asked the online community, "Bisexual people who have dated both genders, what are some notable differences you've learned about dating both men and women?" bisexuals spoke candidly about their experiences. Take note: You might learn something new.
We all know someone who really cannot figure out even the most basic thing without copious amounts of help. But when you meet someone who is completely and totally past all help, how do you even begin to try to help them get along?
Most of the time, they will just be flustered, or they won't listen. And you have to just stand Idly by and watch them fail.
What is your "This person has no idea how the real world works" moment?
Here were some of those stories.
The Boot, Not The Camp
When I was in boot camp, some kid put his letter addressed to 'mom' with no address attatched.
I was gonna say that its not that stupid for a very young kid to do that, but then I realized you said boot camp and not summer camp.
Don't Steal Dangerous Chemicals
A student working part time at my laboratory at a University came into my office and asked "so what all can I eat in the refrigerator, I didn't know I was supposed to bring my own lunch". I looked at him, stunned and replied "nothing, that food is what people brought for their own lunch, but you can use my grub hub to order". He DID NOT UNDERSTAND. It took 4 tries to get him to realize he can't just eat someone else's lunch.
Same student: I walked into the lab room and told him I made a full pot of coffee in the office and he could help himself. Him: "a pot of coffee? What's that?" He never used a coffee maker other than a Kuerig before and didn't even know it was a thing.
He was fired a month later for stealing chloroform.
No Ma'am, Like, REAL Bears
At a national park, the park ranger says "stay on the trails, there are bears in the area."
One lady says "isn't that dangerous? Why aren't they in their cages?"
"Ma'am, we're not a zoo."
These people are lucky to make it out of bed every day.
Sleeping On The Job
I lived with some Japanese exchange students during the final summer of college. They were really nice girls, but one of them (Mari) (~19 years old) obviously had no idea how anything worked. She spoke the best English and I was tutoring some of the other girls, while they helped me with my Japanese.
But Mari would constantly call me to come to get her because she thought we had free buses (all the buses). After all, we were students. That wasn't the issue. I could deal with that. It was a whole new culture. She was learning.
But what happened that made me realize Mari could not be left on her own was when she ended up in Eloy, Arizona. Which was ~400 miles and five hours from where we were. She had been talking to some guy on campus, he said he was visiting family in Arizona, and she said "I want to go."
He just took her with him, and she went without even telling us. She had just assumed the guy would take her back, but he said he couldn't because he was staying in Arizona. So I had to arrange a ticket, get her on the bus via the phone, and then pick her up two hours away because she missed her second bus by napping.
How...? What...? Huh...?
Had a friend who was in some uncredited scam online college for her master's degree in medical billing or something. She was on a loan program that was sending her about $5k every 3 months directly to her via check in the mail.
This was her only source of income. She kept calling it a grant that didn't need to be paid back. She was flat broke as a joke for 2 months but then the check would come in and she would be living the good life for a few weeks before being poor again.
We tried to do an intervention and show her the insane interest rate that would be back dated as soon as her "school" was done but she didn't want anyone to bust her free money dreams.
She just kept talking about all the money she would eventually be making billing insurance companies...turns out she wasn't even logging in to the online college or even attempting to get this degree.
She thought the money was free, the degree was automatic and the job was guaranteed. Some people are beyond help.
Such Brilliant. So Money. Wow
My boss told me about a friend of his, who told him af a "life hack". She would get her bills in the mail, NOT pay them, and then wait a couple of months to pay. Then she would cry so the debt collectors would feel bad and waive the fees for not paying on time. That was her "brilliant life hack"
Himbo Rights Activist
The other day, my 18yo brother-in-law got married to his highschool sweetheart in a parking garage so that they can live off campus at college together.
Girlfriend's, now wife, mother is an ordained minister. His parents, my in-laws, were very upset and he couldn't understand why because "it's just a fake marriage for school". Oh no, sweet boy. You are MARRIED. I just laughed and laughed. I love him dearly. He is a dumb*ss.
And yet somehow they are there to add these stories to our dull, dull days.
A dude (18 yo) in boot camp got a letter from home and I can see he is agitated. Being 22 and concerned for his well-being, I asked him if he wanted to talk about it. (I'm thinking a Dear John letter or the Mom and Dad divorcing letter.)
He dead *ss told me that his younger brother got a Mercedes for his birthday and that he was pissed bc he "only got a BMW". Can't remember what I said, but I knew boot camp was gonna knock down. (It did.)
Who Pays Your Bills?
When my roommate, who never once paid for rent or groceries or anything, turned down the only job offer they have ever gotten, in front of me, TWICE.
They were so desperate they called him twice, offering good pay, during covid, and he had the gaul to say no in front of me. His excuse was "nah I'm sure there's something better. $20 an hour is garbage in this city" -_-
Just Read ONE Parenting Book
I worked for a clueless couple who had no idea how to raise a kid. He wore the same outfit everyday for a month until I gently suggested that he needs new clothes. His parents asked me "Where can we get baby clothes?" This was slightly hilarious given that they lived above a Target and next to a baby boutique.
I had to have the same conversation once the child was old enough for solid foods. I was asked "Where can we get baby food?" I had to explain that most grocery stores carry a baby aisle, or that she can mash up her own fruits at home for the baby. This family decided that sour cream would be a great first food for their baby!
I'll mention that this was a wealthy family who went on vacation at least 2-3 times a month. By far the weirdest thing they did was try and drop off Grandma at daycare along with the baby.
Stories like this make you feel like the most well-equipped, with it person alive, right?
We're all well aware of the weird, horrible, predatory things men do when attracted to women. But what about when women are the culprits?
Though it seems that, statistically, men are problematic at a WAY higher rate than women, there are certainly times where the person bringing the creepy vibes is, indeed, the woman.
Some men of Reddit gathered to share the most bizarre and uncomfortable things a woman has ever said.
AidenTheGamer14 asked, "Men of Reddit, what is the creepiest thing a girl has ever said or done to you?"
For some, it was the stalkers.
The cryptic behavior and frightening detective work of ex-lovers can be unparalleled.
Some Light Sleuthing
"Found out my address from the phone book, this was the 90s, sat outside my house for multiple nights, all night just watching my house, I live in the middle of the woods miles outside of town."
"We only had one date and agreed to leave it at that. I found out sometime later what she had been doing."
"Girl I was dating asked if I had changed the locks since breaking up with my ex months prior. I'm like 'No, but she wasn't a crazy person so I never worried about it.' She says if I don't change the locks she ain't comfortable sleeping over, so I change the locks."
"This ex sends me an angry text the next day 'So you changed your locks huh? Real nice a**hole.' So she had been coming over this whole time and doing who knows what."
She Stopped at Nothing
"She kept writing me letters at every address I lived at during that five-year period. If she didn't have the address she'd send them care of my parents. The most memorable is the one where she told me she was married and 'he's a great guy but he's not you.' "
"Once not long after I'd moved to a new address I came home and found a box of cookies she'd FedExed to me. Eventually I moved to a new state. I knew from her return addresses that she lived and worked there, and was worried we'd run into each other but realized that was pretty unlikely."
"Then after less than a year, she found me through a blog I was keeping and left a message on my voicemail demanding we meet. I posted a message to her on my blog telling her to stop harrassing me or I'd call the police (up to that point I'd been ignoring her, hoping she'd take the hint). That night she called, I repeated my threat to bring the authorities in, and I haven't heard from her since."
Others dealt with the creepiness on the internet. With so many avenues of communication all around us, uncomfortable comments can come from all directions.
"Someone I considered a friend started to grow feelings for me, but when she found out I had a girlfriend and I didn't feel the same for her she found out who my girlfriend was somehow. She then DM'd her and tried to tell her that I was cheating on her with her."
"Luckily I was with her when she got that DM so I could explain the situation and then we blocked her. Next day she DM'd her again from an alt account."
Worst Kind of Pen Pal
"I started a new job, and I shared a small office with a woman my age (and a couple other people). She was kinda cute but also weird and super naïve (she grew up in a very rural area). She'd flirt with me a lot, but I wasn't interested."
"So she started sending me emails."
"They were super long, detailing her whole day. And she sent them to me every day. I never responded. Then one day she sent me this long email confessing her love. I replied with the (very obvious) reasons why it wouldn't work and asked her to stop sending me emails every day. She didn't."
"They kept coming. This went on for months. I asked her in person and online to stop, but I still got these email memoirs every day. Eventually I had another female office mate who was her friend have a talk with her. Finally the emails stopped."
That's A Lot of Passwords
"I've had a girl create about 50 different Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram accounts all to try to get me to friend her. I've never met this woman in person and yet every few weeks I'll get a handful of friend requests from her"
"Met this girl online and talked to her a bit. I did started to like her."
"Later found out that the pic she showed me of herself was actually a pic of her friend who had passed away due to cancer."
In my early 20's I was at a party and the hosting woman full-on tried to reach down my pants to grab my business."
"Strange, yes, what made it creepy is that we were right in front of her mother, who was cheering her on."
Breaking Out the Scroll
"After 6 months from our breakup, my ex called me because she wanted to see me. It seemed strange to me but I accepted. When we met she was friendly and all..."
"Then at a certain point she pulls a sheet in which there was written a list of all men she fu**ed after our relationship and she read it all to me, with accurate description of every sexual intercourse. Well it was an awkward moment."
"I was going to head home after a night out and a I was getting into my taxi a girl jumped in after me. I asked what they were doing and she said 'I'm coming home with you.' "
"Nope. Taxi driver helped me and she got out the car eventually when I shot down her advances."
Again, it's important to read this thread and remember that this is a bias sample, solely focused on the incidents where a woman did act creepy.
But, yes, it happens out there.