I’m Bad at Socalising.

Whimsicella talks about finding socialising difficult as an anxious introvert

I’m going to address the elephant that’s been in the room for most of my life: I’m bad at socialising. And it’s getting worse with age.

Don’t get me wrong, I have friends and can make pleasant small talk with strangers. Having said that, as an introvert, I hate small talk and will avoid it whenever possible. With friends, I am lively and opinionated and (occasionally) the life of the party. Although at work, I eer on the side of caution, I keep my head down and just get on with my work.

Ever since I was little, I’ve been branded as ‘quiet’ or ‘shy’, which to some extent, is true. However, if you asked any of my friends, they would scoff and say, “Ella is not shy.” I guess the term I identify with the most is, “quiet at first, but warms up quickly.” I’ve never enjoyed the term ‘shy’, and I’ve always shied away from it, if you’ll pardon the pun. ‘Shy’ indicates fear; fear of people, new situations, what others may think. Being socially anxious brings about many negative connotations. But the more I think about, the more I realise, but I am an anxious person!

My life is ruled by fear and anxiety, and the worse my episodes get, the harder time I have socialising like a normal person. My brain is ruled with thoughts like: What impression am I giving? Am I saying the right things? Is my body language approachable? Is my accent too ‘posh’? Do I seem stuck up?

Introverts vs Extroverts at a party, watch as the introvert gets over stimulated
(source: quietrev.com)

At a party a couple of years ago, I was told by someone I had met that night that they ‘wouldn’t know [I] was an introvert’ because I came across so fun and lively and opinionated. They sensed no fear or apprehension in my deamour. But considering my environment, I had no reason to be anxious: I was at a small house party, surrounded by mainly people I knew very well, and I had had a little bit to drink (which we all know is a social lubricant). Why would I have any reason to feel shy?

I also hate the negative stereotype that is bestowed upon Introverts. That we’re somehow rude, or off putting, compared to the vibrant and energetic Extroverts.

I went on a website called 16 Personalities, in which I took a little test to figure out my Myers-Briggs personality type. Turns out I’m an INFP, also known as ‘the Mediator‘. I’ve done Myers-Briggs tests before, so this didn’t really come as a surprise, and I highly encourage anyone else to do so.

But what’s the point in all this, Ella?

Though the test reinforced some things I already knew, (ie. Mediators are private, reserved and self-conscious. This makes them notoriously difficult to really get to know, and their need for these qualities contributes to the guilt they often feel for not giving more of themselves to those they care about), I also learned a little bit more about myself.

Introverts get so caught up in their inner monologue and thoughts that they are often branded as quiet
(source: quietrev.com)

I found out that INFPs find it more difficult to to find a satisying career, have a core interest in people, a flair for language and written expression, and prefer to immerse themselves in a project alone – all things I thought were a product of my environment, rather than my personality. I also learnt about the celebrities that share my personality type, including Lisa Kudrow, Tom Hiddleston and Björk.

What I’m trying to get at, in a very round about way, is that I learned that I should be unapologetic about who I am. Introversion and the way you act around people has a lot to do with energy. My energy just happens to come from being alone, and I tend to only give my attention to a few people at a time so that I don’t get spread out so thin. If that makes me ‘bad’ at socialising, well then, that’s okay.

I’m gonna leave you guys with a few of my favourite finding from my personality test:

If they are not careful, Mediators can lose themselves in their quest for good and neglect the day-to-day upkeep that life demands. Mediators often drift into deep thought, enjoying contemplating the hypothetical and the philosophical more than any other personality type. Left unchecked, Mediators may start to lose touch, withdrawing into “hermit mode”, and it can take a great deal of energy from their friends or partner to bring them back to the real world.

Luckily, like the flowers in spring, Mediator’s affection, creativity, altruism and idealism will always come back, rewarding them and those they love perhaps not with logic and utility, but with a world view that inspires compassion, kindness and beauty wherever they go.

Mediators will always need to disappear for a while, removing themselves from others so they can re-center on their own minds and feelings. Often enough people with the Mediator personality type will emerge from this time alone having come to some momentous decision that even their closest friends didn’t know was weighing on them, evading even the option of receiving the sort of support and advice they so readily give. Such is Mediators’ way, for better or for worse.

Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert? Have you ever taken a personality test? Tell me all about it!

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21 thoughts on “I’m Bad at Socalising.

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing! I’m fascinated by the Myers Briggs test (I’m an ENTJ) and I’ve learnt quite a lot about the introvert/extrovert spectrum through studying business. I always thought I was an introvert but actually it comes down to more than just whether you prefer to “be at home alone than at a party” etc. It’s about your energy levels and how you take on tasks/how easily you’re distracted etc. It’s all so interesting! Thanks, I really enjoyed reading your post 🙂 xx

    Effi | http://www.sparkleberryblog.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment! I’ve pretty much known I was an introvert since I learnt what the word meant! As much as I do love meeting people and hanging out with friends, I definitely get my energy from being alone. Myers Briggs is super interesting, I love seeing what other people’s personality types are 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m definitely an introvert, haven’t taken any tests (although I might now!) but I know that I am. I prefer to do most things alone, but I do like to socialise and communicate with people that I feel might be on a similar wavelength. And similarly to you, I’m often told that I come across as confident and outgoing which is something I don’t think that I am. Maybe a lot of it is sub-conscious! Great post, very thought-provoking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely recommend doing the test, it doesn’t take long and you learn so much! I love being alone and having me-time, but I also really like hanging out with people in small groups – it just makes things a lot less stressful. Thanks for commenting!


  3. Introverts have a great deal of inner strength. Most think extroverts are more confident but introverts do not need to be around people to make them happy or content-and that’s a quality everyone wishes to have! When something is wrong we can pretty much figure it out ourselves when we take the time to go deep within. We are not shy but have a very high sense of others motives and sincerity. Introverts are very good writers!..We Introverts need to stop second guessing ourselves just because some may not understand us and get around the few that do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wholeheartedly agree! I definitely think there are more introverts than we think, it’s just that extroverts shout the loudest and we somehow feel inferior, because the world definitely caters more to extroverts.


      1. Extroverts have to continue shouting and talking whereas when we shout or talk it’s done. Like you stated we can be a little of both depending on the situation. If introverts shouted as much as extroverts we would definitely step on a lot of people’s toes!


  4. I can relate. I’m an INFJ and experience similar feelings of overthinking social situations. I also DESPISE being called “shy”, especially because how do you even respond to that?! To deny it requires a long, and occasionally insulting, explanation.
    Have you read The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney? I’d definitely recommend it; it helped me so much! Especially in knowing that I’m not alone and understanding what’s “normal.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so annoying isn’t it! What am I supposed to say? “Yes… Well observed.” It always comes out really confrontational.

      Ooh, I haven’t, I’ll need to give it a read 😊 thanks for commenting!


  5. I got INFP on that test and I relate to everything you have said! Whenever I meet new people my mind is always reeling ‘what are they thinking?’ ‘Will we ever get past this layer of friendship?’ ‘Are they just as anxious as I am?’ But calling this shyness just feels wrong, I love meeting new people and listening to people, just in such a way that I get to observe more than I talk. I wouldn’t say you’re bad at socialising, rather that you have a different approach 😋 Quiet Power by Susan Cain may be helpful for you to read. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I definitely have a different approach to socialising! I like to think there’s no wrong way to do so 😝
      I’ve had that book recommended to me a few times by various people, I’ll definitely need to check it out! Thanks for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, im an introvert too and from a personality test I did it aaid I was an intj. I can definitely relate to a lot of points you raised here especially the dislike of small talk and how I’ve also been called very quiet. Having said that someof my close friends wouldn’t see me like that!! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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