Introverts Share The Furthest They’ve Gone To Avoid People
From taking another route home from work to avoid small talk with a co-worker, to faking vacation plans to not have to socialize with some mutual friends at the same resort, introverts share the furthest they've ever gone to avoid people.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
A few summers ago, we had to replace the air vents in my house so my parents hired a few guys from an air conditioning company. To change all the air vents, the men had to go room to room so naturally, I thought I could avoid them by literally camping out in the closet which had no air vent so why would they even need to check? The closet in question was actually a teeny walk-in closet in my parent's room with a door that opens inward like a bedroom door. So I grabbed my pillow, 3DS, and a snack, and was ready to brave the long day in there.
Unfortunately, I didnt think far enough about what to do if they did happen to come upon my hiding spot. I think I was in there for about an hour when I suddenly heard footsteps nearby and yep, they were opening the door. I never panicked so hard in my life because how do you even explain this to someone? Hello, I didnt want you to know I was here so I decided to make this closet my home."
So what did I do to make it even more awkward? I started PUSHING back on the door to shut it and I can just imagine what this poor guy must have been thinking. He finally stopped pushing, knocked politely on a freaking closet door, and asked if there were any air vents in there. I could only squeak out a mortified no.
I do have social anxiety which makes me do some pretty weird things, but I definitely learned my lesson that time to not avoid people.
Friend's husband pulled a 'Homer disappearing backwards into the hedge gif' move when he was trimming the hedge and people came to visit. Doubly awkward cause they saw him do it and he just stayed in the hedge.
Put duct tape around the top and bottom of my dorm room door and taped over the peephole so no one could tell if my lights were on from inside the dorm.
I had this office job for about 6 months where I didn't really like anyone I worked with, so every day for lunch I would go out to my car to pretend I was going out to get lunch, and instead drive to a nearby mall parking garage, park, and eat the lunch I'd packed for myself. I could've saved gas and time by just sitting by myself at one of the tables at work. But then someone might've tried to talk to me.
My roommates decided to have a random study party, with like 20 people in our apartment that is only 800 square feet. Because of the unexpected intrusion, I got into the router settings and throttled the internet to dial up era speeds. When my roommates were trying to figure out what was happening, I told them we simply had too many people splitting the bandwidth and in annoyance they all left for the library. Best eight hours of silence ever.
I was driving up to the store, saw someone I knew walk in, I didnt even stop. I just kept driving to another store. I didnt want to do small talk with them. And I knew itd be a lot of small talk because something new just happened in their life that theyd bring up and want to talk about.
I was having a "bad day" with being a introvert, so I used one of those Grocery Delivery services, and texted the driver saying I wasn't home at the moment and to just leave the stuff on the porch.
When I heard her drive up, I literally stood in my hallway where I couldn't be seen from any windows and listened carefully.
I heard her come up to the door, knock, knock again, drop the bags and drive off. She sent a text that she had dropped the stuff off and I should hurry because some of it is perishable.
I opened the door and got my groceries.
That might be one of the lowest moments in my life. I still get pangs of shame whenever I think of it.
I have been driving a mile to other gas stations for about a year now to avoid going to the 7/11 that is 3 minutes away from my house walking distance, because I don't want to make small talk with the cashier who works there.
I take all of my breaks at work in my locked car.
I leave work Friday, go to the store and shop for the next week, go home, and stay in my room until Monday (bathroom is attached, will get food from kitchen but only if my roommate is gone).
Sometimes I shop out of town to prevent me from running into anyone I know.
I'm sure there's more things I've done... But those are basically daily things.
As an introvert I sometimes kind of just stop communicating and thinking for a few days. My wife understands so she just tells me hello every-time she sees me with a kiss. She just reads in the same room incase I need her.
Social wise, I locked my keys inside once when I was way younger to avoid going somewhere.
When I walked in the hallways alone before school, I would turn down a different hall if I saw a teacher coming towards me. It's not because I didn't like them. I'm awkward when I'm only saying hello in passing!
I gave birth to my baby at home, alone, with my toddler watching. I unexpectedly went into labor and even when I could feel the babys head, I just thought to call my husband and tell him to please hurry! The thought of having to call an ambulance and deal with people was too much.
Hide in my room for hours and only left once the other people had left. Gone to the grocery store at 1 am so that I didn't have to talk to anyone. Now these are me in extreme states. Although I'm introverted, I'm also pretty social. Sometimes I just go through phases where I just want to hide from the world.
In college, I lived in a single on an all girls floor. The second and third floor were all boys. One morning, our maintenance man was cleaning the first floor girls only bathroom and I really had to poop. Im an extremely shy pooper and never interacted with boys so there was no way I was going upstairs to either of the boys' bathrooms.
I emptied out my garbage can, lined it with two plastic garbage bags and took a dumb into the garbage can in the corner of my room.
I went down the elevator with a colleague. We use the same subway line to get home, and I knew if we walked down together, we'd also have to sit on the train together and make small talk for the next 45 minutes.
So at the building exit I said I had an errand to run, walked the opposite direction, and used a different subway line that added another 20 minutes to my commute. Worth it.
Ive left parties/hangouts where drugs or alcohol are involved (I mention it because it plays a key role in my excuse) and just say I went home to pass out or throw up. Really I just wanted to go spend alone time on the internet or play video games.
I like seeing people, but I cant socialize with a big group for hours on end, exhausted after 30 minutes or so.
My sophomore lockers in high school were down a set of stairs, which were pretty awful and a general death zone. I had gone down to get something from my locker, and when I went back, I heard voices and I paused. I turned the other way and walked up the massive, steep hill on the side of the school to avoid anyone seeing me. It was winter and snowing too.
So I was supposed to go to a female friend's house for the first time (who's actually very close to me) but since my parents are very conservative I told them I'm going for a movie with my friends and the tickets are already booked so they can't say no. Next day when I'm supposed to go, I get super anxious thinking it'd be awkward, cancel on her, but still had to go out because of the 'movie. Now I'm out with no one to go to or no where to go with very minimal cash for around 4 hours. That day sucked.
A couple friends and I were in a taiko drumming club at school. I did it because I like music and was sick of dealing with people (it was just my friends and I so it was fun). Ended up travelling around, performing, even did a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I spoke to maybe 7 different people the entire time.
I recently went on holiday to Bali, and quite a few people I knew were going over at the same time, staying not far from me. The usual promises of ''we'll catch up when we get over there.'' I knew that catching up with them would involve drinking silly amounts of alcohol and just talking nonsense, so I faked that I had gone to another region of the island instead on a whim, and just had to be careful if I ventured out that I didn't go to places they were likely to be.
My house is located a block away from a small park, which has a baseball field on the side closest to me. And next to that field is a soda machine. One day I wanted a drink, so I grabbed a few coins and walked over to the park. But as I got closer I saw there was a kid's baseball game going on and people were around the soda machine. So naturally I turned around and walked to the gas station instead, which is 3 blocks from my house in the opposite direction. But when I got there, I found out that I didn't have enough coins for a soda, so I had to reluctantly walk right back past my house to the park. I finally got to the soda machine and it ate my quarters without giving me a soda. So I went home sad, thirsty, and a little shameful. It was soda pressing.
Told my family I was going out shopping. Went out the back door, snuck back into my room. I stayed hidden in my bedroom for quite some time. Thankfully I had snacks because I didnt fully think it through. When I was ready to be social, I took some old shopping bags, filled them up a bit. Then I snuck back out the back door, walked around the front, and come in the front door with my bags of stuff. It was a good day.
I developed a legitimate phobia of the telephone when I was a kid. I think its because I was always trying to phone around trying to find my parents. Either I wouldnt find them and Id have bad anxiety, because I was hungry and alone, or Id find them and they would tell me to leave them alone. Later on when I was about 13 my dad casually told me my mom had taken off, but he told me over the phone. Eventually I was afraid to answer the phone at all, any time the phone rang my heart would just drop out of my stomach.
Still to this day I dont answer the phone if someone is calling. Ill either wait for them to text, or wait for them to leave a message to see what they want. Scarred for life.
Never missed a day in English because I was too afraid/ shy to ask notes/ updates from classmates if I ever did miss. Was sick as hell coming to class one day and kept coughing, had tears pouring out of my eyes because my throat was raw and I lost my voice trying to explain why I even bothered coming.
I have one chair in my apartment. It is a very large, comfy chair. There is no other furniture for a potential guest to sit on other than the bed or toilet.
The only people who have been in my apartment in the last 15 years have been the occasional repairman - Im pretty handy and generally just fix stuff myself - and my landlord.
15 years ago when I still had two chairs my father visited to complain that I hadnt come to any family (his side) gatherings in several years and it was really hurting peoples feelings. He cried. After he left I threw out the other chair and it was another 10 years before I showed up for anything family related.
Ive actively hidden (away from windows) in my apartment when someone has come knocking on the door - on multiple occasions.
I am also fairly well-known as a flake in my social circle (a term I use loosely, since socializing is hard), which is not the most exciting or flattering for me. But if Im planning something a few days in advance, those things sound fun, but as the event creeps closer, my anxiety gets the better of me.
I don't like to talk while I'm in any public transport, but when I was in college some girl that lived near my place insisted on siting with me and talk about some really weird fan-fiction that she wrote. I would stay in college 15 extra minutes to avoid her, and if that didn't work and she still happened to catch the same bus, then I would get off the bus lying about forgetting something or going somewhere else.
Oh. This is a regular part of my life, but the most recent one is that: a few months ago I became friendly with the receptionist at work to the point that she started engaging me in long conversations and asking me to go to parties and stuff. This... isn't acceptable.
So I started avoiding her completely. My work has two entrances. One is always unlocked and leads directly to her desk, the other is keyed, but safe. I only enter and exit through the keyed door now, despite it being farther away. Whatever, though, I don't care. That's fine, except that I lost my key a month or so ago. Only way to get a new key? Talk to the receptionist.
So, I just lurk around the keyed door until someone comes in or out. It usually takes >15 minutes, sometimes up to about an hour.
I come early to work now.
If someone is browsing a section of a shelf at a grocery where I need something from, I pretend to look at other stuff until they go away.
I swear though today I think I was waiting for someone to leave the canned soup section while they were waiting for me to leave the salsa section diagonally behind them.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.