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8 Things Wallflowers Want You to Know

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8 Things Wallflowers Want You to Know

As someone who’s been a wallflower since his first co-ed school dance 20 years ago, I feel like I’m an authority on the subject. Although we might not be the life of the party, there are a bunch of reasons you should get to know the people who choose to stay away from the dance floor:

1. We hate small talk

If you engage in a conversation with a wallflower, be prepared for some thought-provoking dialogue. We absolutely hate talking about the weather, or about “the big game last night.” We’d rather get to know people on a much deeper level. Feel free to discuss your interests, passions, hopes and dreams with us. We won’t judge you; we’re genuinely interested in getting to know as much about everyone and everything the world has to offer.

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2. We’re shy around large groups, but fun in small circles

Large groups can be intimidating, especially to wallflowers who tend to march to the beat of their own drum. We avoid crowds because we feel like we don’t fit in with the masses. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We embrace our weirdness, and actively seek out others who feel the same way. Once we latch on to someone, we try to make the connection last. If you’re in our inner circle, know we genuinely care about you.

3. We’re awkward in unfamiliar situations

Since we’re not well-versed in small talk, and hate being in large groups, we’re just not “good” in those situations. We’re the type of people that will say “You too” when a ticket-taker says “Enjoy the movie!” We just don’t come prepared for certain situations, so you need to be prepared to be embarrassed by our ridiculous social gaffes. Sorry, but it comes with the territory.

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4. We can shed our wallflower persona at times

When the mood strikes us, and when we’re around the right group of people, we do enjoy being the center of attention. The situation has to be one in which we’re incredibly comfortable, of course. We have to be confident that we’re pretty good at whatever we’re doing, too. So, don’t expect us to get up and do some wacky dance just for fun if we can’t dance. But if someone breaks out a guitar and we happen to be secretly good at it, we might just take the spotlight for a little while.

5. We don’t mind being passive observers

We actually like being on the outside looking in. Most wallflowers are writers or artists who enjoy analyzing events rather than directly experiencing them. We’re the ones creating poems, articles, and paintings to memorialize special occasions for everyone to enjoy forever. We can live vicariously through our friends or peers, and then recreate the experience through our own chosen media.

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6. We don’t need to be out all night

We can go out and have a good time, but we usually want to leave before the night gets a little too crazy. It just doesn’t appeal to us to “keep the party going” just for the sake of staying out. Usually, by about midnight or 1AM, we’re ready to get some shut eye. Like Ted says in How I Met Your Mother: Nothing good happens after 2AM.

7. We’re ambiverts

We’re just as happy staying in as we are going out. Sometimes that might jibe with our friends’ plans of being out all night (see above), but after a long week at work, sometimes we want to spend Friday night curled up with a nice book. We need to recharge, and sometimes we view going out as another chore that we’d rather not do. On the other hand, there are nights when we get stir crazy and need to show face in public for at least a little while.

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8. We surround ourselves with people we care about

Like I said, if you’re in our inner circle, consider yourself loved. We don’t need to have a ton of friends, so if we consider you one, you should know you’re one of a select few. We most likely find you incredibly interesting, and fun to be around. You also help us feel comfortable in situations in which we usually aren’t. So, thanks for sticking by us!

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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