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7 Differences Between Being Introverted And Being Rude

7 Differences Between Being Introverted And Being Rude

Characteristically, introverts tend to be quiet, reserved individuals who don’t open up much to many people. Unfortunately, this sometimes earns even the nicest individuals the reputation of being a rude person. Unless you can read the person’s mind, however, you should never accuse someone of being a jerk just because they’re not very talkative. Look deeper at each individual you meet before passing judgment, and realize:

Introverts might be rude unintentionally, but rude people are deliberately mean

Introverts might sometimes act in ways that, to an outsider, might be considered rude. But whatever the case may be, it most certainly wasn’t an attempt by the introverted individual to slight you. Maybe they rejected your invitation to lunch because they needed to get some work done alone at their desk. Maybe they didn’t return your call because they were exhausted after a day full of meetings and networking. In any case, introverts almost certainly will never go out of their way to hurt anyone.
On the other hand, rude people are blatantly rude. If they didn’t want to sit with you at lunch, they’d make it clear to you by intentionally sitting within your peripheral vision, making their presence felt. They’d pick up your call only to tell you they’re busy and will call back later – which, of course, they won’t. As a quick aside: Why are you calling this jerk, anyway?

Introverts are nervous in social situations, while rude people are simply rude

When meeting someone for the first time, you might be quick to warm up to them and have a lot to say in order to best introduce yourself. Unfortunately, introverts don’t exactly thrive on talking about themselves, so they often come off as rude upon first meeting them. But the truth is, introverts just get incredibly nervous meeting new people, and don’t exactly know what to say at all times. Don’t mistake their standoffishness as them thinking they’re too good to engage in conversation with you; it’s most likely the exact opposite.

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Rude people, however, do think they’re better than most others. You’ll notice them checking their phone or watch while you’re trying to engage them in conversation, or constantly interrupting you to talk about themselves. Again, while you might perceive an introverts actions as rude, a rude person will make it crystal clear how much of a jerk they are.

Introverts don’t want to bother others, while rude people only think of themselves

Like I said before, introverts are socially anxious people who often feel uncomfortable around others. This anxiety often inhibits their ability to reach out to anyone, even their close friends, at certain times. They won’t be the ones to call someone else to make plans, for fear of bothering them. Since they enjoy having time to themselves, they let others have their space, too – sometimes they let them have too much space. But you can be assured that if you haven’t heard from your introverted friend in a while, it’s not because they’re ignoring you; they’re probably just waiting for you to contact them.

But rude people simply don’t care much about other people. They also won’t call their friends to make plans, but that’s because they found something else to do and don’t want to include you. They’ll go weeks without calling or texting someone, only to reach out when they need help moving or they want a ride to the airport. Simply put: rude people are only looking out for themselves, and only thinking about what other people can do for them.

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Introverts mean well, but rude people are passive-aggressive

I’ve mentioned it before, but introverts are generally nice people who might unintentionally come off as rude at times. But even when they act rude, that doesn’t mean they are rude people. If they’re feeling overwhelmed, they might snap at you (just like anyone else might) if you bother them while they’re trying to concentrate, but they’ll most likely spend the rest of the day upset with themselves for being mean to you. Of course, they also might be too anxious to say anything to you, so their lack of apology can also be misconstrued as rudeness, as well.

Rude people are just plain mean to others, regardless of the situation. But they’ll also go out of their way to figure out different ways to hurt others. Like I said before about the person who will purposely sit alone in the cafe, but close enough to make you know they’re there, rude people spend time planning ways to make others feel uncomfortable. Premeditated, passive-aggressive moves like this are definitely not off-the-cuff mistakes that can be remedied with a simple apology (not that you should ever expect one, anyway).

Introverts keep to themselves when overwhelmed, while rude people lash out at others

Like I just said, introverts get overwhelmed easily, and they almost need to be alone when this happens. They withdraw into themselves, and do their best to lock all others out of their lives until they get back to a healthy baseline. They know when they’re in a bad mood, and will do whatever they can to make sure it doesn’t spread to anyone else.

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Rude people are often miserable, and we all know that misery loves company. These people will be the ones who intentionally try to bring others down to their level when they’re in a bad mood; they truly can’t stand to see other people happy when they’re in a funk. In a sick way, rude people actually feel better about themselves when they know other people are feeling worse because of them.

Introverts enjoy alone time, while rude people thrive on attention

Introverts are content to be left alone to go about their business at their own pace, without anyone bothering them. They simply don’t seek out social situations. This isn’t to say they don’t enjoy company, but for the most part they could take it or leave it.

Rude people are all about the “Me Show.” They need to be in the spotlight at all times. They love attention, even if it’s negative attention (see the previous point). They’ll do just about anything to get noticed, even if that means hurting other people in the process.

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Introverts value others, and rude people do not

Introverts certainly aren’t misanthropic. They do enjoy the company of others; they just might show it differently than their extroverted counterparts. In fact, if an introvert considers you to be a close friend, you should be honored; they often have very high standards for who they let into their circle, and they will be a true blue friend whenever you’re in need.

Rude people only care about themselves. Rude people use up colleagues, peers, friends, and family members, as long as it gets them ahead in life. And when they’re done using others, they spit them out and never make an attempt at repaying what they owe. Of course, while introverts end up surrounded by close friends throughout their lives, rude people ultimately end up completely and utterly alone.

Featured photo credit: rude / Sentimientos fotosensibles via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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