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12 Everyday Situations That Introverts Are Especially Good At Handling

12 Everyday Situations That Introverts Are Especially Good At Handling

Despite the growing conversation surrounding introverts, the group is still commonly misunderstood. As a fellow introvert, I understand the misconceptions that we have to constantly battle. I’m not shy because I’m introverted and I do enjoy socializing, just in a different setting than the standard societal norm.

It can be hard for society to understand things an introvert might naturally be good at, simply because they are introverted. Clearly, most of our societal constructs cater to the outgoing extrovert – our educational system, open-concept office spaces and loud bars for example, are built for them.

While it’s true that introverts can have a vast skill set like anyone else, there are a few everyday situations where we bring key strengths that extroverts will most likely lack.

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1. Just because we’re not talking doesn’t mean we’re not engaged.

We like to listen and observe more than anything else, so that usually means we are acutely aware of our environment. Because of this, we are almost always in tune with our surroundings, regardless of how little we interact with them. As a result, we can also synthesize the information that we are constantly taking in, making connections that extroverts may otherwise miss.

2. We don’t like small talk because we prefer deeper conversations.

I can speak from experience on this one – I’m just not good at small talk. It’s forced, flat, and often more painful than anything else. I prefer to say something when there is something important to say. But sometimes, small talk cannot be avoided. As a result, I’ve learned over the years that asking questions to steer the conversation to a deeper level. This direction can help unleash a more emotional connection and lead to some really great conversations.

3. We may not network with everyone at the office mixer but that’s only because we crave authenticity in all of our interactions, business or personal.

Networking can be stressful for introverts, after all, isn’t it just small talk with the end goal of advancing your career? While an extrovert may prioritize knowing everyone on a superficial level by the end of the night, introverts will be happy to have had a few conversations with others based on a more solid, meaningful connection.

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4. Even though we tend to avoid confrontation with friends or family, we are actually the best ones to execute it.

Introverts are good listeners, and oftentimes, someone who needs to be confronted is acting out for a reason. Since introverts are skilled at listening and observing, we can understand why the situation is happening and use this insight to help craft a plan that will satisfy everyone involved.

5. While we sometimes screen calls from relatives, we often thrive at the actual family get together.

Introverts tend to avoid chatting on the phone because it distracts us from our current thought or project and we really prefer to catch up in person. Small, intimate groups are the ideal social situations for us, so naturally at family gatherings introverts are at their best.

6. We might dread an invitation to a big party, but we’ll happily accept an invite to dinner with a few, close friends.

Again, since introverts prefer small gatherings, we often excel in this setting and have the ability to draw everyone who’s present in.

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7. Even though we don’t do well with chit-chat, we do have great presentation skills.

Introverts have been known to be great public speakers, whether it’s on stage to a crowd of five hundred, a corporate board meeting, or pitching to a potential investor. We play to our strengths and prepare extensively. While we might not look forward to the meet and greet afterwards, we don’t shy away from the spotlight and know how to present ourselves when it counts, and to a crowd of any size.

8. We may be reserved at the office but only because we are quietly trying to think about how the business works and see connections that spark new ideas.

Introverts have the tendency to keep to themselves at the office but that doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking of the entire organization. It’s actually quite the opposite since introverts are led by a different internal compass when it comes to careers: they try to build beyond themselves.

9. Our silent pauses in conversations mean we are taking the time to think before we speak.

This habit alone is the reason introverts have earned their reputation as great listeners. We reflect internally first before speaking, instead of thinking out loud like our extrovert counterparts. So while this may add to the perception of introverts being shy or quiet, it just means that when we do speak, our words can have more thought, and sometimes more impact, behind them.

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10. Since we crave solitude and enjoy alone time to recharge, it often means we don’t succumb to the mood of our environment.

We have a lower sensitivity to external rewards than extroverts do, which means we’re pretty comfortable with our own thoughts and maintaining our own moods. This quiet energy is also good for business – if your office is noisy and chaotic, your calming presence can radiate to others in the workplace and ultimately, be a boost to low office morale for example.

11. Just because we aren’t overly assertive, doesn’t mean we don’t have good negotiation skills.

We’ve been conditioned to think that in order to be a great negotiator, we need to be good at intimidation. But our ability to asking probing questions, listen and observe people’s reactions to suggestions makes our negotiation skills great. We tend to empathize a little better than our peers, so we can see both sides well which inevitably helps the process go smoother.

12. While we can be distracted by too much stimuli in our environment, we notice details that may escape others.

Research has shown that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, which gives us an edge in our eye for detail. This is also the reason that many introverts gravitate towards more detail-oriented career choices like financial clerks, video editors and writers.

As an introvert, may not feel like you have a lot of advantages in life but you really do. You are just as well-suited as your extrovert counterparts to handle what life throws at you, but you possess a few more enviable qualities that really help you ace everyday situations.

Featured photo credit: RyanMcGuire via pixabay.com

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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