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An Open Letter From Introverts

An Open Letter From Introverts

Dear readers,

Owing to the fact that we introverts do not easily and openly talk about ourselves in front of large audiences, I take it to task, on behalf of all the other introverts, to share with you some little known facts about us. The purpose of this open letter is not to justify, apologise or make a point about why introverts are introverts. We don’t need to and feel no inclination to do so.

The points below are simply to help shed some light on our worldview and dispositions, and also how you might come to understand better our relationship with you.

We <3 extroverts.

In general we find good complementarity with extrovert characters. They keep the momentum going and fill in the gap. Our energies can mix very well–we give extroverts the space to talk and express themselves while extroverts give us the space to be us while they are busy being them.

We love to socialise…in very small doses.

While there is no way you will drag us to a raging party, we don’t outright abhor social gatherings. Yes, we would be more comfortable with people we are already acquainted with and in small groups, but we also approve of a fair bit of socialising in general. We also recognise its benefits and enjoyment.

We love to communicate. We just hate small talk.

An introvert is not incommunicado. We just don’t like petty gossip, small talk and superficial nonsense. Most of us are good communicators, whether in speech or in writing. We like to discuss and get deep into conversations about all sorts of interesting subjects and topics that catch our fantasy.

Don’t be annoyed if we don’t call first, because we just won’t.

Admittedly it is true that we are not quite good at taking initiative in relationships. So my word of advice to those men or women who have a relationship with an introvert: please get over the fact that he or she won’t call you first, nor start the discussion nor perhaps suggest an initiative. Don’t be annoyed. It’s not because we don’t care but it’s just the way we flow.

We care for others’ feelings more than you think.

We have a bit of a stigma for being uncaring and detached. This is not true. Just because we don’t wear our emotions on our sleeves doesn’t mean we don’t care. Quite oppositely, in a group for example, because we observe more and participate less than extroverts, we do notice more people’s feelings.

Extroverts, on the other hand, are not very much influenced by the feedback of others because they run on their own steam–so to speak. Introverts are more sensitive to what the other is feeling although might not respond to it openly.

We are not loners; we just need space.

We might pass on your invitation for a social activity and tell you we are going to spend the night in. The thing is, dear readers, we love our space. It’s a bit sacred. It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy company, but we also like to spend time in our space.

We don’t like clubs, parties or discos.

Clearly these are no-go areas. As an introvert, I sincerely don’t know what bugs us most from these environments. It might be the noise, the chaos or the fact that they are often frequented by people who have a general carefree attitude towards life. I really don’t know.

We enjoy peace and alone time.

I mentioned already we like to have our space. What some non-introverts fail to understand is how it is that we love to be alone. I have observed that many people are scared or annoyed to be alone, even for short periods of time. For some being alone or traveling alone comes across as weird or uncomfortable. There is no weirdness in this for introverts because we love our peace and are quite at peace being with just ourselves.

We are masters at observing others.

In large groups, or in a group of people we don’t yet know, we take a back seat at first. We take time to observe people before interacting. It’s not a sign of insecurity but more one of precaution or strategy. This has made us extremely skilful at observing people deeply.

Give us time and we’ll get to know each other better than average.

Granted that we are not good at taking initiative and we are quite slow at starting up any relationship. However, allowing us the time we get to know others better than average, either because the communication is deeper or because we tend to discard the superficial stuff quite quickly.

Last but not least I must also add that in view of, or despite of, all the facts above, we make up an amazing group of people who have a lot to contribute–introverts also tend to be very creative–and can be very good loyal friends or partners for life. I truly hope this helps next time you see the dear introvert you know and love.

Sincerely,

An introverted writer

Featured photo credit: Central Park’s North Meadow, Aug 2009 – 02/Ed Yourdon via flickr.com

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Gilbert Ross

Gilber is an expert in personal development and the creator of the online course 'Simple Living Hacks'

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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