Friday, June 21, 2013

Ask an Introvert: How Can I Be Included?

Hoping to make this an every-so-often recurring feature, where I answer introversion-related questions. Since I blog about introversion a lot, I frequently get texts and emails about introversion, from introverts, extroverts, and those right in the middle (commonly called ambiverts). Although obviously all introverts are different and I'm more on the extreme end on the spectrum, I thought it might be helpful to share my experience and encourage other introverts to chime in.

If you have an introversion-related question you'd like to hear my thoughts on, feel free to comment, email me, Facebook me, tweet me, or ask anonymously with this link.

Today's question, received via Facebook:

Have you ever found that people tend to overlook you for things, later commenting they didn't include you because they didn't think you were interested?

If so, any tips on avoiding such things?

I've been dealing with this for a while now, but it seems to be picking up a lot lately and while I do my best to poke my nose into things now and again and remind people that I exist and might just want to do that too, or would at least appreciate it if they could ASK rather than assume, it seems to be getting more and more frequent as of late.

I have absolutely run into that, and it is frustrating and can be difficult to fix.

For me, my solution has been to plan some things myself for a little bit. I'll take the initiative to invite a friend or a group of friends along to lunch or a movie night. Sometimes if you're not actually there, people forget you used to do stuff with their group. Which sucks. But doing something with them again, either individually or with the whole group, can sometimes make them think, "Oh yeah! Hanging out with this person is fun! And I guess she's not always opposed to being social! We should ask her to do stuff with more often!"

Other than that, there's not much you can do, other than what you've been doing. When you find out they did something without you, you can respond enthusiastically: "Oh, that sounds fun! If you do that again, let me know, I'd love to join you sometime if I can!"

If people do start inviting you regularly again, you might need to join in every so often even if you don't particularly want to. Sometimes I get on a "NO I WILL BE ALONE FOREVER NOW PLEASE" streak and will miss like 10 social engagements in a row, and then people *do* stop inviting me because it seems like all I ever say is no. So if it's just that I'm not really feeling it, rather than like... I'm completely overwhelmed by people and want to curl up and die, I'll go along to a couple of those, just to make sure it's clear that I still want to be friends and part of the group.

Fellow introverts - any other tips?

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