Do you often feel like you should be more like everyone else? Do you suspect that you are “different” from most? Has it become a cause for shame or self-consciousness? Some of us spend our lives trying to make sense of ourselves. We often look inward and reflect upon our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

“I’m not avoiding your party; I’m preserving my limited social battery for more important things, like avoiding your next party.” Uh-oh. Many of us tend to process our deeper feelings with a close friend. You may always be trying to learn more about the psychological life that you inhabit. You enjoy your own company more than others. In fact, some friends may affectionately remind you how anti-social they think you are.

If you pursue self-knowledge, you might possibly seek to shed light and clearly define all parts of yourself. You could potentially get annoyed when your friend insists on staying casual and skin-deep. Relationships hold a deep-seated fascination for you. And while most do not concern themselves with their childhoods, the past most certainly informs our present.

Oftentimes, well-meaning friends may try to convince you to do things that they perceive as fun or exciting. “Come to the party with us.” Heck, I regret the plans I made while I was in a five-minute extroverted mood. Sheesh. You may end up going to that social event and possibly enjoy it a tad. But underneath it all, you may be hoping to find someone there to speculate on what existence is all about.

An introvert knock-knock joke: Knock, knock. The only party you’re interested in is a “pity party,” and even then, you’d prefer to attend alone. No, no. Perhaps you feel most alive trying to figure out who you really are. In our culture, all the accolades and admiration go to the extroverts among us. They attend all the right social events, and manage to impress everyone there, while you might even dread social occasions. If you would rather process your own thoughts instead of scrolling Instagram, many will consider you awkward or even be wary of you.

Well, you know what they say: A boss who interrupts an employee a lot is called an extrovert, but an employee who interrupts a boss too often is called an ex-employee.

Your favorite party trick is not going. I get it. You may literally have two or three close friends in the whole wide world. You surround yourself with friends who can share vulnerability or even imperfection with you. People forever question why you seem so reluctant or reticent. No, there is nothing wrong with you, even if they call you strange or screwy.

Why do extroverts have voicemail? To never miss a call. Why do introverts have voicemail? To never answer the phone. But truly, an introspective life can be a very rich life. Most of us should be much more inner-directed. In fact, we should actually work on needing less stimulation from outside of us. The pursuit of self-knowledge belongs to your mental health, sweet friends. Do not buy into the “extrovert” agenda. Honor your own and your friends’ personality structures.

A large group of people is called a “No thanks.” Allow others to have their own temperament, please. While it is perfectly fine to be an outgoing sociable person, others may not welcome the idea of being in a room with unknown guests bantering about some safe topics. What is your idea of true social connection?

You don’t hate people. You just feel better when they are not around? You hate when you go in public and the public is there. I get it.

You may wish to find someone with whom you can share the lost, broken parts of yourself, as well. Genuine connection is actually built on sharing parts of ourselves that are quite vulnerable and leave us open to all kinds of judgments from others.

Do you feel under pressure to appear “normal” and “together”? You may be quite reluctant to expose your true self to most. When asked, we tend to cover up what is truly going on within us and in our lives. How much does the average introvert weigh? Not enough to break the ice.

You’re so introverted, you avoid eye contact with your own reflection. Sheesh. Please look for a friend who creates the conditions where you feel safe about feeling upset or lonely together. True connection will unfold when you share what is sad or sorrowful within you.

Parties are my cardio. Running away from socializing counts, right? Just kidding. You may very well like other people, but you don’t particularly care for what is on offer at most social commitments or gatherings. Then again, if you are extroverted, you may be socially confident and able to express yourself with self-assuredness. The world is your party, and we are all your cheerleaders. Go ahead and continue to sparkle.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at