12 Nightmares That Every Introvert Will Relate To

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on December 09, 2022

A stranger walks into the elevator and starts chatting to you. A friend pops over for a surprise visit. The boss announces that you’re going to start the meeting with a “fun” icebreaker. If you’re an Introvert, all of these situations can make your blood run cold. 

We all know that being an Introvert doesn’t mean you don’t love people. It's just that sometimes, you wish you could love them from a distance. With that in mind, here are 12 nightmares that every Introvert will relate to – because they’re situations that put so much pressure on our precious energy reserves.

1. Someone sabotages your "me" time. 

Tonight, you’re staying in. You've picked a self-care routine to recharge your batteries. You’ve put your phone on silent. You’ve planned the perfect solitary evening but, as soon as you start to relax, someone you live with makes it impossible. Maybe they’re making too much noise so you can’t concentrate (yikes). Maybe they’re venting about their day (double yikes). Or maybe they’ve invited people over for a few drinks (excuse us while we lock ourselves in the bathroom). If that’s not nightmare enough, now you have to be polite with sympathy and chit-chat so you don’t come across as rude. Sigh.

2. The dreaded team work. 

If you’re an Introvert, being forced to engage in a teamwork exercise is your own personal hell. You try to be positive, but it’s like being stuck in quicksand. In these scenarios, you’ll either find yourself plastering on the fake enthusiasm and going along with everyone else’s ideas to get it over with as quickly as possible or, worse, agreeing to do the bulk of the work on your own. The main nightmare? It's a brand-new team and the boss has decided to kick things off with a few friendly icebreakers. Team building games are the worst.

3. You find out your relatives are coming to visit, back-to-back-to-back.  

Aunt Tanya and Uncle George are coming one week. You have a cousin stopping by the week after. And then there’s a small family reunion where a dozen or so people will loudly invade your living space with their chatter and hugs and jokes. How do you cope? Each of these events is already a nightmare on its own and now you’ve got all of them in one big bundle. The thought alone can make an Introvert cry.

4. Someone shows up at your doorstep unannounced.

Imagine you haven’t seen a friend in ages and the doorbell rings. “Oh, I was just passing through,” they say. Rationally, you’re happy to see them and you want to catch up. But you had no warning. Now you must be social, and you never had a chance to get your head in the buddy zone. Ugh.

5. You’re the center of attention in public.

It's your birthday, or you got a promotion, or you did something cool and everyone’s gathered to celebrate. Obviously, your partner, boss, friend, whoever wants to make a big scene. But you can feel the eyes on you, scanning your every move as if they expect something from you. All the pressure is about as much fun as being asked to perform a song in a karaoke bar. Hopefully it’s worth your favorite dessert as a reward.

6. You’re picked to talk in class or at work.

Excuse me, what? You haven’t prepared anything! And now you have to come up with something to say on the fly. You hope you sound like you know what you’re talking about, but you feel like you’re fumbling over your words and rambling because your brain is moving faster than your mouth. Introverts have literal nightmares about being put on the spot. It usually ends with them waking up howling.

7. You run into someone you know. 

Every Introvert has been there. You hope for a quick and peaceful store trip – get in, get the goods, get out – and the next thing you know, you’re face-to-face with someone you know on aisle 17. And now you're stuck talking about the weather and your job and their kids and their neighbor’s barking dog and how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other. How long before you can make your excuses and leave?

8. When you have to make two phone calls on the same day. 

It’s bad enough that you have to make one awkward phone call, but when you hear “I’m sorry, but we need a second phone call tomorrow” on the other end of the line… well, it’s like hearing a horror movie theme song playing in the background. It gets worse if you spend the bulk of the time making small talk with a customer service representative while they’re trying to track down an answer to your question.

9. Surprises.

Everyone likes surprises, right? Er...no. Not if you’re an Introvert. You don’t like surprises because they're out of your control and can easily make you uncomfortable. The worst kind of surprise? Surprise parties, surprise visitors, surprise partner up with the sweaty stranger next to you in your yoga class. Some of us will even read the last chapter of a book first to make sure we’re prepared ...

10. You’re stuck at a party and have no way home.

It doesn’t matter if you enjoyed the party and the conversation was great – it's hours past how long you planned to stay and all you can think about is how to escape. You can’t drive home because your ride's still partying like it's 1999 and you feel it’s rude to take an Uber. The horror.

11. The stranger beside you tries to make small talk. 

Why does this always happen on public transportation when there is literally no escape? All you want to do is mind your own business and get to where you’re going. But the person next to you has clearly been living under a rock because they don't seem to know the “space bubble” code that exists in these places – the one that says “leave me alone and do not make eye contact with me.” Or is that just an Introvert code?

12. You’ve overbooked yourself for the whole week and have zero downtime.

So imagine you’ve penciled in more than one social outing during your week, plus a copious workload, errands, chores and more. You’ve made it impossible to get a smidgen of alone time, and no one is to blame but you. And getting out of it means making tons of phone calls, scheduling changes and explaining yourself. If only you could go back to bed and start the week over....

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

More from this author...
About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.


Deserét Baker (not verified) says...

I wish all the world was composed if INFJs…or at least more than 1 percent.

Cianna Garrison says...


That would sure make for a very different, albeit interesting, world!



Fairley (not verified) says...

This is so accurate 

Jennifer (not verified) says...

Yes!!! All of the above, especially the last one.

Cianna Garrison says...

Thanks for reading and supporting, Jennifer! 

Kent McKenzie (not verified) says...

Thank you for these beautifully concise descriptions. I relate to all of them, but struggle the most with the first. Our young-adult daughter has Down syndrome, and it is so frustrating to me when I come home exhausted and have to squeeze some enthusiastic engagement out of myself to avoid disappointing her. <3

Katey53 (not verified) says...

Nightmare? Shortly after I moved in with my partner, his sister took it upon herself (without consulting me) to organize the wedding reception we never had (and I did not want, particularly since there had been no wedding). She passed it off as a family get-together, but when we arrived (late, as is my partner's custom) it began to sink in slowly that the guest list was comprised of his entire extended family, and yours truly was the guest of honor. Kind of gave "nowhere to hide" a new meaning.

Cianna Garrison says...

Oh Katey! 


That's absolutely horrifying for an Introvert who doesn't like surprises. I'm sorry that happened to you!


Thanks for reading,


Jacklyn Roth (not verified) says...

I, too, am an INFJ so a fraction of that 1%. Reassurance to you few and far between INFJs that you're not alone. The first point resonates the most with me, though they all apply, for sure! Reading this article reassures me that I'm not crazy and my feelings are valid. Thank YOU!  

Cianna Garrison says...

Thank YOU for reading, Jacklyn! I'm glad you identified with this! 



Kel (not verified) says...

Being an introvert, I can relate to most of these. That being said, this is a very millennial article, and I am genx. Having gone through life, I have had to do many of these things and though I still need my alone time, these challenges have made me grow as a person. I have the ability to be social which is required in this world. I don’t think you can just say, “well, I’m an introvert so I can’t do this” and then justify being anti-social and unfriendly. There are things in life that will challenge you and, imo, you can’t just label yourself and refuse to participate. I do the things that are personally unpleasant to me but I also make sure I find balance and spend time just sitting quietly on the couch with my dogs, taking a bath, or reading.

Cianna Garrison says...

Hi Kel,


Thanks for sharing and reading. I would never condone anyone being rude or using introversion as an excuse to never participate. But there are certainly times when it is warranted to put your mental and emotional health first. 


Really appreciate your input and happy to hear you've grown. That's everyone's goal--or at least, should be, in reading anything on Truity. 




Babylove (not verified) says...

This is so helpful. I’m an extrovert and most of the above situations sound really enjoyable to me. But my husband is an introvert and it has been a learning curve for me to understand that there’s not something wrong with him, it’s just where he gets his energy from is different from where I get mine. Great to have some specific examples with explanations, thank you. 

Cianna Garrison says...


I'm so happy this helped you! Good luck with your relationship--I believe Introvert/Extravert relationships are some of the richest because of the balance and growth they provide. 





Geza Szilagyi (not verified) says...

Hilarious! Obviously, I am an introvert... Not to the extreme, though. Still I relate to most of the points. Especially surprise parties... :)

Madaline Toler (not verified) says...

Ummmm.... 2nd sentence of the first one says, "You put your phone one silent." Yea, in 1999, when I got my 1st cellphone which I didn't want. My boss told someone the other day Madaline always wears ear buds. I look up and say " It's so I don't have to talk to anybody. They both crack up laughing. I didn't get what was funny. 

Cianna Garrison says...

Lol Madaline!


Very funny about the earbuds. You are not alone!

Have a lovely day,


Drema (not verified) says...

Maybe because I’m older, I have become more comfortable in my own skin, more comfortable with who I am, so most of these things don’t bother me anymore. Over the years, I’ve become more assertive and feel less obligated to ignore my own needs. I know that I have certain needs, like alone-time & quiet time, so I protect those things jealously and insist upon them without feeling guilty, but I also enjoy the occasional chats with strangers, running into old friends/acquaintances in the grocery store, family gatherings, etc. I still have a difficult time with public speaking, but it’s more of a physical reaction than an aversion to doing it. There are times I actually want to do it, but still have difficulty keeping my voice from shaking and remembering to breathe. Childhood and early adulthood were difficult and stressful, though, as an introvert, mostly because there was little understanding of it or at least I had little understanding of it, and thought I was just weird. That was painful, but I’ve now learned to embrace my weirdness, even love it! I feel a little sorry for those around me who don’t understand that I’m not like them or feel that I need to change and be who they think I should be or want me to be, because that’s not going to happen. I also feel sorry for people who seem to panic when things get quiet or who can’t handle being alone. They suffer just as much during those times as an extreme introvert suffers in a crowd. We can all learn and grow, build on our strengths and minimize our weaknesses, but I’m actually proud of who I have become and who I am. Honestly, introverts are some of the most thoughtful, compassionate, caring, understanding, and interesting people you’ll ever know, IF they trust you enough to let you get to know them and if you’re willing to listen to them. Introverts rock!

Cianna Garrison says...



Yes! Thank you so much for sharing your story and perspective! I agree, once an Introvert loves their way of being things become so much easier. 


Thank you for reading.


IntrovertedAlphaWolf (not verified) says...

I'm an INFP and definitely relate to this! I wish that more people could understand introverts, it would make these so much less common and make those awkward phone calls so much easier!

Cianna Garrison says...

Hi there! 


Thanks so much for reading and I'm glad you identified with this. In a perfect world, everyone would understand different ways of being, but there's hope for it still!


Thank you!

Take care, 


Share your thoughts


Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.

The Five Love Languages® is a registered trademark of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which has no affiliation with this site. You can find more information about the five love languages here.

Latest Tweets

Get Our Newsletter