Introverts, like Extraverts, may struggle with their stress levels, but not always for the same reasons. Since the introverted types of the 16-type system are more prone to overstimulation than their extraverted counterparts, certain types of people can unwittingly put you into a stressful response.
These stress-provoking people can be anyone in your life — your partner, your next-door neighbor, your boss. So, you can’t really avoid them. But you can learn to spot them. Here are the six types of people who stress Introverts out, plus some tips on how to deal with the triggers as they come.
1. People who need to carry a conversation
Some people feel the need to talk at all times. This is distressing for Introverts, especially when you’re trying to get some quiet time. If you like to recharge your batteries in a public place, such as a café or a bookstore, you may come across a friendly person who feels like chatting… and doesn’t know when to stop.
Now, it’s a bit easier to address the issue with someone you’re close to than with a stranger. Explain to a family member or friend that sometimes you’d like to spend time with them without constant talking – and when you’re silent but they continue initiating conversation, it’s stressful for you.
If they’re a stranger or casual acquaintance, try to find a polite way of excusing yourself from the conversation. I know you don’t want to hurt their feelings, but your feelings are important, too.
2. Loud and inconsiderate neighbors
Noisy neighbors can stress anyone out, but they especially affect Introverts. Your home is your haven, and disruptions like loud music, yelling and dogs barking interfere with your relaxation time. How are you ever going to throw the day’s burden off your shoulders when there is so much noise?
You can resolve disputes with your neighbors in a couple of ways. First, you ask them if they realize they’re too loud. If they’re unaware of this, they may be willing to change. Second, you can adjust your routine to deal with the situation without confrontation. Consider rescheduling your activities around the neighbor’s activities, so you’re grabbing all the quiet time that’s available. Or buy some noise canceling headphones.
Finally, if you feel it’s necessary to reach out to your homeowner’s association or management, you may go this route and hope for a change.
3. Spontaneity junkies
Introverts love spending time with their close friends, but they also like to feel prepared for it. Regardless whether you’re a Judging type or a Perceiving type, repeat spontaneity isn’t always appreciated. While Perceivers definitely have a higher threshold for spontaneity and love spur-of-the-moment outings, most Introverts have a tough time dealing with those who operate on spontaneity alone.
If you have someone in your life who never plans anything, you understand how stressful this is. Saying ‘no’ to their plans all the time makes you feel guilty. But if you say ‘yes’ when you don’t feel up to it, it makes you feel stressed and anxious. It’s a lose-lose situation.
While you may not be able to change how someone operates, you can let them know you’d prefer 90 percent planning and 10 percent spontaneity. Be open about why they’re putting a strain on your relationship and why it’s healthier for you to have some balance between these two extremes.
4. Introversion shamers
Some Extraverts don’t understand introversion and aren’t afraid to make their prejudices clear. This person is open about disliking when people are ‘too quiet’ and disregards those who prefer to stay in. Shamers may be the most stressful people in an Introvert’s life. No one should be subjected to hearing what’s ‘wrong’ with them, and no one should be criticized for who they are.
How to deal with this problem? Well, you could start with a little education. There are scientific differences between extraversion and introversion in personality theory. If this person refuses to understand your differences and remains disrespectful, it may be easier for you to limit your interaction with them to avoid the stress.
5. Bosses who expect you to always be available
Once I’m ready to recharge, work is the last thing I want to think about. Unplugging from the world means unplugging from my job. Which is why a boss who expects you to be available all the time is such a great stressor for us.
Bosses who text you after hours can send your blood pressure soaring. It feels like an invasion of your precious private time and the effect is cumulative – if you need to do something for your boss off the clock, you won’t get the chance to recharge and re-energize for the next day.
The solution here isn’t so simple. First, try talking with your boss about after-hours expectations and see if there’s a compromise available. If you think your boss is violating your state’s labor laws, you may want to file a complaint. But if you’re an on-call employee, you may want to consider looking for a job that doesn’t require you to be available at all times, especially if it’s detrimental to your mental health.
6. People who put you on the spot
Introverts don’t like to be put on the spot, and yet some people are champions of this practice. For example, you may have a family member who enjoys relaying embarrassing stories about you, asking inappropriate questions in jest, or teasing you in front of others. I’ve been there before, and even if it’s out of affection, it gets wearing. And it’s even worse when someone is patronizing.
When a stranger behaves this way, it’s easy to write off the interaction and move on. But if someone you know likes to put you on the spot and it makes you uncomfortable, then a confrontation is inevitable. Tell them how it makes you feel. Let them know it’s stressful for you, and don’t be afraid to address any other emotions their behavior causes.
There are certain types of people who stress out Introverts more than others. These encounters may happen daily or occasionally with family, friends, or strangers. It’s best to try an honest discussion when it’s someone in your close circle, but sometimes it’s also healthier to limit your interactions with these types. Ultimately, you’re in charge of how you react to stress. Don’t put up with things that hurt you, and consider stress management methods when you’re feeling overwhelmed.