I guess I’m not as introverted as I thought…


…or at all. I don’t anticipate hearing these phrases that comfort truly socially anxious much, and I just realized reading them that there are several of them I say often to other people.

Except that one about “meeting cancelled”. I love hearing those words.


  1. Yellow Thursday says

    You say “introverted”, but the link says “socially anxious”. But in either case, a lot of these apply to me. Except in #6, I’d be more anxious if there was a dog there. I’d be enticed if someone said there was going to be a cat there, though. :)

    I’ve often used excuses to leave social gatherings early. Getting my significant other to make excuses for me helps a lot. “We can leave early if you’re uncomfortable.” Or “I’ll be right beside you” are music to my ears.

  2. says

    Wow! A lot of these really speak to me. My social anxiety has all but disappeared as I have hit my mid-thirties but I was an emotional wreck in my 20s because of it. I’m glad more people are getting education on the struggles of anxiety disorders.

  3. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Same here, many of those would be really soothing. I generally hate people. Especially students.

  4. says

    Finding out that I don’t actually have to make a phone call gives me a very powerful rush of relief. On the other hand, if someone says I didn’t seem nervous, or I did really well, or people enjoyed my company, I tend to respond negatively. None of those things make me feel any better, and to some extent they can cause people to underestimate the challenges involved.

  5. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    I’d say I’m quite socially anxious, but most of these wouldn’t comfort me. I’m more of the “I’d prefer to get out of it entirely”-variety than the “I’d love to go if I had someone to support me there”-sort, I suppose.
    I don’t feel bad about it, except for feeling a little guilty when I do decline to go, like I’m “betraying” their expectations or something, despite not really being obligated to go or anything like that.

  6. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Ian King @4, I suppose that depends on whether you were actually asking for feedback or not. I someone brings it up out of the blue, okay, that is a bit suspicious. Incidentally, I agree concerning phone calls – especially i not in one’s mother tongue, but also generally. I am very happy about the development that so many things are possible online now, even chats as customer support…

  7. Glenn Graham says

    How about when the speaker calls out someone else’s name at a meeting for comment?

  8. says

    Those are for the socially anxious, not introverts. That said, several of those are indeed comforting to my highly introverted self.

    When I was younger, I used just about every excuse in the book to get out of any social gathering as quickly as possible. Now, I just offer up an “I’m exhausted, catch you later.” That’s the plain truth, and most people won’t argue against exhaustion, even though in my case, it’s mental and emotional, not physical. I’ve found more people who understand that now than they did 20, 30 years ago, when being extroverted was bloody expected of you.

  9. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    @#8 Caine
    Exhausted. That’s the right word, yeah.
    I’m just too exhausted to do anything after work, especially because such gatherings don’t feel like relaxation, but like more work.

  10. wzrd1 says

    Meeting’s canceled is a high point of the week, do it a few times in a week and it’s a great week. Six is a godsend without the religious bullshit.
    For a party, just promise “free booze!”, I’ll be there. ;)
    Free food works equally well.
    Eat up, drink up and jet.
    Unless interesting people are around. :)

  11. SqueakyVoice says

    Are you a grammar pedant? This might be why


    Clearly I am an introvert, because I was far too offended by the appalling use of language in PZ’s link to take any solace in whatever the article was trying to convey.

    What does “basically sex for the socially anxious” even mean? Every sentence read like it had been written in English, translated into Greek and then back into English. Then into Dutch, Chinese, Klingon, ancient Mayan, Spanish then back into English before being posted.

    I can only conclude the (author? No. Journalist? No.) H
    hack who posted it is paid by the speech bubble.

  12. wzrd1 says

    SqueakyVoice, there are times when one has fun abusing the language to get a point across. It’s more gooder than writing way too many words to get the same points apart.

  13. dick says

    Who needs crap like this? Just don’t go to the feckin’ party, eh.

    But I admit it’s easier said than done, although it gets easier as one gets older. (Too bad about the meeting, though.)

  14. says

    …especially because such gatherings don’t feel like relaxation, but like more work.

    Nail, head, etc.

  15. wzrd1 says

    One has never suffered a meeting until one has been forced to live through Command and Staff meeting, which is pretty much an all afternoon affair.
    It is heavy in death by powerpoint, reading of slides that are readily apparent to even Helen Keller and overall, an immense waste of time for all concerned.
    All leaders must be present for the meeting, those presenting a slide are also present for the meeting and by presence, for the entire meeting.
    Fortunately, those are usually weekly, unless something forces justification for more frequent meetings.
    Such as when a base in Qatar launched a Patriot missile, while the missile crews were training and said missile quite literally landed in the Qatari Minister of Defense’s back yard, breaking windows as it impacted.
    While, once the MOD recovered from the shock of learning of such a thing in his literal back yard, he recovered his humor, command was mortified.
    Meetings were held incessantly, with all experiencing the annoyance of the leadership and operations.
    The long and short of that debacle was that Patriot battery was not permitted access to a live missile again, turning them into a missileless battery.
    While I was out of any staff position at the time, I do recall meeting minutes being referenced to at my somewhat new civilian contractor job.
    I clearly recall thinking that I’d withdraw every eating implement from the command and senior NCO staff of that battery and restrict them to spoons for the duration of their rotation.
    For the past half century and change, missiles have possessed a fire, test and training mode. Only one permits firing a missile. Fortunately, no civilian aircraft were in the area.
    But, having participated in such meetings as a senior NCO and as a contractor after retirement, they’re about as pleasant as masturbating with a cheese grater, but far less interesting.

  16. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    being socially anxious myself (seriously, yes I am),… uhhh… I disagree. flatly. without qualifications.
    All those statements may partially represent anxiety in social situations but expressing them to an anxious person, does not relieve the anxiety, at all. May actually increase it. I can offer no statements that relieved my anxiety, other than, “okay.”, or, “no pressure”. Best to be ignored, in a nonchalant way, rather then in an obnoxious passive-aggressive way.
    but that’s just me… YMMV

  17. Dutchgirl says

    These are very true for me, but I’m not exactly introverted or socially anxious. Rather there are very specific, yet common, scenarios in which I am anxious and/or introverted. They involve large gatherings of strangers where I’m expected to be fun and having fun (party), phone calls, and anything approaching professional networking. All of these would ease my mind considerably in any of those situations.

  18. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Other person: “Everyone loved meeting you the other day.”
    Me : “Oh, stop messing with me.”

    We are not all the same, so of course these things won’t work for everyone (ex. slithey tove) but for me personally some would be comforting. As mentioned above, I’ll react with suspicion or disbelief to anything assuring me I did well but I’ll be grateful when someone I like spending time with accompanies me somewhere I’m anxious about going alone.

  19. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    I suppose ” …is basically sex” is the new phrase replacing calling everything sexy. That one got misused a lot.

  20. rq says

    #3 for me. That’s the absolute winner.
    Just reading the complimentary ones made me shiver all over, probably because I read them in the wrong tone of voice (a placating, condescending one because that’s how I usually hear them).
    #4 (“I couldn’t tell you were anxious at all”) annoys me because it sounds like a denial of my feelings – i.e., “I’m trying to tell you how I felt, not how you think I looked”, because that sort of comment usually comes after me saying I was terribly anxious to talk to new people or similar situations. Dogs aren’t a big party draw for me, either, but I suppose I could just replace that with something that is a party draw (“They have a collection of antique books! They own a Picasso! They’re making those really nice cheesecakes!” etc.), and then it works.
    The one that made me laugh is “Everyone loved meeting you the other day”. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! There is pretty much 0 chance that everyone loved meeting me because I may be good at faking the sociableness (look at me chattering on right now), but I’m not that good. I’d settle for one or two people loving meeting me, everyone is just too much.
    #9 – #15 made a lot of sense, though. Except for #10 (“What can I do to help?”), which only works in limited amounts and as long as the person understands when I say ‘No, really, just leave me alone for a bit’ and actually does so, instead of asking this question every 10 minutes. Really, I’ll be better when you stop asking.
    But anyway, this is just me, everyone has their own little reassuring things that work, and I think it’s just important finding people who understand those specific individual quirks and who are willing/able to abide by them (and, in turn, whose own personal quirks aren’t too much of a burden to follow for one’s own capabilities). That’s what makes good friends/partners.

  21. geoffr says

    “Everyone loved meeting you the other day” — oh dear, people noticed me!

    Missing one: “Sorry, I can’t make it tonight” — yay, I don’t have to go out and it’s not my fault!

  22. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    For me, the issue with your missing one : Of course they can’t make it, they probably realized they are not in the mood to tolerate me tonight. Basically, I ruined their night out.

  23. xxxxxx says

    I just find socializing with your average stranger utterly boring and inane nine times out of ten and any anxiety I may feel is all about dreading a totally dull evening (so any excuse to cut short or simply get out of your typical social invitation is a good thing in my eyes).

    Now invite me to hang out, say, with strangers who aren’t so ‘average’ and I am all over that. Say, three circus-performers, two peace-corp volunteers, a couple of drunk (non-pedophile) priests, some musicians, and a death-row prison guard…and all are hardcore liberal-minded, gender-and-sex-tolerant atheists to boot… and I will be all over that for the duration…with chocolates and flowers!

  24. says

    xxxxxx @ 23:

    I just find socializing with your average stranger utterly boring and inane nine times out of ten and any anxiety I may feel is all about dreading a totally dull evening (so any excuse to cut short or simply get out of your typical social invitation is a good thing in my eyes).

    I expect most people feel just that way about you, so it’s a good thing you don’t get out much.

  25. xxxxxx says

    Caine @ 24:

    I expect most people feel just that way about you, so it’s a good thing you don’t get out much.

    Wow, what a prescient observation. It usually takes most people much more than a couple paragraphs of text before realizing that I am utterly boring.

  26. wzrd1 says

    Somehow, I manage to find those interesting people at parties. When I don’t, I manage to bring out the interesting parts of others personality out.
    The only way someone is boring is if they’re not being encouraged to open up and communicate. :)