Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

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chrisglo13
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Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby chrisglo13 » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:38 pm

I’ve always felt like I had two personalities – one for when I was by myself and one that I used when I was with other people, the person they “expect” me to be. It took years for me to realize that I was introverted and although there are a few people in my family who know and understand this about me, there are many who remember the other personality that was outgoing and fun-loving and don’t really believe it.
I have come to accept, embrace and even love my introverted self.

I’m nearly 35 and have reached a point in my life when I’d rather be done pretending around the people who love me. While I don’t want to completely cut off my family and friends, I prefer a certain amount of distance (and would it be too much to ask for a little bit of acceptance regarding my preferences?) And just when I think I’m perfectly comfortable with my personality, I am faced with a situation in which I realize how my introverted nature impacts my family.

I’ve recently felt a distance between my brother and his family. They don’t call, they don’t visit, they don’t write… But I visit when I go home and I send cards and make calls for birthdays. I go along thinking things are fine when we don’t communicate often, because in my world they are. And then, after not seeing them for six months, they go on vacation within an hour of my home and don’t bother to contact me to let me know they’re in town. And I think maybe my distance has hurt them or become too much effort for them…

My cousin is having a baby and having a baby shower. I was invited, but the idea of going to this baby shower is similar to the idea of walking in to the 9th circle of Hell. I’d rather have my toenails pulled out one by one thank you very much. So when I say I can’t (interpret won’t) go, my family knows its an excuse and is hurt or offended by my staying away. And then I become the target of guilt trips and I begin hating myself for being an introvert (and them for refusing to accept me this way). How do you go about being introverted without offending family members? Should I send out pamphlets telling them it’s not them it’s me? Has anyone else experienced situations where your need to be alone (or unsociable) has ended up undermining family relationships?

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Annie
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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby Annie » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:49 pm

Hi there. I can't answer everything but as awful as a baby shower sounds (wouldn't want to go myself; even my own baby's) would you be happy going for say an hour and a half then leaving?

Sometimes it is best to show face but know when you are leaving. It's a bit of a give and take situation. They are happy that you turned up, you're happy as you aren't there the whole time.
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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby Justwatching » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:56 pm

chrisglo13 wrote:How do you go about being introverted without offending family members?


You can't - some offence is going to happen. Extroverts just take offence to introverted behaviour (and vice versa, to be fair). If you want to be diplomatic and minimise the fallout, do as Annie suggested and make a brief appearance.

chrisglo13 wrote:Should I send out pamphlets telling them it’s not them it’s me?


That's not really true though, is it.

chrisglo13 wrote:Has anyone else experienced situations where your need to be alone (or unsociable) has ended up undermining family relationships?


Yes, and I bear the cost - I have very few friends, my parents occasionally guilt trip me (or they try at least) and relations with my sister have become frosty. Still, I prefer it to the alternative.

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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby Daisy » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:39 am

Welcome Chrisglo, I have to agree with what has already been said.

chrisglo13
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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby chrisglo13 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:33 pm

Thank you all for the advice. I've attempted an alternative approach and invited said cousin to lunch separately. Hopefully she accepts the proffered olive branch instead of insisting on seeing me at the party. At least this will give me a chance to explain.

If this was just a family gathering (and it wasn't an hour drive away), I think I'd be able to follow your advice and just show my face. But my cousin has invited her sorority sisters and college friends, most of which are married and have just started their families and I'll know exactly four people there. I KNOW I would end up hiding out in the bathroom or something. Better to do one on one.

And Justwatching, when I really think about it, I too prefer it to the alternative, so I'll have to keep that in mind. Thank you.

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Annie
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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby Annie » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:05 pm

chrisglo13 wrote:
If this was just a family gathering (and it wasn't an hour drive away), I think I'd be able to follow your advice and just show my face. But my cousin has invited her sorority sisters and college friends, most of which are married and have just started their families and I'll know exactly four people there. I KNOW I would end up hiding out in the bathroom or something. Better to do one on one.


Ok, that sounds like hell. ot really fair to expect you to be there when you barely know anyone :evil:
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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby tongue35 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:07 pm

yep, introversion can most definitely cause problems with relationships whether they are family or friends..i have noticed certain people in my family view me as not liking them that much just because

a-i dont want to go to every social gathering they have

b-i dont want to answer the phone every time they call and talk for an hour and a half

c-i dont exactly love it when they stop over at my house un announced..

im 37 and ive only become aware in the past 4-5 years of how much my introversion gets in the way of relationships..i also fid myself "pretending" to be a social guy when im around others because when im not i get the dreaded "is something wrong?" question..

i have tried what Daisy recommended, just going for an hour or so, then leaving but you cant win that way either..people just seem to get the wrong idea, that you dont like or enjoy their company..i have yet found a nice way of telling them that i can only talk to them in smal doses, too much "sitting around talking" is literally like torture to me.. i mean, how do you get this to register with extroverted people that feed off of people contact and socializing?

i get guilt trips from family and friends alike..theres not much you can do about it unless you hand them a pamphlet that talks extensively about introversion lol..

like justwatching, i have paid for my introverted ways, many relationships have faded due to it..i have only a couple casual friends..

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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby SandWshooter » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:47 pm

My family thinks introversion is the same thing as anxiety
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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby tongue35 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:47 pm

SandWshooter wrote:My family things introversion is the same thing as anxiety


heh my family thinks introversion is the same thing as being depressed..oh you dont want to hang out with us all day long, you seem depressed..oh, you dont want to constantly meet people, you are probably depressed...

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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby SandWshooter » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:19 am

*thinks


ALWAYS, I have this typo, always
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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby AliciaB » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:35 am

I don't talk much to my family and I'm pretty sure they think I don't care. After a while they get used to it. I still like to send cards, etc regardless of whether or not they do the same.
I've had similar situations when it comes to baby showers and the like. I will usually rate it by how important the person the party is for. If they are a good friend I will suck it up and give myself an hour, sometimes a half hour just in case I gotta get out of there.
More often than not I have a somewhat decent time but more importantly the person was really appreciative that I came.
In other cases I will at least send a small gift do they don't think I'm a jerk.

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Re: Being Introverted Causes Family Conflict

Postby Engage » Tue May 31, 2016 10:34 pm

There are about 3 introverts in my family, myself included. The other two are my cousins and when it comes to the family they don't seem to care very much. But still, we appreciate them for who they are. I'm a little more talkative than they are so it's never become much of a problem on my end. It hasn't hurt any of my family ties.


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