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When Your Introverted Personality Traits Make You Unhappy

If your introverted personality is causing problems at work or home, you need to learn what the problem trait is. Then, you can decide if you need to “fix” it or accept yourself the way you are.

“I’m an introvert at heart,” said Hollywood movie star Roy Rogers. “And show business – even though I’ve loved it so much – has always been hard for me.” He’s not the only famous star with introverted personality. Read 30 Most Famous Introverts and Celebrities Who Are Loners to find out who else is on the red carpet list!

It is possible to have introverted personality characteristics and be wildly successful in show business (a career you’d think extroverts are more drawn to, but many famous movie stars are introverts). But, balancing the publicity and networking skills required for success can take a toll on introverts, no matter what their career is! To learn more about being happy as an introvert, read The Happy Introvert: A Wild and Crazy Guide for Celebrating Your True Self.

And, here are tips that reveal when certain personality traits are causing problems for introverts…

One of my readers asked, “Is there a clear point where introversion becomes a mental health issue?” on Networking Tips for Introverted People – From Meetings to Marketing.

Yes, my friend, there IS a point when personality traits can cause emotional and social problems for introverts. But there’s rarely one specific, definite point in which introversion becomes problematic. Most life problems (and mental health issues) develop slowly over time.

Introvert Problems – When Your Personality Makes You Unhappy

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’re introverted, read What an Introvert Really Looks Like: A Personality Test.

Any personality type or habit can make you unhappy by causing problems at work or in your relationships — whether you’re introverted or extroverted. So, how do you recognize when your introverted personality traits are becoming an emotional or mental health issue?

Introverts are unhappy when…

They spend little or no time with others

It’s scientifically proven that support networks of friends, peers, and family makes all people (whether introverts and extroverts) physically and emotionally healthier. Connecting with other people improves the quality of your life and increases your longevity. If you’re not spending time with others – which means making a real-life connection (not over email or forums) – at least twice a week, then your introverted traits can turn into a mental or emotional health issue.

If being with people makes you nervous, read How to Make Conversation – Tips for Introverts.

They don’t take care of their personal hygiene

I’m an introverted full-time freelance writer and blogger who rarely leaves the house; I have to admit that hygiene isn’t high on my list of priorities! Luckily, I’m married and still care what my husband thinks, so I fix my hair, brush my teeth, and wash my face before he comes home from work. But, if he wasn’t here every day, I know I’d be less clean. Introverted personality traits cause problems when introverts don’t take regular showers, brush their teeth, or wear clean clothes.

They feel unbalanced or emotionally unhealthy

When I spend too much time alone or too much time with other people, I feel unbalanced, unhealthy, and, frankly, a little wacked out. My reader asked the question about when introversion can become a mental health issue — and mentioned feeling “schizo” and considering seeing a counselor. Fellow introverts, listen to the emotional and physical signals your body is sending you! Don’t wait until your friends and relatives are forced to do an intervention. If you feel unbalanced, unstable, or emotionally unhealthy, get thee to a counselor, doctor, or trusted friend or family member.

Other people are worried about them

If your friends or family members are excessively commenting on or worried about your introverted personality traits, then you need to think about their concerns. I’m not saying you need to listen to them – introverts aren’t always understood by extroverts or people in the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum – but I do think you need to at least consider why they’re worried. If you’re unsure, take their concerns to a trusted third party for objective feedback. Are you spending too much time alone.

Are you an introvert who struggles at work? Read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.

Do you have any thoughts on introverted personality traits creating problems at work or home? Please share your comments below…

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24 thoughts on “When Your Introverted Personality Traits Make You Unhappy”

  1. one thing I don’t really like being an introvert is that I easily feel seriously humiliated when I do even one small mistake in public, and that feeling keep bothering me even for days.

  2. it’s all pretty academic really because of the group constantly in the headlines, and being a happy introvert I’ve thought about this a lot – the extroverts aren’t necessarily greater in number, but they’ve got far, far, bigger mouths

    So their world is the world we must go to immediately, and raucously, and it is us that has something lacking – and they don’t understand anyone that isn’t loud and in need of constant people/attention because it’s like asking a dog what it’s like to be a cat. Neither party is right or wrong but if one party is quiet and the other party never shuts up, who gets heard?

    Our way to equality – is to speak up and shout out loudly – which is quite a nasty paradox seeing as we’re not wired that way! In other words, we need to become extroverts to get recognised as introverts! haha!

  3. hi, i’m an introvert. i wasn’t really aware of my personality before that keeps me thinking who am i actually? and why i can’t get along with people like others? i felt burdened thinking about this. until i found that i’m actually an introvert. i feel rather happy after people around me can understand me then. but after i read more about introvert person, i tend to be more anti-social because i think it’s ok for me since i’m an introvert. but still i don’t think it’s the right way..

  4. I’m an introvert, and I don’t think my personality is causing problems in my life. However, I much prefer to be alone than with others – and I do sometimes worry that I spend too much time alone. After all, isn’t life supposed to be about making connections with people?

  5. i’m starting to understand myself after all this years….thank you very much…i always wonder why i always want to think…now i understand….

  6. Introversion does not entail that an individual wants to be constantly alone. Yes, introverts feel drained after large socializations due to their need to often put extra effort into it, but little or no socialization causes introverts to feel just as miserable as an extrovert who is cut from all outside contacts. Strangers are very tough to trust or get along with, and connections with friends have difficulties growing if I feel too different in comparison to them. It’s very strange, but the less meaningful contact I have the worse I feel every day. This sucks. -_-


  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Kay,

    You’re not alone! Many introverts wish they could change, because they think their personality traits are causing problems in their lives.

    There aren’t any answers or quick fixes, especially since making friends at school can be especially difficult for introverts. It seems like the most popular kids are extroverts, and the shy quiet kids are nobodies.

    I was one of those shy quiet kids, and I always reminded myself that most successful people are often introverts! That may not help you right now in school, but hold on to it for the future…

    I wrote this article for you:

    When You Can’t Think of Anything to Say – Connecting With People

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts here or there.


  8. Hi Laurie, thanks for your articles about introvert. My problem of being an introvert is that I have problem connecting with people. Every time when I go to school I see my classmates, I really want to talk to them and make friends. So I would say “Hi” but after that, my head is always blank I couldn’t think of anything to say. I don’t know how to make small talks. It always amaze me to see those extroverted people, they seem always can come up so many things to talk about while I always feel like I’m just a total blank… I don’t like to be an introvert. I hope I can be more outgoing. Is there any way to change?

  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments!

    Geeta, I wrote this article for you:

    Best Jobs for People Who Like to Be Alone…Introverts!

    I’m sorry I missed everyone else’s comments…if you have any questions about unhappy introverts or when introverted personality traits cause problems, please let me know here. I promise I’ll respond!


  10. hi,

    I am an introvert, i do feel tensed if i am suddenly asked to tell something about my self. I do well when i am prepared with my answers. i dont like to talk to people around. Moreover i dont know what job suits introvert people. i dont stay in a job more that 6 months as i feel depressed, i feel low, less energetic. that makes me leave a job every 6 months. please help me. guide me which kind of jobs are good for introvert people


  11. I don’t think the hygiene one is accurate. I’m a total introvert but I take very good care of myself; not for others (although of course, I do care what they think as well) but for myself. I just don’t feel comfortable if I don’t brush my teeth twice a day, shower every day, floss every day, or wear clean clothes every day (even though some people say reusing clothes twice is better).

  12. I’ma bit introvert,but I have coourage to talk and do several things even extrovertic giants around me fear to do.But I can’t keep relation to girls.I’m 22 years old and I had’t even spend a little time along with a girl.I have strong desire to talk to them,but my words drops as I start talking and body faints.I can’t even approach a girl who have shown love towards me.

  13. Hi there
    I’m the most introverted person anyone could ever find. I’m on a team and I am forced to spend ALOT of time with them. Sometimes I get so overwhelemed, by being around so many people that I get weird and uncomfortable. The entire group of people like everyone to be one group, but frankly I am not OK with that. I can never get a word in edge wise and it seems like they all think I am dumb and have nothing to say. when spend time one on one however, I can always think of tons of things to say and that person is usually confused by how I act because I never act that way n a group of people. Anyways, my inability to e myself in a huge group of people has caused them to think that I don’t want to hang around them and that I’m just plain weird.
    Also, I feel stupid because there’s this one person that I really enjoy spending time with, but when the entire group is there I NEVER get to talk to them. when everyone is around, it feels impossible to be myself and to ENJOY myself and mostly to spend time with that person that I enjoy spending time with. Also, sometimes that person wants me to talk to them and open up to them and I want to but it’s been really difficult to, and this past week, I barely talked to that person, and I left without speaking to them and I feel bad because I really want to open up to them and I want to have a good relationship, but when everyone’s around it’s way too overwhelming for me. I think now they might be hurt because it seems like I don’t want to have a relationship with them or they think that I don’t trust them, but I do with all my hear but for some reason it’s so hard to muster up the courage to go against my feelings of running somewhere where I can be alone 🙁

  14. Reading some of the articles and taking the test has helped me immensly just to realise there are other people around who think like me.I know friends and family worry about me sometimes but I consider myself a strong charachter and that is what I portray so they are apprehensive about approaching me when it comes to discussing personal matters I seem to have put up a barrier around myself that only the few can penetrate 🙂

  15. Hi Laurie,
    Iam really facing a severe problem . After reading ur comments i must say tat iam a Introverts who actually doesnt know how to handle relationships. I dont know how to speak to others if some gal speaks to me nicely for few days i want them to spend their entire life with me showing their full love only on me.. i really dont know wats my problem but iam very poor in handling relationships pls help me try to understand my feelings

  16. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Sylvia,

    Is your boyfriend an “unhappy introvert”? Because if he’s not, then maybe he doesn’t want or need to read about introverted personality traits.

    Some introverts are perfectly happy spending time alone. They don’t necessarily want to change, or be more extroverted. And that’s okay!

    If your boyfriend wants to become more outgoing or just learn about himself, I think reading books by Marti Olsen Laney would be good. She’s written at least two books on introverted personality traits — they’re great!


  17. I am in love with an extremely germaphobic clean introvert. sounds weird huh! well i am trying to learn about his traits being a half and half person according to the traits test. I find it interesting dealing with his need to spend time alone. alot of time alone. makes me wonder about stability. what reading would you recommend for him to read? Since i am half and half.

  18. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Angel,

    I’m glad the articles about introverts helped you, and I hope you can soon go to a counselor to help ease your problems!

    Remember, not all counselors cost money. Some pastors, preachers, and rabbis counsel people for free. And, there are help lines for people to call and get information about social service organizations. Some women’s organizations offer free counseling as well.

    If you have the time, I encourage you to find out about free counseling resouces in your community!

    Thanks for commenting, and I hope to see you around Quips and Tips more 🙂


  19. Hi Laurie,
    your posts made realize that I am having a problem on my introvert trates. I can say that it is already a severe problem because even talking to a person which I don’t know, whether on the phone or in person, I feel nervous. My friends always say that I don’t need to feel nervous but I can’t controll it. I know that I need to talk to counselor regarding with this problem but I can’t at the moment because I’m still unemployed. Thanks again for this good articles.

  20. Hy there! Very intelligent thoughts! The mentioned problems are very familiar for me – being very introverted, I experienced all four of them.
    Spending too little time in human company, in my opinion, has lots to do with intraverts gaining energy from inside. If I spend too much time alone, I literally feel “overcharged” and just don’t know what to do with my inner energies.
    However, I agree with Georgie: processing the input DOES need time – but I think it would be the topic of another article.
    Personal hygiene: oh well, I have to admit I love being clean, _but_ it’s quite exhausting for me that I feel the need to “behave myself” and look elegant when I go out and meet other folks. Nice clothes and makeup… while at home, I feel just awesome, wearing a pair of jeans and some ugly t-shirt. :}
    This “unbalanced” feeling may come from the fact that we introverts usually listen “inside”, so we have the chance to notice all our feelings, even the negative ones. Extraverts are usually busy with the happenings of the outside world, so they have less energy for listening to their inside feelings.
    Worried family members and friends – yes, methinks this is one of the greatest problems if you are an introvert! Hard to tell what is “normal” – what others consider as a “normal social life” may be a synonym for an extremely intraverted person.

  21. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your thoughts, Georgie. You’re right: people with introverted personality traits aren’t usually found on a stage with a microphone! 🙂 And if they do get up there, they might need lots of time alone, to re-energize.

    I’m definitely an introvert: I feel drained when I spend too much time with people. But, too much time alone can be damaging as well, which is why I wrote this article about introverted personality traits becoming a problem.

  22. In The Introvert Advantage, Dr Marti Olsen Laney says “Introverts are energized by their inner worlds while extroverts are energized by outer worlds. That is, introverts get their energy from themselves – their ideas, emotions and impressions.”

    I disagreed with much in Dr. Laney’s book, particularly the above assumption. The energy doesn’t come from our own ideas. Rather, we need to be alone to process the input from the rest of the world.

    And we’d rather obtain that input in quiet ways. The ability to analyze a problem in one’s head doesn’t mean that person is preoccupied with his/her own thoughts. The introverts I know are very concerned and caring for other people, solving problems, righting wrongs…..we just don’t usually approach these things from a stage with a microphone.