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5 Things an Anxious Introvert Does at Work That May Seem Rude, But Aren’t

By | Petra Jerleković |

If an introvert declines your lunch invitation, don’t take it personally — they’d probably rather just eat alone.

A lot of times when introverts do something — or don’t do something — that is expected of them, they are perceived as rude. For example, when I was younger, I wasn’t aware that some of my actions seemed rude, like when I would go straight home after school while others would hang out. But now that I’m older, I’m more aware of them. So if I don’t want to get lunch with you, it’s not because I’m trying to be rude; it’s just the way I am as an introvert — I need downtime.

My first real job was working as a secretary. At this job, I learned a lot about relationships. When I was in high school, I didn’t talk much and admittedly, I had bad social skills. Since I was quiet most of the time, when I would talk, I didn’t know how to express myself. Also, when someone would ask me something and I didn’t know what to say, I wouldn’t say anything, or I would just smile. I was awkward, and others probably thought I wasn’t smart. The worst thing was, when someone was being rude to me, I didn’t even defend myself because I hated conflict. But this all changed after high school, when I started getting out of my comfort zone and going out more.

Regardless, I still struggle with social anxiety, so I often avoid my coworkers. If you’re an introvert, you may be able to relate. And if you’re an extrovert, perhaps you’ll better understand that your office introvert doesn’t have bad intentions — they just respond differently to the world than you do.

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