Dear Dad: How should I say this?
Please, for goodness sake, no phone calls.
The concept of being an introvert versus an extrovert is a fairly new one. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung first came up with both terms in the early 1900s, and from the get-go, it was understood that people’s personalities generally fell somewhere between the two extremes.
Nowadays introverts are often mislabeled as being antisocial, which isn’t necessarily true. Going off of the Jung definition, introverted people simply orient toward their “internal private world of inner thoughts and feelings”—unlike extroverts, who “engage more with the outside world of objects, sensory perception, and action.”
Most introverts will tell you, it’s not that we hate people. We just find them … draining. What we tend to detest are things like trivial small talk and the cacophony of large groups. But even that, many introverts can turn on for, enjoy even … so long as we can promptly go home afterwards and veg out.
Being introverted is certainly not unique—up to half of the entire population is estimated to be introverted. Heck, it’s even a trait for animals. And it’s certainly not a weakness. Many notable leaders were known for being reserved. However, the world is often made to favor extroversion, making it hard for introverts to be understood, let alone valued.
Reddit user Sarayka81 asked for introverts to share their “nightmare situations.” The answers are an eye-opening (and pretty hilarious) glimpse into how one person’s idea of normal, or even fun, can be another person’s torture.
Enjoy 15 of the best responses. Introverts, beware.
1. Public marriage proposals
"I've told every partner so far, if you propose in public I will turn it down." – @AngelaTheRipper
“All those youtube videos of these big proposals, like a whole dance routine pop up…everyone is like ‘omg what a great gesture!’ No. no. no.” – fearme101
“You mean there's more stuff to do after the stuff we planned on doing? I only have so much energy to deal with people and it was already used up.” – @Nyctomancer
3. Being picked out of the crowd to speak
“People who just raise their hand to be chosen are true heroes." – @Chogolatine
Give hand-raisers a trophy.Giphy
4. Unexpected visitors
"As a child my worst nightmare was when my parents got visitors and I'm stuck upstairs hungry and thirsty because I can't access the kitchen." – @mikasott
"Ask them nicely, 'would you kindly REMOVE yourself from my personal space.'" – @GDog507
"But that requires talking to them." – @StinkyKittyBreath
5. Introducing yourself
"I get locked jaw when this happens. Along with sweaty palms and cold sweat." – @ellisonjune
6. Multiple conversations at once
“I was at a conference where everyone is doing the circle thing and I was chatting with some people about some interesting, but pretty dry, industry topics. All of the sudden I hear someone in another conversation circle say something along the lines of: ‘Yeah man, gorillas will rip your head off.’
All of the sudden, I can't concentrate on my current conversation and my brain tunes into the gorilla conversation instead. I could not for the life of me tune back into my main conversation.” – @reAchilles
Who could pay attention after gorillas are mentioned?Giphy
7. Running into someone you know in a public place
"All you want to do is read your book, but there's no way out and you decide to put up a brave front. Already you can hear the office gossip in your head: ‘Oh my God, guess who I was stuck on the train with…’Nightmare fuel. Work from home was a blessing in this regard." – @jew_bisquits
8. Singing “Happy Birthday” at a restaurant
“This shouldn't be legal” – @Chogolatine
9. Surprise parties
“I’m essentially the 49th wheel at my own party. Kill me now.” – @Anneboleyn33
10. Being talked over
“Especially when the only thing the person interjects with is filler or exclamatory flurry that adds nothing to the conversation while stifling any other contribution. Things like 'yes girl yes!' or 'I can’t believe that!' or …even loud forced laughter - really any noise interjected in that space to make it seem like they’re contributing or listening instead of actually participating." – @torn_anteater
Repeat back what I just said. I dare you.Giphy
11. Networking events
"Don’t forget to come up with a fun fact!" – @sub_surfer
12. Extroverts who just don’t get it
"'Wanna hang out this Saturday?'
... Saturday arrives, 10 minutes before hangout time ...
'Oh also I invited my friend you have never met before to join us.'" – @drflanigan
13. Phone calls
“Receiving and twice as bad having to make one." – @Isand0
Phones are meant for texts, emails and games, not calls!Giphy
14. Impromptu work presentations
"I need like a couple days to prepare myself for any speaking engagement lol." – @koriroo
15. Party games that involve small talk
"'Who's up for two truths and a lie?'
Thinks … Can they all be lies? No … What are the most boring truths I can think of so no one comes up to talk to me after this?'" – @littlewittlediddle
This article originally appeared on 05.03.22
Aging is a weird thing. From one perspective, it's something we should be grateful for. Few people would wish for the kind of short, uneventful life that would remove aging from the equation completely. The longer we live, the more we grow and learn and experience life, and "aging" is simply the mathematical sum of those experiences. All good, right?
On the other hand, our society does everything in its power to hide the fact that aging happens. Especially when it comes to women. According to Statista, the global anti-aging beauty market is estimated to be worth $58.8 billion. People will try all manner of creams, serums, masks, acids, lights, technologies and surgeries to try to prevent wrinkles, lines, sagginess, spots and other signs that our bodies are changing with time.
Most of us live our daily lives somewhere in the middle of these two realities, wanting to embrace our aging selves but also hoping to stave off some of the more obvious signs that we're getting older. It's natural to resist it in some ways, since the older we get, the closer we get to the end of our lives, which we certainly don't want to hasten—especially if we actually love living.
It can be helpful to see people who are embracing their age, which is why it can be inspiring to see someone like former supermodel Paulina Porizkova confidently sharing photos of her 57-year-old self.
In posts on social media, Porizkova shared a photo of herself in a bikini and a screenshot of a comment made by a person who felt the need to comment on her aging body. And phew, was it something. The commenter wrote:
"You must be in so much pain to keep posting bikini pictures at your age. I've always thought that getting old and ugly is hardest on the pretty people. The fall from grace is so much farther when you were beautiful. Ugly people were always ugly so getting old and ugly isn't a change. In summary, I feel your pain. I pray you can come to terms with your mortality. We all get old and ugly…you just had to fall from a greater height than the rest of us. Tears Times Infinity!"
So many things to unpack here.
Porizkova shared her thoughts on the comment on Instagram.
A thoughtful reader comment on IG need an equally thoughtful response.\nThank you for feeling my pain, rickaroo777. As you can see, I\u2019m suffering indeed.pic.twitter.com/mWijP55iAS— Paulina Porizkova (@Paulina Porizkova) 1651241361
"Here’s a good follower comment- echoing a few others," Porizkova wrote. "A woman of 57 is 'too old' to pose in a bikini - no matter what she looks like. Because 'Old' is 'Ugly.' I get comments like these every time I post a photo of my body. This is the ageist shaming that sets my teeth on edge. Older men are distinguished, older women are ugly."
"People who believe prettiness equals beauty do not understand beauty," she continued. "Pretty is easy on the eyes, partly because it’s a little bland, inoffensive. It’s easy to take in and easy to forget. Not so beauty. Beauty can be sharp. It can wound you and leave a scar. To perceive beauty you have to be able to SEE."
"This is why I believe we get more beautiful with age," she added. "We have earned our beauty, we understand what it is, and we can see it so much better. There is no such thing as ugly and old. Only shortsighted and ignorant."
On Twitter, Porizkova was a bit more sarcastic, writing, "Thank you for feeling my pain, rickaroo777. As you can see, I’m suffering indeed."
That tongue-in-cheek response prompted others to share their aging selves in photos, sharing how their "old and ugly" phase of life is going. The thread turned into a veritable celebration of middle-to-late age, with posts about how much more comfortable people feel in their bodies as they get older and the freedom that comes along with not caring what other people think.
There are two big ironies with the original trolling comment. Most obviously, Porizkova obviously looks freaking amazing in a bikini, so the whole "ugly" and "fall from grace" line of thought is object and off base. The second is that if you look through Porizkova's Instagram feed, she doesn't pose in bikinis very often at all. It's not like she's plastering her bikini selfies all over social media trying to make herself feel better about herself, as the commenter implies. She just…sometimes wears a bikini. Whoop dee doo.
Do it anyway! Every body is valid. Every body is a bikini body.pic.twitter.com/slDLHLWQo7— \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8Noel Giger\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8Noel Giger\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1651248625
People don't have to wear bikinis if they don't want to. But to tell strangers what they can wear crosses a line. All bodies are bikini bodies, and if the person in the body wants their body to be in a bikini, more power to them.
The "suffering" and "pain" in the posts were so funny to see.
I'm 49 and I haven't yet put on a bikini. Steph, thanks for showing me it's not too late! Tho, somehow I feel like I won't fill it as well as you & Paulina. But it's all about attitude, right? So let's the 3 of us hit the beach! (I'll stay in the shade of an umbrella, tho.)— Spark The Genius (@Spark The Genius) 1651262083
The thread brought inspiration to those who may fall prey to the idea that people shouldn't wear certain things after a certain age or that only people with certain body sizes or shapes should wear certain things.
The hashtag #oldandugly started trending as people responded to Porizkova's call for a celebration of aging beautifully.
"Todays thread has been my absolute favorite of all time," Porizkova wrote on Twitter. "Thank you all you 'old and ugly' women (and a few men) showing the world how much we 'suffer' at in our old age. You’re all breathtaking!"
The love continues! 57 and proud! Keep posting your wonderful beautiful selves and tag #oldandugly so we can keep sharing the pic.twitter.com/Veg72kQOqt— Paulina Porizkova (@Paulina Porizkova) 1651454555
May we all age beautifully and gracefully in whatever way those words are meaningful to us, and show those who think that aging means "suffering" and "pain" due to being "old and ugly" that they have no idea what they're talking about.
(And here's an extra shout-out to Porizkova for using her beauty and her age to make an important point—not only about celebrating getting older, but also about how propaganda works. Brava.)
'Social media is not reality and your entire life should not revolve around it.'
No one who has ever lived to see old age has also thwarted growing older. But with age comes the gift of wisdom, along with maybe a wrinkle or two.
However, passing along that hard-earned knowledge isn’t always easy. After all, when we’re younger, the world seems to be much more simple. We are not yet fully aware that things never stop changing—trends that were once the “it” things will eventually become a source of embarrassment. Or worse … come back as “retro” or “nostalgic.” Ouch.
That’s right, kids. Believe it or not, there will come a time when even Billie Eilish isn’t cool anymore!
Of course, we’re not just talking about fashion or taste in music. Hopefully, we all expand our world view after our teenage years, growing more mature, grounded and less self-absorbed. That’s not always the case, of course, but that is the goal.
Reddit user u/Slight_Weight asked folks to share things that teens today “are not ready to hear.” Honestly I expected to find cynical, snarky “kids today don’t know anything” type of comments. But on the contrary, a lot of it really was tough love. And truthfully, much of the advice isn’t age-specific. They’re just good “be a kind human” reminders all around. And then other answers were just plain funny.Check out 17 of the best answers. For the youngsters, just trust us on this. And for the … um … more refined crowd, you’ll probably relate to them all.
Thick? Thin? Polka dotted? Which is it???Giphy
Okay, maybe the cute cat videos.Giphy
I bet teens don't even know who this is.Giphy
Welcome to Cringeville.Giphy