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15 nightmare situations, according to introverts

Does anyone actually like networking events?

introverts, introvert meaning
Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

The only thing worse than a party—the afterparty.

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

2. Afterparties

“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

ask reddit, psychology

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

psychology today

Who could pay attention after gorillas are mentioned?

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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

askreddit reddit

Yay....

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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

anti social social club

Repeat back what I just said. I dare you.

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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?'

'Sure!'

... 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

reddit

Phones are meant for texts, emails and games, not calls!

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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 09.16.22

popular

Scientists tested 3 popular bottled water brands for nanoplastics using new tech, and yikes

The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

Suzy Hazelwood/Canva

Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

People cite convenience and taste in addition to perceived safety for reasons they prefer bottle to tap, but the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn't help when emergencies like floods cause tap water contamination or when investigations reveal issues with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in the vast majority of the U.S., you can safely grab a glass of water from a tap.

And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

Researchers from Columbia University used a new laser-guided technology to detect nanoplastics that had previously evaded detection due to their miniscule size. The new technology can detect, count and analyze and chemical structure of nanoparticles, and they found seven different major types of plastic: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

In contrast to a 2018 study that found around 300 plastic particles in an average liter of bottled water, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2024 found 240,000 nanoplastic particles per liter bottle on average between the three brands studied. (The name of the brands were not indicated in the study.)

As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

The reality is, though, we simply don't know yet.

“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.

@our.mama.guide/Instagram

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