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Hate being the only introvert in workplaces

(50 Posts)
Shangela123 Sat 22-May-21 08:34:11

The last couple of jobs I've had I have been the only shy/quiet person among a group of people who describe themselves as loud or "mad".

I certainly don't ignore my colleagues, I am friendly and polite but I just want to get on with my job and enjoy some downtime on my breaks.
In my last role, I was part of a team of 8 ladies who were all kind and friendly, but they all had very big personalities. We were all in one big room together all day (supported living job) and we weren't allowed to leave the house or have allocated break times. I found it so draining having to spend every minute with them and the constant conversation all day long, and it was largely why I left.
New place is the same, just that there are only 2 others on shift and I'm a bit of a 3rd wheel.
Again, can't leave the facility at any time, they want to talk constantly and have their cigarette break together.
I sit with them sometimes but we work through the night and I'm just tired. They made a comment earlier about how I was always 'off somewhere else'. They have tried to be friendly and chatty and I do appreciate it, but they don't seem to need even a minute to themselves to just read or think.
I can't change who I am, we don't ask talkative outgoing people to change so not sure why quiet people are always expected to, it's just s different personality, not a deficit.
Does anyone else feel like this at work or elsewhere?

V3ra Mon 24-May-21 13:05:02

I had a friend who always had to dominate the group conversation. She'd say I was quiet and I'd say maybe it's because I can't get a word in ?

I've realised as I get older that I like small groups, small places.
I used to work as a Home Carer so I'd go to different people's houses and provide one-to-one care. I valued the alone-time in my car driving between my clients.
Maybe that sort of caring role would suit you better Shangela123?

Fernhillnana Mon 24-May-21 14:11:21

Can I recommend that you look for a job in higher education? Universities seem to attract a lot of introverts and you might find a niche in an office or something there? Of course it’s not an absolute certain but having spent 20 years in universities I did notice introverts dominate.

Lupin Mon 24-May-21 14:25:43

After most of a working life spent with the public I learned to get used to be extrovert when I had to be and gratefully sank into being an introvert when not with the public.
I have always found parties difficult - thinking of coming home before I got there - and longed to be able to switch over to party mood easily. A drink or three usually helped. A friend labelled me a repressed extrovert.
I enjoyed working with the public but now enjoy my own company and lock down has not been difficult for me.
I hope you find a work position that suits you.

Camelotclub Mon 24-May-21 14:53:07

I like peace and quiet and solitude too. Luckily we're both retired and DH spends hour son his computer upstairs so I get those things! I used to work with two women who never stopped chatting, they were great buddies and I nearly went round the bend. They were harmless but infuriating!

Camelotclub Mon 24-May-21 14:53:34

I meant "hours on" his computer!

Tea3 Mon 24-May-21 15:03:45

Back in the day as a working mother, strangely I used to appreciate the solitude of the changing cubicle at the local swimming baths! I stopped off for a swim a couple of times a week on my home. Locked away in that small space I didn’t have to talk to anyone, no demanding kids were outside knocking on the door (not any I had to respond to anyway) and no phone calls to answer (pre mobiles for much of my working life).

Callistemon Mon 24-May-21 15:14:15

The whole shift is on our feet, talking to people

I wonder if some of the people who need support are happy with a highly charged atmosphere? They may prefer carers to be a bit quieter and calmer too.

I'm sure I would.

Granless Mon 24-May-21 15:30:02

Me ‘introvert’. In the workplace I could never be a team player (social phobia) so I always had a job that was mine and mine alone. If any mistakes were made ... they were mine.
I really do believe that ‘introverts’ are much misunderstood. Just because we are quiet people .... doesn’t mean we are miserable. I recall in one job there was an ‘extrovert’ ... boy ... so overbearing ... from my point of view of course. I couldn’t stay in that job.

LovelyLady Mon 24-May-21 16:22:51

Think it’s about choice. Group dynamics alter when when new people join.
We agree jobs are not for life. We have the option to leave. If we can’t say how others behaviour is irritating or upsetting us, we can’t blame others if they’re not told.
Say there’s a problem.
Or stay silent.
Or moan.
Or leave.

ClareAB Mon 24-May-21 16:29:57

Tell them. Explain that you are an introvert, and need time on your own to recharge.

MelBB Mon 24-May-21 17:10:44

Ohhh I completely understand! I actually used to want to run from people and now I'm disabled, I don't see myself doing a conventional job again. If I can ever work, it would be self-employed.

It's ever so tough being this way, as things can become overwhelming. And if you can't get breathing space, that makes it harder. Also, I know how other prople can be. One time I had a coffee break alone and looked out of the window, watching a beautiful tree. When I turned around, the kitchen staff were staring at me from the doorway, I was obviously amusing to them.

Have you thought about doing home help or something similar? There are so many people who want help and so demand is there.

But I also know that it's not ideal and that you should get the space and support you need.

sodapop Mon 24-May-21 17:46:09

You seem to be having a lot of work related problems Shangela judging by the threads you have started. Maybe this sort of career is not really for you. A quieter environment which is less stressful may be something you should look for.

Callistemon Mon 24-May-21 17:55:02

but we work through the night and I'm just tired

Why are they so noisy at night if you are carers? Surely the people being cared for are asleep or need quiet, peaceful care, not exuberant extroverts looking after them at night?

Grandmama Mon 24-May-21 18:47:09

I'm an introvert and when I the organisation it was quite small but grew a lot over the years and most were younger than me. I worked part-time and never socialised with them - I was not usually invited and often was unaware of office social events. Sometimes I felt very hurt. I was not part of the office gossip, never knew what was going on behind the scenes, who were in relationships. I had a family to go home to at 5pm. I loved my job and it entailed days out from the office and I got on fine with the people I met on those days. I miss the work I did because it was interesting and worthwhile but much prefer being retired and being 'myself'.

MerylStreep Mon 24-May-21 19:10:23

I don’t believe most of this cant leave the facility at any time
By law your are entitled to leave that building for your break.
You insinuate that your colleagues are noisy at night. I don’t believe it. A lot of care workers just want to take it easy through the night.
Let’s suppose that that is the truth: how much noise can 2 people make.

Galaxy Mon 24-May-21 19:12:17

If its residential care the working time directive is different or certainly used to be. I worked in residential care for years and we did not have breaks.

Baggs Mon 24-May-21 19:21:04

if I don't sit with them I get asked where I'm going.

Tell them you need time on your own. Tell them you're an introvert and time on your own is essential for destressing.

The first time I went for a day out with the team I currently work in, they were very vague about what would happen. Turned out their idea of fun was sitting in a very noisy pub that didn't sell food ALL DAY. I stayed for about fifteen minutes and then got up saying, "I don't do noise like this", and left. Since then they have arranged more peaceful outings, such as going out for a meal. It doesn't bother me if they want to have noisy outings without me and, since they now know I'd hate it, it doesn't bother them either.

Beeb Mon 24-May-21 22:44:27

I can sympathise and hope you can work something out. Extroverts don’t tend to understand introverts and society is geared towards extrovert behaviour. You could be nice and cheerful with your 2 colleagues but on breaks say you need quiet time to recharge your batteries , it’s nothing personal, just that you’re an introvert. They might think you’re weird but they might try and understand.
I struggled with the office radio on all the time. I was the only introvert and the others would be completely stressed and angry if the radio was turned off at any time, even if it was while they were out on tea break and I was the only one left in the office. I’d turn it off when they’d gone and put it back on again before they returned or else the atmosphere would be awful. Lockdown working from home is less exhausting. It’s made me rethink what I will tolerate in the future, or if I’ll adapt to going back to the office later.
It’s great that you started this post. Discussions like this should be helpful to both introverts and extroverts. Maybe you can mention “looking after your well being and mental health” in your explanation of why you need quiet time. They seem to be buzz words right now. Good luck.

Granof412 Mon 24-May-21 23:36:52

6 people in my family are extrovert. I am the quiet studious one and they are very forceful types who always have opinions on everything and will voice these opinions at every opportunity. These opinions are not based on reality and they are continually talking and gossiping about everyone and everything.
I find this type of environment totally alien and draining and very stressful. Places I’ve worked in have been like this too and I’ve had to force myself to go to work to earn a living.
I like peace and space to think.
I often wonder why extroverts are narcissistic and some love to agitate and cause trouble by gossiping and passing incorrect opinions.

RBond Tue 25-May-21 01:10:23

Thank you so much for bringing up this subjectsmileI am a true introvert and am very proud to be. I have spent too much time worrying about what others think of me and it’s such a waste of time .

justwokeup Tue 25-May-21 01:47:52

I’m like you and find noise wearying but I find your post confusing - it sounds like your problem is actually assertiveness. Being an introvert and assertive aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. You say these ladies you work with try to be pleasant so you could just explain to them that you need quiet time to yourself now and then. I agree with others that you might be second-guessing what they are thinking and getting it wrong. They are not mind readers so practice what you want to say to them in a non-confrontational way and repeat it if necessary eg ‘just having 10 mins to myself’ and do it! It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or extrovert you need to be assertive. Especially if you hear someone talking about you - you should nip that in the bud immediately.

Sparkling Tue 25-May-21 06:55:08

I think you have multiple problems reading your other posts, all relating to severe anxiety that you need to address. The things that are wrong in your life need addressing. If you don't you will continue this way of thinking so everyday life becomes even harder. Are you in the right job, I cannot see how the atmosphere you describe is soothing or helpful to people with mental health issues in particular. Your relationship, is that ok or is the stress of your job filtering into that. I know it's been very hard to see a doctor but it should be easier now, perhaps talking to someone, having time off to recharge your batteries may make the situation clearer as you appear worn out. Good luck.

GrannyOrNanny Tue 25-May-21 22:27:12

Yes I do. Over the years I’ve worked in various offices and the noise in some has been unbearable. I’d love to just work with maybe one other who gets on with their work not constantly yakking about nothing!

CoffeeFirst Thu 27-May-21 18:51:59

I’m like you. I just can’t concentrate with too much noise. I like talking but some people are very full on!
I’d love to tell them to ‘shut it’ but quietly get on with my work.