But introverts are no saints either
No one is ever truly innocent. It’s true that introverts suppress their emotions and hold on to grudges for years. They are rarely expressive and highly sensitive which makes them get hurt easily. They can be dangerous and evil if and when they want and need to be. If you mess with an introvert for a long time and push them up against the wall, they will never forgive you. But that can be somewhat normal for most people and doesn’t necessarily depend on one’s personality. Having said that, there is a type of unhealthy introvert who can have some toxic habits that can be detrimental to themselves more than others.
Signs of “Bad” Introverts
If you are wondering how one can identify these toxic, unhealthy and “bad” introverts, here are a few signs you need to watch out for –
1. They have a negative attitude towards groups or teams
There is no doubt that most introverted people love working in solitude and can actually perform better when working alone. A 2011 study states that “introverts prefer to avoid social situations and tend to be reserved, withdrawn, or shy in social settings.” Research also shows that introversion is associated less with socially outgoing activities and more with pursuits that can be accomplished in solitude.
We tend to be more accurate, effective and productive in solitude as we are able to think freely without being distracted by others. However, we can also be excellent team players and leaders as well. But a “bad” introvert detests working in teams. They hate coping with the differing ideas of other team members, personality conflicts, communication challenges and red tape. Although their preference for working alone may be justified, their negative attitude can be detrimental for the team and the collective objective. The fact is even with conflicts and challenges, a team will accomplish more than even the most talented introvert.
2. They suppress their emotions
Being an introvert, it is often difficult for me to fully express myself. I find it difficult to put my complex thoughts and feelings into words to make someone understand what I am going through. However, like most introverted people I do open up to my loved ones as talking about your feelings is a healthy way to cope with stress. Unfortunately, there are some introverts who suppress their natural instincts, preferences, emotions, thoughts and needs excessively, whether consciously or unconsciously.
This makes them feel overwhelmed and over time it turns into hatred and bitterness towards self and others. Studies reveal that hiding emotions can lead to significantly less perceived satisfaction with intimate relationships and life in both introverted and extroverted people. Moreover, it can also negatively affect their physical health.
3. They don’t communicate openly
Introverts can be great speakers due to their natural ability to think deeply & analytically, conduct research and prepare before presentations.They are also masters at communicating using non-verbal tools like emails and texts. However, a toxic introvert may keep a lot of things to themselves and “under-communicate” with others, whether with their coworkers, romantic partners or family members. This can understandably be a problem as no one can read your mind. Moreover, such gaps in communications give rise to misunderstandings and leads to unrealistic expectations for the introvert.
4. They are afraid of conflict
Most introverted people prefer calm and less stimulating environments and hence, we avoid people who are loud or aggressive. But that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to stand up for ourselves or our loved ones. But certain types of introverted individuals are terrified of arguments or confrontations as they are afraid that their flaws and insecurities will get exposed. It is their fear and shame of their weaknesses that keeps them from expressing their anger in a healthy way leading to further stress, anxiety, bitterness and resentment.
5. They are passive-aggressive
Being afraid of confrontations can often result in passive-aggressive behavior in a “bad” introvert. Studies show that these people view others as interfering & demanding and consider themselves vulnerable to control. As they avoid facing conflicts directly, they show their frustration and anger in indirect ways. According to research, passive-aggressive people tend to be stubborn, pouty, irritable, inefficient, resentful, destructive, antisocial and prone to procrastination. Simply because you prefer peace over conflict does not make your passive-aggressive behavior right. This can be even more destructive than directly expressing your aggression.