Many of us want to be left alone and be by ourselves with just our hobbies and our thoughts from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with that. Your friends and colleagues might have invited you out to a party, but you’re currently having a blast binge-watching Netflix and binge-eating incredibly unhealthy snacks. It’s been a long week after all, and you'll meet up with your pals another time.

These moments of social burnout, isolation, and sometimes even a wariness of opening up to others can feel very relatable to some Pandas. Especially with the seemingly endless lockdowns we had to deal with over the past couple of years. Well, the ‘Antisocial Memes’ Instagram page has a metric ton of digital humor that’s bound to make you chuckle and smile because the jokes hit way, waaaaay too close to home.

Their memes are all about the things running through our heads as we go about our day-to-day lives, and how we sometimes feel that it’s all a tad too much and that we'd prefer life to slow down just a tad, thank you very much. Don’t forget to upvote the memes that you enjoyed the most, dear Readers! And we’d absolutely love to hear which of these pics you related to the most and why, so share your thoughts in the comments.

Bored Panda got in touch with Maria and Lide, the administrators running the ‘Antisocial Memes’ page, and we also reached out to Suzanne Degges-White, a Licensed Counselor, Professor, and Chair at the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. Read on for both interviews about the history of the page, extroversion, and why antisocial behavior isn’t the same as being introverted.

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Maria, who founded the ‘Antisocial Memes’ Instagram account 6 years ago, saw it as the perfect place to express her emotions through memes. What’s more, it was the perfect opportunity to get in touch with people with similar feelings, opinions, and humor.

“I started the Instagram profile to overcome my social anxiety and shyness. I am an introvert and I needed this page to help me accept myself through creating and sharing memes related to introversion, social anxiety, and shyness,” she told us that she was trying to overcome the difficulties she was going through with humor.

“Eventually, people started to follow the page and I realized that I am not alone in this. Actually, many people have the same problems as me. Their support made me feel better and I hope that we make other people laugh and feel a little better. All this made me not quit, but continue creating and sharing content,” she opened up to Bored Panda.

“At the moment, we administrate the page together with my older sister. We also started a YouTube channel—Mental Warrior. Mental health is really important and we are trying to raise awareness about social anxiety, depression, and similar things,” Maria explained that her interests have led her to try and help other people.

According to the founder of the page, there is no secret to the success of ‘Antisocial Memes’. “There is only hard work, persistence, good and healthy humor. We try to use non-offensive humor. We express our feeling and we find that many people in the world feel like us and that makes them follow the page,” she told Bored Panda.

Maria believes that introverts and extroverts have different advantages. “We would not say that extroverts are usually valued more. We all have to find something that we are good at according to our competencies. Our YouTube channel is trying to help people accept themselves, see the positive things in their characters, understand what is happening to them, and encourage them to seek help if they need it and when they need it because no one should be alone.”

Meanwhile, Professor Degges-White from Northern Illinois University shared her thoughts about introversion, the effects that the pandemic had, and why introverts aren’t the same as those who are antisocial.

“During the pandemic, people who tend towards introversion were able to grow more comfortable in this identity and were able to disconnect from life's requirements for ‘extroverting behaviors.’ While many extroverts had to spend more time alone, they didn't necessarily grow more introverted, but found more ways to connect to others,” the counselor explained to Bored Panda.

“In fact, research indicates that while the isolation offered ‘comfort’ to introverts and may have stressed out the more extroverted, it was actually the extroverts who ended up coping more effectively with the emotional distress of the pandemic. They stayed in contact with their typically larger social networks so they still were engaging socially even though it was done virtually,” she said that extroverts appear to have had the advantage during the pandemic.

“Introverts, though, while enjoying the ‘lifestyle of their dreams,’ suffered from isolation more acutely because they had smaller social circles to begin with and fewer opportunities to connect with others as well as less skill in doing so due to their introverted patterns.”

The professor stressed that antisocial behavior isn't the same as introversion. “Introverts have interest in connecting and engaging in social relationships whereas antisocial folks tend to just prefer to avoid people at all,” she noted.

“Folks who prefer not to be around people are typically just ‘wired that way,’ and prefer the company of themselves, pets, or simply solitude. While these people are relatively rare in comparison to those who identify as introverts, the pandemic quarantines would have created no stressors whatsoever for those who would be labeled as antisocial,” the professor pointed out that the lockdowns did not lead to more antisocial people.

“Some folks, for whatever reason, don't want to invest the time or energy into forging a significant number of non-essential social relationships. They are truly okay being the ‘odd person out’ and prefer time alone than time to socialize. Introverts like to have friends, romantic relationships, happy collegial connections with folks on the job, etc. Antisocial folks, though, eschew relationships and engage only when circumstances require it,” Professor Degges-White pointed out the difference to us.

However, antisocial behavior should not be confused with antisocial personality disorder. The latter “is what we often think of in terms of sociopathy, such as the Charles Mansons or Ted Bundy's of the world.” The professor said: “Those with antisocial personality disorder disregard and abuse the sanctity of others and their persons. People who are ‘antisocial’ just want to ignore others.”

According to the professor, introversion is a preference for how people want to engage with others and the world. “Being antisocial is a preference (trait) for not engaging with the world unless it cannot be helped. One doesn't necessarily predict the other—and being ‘antisocial’ doesn't necessarily predict that it will turn into any type of dangerous or criminal desires.”

The ‘Antisocial Memes’ page is very popular. It’s got over 320k followers who are eager for their latest dose of humor. A large part of the Instagram page’s success comes from the fact that its content is incredibly relatable, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

Meanwhile, the account also posts regularly, meaning it ends up in a lot of people’s feeds. And who could say ‘no’ to fresh memes that they can send to their friends?

Previously, Bored Panda spoke about introversion and extroversion with Dr. Andrew Spark, a personality scientist from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He researches extroversion and leadership and gave us his insights into the introversion vs. extroversion debate.

Dr. Spark told us that there are specific situations where introversion or extroversion might be more useful or socially acceptable.

“For example, it’s not a good idea to be highly extroverted in a movie cinema, or when you’re in a meeting and your boss is talking,” he said.

“It can also be a good idea to be more introverted if you are in a leadership role and you have highly proactive team members. Extroverted leaders are more likely to be overly dominant which can disempower followers—not something you want if those followers are actually highly proactive!” he explained to me. However, there is a flip side to this,” the expert continued.

“Conversely, it can be advantageous to be more extroverted if you are trying to be seen as more leaderlike by others and want to get promoted into leadership roles,” Dr. Spark said that extroversion can lead to better career paths.

Dr. Spark told Bored Panda that there is some evidence that extroversion is more valued than introversion in some cultures.

“Possibly more so in the western world, although it is important not to overestimate these differences across cultures,” he said.

“For example, there has been some research out of the UK which showed that mothers of infant children aged 0-12 months rank-ordered extroversion as being more important for their infants than conscientiousness or intelligence. In other words, being introverted (the other end of the extroversion continuum) was not desirable as far as these mothers were concerned,” Dr. Spark said.

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“The original expectation by many was that the pandemic would be welcome news for introverts because of the lockdown—almost as if the lockdown was geared towards introverts. However, the reality is not so simple. As it turns out, extroverts have fared better than introverts during lockdown,” the expert told us.

“This is probably because extroverts have a higher level of well-being anyway and were probably better at drawing on their social networks with the help of modern communication technologies. Introverts who were by themselves, probably did quite well from a well-being point of view, however for those introverts who were locked down in a busy household, we can’t be so sure!”

According to Dr. Spark, some introverts feel pressured to become more extroverted. “In general, this pressure will often feel most powerful when you find yourself in social situations,” he said.

“Stress levels are also elevated if you are also high in other personality traits, particularly trait neuroticism, which governs how sensitive to negative emotion you are. Some of the research my colleagues and I have done in a group leadership context suggests that when we act introverted in social situations, we are more likely to think less of ourselves—it’s almost as if we become extra self-critical.”

What’s more, introverts tend to think worse of themselves than what others actually think of them.

“We are harder on ourselves than others are—probably because other people are too busy acting extroverted to pay much attention to us!”

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