Introverted shy girl hiding behind autumn leaves

What Is an Introvert? The Differences in Psychology and Personalities Within Introversion

It’s estimated 40% of introverts are people who tend to be inwardly focused on their own thoughts and feelings. They draw energy from being alone, rather than from social interaction.

But what is an introvert? And are they shy or unsociable? Well, you’ll be surprised to hear that just because someone’s an introverted person doesn’t mean they aren’t a fan of a social event or hanging out in big social circles.

So let’s take a closer look at this misunderstood term and what you can learn about yourself and your loved ones in the process.

What Is an Introvert?

Introverts are shy people who recharge their batteries by spending time alone. They generally prefer quieter, more low-key activities and enjoy having time to themselves. Introverts make up a little over one-third of the population.

If someone is an introvert, they tend to be inward turning, or focus more on internal thought and feeling than seeking out external stimuli.

People who are introverted often find they need more time alone than other people to recharge their batteries after a long day of socializing. Unlike extroverts, introverts need to spend time alone in order to feel energized again.

Differences in Introversion vs Extroversion

The theory of introversion and extroversion are two terms related to the type of person as  popularized by Carl Jung’s work. The terms introvert and extrovert later became a part of other prevalent theories, including the big 5 theory of personality and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. According to many theories of personality, everyone has some degree of both introversion and extroversion. However, most people tend to lean towards one side or the other.

Introverts are often thought of as people who enjoy spending time alone to boost energy levels after a long day. An extroverted person, on the other hand, gets their energy from being around others and tend not to need as much down-time by themselves.

Introverted shy girl smiling behind autumn leaves

Introverts are happy with their own company, much to the confusion of many extroverts

Personality Traits and Signs of Introversion

Introverts are often mistaken for being shy or quiet, but that’s not entirely true. They simply prefer listening and thinking before speaking. And contrary to popular belief, introverts have just as rich inner lives as extraverts do – they’re just not as vocal about it.

Introverts are analytical by nature and tend to focus more on their thoughts than what’s going on around them. This can make them seem distracted or lost in thought, but it also makes them great problem-solvers. They often have a strong connection to their inner world, which allows them to tune out the external world more easily.

Introverts are also very reflective, meaning they take in information and analyze it deeply before coming to any conclusions. This can make them seem like they’re constantly overthinking things, but it also makes them great researchers and critical thinkers.

While extraverted types may enjoy talking about their day or opinions, introverts would rather discuss their thoughts or ideas instead. They dislike small talk and find it tedious, but they love diving into deep conversations about meaningful topics. And unlike extraverts who energize from being around people, introverts get drained after spending too much time around others and need time alone to recharge. Coupled with Autistic masking, this can drain an introverted Autistic person much quicker than an extrovert.

Being an introvert has its advantages. One advantage is that introverted people tend to enjoy things like books and writing, which they can do alone. Additionally, introversion is not a pathology; it is simply a preference for self-reflection over large groups of people. Lastly, introversion does not make someone socially anxious or demand avoidant, nor does it mean lack of social skills. In fact, many introverts are very comfortable around others.

Types of Introverted Emotions and Relationships

There are four introverted personality types. These are social introvert, thinking introvert, anxious introvert, and restrained introvert.

Social Introvert

A social introvert is someone who enjoys being with others, but prefers smaller gatherings where they can be more involved. Social introverts are generally friendly and open to new experiences, but they don’t always feel comfortable when there are lots of people around.

Thinking Introvert

A thinking introvert is someone who likes to think about things before making decisions. They tend to be good listeners and enjoy learning new things. However, they can become overwhelmed if they spend too much time analyzing everything.

Anxious Introvert

An anxious introvert tends to worry about things before they happen. They are highly sensitive to changes in their environment and are prone to anxiety attacks. They may also experience panic attacks when they are around large crowds.

Restrained Introvert

A restrained introvert is someone who avoids certain situations because they are afraid of how they will react. Restrained introverts are usually reserved and avoid expressing themselves unless they know exactly what they want to say.

How Is It Different to Shyness?

Introversion and shyness are two separate terms that are often confused. Shyness is a fear of people or social situations, while introversion is just not keen on spending time around people. Introverts don’t necessarily feel tense or uncomfortable when they’re alone; they simply prefer to be alone a lot of the time. They also prefer to spend their time with people they are close to.

Introversion is not something that needs to be cured, rather it’s a personality type that can be accommodated and enjoyed by everyone. It is important for introverts to have meaningful conversations in order to fully understand the concept at hand before voicing an opinion or offering an explanation of why someone should do something a certain way.

old couple smiling while drinking tea

Alone time doesn’t always mean solitude when it comes to being an introvert

Shyness is something that can change with time and effort, but introversion does not necessarily signify whether or not it will be present for the rest of someone’s life. Kagan’s study shows that introversion is present from birth and endures throughout adulthood, while shyness may change depending on the individual. Shyness begins in infancy, but introversion does not necessarily signify whether or not it will be present for the rest of someone’s life.

Another common myth is that introverts don’t like to socialize. This may be true for some introverts, but others enjoy having deep friendships with only a few people. And finally, some people think that introverts can’t handle stress well. While it’s true that introverts may feel stressed more easily than extraverts, there are plenty of ways for them to relieve stress. So don’t believe the myths introverts are just like everyone else!

How to Deal with Introverts as an Extrovert

Introverts need some alone-times to recharge themselves, and they often feel exhausted after socializing. Here are a few tips to deal with them:

Understand Spending Time Alone Gives Them Energy

Introverts are often misunderstood due to the fact that they tend to be more reserved and less talkative than their extroverted counterparts. As a result, people may think introversion is a flaw, but in reality it is just a different way of thinking.

Some enjoy the social engagement being around other people and get their energy from social interactions whereas others prefer to spend time by themselves away from others.

Don’t Force Them Into Social Circles, Activities and Environments

Introverts are easily drained by socializing, but they’ll often appear to be having a good time. If you’re not sure if an introvert is enjoying the party or just trying to avoid an awkward situation, try to leave them alone for a bit. If they’re not planning on leaving soon and want to stay longer, it’s worth asking if they are having fun or just trying to for the sake of everybody else.

Don’t Make Them the Center of Attention

It’s easy to forget that introverts are sensitive and often uncomfortable when they become the center of attention. They may even start feeling anxious or depressed if they are constantly surrounded by loud noises and lots of people.

An introverted young woman enjoying alone time at the beach at sunset

Understanding the value of self-care is one of the greatest assets extroverts can learn from introverts

Four Takeaways for Extroverts

Introverts can be a little hard to understand, but with a few tips you’ll be able to get along great! First, it’s important to know that introverts may be thought of as falling somewhere on a scale.

They have a few extroverted traits mixed in with their introverted ones, and vice versa. So don’t be surprised if your introverted friend suddenly becomes talkative at a party or an extroverted person has run out of social energy and wants to stay in for the night.

Second, introverts generally prefer small groups over a large social gathering. This means that they feel overwhelmed and exhausted by large stimulating environments and being around an extroverted personality for too long. If you’re planning on going out with your introverted friends, try to pick a place where it will be easy for them to chat with a small circle of friends and allow for quiet time.

Third, thinking introverted personalities daydream a lot, and they often have creative imaginations. This makes them great employees as they can come up with innovative ideas and solutions! Just make sure not to distract them too much or they may need some time alone to recharge.

Fourth, anxious introverts need alone time to avoid awkwardness or shyness around people. They may feel uncomfortable in social situations and need some time alone before they’re ready to talk to anyone.

Last, restrained/inhibited introverts typically take longer to make decisions than other types of introverted people do because they think things through before acting on impulse; this can change depending on the situation at hand as well though. If you’re in a hurry, it may not be the best idea to ask an inhibited introvert for their opinion.

Introverts Are The Extrovert’s Glue

They may feel overwhelmed in busy or noisy environments, but introverts recharge their energy by spending time alone or with close friends. They are the glue that very often grounds their extroverted peers and keeps the world in order.

Keep reading and see what else you can find out about yourself today!

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Neurodadversity

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30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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