Many misconceptions still revolve around introversion today that form stereotypes like “loner” or “misanthrope.” But personality is not as black and white is that. In fact, it’s a fluid component, which is what makes humans complex and interesting as a whole. We want to help people understand that the intent of personality theories isn’t to box us up neatly in categories, but rather they exist to show how unique we are and what our needs are from the way we are wired. Introversion, for instance, is still commonly misunderstood and we would like to reduce the stigmas attached to it. Are you an introvert? Psych2Go shares with you 6 traits of introversion:
1. Being around people for a long period of time drains you, so you need to be alone to recharge.
Both extroverts and introverts need time to recharge. But according to Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, a certified speaking professional and author, extroverts need shorter amounts of it than introverts do. Colin DeYoung, a psychology professor, points out that introverts are often drained by socializing because the rewards that come from it don’t stimulate them. DeYoung also states, “Extroverts get drained by socializing too, but they are more motivated to engage in it anyway, and it takes more socializing before they start to feel drained.” In other words, introverts can go to parties and still have as much fun as extroverts do, but they may have a different approach to “fun.” Extroverts, for instance, may enjoy meeting new people; whereas, introverts like to spend time with a few quality friends before leaving early to recharge.
2. You enjoy solitude.
One study has shown that extroverts are more stimulated by people; whereas, introverts pay more attention to inanimate objects. Participants in the study were asked to look at pictures of faces and flowers and researchers took note of their brain activity. According to the results, extroverts showed a higher response to pictures of faces; whereas, introverts showed a higher response to pictures of flowers. This is why introverts may enjoy solitary activities, such as reading, writing, or solitary sports because they are more fulfilling than engaging in group or social activities. Overall, introverts enjoy being alone, not because they dislike people, but rather because they don’t emphasize as much importance on people as much as extroverts do.
3. You are reflective and self-aware.
Introverts tend to turn inwards and enjoy reflecting on their thoughts, memories, and observations. As a result, they contemplate a lot about the what-ifs and enjoy reading books that stimulate their curiosity on topics, such as history, psychology, and philosophy. Generally, they like analyzing and seeing how things work. But moreover, they find it meaningful to be self-aware and want to understand themselves better as a whole. This is why introverted people can be creative deep thinkers and great at problem-solving.
4. The quality of your friendships is more important to you than the quantity.
Introverts don’t like having a large group of friends and prefer to have one or two best friends, rather than many acquaintances they aren’t as close to. They are careful about who they let into their social circle and prefer one-on-one interactions instead of large group settings. They find it easier to have deep, meaningful conversations with one person; whereas, it can be intimidating to be vulnerable and open up when you’re surrounded by many people. That’s why introverts prefer long-lasting friendships with a small number of friends, rather than spreading their intimacy thin with many people who don’t get past small talk.
5. You have a habit of learning by observing first.
Extroverts have a tendency to jump right in and learn as they go on through hands-on experience. Introverts, however, prefer to observe first on the sidelines before getting involved in the same activity. They have a habit of watching a task being done repeatedly until they feel comfortable enough to mirror it. Introverts like to take their time and go at their own pace when they develop new skills and digest new information. Whereas extroverts usually enjoy performing for an audience, introverts prefer to practice in private without feeling the pressure of doing it in front of others.
6. You prefer jobs that involve freedom and independence.
Introverts are typically drawn to jobs that involve independence and not as much social engagement with others. Jobs, such as writing, accounting, computer programming, or graphic designing are preferred by introverts because a great degree of privacy is required. But that’s not to say introverts can’t excel in jobs that require a lot of communication. In fact, because introverts are great listeners and are deeply observant of others, they are usually skillful at problem-solving and make exceptional leaders where their team members feel heard. But overall, introverts enjoy working in careers that involve their focus to details without a great need for outside distractions. This is why they make some of the most innovative workers ever.
Are you an introvert? Do you identify with these traits? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!
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Borreli, L. (2015, January 6). It’s a Hard Knock Life: 5 Common Myths about Extroverts that Introverts Probably Believe. Medical Daily. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
Cherry, K. (2018, February 23). 8 Signs You Are an Introvert. Very Well Mind. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
Granneman, J. (2016, August 13). This is the Scientific Explanation for Why Introverts Like Being Alone. Introvert, Dear. Retrieved February 27, 2018.