Private and reserved, introverts are some of the hardest people to figure out. Because of their quiet and elusive nature, they can be difficult to read sometimes and they have a tendency to keep to themselves.
As one of the most well-known and well-researched topics in the field of psychology, introversion is a personality trait that refers to where a person gains their mental energy. The science behind this explains that because introverts have larger, thicker gray matter in their prefrontal cortex, they need less stimulation than extraverts, which is why extraverts tend to feel energized by socializing with others while introverts feel overwhelmed and easily exhausted by it (Holmes, et al., 2012).
So is there someone you’re interested in who you suspect might be an introvert? Are you wondering if your crush’s seemingly dismissive actions really mean disinterest, or if they’re just shy and introverted? It can be tricky to tell the difference because introverts aren’t exactly the most expressive or vocal about their feelings. They can be hard to get to know, and even harder to understand sometimes.
With that said, here are 8 subtle signs that can help you figure out whether or not your crush is an introvert:
1. They don’t initiate conversations
While extraverts are more than happy to approach just about anyone and strike up a conversation with them, introverts usually just sit back and wait for someone to talk to them first. They’re known to be more withdrawn, quiet, and soft-spoken, especially around people they don’t know very well. So if you usually have to talk to be the one to start a conversation with your crush or ask them to hang out with you, don’t be discouraged – they might just be an introvert waiting for you to make the first move.
2. They prefer to listen more than talk
Introverts have a reputation for being great listeners because they would rather listen than talk in most conversations. They prefer to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves and won’t usually share them unless you ask them to. They don’t mind it when their friends vent and rant to them for what seems like hours because they’re not clamouring for their turn to talk. In fact, a lot of them actually enjoy listening to what other people have to say and being the silent observer in conversations because it allows them to be their usual deep and thoughtful selves (Mall-Amiri, & Nakhaie, 2013).
3. They’re more talkative online/in text
Do you talk to your crush more through chat or text than you do in person? Do they suddenly seem shy, tense, disinterested, or uncomfortable when you talk to them face to face? Introverts are known to be more talkative and outgoing online than they are in real life (Mitchell, Lebow, Uribe, Grathouse, & Shoger, 2011). They feel much more confident and secure talking to someone over the phone because they express themselves better through writing than speaking. Texting allows an introvert’s true personalities to shine through, so don’t be surprised if they seem a lot funnier, wittier, and more open when you’re talking to them via text or chat.
4. They remember the little things
Do you find yourself saying “Oh, wow, I’m surprised you remembered that!” a lot to your crush? It’s probably because they’re an introvert, as introverts have an uncanny way of remembering important personal details about other people. Even if they seem aloof or impassive on the outside, they’re actually much more attentive, perceptive, and observant than they let on. They can recall things about you that they find interesting and will often make an effort to appeal to your interests and remember what you like, because it’s in an introvert’s nature to be thoughtful and considerate.
5. They’re very self-aware
Because introverts love to spend so much more time in their own inner worlds than they do with other people in the external world, they become much more insightful and self-aware than most (Roush, & Atwater, 1992). No one knows an introvert better than they know themselves. It’s easy for them to get lost in thought about their experiences, their passions in life, and their hopes for the future. So naturally, they like to get to know themselves and understand themselves better by writing, reading, painting, or just having some quiet time alone. Does your crush seem like the soulful, sensitive type? This might be the reason why.
6. They’re fiercely independent
Like we said earlier, introverts love to spend time alone with themselves. It can be draining for them to socialize so much, so they need to recharge by enjoying some solitude and not having to talk to anyone for a while. Because of this, introverts are known for being fiercely independent. They have no problem doing things on their own, and unlike extraverts, they actually find going out by themselves, eating meals alone, and being by themselves much more therapeutic than lonely. So if you see your crush breaking away from their group from time to time to be by themselves, then that’s a definite sign that they’re an introvert through and through.
7. They don’t make small talk
An introvert will avoid making small talk with you like the plague! They don’t like making meaningless conversation about the weather or what happened to your neighbour last week. No no no, they’d much rather debate with you about philosophy, science, politics, religion, and relevant social issues. They ask you about your ideas on how the Universe was made, what your purpose in life is, and what your childhood was like. They want to know all the movies and music you like, why you love them so much, and what they all mean to you. So if your crush asks you a lot about your tastes and ideas, they’re most likely trying to see if they can bond with you over shared interests and similar experiences.
8. They have a small group of friends
Finally, if your crush only ever seems to have a handful of people that they’re close to, it’s probably because they’re an introvert. Introverts will have a small but close-knit circle of friends, while extraverts are social butterflies who befriend everyone. Introverts are careful about who to trust or show their true selves to. It takes time to get to know one and grow close to them, but once you do, they will be loyal to you through and through. That’s why they usually have just a handful of best friends that they’ve known for years and spend most of their time with. They care more about the quality than the quantity of their relationships, so they don’t really care about being popular or well-liked.
In the end, while it’s really easy to miss these subtle signs, you need to pay closer attention to your crush and observe the way they act around other people. You’ll understand them so much better once you figure out whether or not they’re an introvert, and once you do, you’ll have an easier time approaching them and relating to them. Don’t misinterpret their actions as dislike or disinterest – they might just be acting differently because they don’t know how to be around you.
If you enjoyed reading about this topic and would love to know more, here are a few articles we recommend you take a look at next: 8 Things That Make Introverts Attractive, 5 Ways to Ask an Introvert Out, and 8 Reasons To Love an Introvert. Enjoy!
- Holmes, A. J., Lee, P. H., Hollinshead, M. O., Bakst, L., Roffman, J. L., Smoller, J. W., & Buckner, R. L. (2012). Individual differences in amygdala-medial prefrontal anatomy link negative affect, impaired social functioning, and polygenic depression risk. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(50), 18087-18100.
- Mall-Amiri, B., & Nakhaie, N. (2013). Comparing the performance of extrovert and introvert intermediate female EFL learners on listening and reading tasks. International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World, 3(3), 11-29.
- Mitchell, M. E., Lebow, J. R., Uribe, R., Grathouse, H., & Shoger, W. (2011). Internet use, happiness, social support and introversion: A more fine grained analysis of person variables and internet activity. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(5), 1857-1861.
- Roush, P. E., & Atwater, L. (1992). Using MBTI to understand transformational leadership and self-perception accuracy. Military Psychology, 4(1), 17-34.