They are the quiet ones. The ones that speak only when they have something to say. The ones that sit calmly and observe the world around them. They find it hard to express their own feelings, but they will always be there when you need someone to vent to. You may know them as introverts.
Most times, it’s not a difficult task to spot an introvert.
Their calm nature and their unusual quietness often expose them.
However, some introverts are hard to recognize. Not many people seem to know this, but being an introvert doesn’t mean being antisocial. In fact, some of them are quite talkative and easygoing, especially around people they feel comfortable with.
So, how can you tell if you’re talking to an extrovert or an introvert who feels good in your company?
Here are 7 fundamental differences between introverts and extroverts when it comes to socializing:
1. Small talk vs. a deep conversation.
For introverts, something simple as small talk at a party feels nearly suffocating. Not only it’s usually senseless and time-consuming, but it also feels awfully inauthentic. They would rather pet the cat, instead of talking about the weather with someone they just met. That’s because what fascinates introverts is a real, deep, emotional conversation.
On the contrary, extroverts are masters of the small talk. They have no problem talking about everyday things that anyone has an opinion about. This is probably one of the most significant differences between extroverts and introverts. While an extrovert can effortlessly talk about their day, the latest party they went to, or the outfits on the red carpet, introverts prefer to be engaged in more purposeful and heartfelt conversations.
In the book Introvert Power, author Laurie Helgoe explains introverts’ craving for meaningful dialogues:
“Simply talking about people, what they do and who they know, is noise for the introvert. He’ll be looking between the lines for some meaning.”
2. Tight circle vs. countless friends.
It’s a well-known fact that introverts find it harder to open up and make friends. But this doesn’t mean they’re antisocial. It means they keep their circle small. They simply prefer to have a few trustworthy friends, rather than many casual acquaintances.
Introverts don’t crave popularity. They don’t need to be the center of attention. What they need is being surrounded by people whom they can trust and share their big ideas with. Meanwhile, extroverts find great value in reputation. That’s why they surround themselves with many people who contribute to their social status.
3. Intimate gatherings vs. massive parties.
Having in mind that introverts prefer to be around a few, but genuine people, it isn’t surprising that they avoid parties and large groups. A lot of times, when an introvert is invited to some sort of event including many people at the same place, they would try their best to make up an excuse not to go. The phrase “Sorry, can’t make it tonight.” might actually mean “I prefer to stay home, rather than spend the night in shallow socializing.”
Understandably, extroverts feel exactly the opposite way. Being surrounded by a lot of people recharges their batteries and makes them feel alive. So if you ask an extrovert, the answer is probably going to be “The more parties, the better!”
4. Peaceful vs. buzzing energy.
The nature of an introvert is quite calm and serene. They often speak quietly and chose their words carefully. Most of the time they keep their opinions and feelings to themselves. Sharing personal information is also something they avoid. Overall, they prefer to stay low-key in every way possible.
On the other hand, extroverts are loud, vibrant, and quite energetic. Their reactions are filled with intensity. They are perfectly fine with revealing personal details about their life. Just take a look at social media these days, and you’ll surely get it.
5. Online vs. IRL.
Nowadays, most people have plenty of online friends. We prefer texting than talking, and we hate going to office meetings that could easily be summed up in emails. However, this topic also reveals major differences between introverts and extroverts. Extroverts regain their energy while spending time around people. They crave actual human touch.
Contrarily, introverts feel much better socializing in the comfort of their own home. Therefore, from an introvert’s point of view, having online friends appears to be much easier than maintaining friendships in real life. In her book Quiet, author Susan Cain perfectly explains the essence of the issue:
“Using the Internet to connect with others appeals to us introverts for a lot of reasons. We can carry on a conversation from the quiet privacy of our own homes; we can join groups and sites that cater to our niche interests; we can write our thoughts instead of speaking them, and we can turn off our device when we’ve had enough.”
6. Timeout vs. buoyancy.
No one can stand hours and hours in socializing without feeling a little drained out. However, extroverts appear to have hidden stashes of energy in suchlike situations. In the meantime, introverts prefer to leave the room for a while, as they often feel massive burnouts after spending time in crowded spaces. They need a little downtime to recharge because, believe it or not, such events exhaust them both mentally and physically.
7. Quality time vs. regular chatting.
Taking time to talk to someone every day is wonderful trait extroverts have. Hanging out with friends on the regular is undoubtedly a good thing. Having a weekend booked up with social plans is surely exciting. But when it comes to introverts, it’s another story. They find greater value in spending quality time with their loved ones, than in seeing them every day just for a chat. Instead of maintaining frequent contact, they go for meaningful, quality contact.
Hopefully, reviewing these differences will help you realize that being an introvert doesn’t mean being antisocial.
It simply means valuing your time and choosing to spend it with trustworthy, genuine people.