“There is a tremendous difference between alone and lonely. You could be lonely in a group of people. I like being alone. I like eating by myself. I go home at night and just watch a movie or hang out with my dog. I have to exert myself and really say, oh God, I’ve got to see my friends because I’m too content by myself.” ~ Drew Barrymore“
Feeling happy in their own company is one of the most typical traits of every introvert. According to the definition provided by Carl Jung, introverts feel happy when they’re alone, or with people close to them. They are usually thoughtful and reserved, and prefer spending time in their own inner world.
But not all of them are actually like that. The truth is there are many misunderstandings about what makes someone introvert or extrovert. And this is especially valid for the ones who are outgoing or socialize easily.
“Numerous misconceptions exist as to what makes you introverted,” says Adam Awale, founder of Fearless Introvert, says for Bustle. “Being an introvert doesn’t mean you’re shy and terrified of social interaction. It just means you have a different core personality than extroverts, and that’s a good thing.”
Sometimes it is difficult to tell with certainty whether or not someone is an introvert.
So, to help you find out if you or your friends and family members are introverts we’ve outlined 8 things typical for the people with this personality type.
1. Need more time to relax and recover their energy
After being socially active (like going to big parties and networking events) introverts need to “take a break” from social life to recover their energy. Although as mentioned above some introverts are outgoing, they also get drained by spending too much time in crowded places, or if they have to communicate with people for a long time. So after intense social interaction, every introvert needs to wind down. Otherwise, they risk feeling exhausted, irritable, and uncomfortable.
2. Try to avoid small talk
Most people don’t particularly love small talk, but for introverts, small talks are real torture, a waste of time that exhausts them and makes them feel bored to death. But introverts are so fed up with small talks not only because they have to engage in them every day. What annoys them the most is the pointlessness of such conversations.
3. They don’t like initiating conversations
Not that introverts are incapable of initiating (meaningful) conversations but they usually prefer that the other person approaches them first. This is the case because most introverts are somehow reserved (usually in order to preserve their energy) and might become anxious in a social environment. That’s why they usually don’t want to spend extra efforts in socializing.
Here is what Remus Zhong, author of The Introvert Teacher, said for Bustle:
“Introverts think that the other person may be apprehensive, like they are, about being approached, so they would rather hang back and let the other person make the first contact instead.”
Gardening, art, cooking, or reading. The truth is that introverts cannot go without having enough time for their hobbies and interests. For them, this is one of the most efficient ways to recharge and recover their mental and emotional energy. Hobbies make introverts forget about the monotony of real life and allow them to dive deep into their inner world.
“Introverts live in two worlds: We visit the world of people, but solitude and the inner world will always be our home.”―says Jenn Granneman in, The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World
5. A meaningful purpose in life
None of us could live without paying their bills. That’s why most people have to work, no matter if they like it or not. Introverts are no exception to that but they need to find meaningful work in order to feel truly happy and satisfied. Introverts know that money is important but need more than being able to pay the bills. What these people really want is to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
6. Need peace and quiet to concentrate
Most introverts could not stay focused on their work if they are among many people or in a more crowded place. The reason why is that they need more peace and quiet than extroverts in order to concentrate and do their job. Actually, individuals with introverted personality are quickly overwhelmed by everything that is going around them. That’s why they get easily distracted.
7. Attention to details
Another reason that makes introverts nervous in noisy and crowded places is the fact they cannot pay enough attention to details in such an environment. These people are much more reflective and rational than extroverts because they process information differently. Introverts need time before acting or making a decision. According to an article published in Quiet Revolution:
“….Introverts process everything in their surroundings and pay attention to all the sensory details in the environment, not just the people.”
8. Being independent
Being independent doesn’t mean that someone is introvert. However, the truth is that most introverts are extremely independent. They are the kind of individuals who set their own direction and follow through on their goals without paying too much attention whether others approve of where they are heading or not.
Last words on introverts:
Although there are more social and outgoing Introverts they usually aren’t the most popular people at school or at work. But they compensate for their introversion by being remarkably creative and having a rich inner world. Furthermore, introverts are exceptional decision makers who are not easily influenced by other people’s opinions and always think twice before acting.
So, if you recognize yourself in this description you are most probably a true introvert.