Introvert Personality: Am I Just Shy?

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated July 13, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Avia James, LPC

Who Is An Introvert?

Introversion is a term that often gets misunderstood. Introverts are habitually stereotyped as being shy and socially awkward. However, the term itself has a rather more intricate meaning than most of us understand. The most basic explanation of an introvert is someone who gains their energy from time spent in solitude and loses energy while being around other people. More often than not, it has nothing to do with having anxiety associated with social interactions or being around people. An introvert simply functions better when alone.

Introversion Is Not A Disorder

Signs That Tell That You Are An Introvert

1. You Love Spending Time Alone
While you might enjoy utilizing your precious time all by yourself, it doesn't mean you do not crave human interaction. You might even enjoy having a busy social life, but if it feels more peaceful and rejuvenating for you to recharge your brain and body all on your own, you probably are an introvert.

2. Socializing Wears You Out, No Matter How Much You Like It
Contrary to what many people think, you might enjoy being out socializing with people, but regardless of how much you appreciate it, you will find your energy being drained if you hang out longer than certain periods of time.

3. You Try To Avoid Making New Friends But Value The Ones Who Are Already Close To You
When it comes to making friends, you probably take the process nice and slow. You have your group of people you feel comfortable with and tend to stick to them more than others.

4. You Dislike Small Talk
Despite popular belief, introverts can easily talk to anyone, but small talk might start to seem boring very quickly. You mayfind unnecessary conversations tiresome and prefer to use your time in more productive ways.

5. You Hate Group Work
As an introvert, you already have a lower tolerance for external stimulation. You are more creative and productive when you aren't bombarded with distractions brought on by others.

 

6. You Are Quite Active On Social Media
While it might appear counter intuitive, introverts, surprisingly succeed online as it is a less intimate environment and they can take their time to formulate responses.

7. Eating Alone Is Fine

For some, it is not acceptable to dine alone. But for the introverts, this eating alone is nota source for worry, and they may even prefer this practice. Not only can they avoid dealing with small talks, but they can also enjoy their meal peacefully.

8. You Might Feel More Lonely In Big Crowds Than You Would Be All By Yourself

Sounds quite interesting, doesn't it? Part of the problem with big crowds is that you do not manage to build any kind of deep connections; neither with others nor with yourself. Introverts seek to avert small talks in anyway possible, for not only do they find those boring, but they also perceive them as distractive.

9. You Hate Networking

As discussed earlier, introverts appreciate already existing relationships and tend to avoid new ones if they do not find them to be worthy of their time. When it comes to networking, they lack in genuine desire to know people for no particular reason, and often have an ulterior motive, such as to advance their career.

10. Work Is Nothing Else But Work

When it comes to working, introverts may view their workplace as a place to get the job done rather than a place to meet new people or chitchat. They want to go in, do their job, and go home! They may get easily distracted and irritated by their co-workers if getting the sense that those don't put in enough effort in their tasks.

Common Misconceptions About Introverts

1. Introverts Do Not Like To talk
This is bogus. Despite popular belief, introverts do like to talk, but it has to be meaningful. Otherwise, it is pointless to do so. And that indeed makes a lot of sense. Surprisingly enough, many of the world's greatest social activists, lawyers, speakers, CEOs, and other professionals that require conversing are introverts.

2. All Introverts Are Shy
Shyness and introversion are two completely different things. Shyness is that painful feeling you have when you feel yourself being socially rejected or finding yourself in socially awkward situations. Introversion is the tendency to focus more on internal thoughts than on the external world. While there are introverts who are shy, there are also ones who aren't. At the same time, there may be extroverts who are shy before they get to know others better.

3. Introverts Do Not Like Socializing
Incorrect! Introverts do like to go out and socialize. It is just that they can only stay out for a certain period of time before they have to head home to rejuvenate their energy. Why? This is because introverts tend to grasp information rather fast, and it can become overwhelming for them if they have to do it for longer periods of time.

Introversion Is Not A Disorder

What Type Of Introvert Are You?

1. Social Introvert

Social Introverts can be quite talkative and easy going, especially at times when they are around their close friends and family. They choose their friends wisely and carefully and open up only to the ones they trust. They aren't exactly shy in the true meaning of the word but prefer smaller companies to recharge themselves. Meeting new people can be exciting, but long conversations can easily make them feel tired. They would prefer being alone or spending time with their best friends than having too many social interactions with strangers. Not that they fear social events, they just tend to keep things private and intimate.

2. Thinking Introvert

Thinking Introverts usually do not get overwhelmed by big groups of people or huge social event. They just stay in their lovely bubble and don't notice anything around. They can spend hours in their thoughts without noticing almost anything around them. They usually perceive the world through their emotions, which gives them a unique sense of empathy and intuition. They tend to create their unique and original ways of living life rather than strictly going by the rules.

3. Anxious Introvert

If you can go to any lengths to avoid any form of communication, you are an anxious introvert. Anxious introverts tend to get intimidated by unnecessary conversations. They may often find themselves in awkward situations when they don't understand something properly or find it difficult to convey their opinions to others. They tend to overthink and may easily stress themselves with unnecessary things. Sometimes, certain bad events that happened in the past may take a real toll on them. They try to keep their social life to the minimum due to their self-consciousness, and sometimes, low self-esteem. It actually wouldn't be a bad idea for an anxious introvert to take small steps out of their comfort zone. They are just like the rest of us, only with a bit of social anxiety. Of course, it is easier said than done, but a little bit of effort toward social interaction would be a step in the right direction.

4. Restrained Introvert

Restrained Introverts aren't people who love being alone but rather prefer to think carefully before any kind of social interaction. They need some time to get going and at times may be a bit slow. This may be the only way they can function properly. They aren't the ones who get uncomfortable in big groups of people. Yet, they choose to leave it for later, so they have some time to get used to the situation and environment.

Can Introverts Become Extroverts?

Introversion is a trait you are said to be born with. It isn't something you develop much with time. Of course, you can work on your personality and become the kind of person you want to be, but that isn't going to change the temperament you have. What is important to know is that there is no need for becoming an extrovert if you weren't born to be one.

Some introverts wish they could be more outgoing than they usually are, but this has nothing to do withbeing an extrovert. You can, like everyone else, work on your social skills, be more engaging, and adapt better to various social situations. However, it is hardly going to change that these activities arelikelyto wear youout.

The good news is that you can easily learn to be more capable insocial interactions. What is more important is to discover and practice the kind of lifestyle that suits our personality type and makes us happy, rather than try to be someone we aren't meant to be. Each is different, and it would rather make more sense to focus and work on our strengths and weaknesses.

Is AnIntrovert Normal? Do We Have Any Unique Advantages?

In our society, introverts tend to be frowned upon whereas extroverts are hailed. Try to remember the last time you tried to be someone you didn't want to be or pursue something you didn't want to do just because you wanted to conform to social norms. Where you satisfied with your results?

More often than not, the answer would be a loud NO! Why can't introverts be themselves? Well, they actually can and they should. There are a lot of people who have set an example to prove that introverts can become great people: Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Meryl Streep, Bill Gates, and J.K. Rowling to name a few. Do you think being an introvert prevented any of them from accomplishing their ambitions?

There are certain skills introverts tend to be better at than extroverts. More often than not, they are known to be more versatile, creative, responsible, and do better jobs individually. They take their jobs seriously and try to perfect any task they are assigned with. When it comes to relationships, introverts do a better job, both, in choosing the right partner as well as spending quality time with them. Being an introvert in no way dictates how successful or happy you can be as long as you see it in the correct lighting. At the end of the day, all that matters is being yourself! Janis Joplinsaid it best: "Don't compromise yourself. You're all you’ve got."

Should an Introvert Seek Professional Help?

Introversion is not a disorder, but we do live in an extroverted culture where extroversion is celebrated. Online therapists and in-person therapists can help introverts learn tools to deal with social, work, and networking situations. Meeting with a therapist is also creates a safe, intimate space where they can freely be themselves. This can a long way in progressing through one’s therapy goals.

How BetterHelp Can Support You

Meeting a therapist face to face can be scary for an introvert, especially because it usually means that they'll have to interact with the therapist in a new, unfamiliar place. But,as mentioned above, this is not the only way to get therapy. Other therapy options include online professional counseling services as those offered at BetterHelp. This option applies to extroverts and introverts alike and takes place in the comfort of their own home and within a time frame that works best for them.Below are a couple of counselor reviews from people experiencing similar issues.

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