First of all, being an introvert is normal. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
Data shows that 50.7% are introverts according to the 1998 National Representative Sample.
You are not alone!
What does it mean to be an introvert?
Carl Jung, a brilliant pillar of psychology, popularized introversion and extroversion.
According to him, extroversion is characterized by sociability, talkativeness, and excitability.
On the other hand, introversion is the opposite. Introverts tend to focus more on internal thoughts, feelings, and moods.
The most common definition is someone who gets drained by socialization.
To know if you are an introvert or an extrovert, Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator guide was developed.
Based on Carl Jung’s theories of personality types, Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs established a self-report inventory.
Today, the inventory is one of the most famous tools to identify a person’s weaknesses and strengths.
Scientific cause of introversion
The way that your body responds to the outside environment determines if you are an introvert or an extrovert.
Physiologically, a network of neurons named as “reticular activating system” or RAS is responsible for regulating arousal levels.
The arousal levels are different from person to person.
Hans Eysenck, an influential figure in psychology, states that some people have a much higher set point of arousal levels.
It means that these types of people — introverts — naturally tend to be more aroused.
Because introverts have high arousal levels, they are able to take in more information from their environment.
Escaping from overstimulation is their way to recharge, process and reflect on what they have taken in.
Here are 6 characteristics of introverts:
1. Socializing with a lot of people is draining
A study shows that extroverts love socialization with people. They enjoy social activities and have a preference for social interactions.
In the same study, it was found out introverts scored low for activities involving people.
However, it doesn’t mean that all introverts avoid social events altogether.
Many introverts still enjoy spending time with their close friends.
2. Introverts love spending time alone
According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts, introverts prefer a quiet environment.
As an introvert, your idea of a “good time” is alone when you can do your hobbies.
However, this does not mean that introverts want to be alone all the time.
The important thing to remember is that after socializing, introverts will retreat to a quiet place to think, reflect, and recharge.
3. Introverts maintain a small circle of close friends
The most common misconception of introverts is that they don’t like people.
They still have friends. They just don’t like shallow socializing or engaging in small talk because they feel it is fake.
NY Post states that introverts frequently decline social invites. It is because they seek meaningful connection and value intimacy than socialization.
Introverts are more likely to be “choosy” when it comes to their friends.
They tend to be wary of who they connect to but their closest relationships tend to be profound.
Introverted people prefer to interact with people on a one-on-one basis rather than at a party.
4. Introverts are shy
Often times, people tend to label all introverts as shy.
But people with this personality type simply prefer to choose their words carefully.
They do not want to waste their time or energy on needless chit-chat.
5. Introverts are very self-aware
In psychology, self-awareness means being focused on one’s self.
Introverts enjoy themselves by simply thinking about and examining things in their own minds.
They want to learn more about themselves -what they want to do with their lives, what hobbies they enjoy, and lessons learned in the books they read.
6. Introverts are good observers
These people watch intently what people do.
Instead of participating, they observe others perform a task until they feel they can do the task on their own.
They want to build their skills and abilities without an audience. Introverts are accustomed to fulfilling their needs without anyone knowing.
Now you know the characteristics of introverts, it is time to erase the negative myths about them:
Myth 1. They are depressed
Being alone doesn’t automatically equal to depression. Introverts just enjoy their own company.
Myth 2. They don’t have fun
In reality, introverts are not party-poopers. While they stay quiet at a loud gathering, it doesn’t mean they are not enjoying.
They just enjoy observing their friends. Talking too much stresses them.
Myth 3. They are rude
Introverts need time to open up to people.
When you first get to know an introvert, they have that innate need to know you better before they warm up to your presence.
Myth 4. They are agoraphobic
Because they don’t prefer large places, it doesn’t mean they have agoraphobia.
It is the fear of public places because they make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.
Introverts just love periods of solitude to recharge.
With all of that being said, introversion is normal.
So, make the most of your strengths and continue to nurture deep connections.
Because being an extrovert or introvert doesn’t make one better than the other.