11 things every introvert wishes people knew about them

There’s an easy way to tell introverts and extroverts apart that’s always stuck with me. Introverts expend energy on social situations, while extroverts become energized by them. 

That’s how I know I’m a die-hard introvert.

The problem with introverts is that they’re not exactly social creatures, and so they often keep things inside them that they should probably share. That’s where today’s article comes in.

I’m here to bring you the introvert’s point of view and to share 11 things that every introvert wishes that people knew about them. 

It’s the article I was born to write, so let’s get to it.

1) They still like other people

Just because introverts get their social battery drained by being with other people, it doesn’t mean they don’t like them.

There’s a perception I’ve seen over and over again of introverts being antisocial weirdos, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Introverts still enjoy socializing; they just do it in moderation so that they don’t burn themselves out.

On top of that, a lot of introverts have hobbies and passions that are naturally suited to being alone. For example, I’m a writer, which means that I do most of my work sitting alone in front of a computer screen. A lot of my socializing takes place online, because I can write at the same time.

Oh, and did I mention that when I do dare to venture out of the house, I usually take a notebook with me, just in case? But if I spend time writing in it, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like the people I’m with.

2) They need recharge time

As I explained earlier, the big difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts need recharge time.

The easiest way to think of it as to picture everyone having a social battery. If you’ve ever played The Sims, it’s a bit like the social gauge that each Sim has that runs down if they don’t speak to people. That means that every single Sim is an extrovert.

Introverts’ gauges and batteries run in the other direction, so they’ll go out with a full social battery and it will start to drain as soon as they start interacting with people. Their batteries get recharged when they’re at home alone, allowed to focus on themselves instead of having to socialize with other people.

It’s true that as human beings, we all need to socialize. It’s just that some of us need to do it less than others.

3) Sometimes they’re jealous of extroverts

It’s true! Sometimes, we introverts wish we could be extroverts because it often seems as though the world is built for them. It’s like being a lefty in a right-handed world.

We’re jealous of extroverts because it seems as though they’re the ones who get awarded the promotions and the accolades. Introverts are often too shy and inward-facing to put themselves up for awards or to speak at conferences.

It’s pretty easy to see that there are times in life when being an extrovert can be a huge advantage, but what we often don’t realize is that there are just as many times when it’s better to be an introvert.

Ultimately, it seems as though it’s the ambiverts who get the best of both worlds.

But let’s be honest. It’s not healthy for us to compare and we should all just focus on who we are and play to our strengths.

4) They like digital communication

11 things every introvert wishes people knew about them

I mentioned earlier that I often prefer to communicate online because it means I can focus on my own pursuits while still being sociable.

The same is true of most introverts, at least in my experience. Most of the online communities that I’ve been involved in have had a ton of introverts taking part, with many of them assuming moderator roles or otherwise helping to shape and grow the community.

Introverts like digital communication because they’re in control. They get to decide when the conversation is over, and getting away is as simple as closing a laptop or turning a phone off. They also have plenty of time to think about what they’re going to say before they say it.

Honestly, I think digital communication is superior to its real-world equivalent. But then, I’m an introvert and so I would say that.

5) They prefer quality over quantity in their relationships

Extroverts seem to be friends with everyone. In fact, they often act as though new people are just friends they haven’t met yet.

Introverts are very different. It can take years for them to form a friendship, and when they do, it’s a high quality friendship that will stand the test of time. Their friendships differ from extroverts’ friendships too, in that they’re less likely to focus on meeting up and going out.

In my case, the COVID-19 lockdown didn’t make a huge difference to the way that I interacted with my friends, because other than those that I see in person at live music events, most of them are online friends. Some of them are folks I only know by their username, despite the fact that I’ve known them for years.

That doesn’t mean that they’re not quality friends, though.

6) They can’t stand drama

We introverts can’t stand gossip and drama. Conversely, extroverts seem to love it.

When I used to work at a marketing agency, it seemed as though everyone was obsessed with watercooler gossip and talking about who slept with who. I couldn’t stand it, and the need to pretend to care about the latest drama is one of the reasons why I went self-employed.

As well as hating to talk about drama, we also hate being involved in it. This can cause problems, especially when an introvert pairs with an extrovert as part of a romantic relationship. I’ve known introverts whose partners have been drama magnets and who’ve suffered throughout their relationship as a result.

If you love someone, you accept them for who they are, even if that means accepting their drama. It doesn’t mean that you have to like it, though.

7) They prefer familiar places

This isn’t true for all introverts, but it is true for most of them.

Introverts tend to like familiar places because they know exactly what’s what. They don’t have to stop and ask strangers for directions (*shudder*) and they don’t have to end up trapped in an unfamiliar place with a bunch of extroverts.

When extroverts travel to a new city, they try to visit as many different places as they can and chat with all of the locals. When introverts do the same, they find a place they like and keep going there, and while they’ll talk to the locals if pressed, they won’t go out of their way to do so.

And so if you’re an introvert, don’t be surprised if you spend a bunch of time going to the same old places. It’s comforting.

8) They hate small talk

hate small talk 11 things every introvert wishes people knew about them

I secretly suspect that nobody likes small talk, but introverts hate it with the burning passion of a thousand suns.

The problem with small talk is that it’s unimportant and insignificant. It forces us to socialize, but without any of the benefits of socializing. We don’t get to know people any better, we’re just killing some time ahead of a meeting or shooting the breeze with someone in a doctor’s waiting room.

However, introverts tend to love deep conversations, which are the opposite of small talk. Deep conversations still wear down their social battery, but at least they bring people closer together and can be super stimulating.

In fact, that’s one of the reasons why introverts prefer quality over quantity in their relationships. It boosts their chances of having those deep conversations.

9) They don’t get lonely when they’re alone

As we’ve already covered, introverts value their alone time. That means that they don’t tend to get lonely.

Instead, that alone time is a super important part of their routine, allowing them to relax and recharge. A lot of introverts live alone purely because it means they can spend more time without the company of other people.

Extroverts can’t stand this and will quickly start to lose their minds if they’re cooped up in a house all alone. Introverts don’t feel that sense of isolation and claustrophobia that extroverts experience when they’re at home alone.

The introverts that I know all see their home as being like their nest. I’d love going to their houses if I wasn’t such an introvert myself.

10) They think before they speak

Extroverts speak before they think and introverts think before they speak.

There are advantages to both approaches, but introverts tend to shy away from conversations and attention and so they’d rather make sure that when they do speak, they’re getting their point across instead of just talking to fill a void in the conversation.

In the same vein, most introverts aren’t too bothered by silence and they’ll be more than happy to sit in a comfortable silence. If they break that silence, it’ll be because they have something worthwhile to say, and not just because they think they need to say something.

This is another reason why introverts hate small talk and thrive on those deep conversations. It’s what they’re made for.

11) They can sometimes fake extroversion

The final thing to remember is that just because someone’s an introvert, it doesn’t mean that’s all they’re able to be.

The vast majority of introverts can fake extroversion for a while, if only because the world demands it of them. We all need to be extroverts from time to time, and so being able to fake that extroversion is a vital skill for any introvert.

The same is true the other way round, with most extroverts still enjoying the occasional bit of alone time. But for introverts faking extroversion or extroverts faking introversion, the key is that they don’t do it too often. It’s a short-term fix, not a long-term strategy.

And then there are the ambiverts, the people who can switch between introversion and extroversion at will. But that’s a different subject for another article.

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Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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