10 Things You Need to Know About Introverts

Introverts

If you only know me through reading my posts, you might not know that I am an introvert. But I am. I am such an introvert, that I almost always score 100% on those personality tests that show just how introverted you are on a scale from 0-100. Chances are, you probably know many introverts. You may even be one yourself.

Something I’ve noticed (we introverts are quite perceptive), is that introverts, as a whole, are typically misunderstood. So, to help counteract some of the myths surrounding us, I’ve put together this little list. If you know or even love an introvert, this guide should help you understand us a little better. If you are yourself an introvert, I hope this list resonates with you.

1. We Physically Need Alone Time

While our extroverted friends seem to thrive on parties and social gatherings, we introverts can feel drained from too much social interaction. I like to compare this drained feeling to that of a low battery. After interacting with people, we often feel mentally, as well as physically, exhausted. We need time alone to reflect and recover from socializing. This is especially true if the gathering in question was large or involved lots of people we don’t know well.

2. We Don’t Hate People

Though I am fond of saying this, especially when dealing with crowds, I don’t really mean it (usually, LOL). It is common, however, for people to assume that introverts are antisocial and dislike all people. This could not be further from the truth. We just don’t prefer to be around large groups of unfamiliar people. And, we tend to be a lot slower to make friends than our extroverted counterparts. We like to take our time to get to know someone before declaring them a “friend.” But once you’ve gained the friendship of an introvert, you will likely have a loyal friend for life.

3. We Have a Rich Inner Life

My husband always used to worry that I was missing out because I don’t really do “girl’s night out” or get involved with socializing activities. I don’t really do those things, but it isn’t just because I don’t enjoy them. For me, and for many introverts, our “inner life” is just as rich and fascinating as any outing-filled and extroverted lifestyle. We truly enjoy spending time with ourselves, thinking philosophical thoughts, writing, or learning something on our own. Because of this, it is actually hard for us to ever be truly bored. And we certainly are not “missing out.” In fact, for us we’d be missing out if we felt we had to go out when we’d rather spend time on our more solitary pursuits. Being alone for us almost never means being lonely.

4. We Aren’t Agoraphobes

Agoraphobia is the fear of public places. This does not describe me at all. I love to visit new places, and I travel whenever possible. Though I enjoy solo travel, I most enjoy visiting new places with my husband and daughter. Just don’t ask me to go on a group tour too often.

I like to get out and do things in my neighborhood, too. We regularly visit the Orlando theme parks since we live here, and it’s usually my idea to do so. I just don’t want to go every weekend, and I don’t particularly enjoy it when it’s really busy, but who does?

Weekends will also typically find us trying out new restaurants or exploring new places on short road trips. Introverts are not agoraphobes. Most of us like to go out and try new things. We just may prefer doing so with family or a small group of close friends rather than a large group.

5. We Prefer More Meaningful Conversations

Don’t think for a minute that introverts are always shy, retiring people. Many of us actually love to talk. We just don’t enjoy small talk. Honestly, I can’t stand small talk myself, and nothing annoys me more than someone asking about my family or how my day was when I know they don’t care and aren’t interested in my response. Yes, I get that it’s just polite conversation, but I have never understood the point of it. I engage in small talk when I absolutely must, but I dislike it because it feels forced and insincere.

However, if you want to have a meaningful conversation, I am in. I’ll listen carefully if you want to discuss a problem you’re having. I will discuss current events with you or talk about the meaning of life. If it involves thinking or true engagement, and not just empty words, introverts can be fantastic conversational partners. And to be honest, if you’re the kind of person whose eyes glaze over as soon as the conversation turns deep, we probably won’t end up being close friends.

6. Don’t Misunderstand Our Silence

Remeber that rich inner life I mentioned earlier? Well, the thing with many introverts is that we live that inner life all the time. We are totally cool sitting in a room with you yet not talking. This does not mean we are angry with you or depressed. There’s probably nothing wrong at all. We might be thinking about something, or we just might not have anything important to say. We are comfortable with those silent pauses that sometimes make others uncomfortable. And we usually feel no need to fill that silence with conversation just for the sake of talking.

7. Yes, We Can Be Hard to Get to Know

With the whole dislike of crowds and parties and hatred of small talk, getting to know an introvert can be difficult. Many people have told me that I am hard to get to know. That used to bother me, but only because I didn’t want to come off as aloof or rude. It is difficult to really get to know me, and for most introverts that’s how it should be. That’s because we value deeper connections with people. If we say you are a friend, we really mean it. We don’t need a large list of superficial acquaintances and casual friends to be happy. A few close friends, or even one really good friend, are all we need or desire. For me at least, to have so many friends you can’t get close to any of them would cheapen the value of friendship.

8. We Can Be Really Observant

While our extroverted friends are looking for someone to talk to, we’re often busy quietly observing the world around us. Unless we’re working or in the middle of a deep thought, we tend to like to really take in our surroundings. This also includes observing the people around us. Because of this, we notice things others don’t, and we can be excellent judges of character. Since I pay close attention to what people say and how they say it, I have become adept at figuring people out really quickly. Many introverts develop this talent as they get older. This is because we want to know who you really are before opening ourselves up to you. My husband has even come to respect this ability and always asks my gut opinion about people. I have shocked him a few times when my observations have turned out to be true.

9. Introverts Are Everywhere

Studies estimate that introverts comprise up to 50% of the population (Psychology Today). That’s not an insiginificant number! This means that you almost certainly know one. It also means that many of the stereotypes about us must not be true. We can’t all be antisocial, agoraphobic, boring bookworm wallflowers or the world would not be able to function. As a matter of fact, there are many successful and famous people, both past and present, who you would be amazed to discover to be introverts. Among these are Emma Watson (of theĀ Harry Potter films andĀ Beauty and the Beast), Audrey Hepburn, Abraham Lincoln, and Barack Obama. So, obviously introverts are perfectly capable of functioning in society and even successfully speaking in public. They just might need some alone time after dealing with a crowd.

10. Introverts Aren’t All the Same

Just because someone is an introvert doesn’t mean that all these traits apply to them. Some introverts are shy, and some don’t like people. Some like to try new things, while others hate anything unfamiliar. In addition to this, everyone’s level of introversion falls on a scale. I am on the extreme end of that scale, but most introverts fall somewhere in the middle. There are even some people who exhibit both extroverted and introverted traits depending on the situation. The point is that you shouldn’t stereotype a person just because they are an introvert.

We are all different. You should just know that if we say we need alone time, we mean it, but this doesn’t mean we don’t like you. We probably won’t be the type of person who wants to hang out everyday, unless we’re really close and we know you understand us. There is no need to try to fix us because we’re happy the way we are. If being alone makes you miserable, you’re probably not an introvert. And finally, if you are lucky enough to have an introvert for a friend, know that that person must really appreciate you. True introverts generally don’t take friendship lightly.

 

 

2 Comments

  • corinatime August 4, 2017 at 2:08 am

    This is a great article. I am an introvert and I totally agree with the small talk part as well as the observant part. This article is so accurate. Loved to read it. I hope people understand us better. I will share this. Thanks you

    Reply
    • Kamie August 4, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      I’m so happy you found it accurate. We are very misunderstood.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Share13
Pin
Tweet1
+12
%d bloggers like this: