Am I an Introvert? Top 10 Signs that You Are
It is usually difficult for a person to admit to themselves – let alone other people – they are an introvert. When you imagine a person as introverted, you may assume it means they don’t like other people. However, this isn’t the case (in most situations). There is a stigma that goes along with being an introvert, which is why so many people have issues admitting they classify as this type of person.
Introverts are also often described as being shy. However, these are two very different things. Introversion has to do with someone who has a rich inner world and an inclination to focus on the depth of their friendships, rather than the number of friendships they have. In most case, an introvert has limited social energy, and they put a great deal of value on the time they have alone, to spend recharging and reflecting. Shyness, on the other hand, relates to nervous energy, discomfort, and fear. It is possible for a shy extrovert to exist and even more common to see an introvert who exhibits no symptoms or signs of shyness, at all.
If you have wondered if you may suffer from introversion, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. However, if you are ready to know for sure, there are certain signs to know. In fact, the 10 signs listed here can let a person know for sure if they are an introvert and may even help them accept this about themselves.
10You Enjoy “Me” Time
For an introvert, “me” time isn’t something that is nice from time to time. For you, it is a completely necessary part of your day to day life. In fact, when an introvert doesn’t get this “me” time, they may begin to feel overly stimulated, antsy, or drained. This is why it is so important.
In most cases, it doesn’t matter what you do while alone, as long as you get this “fix.” You may shop, write, meditate, go for a run, take a bath, or even spend some time vegging out in front of the television. Regardless of the activity chosen, it provides time for you to get away from others and allows you to recharge.
There are a number of reasons that introverts thrive when they get ample “me” time. One is self-discovery. You have the opportunity to discover things about yourself, and who you are, that you may not have known in the past. Also, being alone means you can do exactly what you want when you want to. When you are with others, you often have to compromise, unable to do what you want to do.
Also, being alone provides the opportunity for you to get a fresh perspective and even rejuvenate your soul. These are all priceless things that need to happen for an introverted person to remain happy and calm. As mentioned before, introverts may suffer adverse consequences if they don’t get their “me” time fix, which is why it is so important.
9You Do Your Best Thinking Alone
While most introverts are not completely opposed to group discussions or meetings, if they want to come up with a creative solution, they need a bit of time to work on the problem alone. When you can reflect quietly on an issue, you are able to maximize the use of your original thoughts, which helps to produce results you can feel proud of.
If you are an introvert, it is a good idea to let your manager or supervisor know of the situation. In most cases, work conditions are adjustable to meet the needs of the employee. Everyone wants the most productive office or business possible, and if an employee has a special need, that is not completely crazy, most managers can accommodate it.
In most cases, introverts do their best thinking alone, because it offers an opportunity to clear their mind and focus on the task or problem at hand. When they are in a crowd, meeting, or even small group, most introvert’s minds are running constantly. Thoughts such as having to speak in front of everyone or answer a question are at the top of mind. As a result, it is often difficult to focus on the problem or issue at hand. Spending some time alone to figure out the issue is typically the best way for an introvert to help a situation and have their ideas heard and used in a way that benefits everyone.
8Meeting New People isn’t Exciting
Introverts simply enjoy spending time alone. In fact, in many situations interacting with others is both mentally and emotionally exhausting. This is why they require “me” time (as mentioned before) to recharge.
Introversion is considered a biological trait. There are some introverts who can spend hours at a time chatting with others, and then suddenly withdraw from the conversation. Keep in mind, shyness is a social fear, so if you are scared when it comes to meeting new people, then you are likely shy, not an introvert.
However, if you find the idea of having to come up with small talk with a person you have never met completely exhausting physically, emotionally, and mentally, then chances are you are introverted. The fact is, for introverts, the simple thought of having to interact with new people is exhausting, which is why many people cancel plans at the last minute or don’t engage with new people when they are out and about.
If you are introverted, the thought of trying to make new friends, meet new people, or even participate in an unfamiliar social situation brings about quite a bit of anxiety. This is not the same thing as fear, which would indicate you are shy. This anxiety relates to how you feel when it comes to meeting someone new, what you need to say, and how soon you can get away from the entire situation. If you find yourself feeling this way, then you are introverted, not shy.
7You Avoid Engaging with People who are Upset or Angry
In most cases, a person is going to try and avoid another person who seems like they are in a bad mood or outright furious at someone or something. According to research by Marta Ponari, a psychologist from the University College London, people who suffer from high levels of introversion often fail to show what is referred to as the “gaze cueing effect.”
In most cases, if you were shown the image of someone’s face on a computer screen that was looking a certain direction, you naturally follow that person’s gaze and respond much faster to a visual target on that side of the screen than if the person’s gaze and target were located in opposite directions.
Introverts typically show this effect just like extroverts do; however, if the face shown looks angry or upset, they don’t display the gaze cueing effect. This makes the suggestion that people who are highly introverted don’t want to look at someone else who is angry or upset. Ponari, as well as her team of researchers, believe this is because an introvert is much more sensitive to possible negative evaluations. If the introvert believes that a person is mad due to something to do with them, their gaze then turns into a threat.
This is a unique study, but one that provided proof that introverts want to avoid situations where they may feel threatened or that may require them to interact with others when emotions are high.
6You Receive More Emails, Texts, and Calls than You Make Unless You Have No Choice
With all other things being equal, those who have a high level of introversion typically don’t reach out voluntarily to others in their social circles. If they have a few extra minutes, they don’t initiate a call just so they can pass some time by socializing. Also, they don’t typically generate emails and any other type of written correspondence but instead react to the efforts of communication they get from other people.
If a person is a true introvert, they are going to actively avoid any job where they have to engage in this type of outreach, such as a telemarketing representative. If the individual has no choice but to initiate communications, such as when they invite someone to a social event, they are going to likely send the request via email, rather than picking up the phone and making a call.
They may also try to avoid being evaluating. When you initiate a call with someone, you risk being told “no” in person, which is thought of as demoralizing by many introverts. If the request occurs asynchronously (not in real time) it is likely the same turn-down; however, in a manner that allows you to save face, as well as your self-esteem. While some people view this as being unsociable, for an introvert is completely normal and acceptable behavior.
5You are a Great Leader when Others are Self-Starters
Even though many people believe that many introverts are too quiet, and as a result, they are unable to step up and manage things, when the proper circumstances are present, they are often the best leaders of all. However, the key to that is that the right circumstances are present.
An introvert is a great leader when the other members of the group are ready to lead themselves. The introverted leader can draw the most out of other group members when this circumstance is present. However, if the group requires a “spark” to get started, then if you are an introvert, you may discover you are unable to lead effectively. At this point, an extrovert is needed to help create balance and provide the group with the encouragement needed to reach success.
Introverts have great ideas, they are creative thinkers, and they take the time to observe what is going on. As a result, they are often extremely effective when it comes to getting things done. However, if their group members are not “on fire” without the encouragement of the leader, the productiveness and effectiveness of the group is going to wind up being sub-par.
Understanding what needs to happen for an introvert to lead effectively can help a person know if they can take the lead on a project. If they are unable to provide the needed spark, the project, problem, or event may also experience issues and not get completed in a timely manner.
4You Have a Small Group of Very Close Friends
A common misconception about introverts is that they don’t like anyone. Chances are you do like people as an introvert, just a select few people. The fact is, most introverts don’t dislike other people, but instead, the idea of socializing. Consider this, when you are invited to a party, event where other people are present, or even a family gathering, do you automatically try to think of ways to get out of it? If so, you may suffer from introversion tendencies.
In most cases, rather than having many friends, an introvert has a few, close friends. In your book, quality is much more important than quantity. Rather than having a large social circle of various people you only know on a superficial level, introverts want to stick with deep and long-lasting relationships that are marked by quite a bit of intimacy and closeness.
If you have a social circle that is rather small, but it is close, there is a good chance that you are an introvert. Take some time to think about your friends. Can you count them on one hand? Do you know them quite well, beyond their name and what type of vehicle they drive? If so, then these are all signs you are an introvert and someone who enjoys taking the time to build these close friendships, rather than developing many friendships with people you don’t really know very well at all or care to know at all.
3Other People Ask for Your Opinion Often
Just like introverts are much less likely to volunteer in a public situation, they are also much less likely to volunteer their advice or opinions in a less public setting. It doesn’t matter if it is a family discussion around the dining room table or a staff meeting at work on how to market a new product, those who have a high level of introversion are going to keep their views to themselves, which is why they let the noisy extroverts often take control.
Due to this, and due to the fact that since they keep their opinions to themselves, their advice is likely viewed as being much more valuable. As a result, you are likely hearing the question “what do you think?” quite often. As a result, there is a good chance that your behavior is sending cues to other people of your inner desire to focus all your thoughts and attention inward.
Introverts are typically quiet. You are going to find yourself trying to think of ways to avoid social situations and large groups. While some may find this odd, for introverts it is how they are most comfortable. They hold their opinions, and advice, inward, and even when they are asked, they may provide “short answers,” that don’t really provide any intrinsic value. This is also normal behavior for them, since talking in small groups of people cause so much mental stress for an introvert.
2You Avoid Small Talk Like the Plague
As an introvert, you are going to find it absolutely painful to engage in small talk. In fact, you find it virtually impossible to imagine yourself being that person in front of you at the grocery store who chats with any and everyone about any and everything. If you are stressed or late, you don’t let this information slip to the people around you, but instead, you just think about it quietly to yourself as you spend some time mulling over the plight you are facing.
Some introverts feel as though it is no one’s business but theirs or they may prefer to get through their bad mood by engaging in stress-busing strategies that work for them. In any case, you don’t feel any need to let others know how you are thinking or feeling at any given time unless you feel as though you are close enough with them to share these types of private feelings and reflections.
This is true for virtually any person who is introverted, even if they are an outgoing introvert. The fact is, small talk takes away the ability for you to think and reflect, which can result in stress and other feelings of anxiety.
In most cases, those who are introverted also take the time at the grocery store to find a clerk who doesn’t typically engage in small talk or even use self-checkout to avoid this type of conversation. If you find yourself doing this, then there is a good chance you are introverted and that you find peace alone.
1You Usually Wear Headphones when in a Public Setting
Regardless of if it is making your way through a crowded train station, or just walking down a crowded street, if you are introverted, you don’t want to make any type of contact with other people. In the past, if you wanted to avoid having to interact with strangers, then you would just keep your head held down or look straight ahead of you. Now, you get the additional security of being able to hide behind your headphones.
The best part of wearing headphones to avoid social interaction is that you don’t even have to have anything come out of the speakers. When another person sees the speakers, they are going to automatically think you don’t want to talk and avoid making contact. Even better, you have time to silently reflect on anything you want to think about, without worrying about being interrupted or talked to.
For introverts, any type of item that can reduce the potential of small talk or contact with other people is a blessing. It prevents awkward exchanges, which are often both physically and mentally draining for those who are introverted. Keep in mind, if you want to use the headphone strategy to avoid interacting with other people, then you need headphones that are visible. Using small earbuds may not provide the same benefits or effects as over the ear headphones are able to provide.
While being an introvert may seem like a sad, lonely existence, this is simply not the case. The fact is, there are a number of advantages offered by being introverted. One advantage is the fact that you are much less likely to make a social gaffe, such as accidently insulting someone with whom you don’t agree. Since you like spending time thinking about your own thoughts, you are much less likely to get bored if you are alone than someone who needs a constant source of social stimulation.
The main risk that introverted people face is that people often don’t know if you are aloof if you feel superior to others, or something else. It is often beneficial for those who are introverted to give themselves a bit of permission that lets them show their feelings and thoughts. This can help the individual make the best of both the introverted world, as well as the extroverted world. While this is beneficial for some, there is nothing wrong with being true to your own, unique personality while ensuring you don’t see antisocial.
However, if a person is an all-out extrovert, they may benefit from practicing a bit more introversion in their day to day life. Take some time to see what it is like to not speak up first, take charge, or offer your thoughts and opinion. Finding a happy balance can help ensure that you not only enjoy life and are true to yourself, but also allow you to enjoy certain social interactions without feeling overly anxious. There is nothing wrong with being introverted, but finding out for sure can help you better understand how you feel.