How Do You Know That You Are An Introvert? – Part 1

How Do You Know That You Are An Introvert? - Part 1


“You see things. You keep quiet about them and you understand.” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

People are different. They are different in all sorts of different ways, with different personalities and styles. Some are thinkers, other are feelers, some are task orientated others are people persons. The better you know yourself and how you function, the easier it is to know and to maximise your God given potential and fulfil your calling. Most of these characteristics are not chosen. For today, the question is ‘How do you know that you are an introvert?’

What are introverts? They are people who tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings and minimize their contact with other people. Introversion is “the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life”.

It is common to mistake introversion for shyness. Shyness (also called diffidence) is the feeling of apprehension, lack of comfort, or awkwardness especially when a person is in proximity to other people. Here is how you can tell that you are an introvert;

You find small talk incredibly cumbersome

Introverts are extremely small talk-phobic, as they find idle chatter to be a source of anxiety, or at least an annoyance. For many quiet types, chitchat can feel insincere. Laurie Helgoe writes (in Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength), “We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.” Small talk least interests you, and you tend not to talk with a person who is not capable of carrying forward a conversation.

You go to parties, but not to meet people

If you are an introvert, you may sometimes enjoy going to parties, but chances are you are not going because you are excited to meet new people, no! At a party, most introverts would rather spend time with a small group of people they already know and feel comfortable around. If you happen to meet a new person that you connect with, that would be great but meeting people is rarely the goal.

You find crowds stressful and you often feel alone in a crowd

Ever feel like an outsider in the middle of an active social gatherings and group activities, even with people you know? If you tend to find yourself feeling alone in a crowd, you might be an introvert. Crowds are definitely not an introvert’s favourite place to be. Concerts, rallies, conferences and sports arenas can all be very uncomfortable places for an introvert.

Networking makes you feel like a phony

Networking (that is, small-talk with the end goal of advancing one’s career) can feel particularly unauthentic for introverts, who crave authenticity in their interactions. It is advisable for introverts to network in small, intimate groups rather than at large mixers.

You secretly realize that most of what most people speak most of the time is rubbish

Needless to say, you dislike small talk with a passion. You wonder why people are not real and honest when they talk. You notice that many people fake their expressions.

You are easily distracted

Introverts get easily distracted and overwhelmed in environments with an excess of stimulation.  “Extroverts are commonly found to be more easily bored than introverts on monotonous tasks, probably because they require and thrive on high levels of stimulation,” Clark University researchers wrote in a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “In contrast, introverts are more easily distracted than extroverts and, hence, prefer relatively unstimulating environments.”

You like doing nothing sometimes

Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.  One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries. Whereas an extrovert might get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazines, this sort of down time feels necessary and satisfying to an introvert.  They see the value in a quiet night in every once in a while. Just doing nothing is a way for you to relax and re-energize.

You enjoy having time to yourself

You love your freedom like crazy. When you have the chance to take a break, you would rather spend time reading, playing video games or just listening to music. That quiet time is important to your sense of well-being even though there are plenty of times that you enjoy social get-togethers. You don’t like going out much, but when you do, you tend to get out of the group as soon as the interesting conversation part you over. You also love solitary activities like reading, going on a walk etc, and you don’t feel like you are missing something while doing this stuff.  You also have no problem in eating your food alone or being by yourself when almost everyone around is with a companion. When you find no one at your home, you feel like a king!

You are great at speeches, but not great afterwards

‘Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.’ Introverts can be excellent leaders and public speakers and they don’t necessarily shy away from the spotlight. Surprisingly performers like Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Emma Watson all identify as introverts and an estimated 40 percent of CEOs have introverted personalities. Instead, an introvert might struggle more with meeting and greeting large groups of people on an individual basis. Just because you are an introvert, it doesn’t mean that you are not outgoing and confident. It just means that you might be better at public speaking than the schmoozing that comes afterwards. You can give a great wedding toast, but mingling during the reception isn’t your style.

You start to shut down after you have been active for too long.

Do you start to get tired and unresponsive after you have been out and about for too long? It’s likely because you are trying to conserve energy. Everything introverts do in the outside world causes them to expend energy, after which they will need to go back and replenish their stores in a quiet environment. Short of a quiet place to go, many introverts will resort to zoning out.

You are in a relationship with an extrovert.

It’s true that opposites attract, and introverts frequently gravitate towards outgoing extroverts who encourage them to have fun and not take themselves too seriously. Introverts are sometimes drawn to extroverts because they like being able to ride their ‘fun bubble’ once in a while. Many introverts are friends with extroverts because this provides balance for both types of people. Sometimes, introverts need to be led out of their shells a bit, and extroverts need to recognize the benefits of a quiet night in.

You would rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.

The dominant brain pathways introverts use is one that allows you to focus and think about things for a while, so they are geared toward intense study and developing expertise, according to Olsen Laney.

You screen all your calls, even from friends.

You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you will call them back as soon as you are mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation. “To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go ‘BOO!,'” says Dembling. “I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend, as long as it’s not jumping out of the sky at me.”

You notice details that others don’t.

The advantage of being overwhelmed by too much stimuli is that introverts often have a keen eye for detail, noticing things that may escape others around them. Research has found that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, as compared to extroverts.

You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

Neurochemically speaking, things like huge parties just aren’t your thing. Introverts do not connect the feeling of reward to their surroundings. Throwing a huge party for an introvert is not the ‘huge’ gift for them. “Introverts have a fundamental difference in how strongly they process rewards from their environment, with the brains of introverts weighing internal cues more strongly than external motivational and reward cues,” explained LiveScience’s Tia Ghose.

You always look at the big picture.

When describing the way that introverts think, Jung explained that they are more interested in ideas and the big picture rather than facts and details. Of course, many introverts excel in detail-oriented tasks but they often have a mind for more abstract concepts as well. Introverts do really enjoy abstract discussion.

You have been told to “come out of your shell.”

Many introverted children come to believe that there’s something wrong with them if they are naturally less outspoken and assertive than their peers. Introverted adults often say that as children, they were told to come out of their shells or participate more in class.

You think before you speak.

This means you often regret why you said something to someone in such and such tone. Being asked, “Why are you so quiet?” is no big deal!

You don’t talk without reason

Introverts don’t talk unless they have something meaningful to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Your room is your country.

The longing for the home is ever there. After school or college or work or event, you are the first one to head to the home sweet home!  You just don’t have the need to hang out with your friends especially in crowded places. A laptop and a pyjama are all you need for a day’s happiness.

Have a great day!

(Continued in ‘How Do You Know That You Are An Introvert? – Part 2’)

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