An introvert is a person with qualities of a personality type known as introversion, which means that they feel more comfortable focusing on their inner thoughts and ideas rather than what’s occurring externally. They enjoy spending time with a few people, rather than in large groups. They also place high importance on their privacy.
Introversion is one of many healthy personality types and is not a disorder. Introversion is genetic, and introverts will stay introverted throughout life (in fact, people can become even more so with age).
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To most people, loneliness is not a word that aligns with introversion. On the contrary, introverts highly value their alone time almost more than anything else. Because of this, introverts have developed a reputation of being cold, standoffish, and aloof. While this is incorrect for most, some introverts accept the labels that society places on them.
In February 2021, Verywell Mind published an article called How You Can Tell That You’re An Introvert. It revealed that while introverts are estimated to make up approximately 25-40 percent of the population, the introversion personality type still has many misconceptions. One of the biggest misunderstandings is that being introverted means you are shy and anxious.
While introverts tend to be quiet and reserved, it doesn’t always mean shyness. Introverts also come in many different types, with a wide variety of characteristics. For example, in one study of adult introverts between 18 and 80, those who had strong social relationships and emotional regulation skills were generally happier than those who did not.
Introversion personality traits
- Being around a lot of people drains energy
- Enjoyment of solitude
- A small group of close friends
- Often described as quiet and difficult to get to know
- Too much stimulation, with feelings of distraction and lack of focus
- Very self-aware
- Learn through watching surroundings
- Drawn to jobs that require independent working
Introverts often find that others try to change them or describe people who think “something is wrong with them.” While introverts make up a smaller portion of the population, there is no right or wrong personality type.
In June 2021, SocialPro published How To Be Friends With An Introvert. Introverts deeply value friendships and close relationships, even if they need more quiet time to recharge after social situations. Being in the small inner circle of an introvert’s world means you have earned a special place in their life. However, introverts place boundaries, and these can often be misunderstood within relationships.
Being quiet is normal for introverts, and it doesn’t always mean that they aren’t listening or engaged. However, when introverted people feel overwhelmed in a social situation, they may leave early, decline an invitation, or even back out of existing plans. While their actions can be taken personally by others, it is more likely to be a sign that they are feeling nervous, overwhelmed, or simply need some time to recharge.
It can be healthy for introverts to expand their comfort zones. Here are some ways to help:
- Invite them to try new things or go to new places
- Ask for their co-operation with planning an upcoming gathering/event
- Encourage them to participate more in social situations
- Introduce them to other people
- Take turns in choosing activities
Being introverted is not a bad thing, nor is it something one should require changing about oneself. To others, the way of living for an introvert may be deemed “boring,” but not caring about the perception of others and the hold it has on everyday living is vital. In addition, introverts are said to be exceptional listeners, fiercely loyal, and generally creative.