Understanding How Introverts Function in the World.
Here’s the thing, you probably know someone who is an introvert. After all, roughly a third to a half of the U.S. population alone consists of this personality type . Whether it is an introvert at your workplace that you’d like to get to know better or someone you’ve been in a relationship with, it is likely that there are a few things that you’d like to understand better. While there are tons of misconceptions and misunderstandings about what it means to be an introverted person, there are also a lot of fantastic traits that go unnoticed. We are here to provide some insight into 15 personality traits of introverts that you want to know, so that the next time you interact with an introvert, you can understand them better.
- Small Talk Feels Inauthentic. Introverts often come off as rude or disinterested in those around them. This is not the case, as introverts are actually quite interested in the people and the world around them but find themselves exhausted by extensive socialization. Small talk can be cringe-worthy to an introvert because it doesn’t provide value. Introverts want to learn meaningful things about others, but they need a reason to talk. Small talk can feel inauthentic and needless. However, if you strike up an interesting conversation with an introvert about something they care about, they can be one of the most talkative people in the room.
- Introverts Like People – Socializing Just Isn’t That Rewarding. While many introverts do prefer to be reclusive, many lead active, deep, and cherished social lives. However, socializing comes in dosages as introverts don’t get that same energy boost that extroverts do when in social situations. This means that introverts party less, go out less, and prefer to have a quiet place to recharge at after socializing.
- Retreating Completely is Commonplace. When introverts do go out and socialize, it can be very draining, even if it is only for a few hours. Some introverts are fine to recharge in a quiet place and head out the next weekend, while others will need to be completely alone. This means no phone calls from friends, little to no text conversations, and likely no social media either. Solitude allows introverts to relax, recharge, and indulge in solo hobbies that allow us to feel ourselves again.
- Once You Are In, We Will Love You Fiercely. Speaking for those who are in relationships with introverts, once you are let in, they will do anything for you. This includes, extending themselves too far and leaving themselves vulnerable. Introverts tend to have a handful of friends because it is easier to manage, and it is easier to be an amazing friend to a few people you cherish than it is to be a good friend to a large group of people.
- Writing Comes Naturally to Introverts. In the sense that for introverts, writing out their thoughts is a lot easier than saying them out loud or explaining them. This is because it allows for time to be taken to say exactly what needs to be said and to edit the words to express exactly what is meant. There is scientific backing here, as introverts rely more on long-term memory, so it takes longer for introverts to recall information. Do not diminish the value of an introvert’s conversation if it is filled with “uhm” a lot, as it just means they need time to recall.
- Introverts Are Quiet & They Know It. One of the issues that comes up a lot is extroverts telling introverts that they are too or very quiet. Introverts already know that they are quiet, and it can cause them to feel self-conscious about not quite fitting in and being social like those around them. Rather than telling an introvert that they are quiet, use questions to draw them out into conversation as introverts love to connect. Introverts are naturally reserved, which means you may need to put in a little work to get them to open up.
- Group Projects in the Workplace Aren’t Great. While introverts can definitely work in a group and work well, they prefer to work alone and in a quiet environment without interruptions. For introverts, group projects, especially in the workplace, can use up too much social attention and make the work harder to complete.
- Introverts Take A While Around New Faces. It can be hard to meet or be around new faces as new people can make introverts feel uncomfortable. Meeting new faces may spark reservation and quietness, but this isn’t to be mistaken as rudeness. It just takes a while for introverts to open up.
- Introverts Can Be Easily Hurt or Offended. If you are in a relationship with an introvert, this is a good one to mark down. Introverts can be easily hurt by small things, such as weekly talks being ended abruptly or a lack of a “thank you” after they’ve done something for you. This can lead to small disagreements, where the introverted person will want an apology, but won’t mention it. If this happens, make sure to sit down with your partner and find ways to communicate apologies, disagreements, and ways to show appreciation.
- Explaining Things Can Be Tough for an Introvert. There are going to be times where you may be talking with an introvert and they don’t have much to say on the subject, but a few hours later or even days later, they will have an entire essay to write about on the topic. This is because introverts have brains that focus on many different lines of thinking all at once, making it hard to explain the thoughts in the moment. Give them time and allow conversations to be revisited.
- Too Much Attention is Unwelcome. Ever wondered why your introverted friend seemed to slink down into the booth during “Happy Birthday” celebrations at restaurants? Even positive attention in a crowded space can be too much. While your introverted friends will put on a brave face, the attention may be unwelcome.
- Introverts Take in Everything! While some people may be able to focus intently on a sports game, on television, or at the main spectacle at an event, introverts find themselves paying attention to a lot more than that. They may notice the couple a few rows down, the aisle greeters, the door men/women, or even the popcorn that is littered on the floor halfway across the movie theatre. In situations where there are a lot of distractions, introverts can take them all in, analyze them, and reflect on them. Don’t take this as boredom or distraction, but more of an attention to detail.
- Communication Is Critical with Introverts. While extroverts find it easy to let others know exactly how they feel about something, introverts tend to have a harder time with this. It’s not that introverts cannot communicate their feelings or what needs to be done, but more so because they can get too far into their own thinking patterns. If you have an introverted colleague or employee, make sure you are communicating with them, as they will be quicker to assume than they will be to ask about it.
- Introverts Don’t Necessarily Have Low Self-Esteem. Yes, introverts are quiet and reserved but this isn’t necessarily because of low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. Pushing introverts to be social will not “fix” their reserved nature not will it positively impact them.
- Introverts Are Deep Thinkers & Very Creative. The majority of introverts do their best work when they are left alone. This is because solitude offers a place to be creative without needing to be self-conscious about the work being done. This allows risks to be taken and creative juices to flow freely. Introverts are also deep thinkers, who rely less on dopamine and more on acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) that provides pleasure from turning inwards and reflecting. This gives introverts an edge when it comes to giving attention for long periods of time. It is also why they prefer calm, quiet settings over loud ones.
Bonus: introverts love the rain as a result of this because it gives opportunity to seek solitude and it is calming. Rain lowers the expectations for the day and removes the overbearing sunshine.