What is an introvert?
What Is an Introvert?
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 happening externally. They enjoy spending time with just one or two people, rather than large groups or crowds.
When you hear the word introvert, you might think of someone who’s shy or quiet and prefers to be alone. While that may be true for some introverts, there’s much more to this personality type. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert all depends on how you process the world around you.
A psychologist named Carl Jung began using the terms introvert and extrovert (sometimes spelled extravert) in the 1920s. These two personality types sort people into how they get or spend their energy. Introverts, Jung said, turn to their own minds to recharge, while extroverts seek out other people for their energy needs.
Signs You Might Be an Introvert
Need quiet to concentrate
Take time making decisions
Feel comfortable being alone
Don’t like group work
Prefer to write rather than talk
Feel tired after being in a crowd
Have few friendships, but are very close with these friends
Daydream or use their imaginations to work out a problem
Retreat into their own mind to rest
Causes of Introversion
Researchers have found that introverts have a higher blood flow to their frontal lobe than extroverts do. … Introvert brains also react differently to dopamine than extrovert brains do. That’s a chemical that turns on the reward- and pleasure-seeking part of your brain.
Scientists don’t know for sure if there’s a cause for introversion or extroversion. What they do know is the brains of the two personality types work a little differently from each other. Researchers have found that introverts have a higher blood flow to their frontal lobe than extroverts do. This part of the brain helps you remember things, solve problems, and plan ahead.
Introvert brains also react differently to dopamine than extrovert brains do. That’s a chemical that turns on the reward- and pleasure-seeking part of your brain. Introverts and extroverts have the same amount of chemicals, but extrovert brains get an excited buzz from their reward center. Introverts, on the other hand, tend to just feel run-down by it.
Is being introvert bad?
An Introvert is a quiet person that doesn’t like to talk very much and likes to keep their thoughts mostly to themselves. … Being an introvert is often considered weak. They aren’t quite as good as the extroverts, who just seem to breeze through life. But that’s not true, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert.
An Introvert is a quiet person that doesn’t like to talk very much and likes to keep their thoughts mostly to themselves. They are kind of person that goes home just to relax and have time to think. But that does not mean that an outgoin1g person can’t be an introvert. Just as they enjoy the quiet time to get themselves, they’re most likely an introvert to a certain extent.
Being an introvert is often considered weak. They aren’t quite as good as the extroverts, who just seem to breeze through life.
But that’s not true, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. The main problem is with society, which doesn’t see it in the same way. Society has taught us that being an introvert is the worst thing you can be and that everyone should want to be extroverted.
They are told that being outgoing is good and being shy and quiet is bad. They are told in schools to raise hands, participate in a class or we lose marks. For introverts, those are some of the very hard standards to achieve. Statistics say that 50% of Indian population is made up of introverts. So society is saying that 675 Million people have to change who they are to be accepted, to be successful and to be happy.
Always remember within this large group of introverts are people such as Emma Watson, Michael Jordan, Albert Einstein, Elton John, Audrey Hepburn and so many more inspiring people. Being an Introvert has not stopped any of them from achieving their goals or being happy. Leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi. All incredible leaders and all are introverts.
Being an introvert has no effect on how happy you or successful you are going to be as long as you see it in the right way. If you see yourself as an introvert and think its the worst thing in the world, you are never going to be truly happy with yourself. But if you accept yourself as an introvert and you’re happy then there is nothing in your way of you achieving your goals.
All in all, there is nothing wrong with being an Introvert. No matter what society may or may not say. You don’t need to change who you are because being introverted is great.
So the next time you see that quiet kid in the back of the class who doesn’t participate very much, I want you to think “I wonder what great things they are coming up with next.”
What are the 4 types of introverts?
There’s not just one way to be an introvert, Cheek now argues — rather, there are four shades of introversion: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained. And many introverts are a mix of all four types, rather than demonstrating one type over the others.
Social introverts. This is the “classic” type of introvert. …
Thinking introverts. People in this group are daydreamers. …
Anxious introverts. They seek out alone time not just because they like it, but also because they often feel awkward or shy around people.
Myths About Introverts
One common myth about introverts is that they’re shy. Some introverts may be shy, but this is not the case for all introverts. Other myths include:
- Introverts are unfriendly. Being an introvert doesn’t affect how friendly you may be. Some people may think that introverts are unfriendly because they don’t tend to have large groups of friends, and they may reflect on situations quietly rather than joining in on conversations at gatherings.
- Introverts can’t be leaders. Although people may think of an extroverted personality when they imagine a leader, introverts have the skills to be bosses and leaders, too. Some of their qualities make them effective leaders: They listen to their employees’ ideas, they can stay focused on long-term goals, and they may seem less threatening, so people may accept them in their roles.
- It’s hard to get to know introverts. Introverts prefer to have deep friendships with only a handful of people. They may not open up to everyone who wants to small-talk, but the people they’re close with know them very well and develop real friendships with them.
why introverts don't have friends?
Friendships. It can be difficult for introverts to make new friends because getting to know someone takes so much energy. However, introverts don’t need a wide circle of friends. They prefer one or two close friends, even though they may know many people and have many acquaintances.
Introverts need a lot of personal space. They like being in a room alone with the door closed and those who don’t understand introverts believe this desire to be alone is a sign of depression. However, for introverts, this behavior is normal; it is not a sign of withdrawing from life. Because being around others is tiring for them, they need time alone in order to regain some of their energy.
why introverts more suicidal?
To be clear, both introverts and extroverts can be prone to depression and suicide; it’s not exclusive to introverts. … Similarly, a 2002 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that introverts made up 74 percent of the depression population.
By now, you may have seen the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. If you haven’t, let me briefly fill you in: Hannah Baker, a high school junior, commits suicide, leaving behind thirteen tapes explaining why she did it. Her peers are left to deal with the aftermath — and to come to terms with the role they played in her tragic act.
It’s hard to say whether Hannah is an introvert or an extrovert. At the beginning of the series, she’s confident and quick to reach out and make friends (Jessica, Alex, and others) — typical extroverted behavior. It isn’t until she experiences bullying and trauma that she becomes private and withdrawn. She broods and keeps her feelings to herself; she pushes people away (Clay), and we start seeing her alone more and more (for example, the late-night walk that leads her to Bryce’s party). These behaviors could stem from introversion, but more likely, given what she’s been through, the root is depression. However, I’d argue that it would take the mind of a deep-focusing introvert to eloquently narrate thirteen tapes, as well as make a fool-proof plan to distribute them (including a back-up copy as a fail safe).
Introversion May Be a Risk Factor for Suicide
To be clear, both introverts and extroverts can be prone to depression and suicide; it’s not exclusive to introverts. Also, just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have depressive or suicidal tendencies; many introverts will never experience these things at all. However, a 1998 study published in Psychological Medicine shows that introversion may be a risk factor for suicidal behavior. Similarly, a 2002 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that introverts made up 74 percent of the depression population.
If you’re an introvert like me, those revelations are both startling and heartbreaking. But, sadly, I can’t say that this is the first time I’ve encountered a connection between introversion and suicide. Along with 18 others, I manage the Introvert, Dear Facebook group, which is an online community of nearly 100,000 introverts from all over the world. Sadly, we see posts like the ones below on a fairly regular basis. (These are actual posts from the Introvert, Dear Facebook group, so names and photos have been cropped out to protect the poster.)
Why Are Introverts at Risk for Suicide and Depression?
There are several reasons introverts may be more at risk than extroverts for suicide and depression:
Introverts tend to stay home more and have smaller social circles than extroverts — and that’s okay. In fact, for many introverts, getting plenty of downtime alone is what keeps them feeling sane and happy. However, alone time is only a good thing if it’s something you’re choosing — not something that’s forced on you because you don’t have many friends. Sadly, many introverts find that their distaste for small talk and their solitude-loving nature works against them, leaving them isolated and alone when they don’t want to be. According to Stephen Ilardi, author of The Depression Cure, isolation is a risk factor for depression, and depression, in turn, is a risk factor for suicide.
Not all introverts are perfectionists, but so many of us are. We’re the ones who read an email five times before sending it; in college, we slaved away on our term paper for days and weeks until we got it just right. Although perfectionism in small amounts can be a good thing (working hard in college likely earned you good grades, which made more opportunities available to you), in large doses, it can lead to depression. That’s because people with “Never Enough Syndrome” can never live up to their own unrealistic expectations, and as a result, they may become depressed, according to Ann W. Smith, a therapist and the author of Overcoming Perfectionism.
Daydreaming can make us more creative, but it can also make us depressed. According to a 2010 study by Harvard psychologists, people who were daydreaming reported feeling happy only 56 percent of the time. That’s because we often fantasize about things that are unattainable, and we may even start to prefer our fantasy world to the real world — and this can make us miserable, according to Eli Somer, a psychologist at the Israel’s University of Haifa, who spoke with Men’s Health. And who’s great at daydreaming? Introverts.
What to Do If You’re an Introvert Who Feels Suicidal
First of all, remember that whatever you’re going through can and will change. Your feelings will change. In a few hours or days, you may feel differently than you do right now. In a few weeks or months, your life could be completely different — in a good way.
Remember that you matter to someone. Your life has touched many lives, and your absence would leave a vacuum. You are loved, even if depression is telling you that you’re not.
As an introvert, it’s easy for you to keep your emotions to yourself, and your negative feelings are probably no exception. Today, reach out to someone you trust, and tell them as much as you feel comfortable telling them. You don’t have to tell them everything, but try talking about how you feel. Research has found that simply naming your feelings (“I’m feeling really sad right now”) helps us better contain and mange even our most painful emotions.
Most important, seek professional help. You may need help getting depression and suicidal thoughts to go away — and that’s okay. Contacting one of these organizations is a good start:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (India) 9152987821
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) 1-800-273-8255
is introverts better or extroverts?
At the university level, introversion predicts academic performance better than cognitive ability. One study tested 141 college students’ knowledge of twenty different subjects, from art to astronomy to statistics, and found that introverts knew more than the extroverts about every single one of them.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the concept of introverts versus extroverts — one of the main ones is that it’s an “either-or” situation.
You’re either an extrovert or an introvert. End of story.
But the reality is a bit more complicated.
Extroversion and introversion live on two opposite ends of a spectrum. The way you get and put out energy helps determine where you fall on this spectrum. But you can fall anywhere on this spectrum, not necessarily at one end or the other.
The other huge myth? Introverts are shy and extroverts are outgoing.
Megan MacCutcheon, LPC, further explains that “people sometimes assume introverts always have social anxiety or dislike being around others while extroverts are always loud, aggressive, and boisterous.”
Here’s a more realistic look at what the extrovert-introvert spectrum looks like and why one end isn’t any better or worse than the other.
People who tend to fall near the extrovert end of things draw their energy from the outside world: the people, places, and things around them.
You enjoy working in a group
Extroverted people tend to feel most comfortable when working with other people, whether the task is a work project, party planning with friends, or a school assignment.
You might organize the group, keep it running smoothly, or even jump in as the leader.
No matter how you participate, you most likely feel energized to do your best work when that work involves active collaboration with other people.
You’re always ready to try something new
Are you confident and outgoing? Not afraid of taking a chance on something you’ve never done before, even if it’s a little risky? Maybe you find it easy to change plans or adapt to a new situation.
If so, you probably have a more extroverted personality.
Extroverts tend to take action rather than ponder. Once you decide to do something, you usually just go for it without worrying too much about what might happen.
You may not spend a lot of time considering all potential outcomes, and people might even describe you as impulsive.
Talking through a problem often helps you solve it
Extroverted people often find it easier to understand and solve problems when they can talk through them, restate them in their own words, or seek input from other people.
What’s your go-to approach when faced with a challenge or difficult problem?
Say you’re dealing with a homework assignment, the sticky situation with a friend, or a tough task at work. Do you talk about it to as many people as you can to get different perspectives? Sort through your thoughts out loud?
If so, you’re likely more of an extrovert.
You find it easy to express yourself
Extroverted people usually have little to no trouble expressing thoughts, feelings, and opinions. These can range from minor preferences, such as the foods you dislike, to deeper emotions, including romantic feelings.
While some people might think of you as blunt, the ability to clearly communicate how you feel without hesitating or worrying what others might think can often be a positive trait.
Spending time alone can drain you
Extroverted people recharge best in the company of other people. You might move from one social setting to another, like to have people around you most of the time and avoid spending time by yourself whenever possible.
“If spending time with other people energizes you after a long, stressful day, you’re likely more extroverted,” MacCutcheon explains.
Feeling tired, cranky, or out-of-sorts after too much time on your own also suggests you’re an extrovert.
You find the good in everything
Optimism is one key way extroversion often shows up.
Keep in mind that being optimistic doesn’t have to mean you’re relentlessly cheerful and never sad. If something bad happens, it still affects you, and you probably still have days where you feel down — just like most people.
But you may have an easier time finding silver linings in a negative situation. You’re also more likely to focus on those and bounce back more readily when something bad happens instead of feeling drained and overwhelmed.
You make friends easily
Extroverted people are generally known to be very sociable.
If you fall on this end of the spectrum, you might:
- have a large circle of friends
- enjoy meeting new people
- find it easy to have the heart to heart conversations with strangers or people you don’t know very well
Some people might view your expansive social circle as a sign that you aren’t that close to anyone in particular, but this isn’t necessarily the case. You likely have a few best friends or people you feel extra connected to.
Folks on the introverted end of the spectrum sometimes get a bad rap.
It’s often said that they’re:
- shy or socially awkward
- lack strong interpersonal skills
- don’t make good leaders
But these characteristics don’t really have anything to do with introversion, which simply means your energy comes from within — instead of from people and things around you.
You consider things carefully
When faced with a new opportunity, or any big decision, you probably spend a good amount of time thinking it over before you make any plans to proceed.
People with a more action-oriented approach may not always understand why you devote so much time to reflection, but this tendency to look before you leap may help you feel confident you’re making the right choice for yourself.
You prefer to avoid conflict
Generally speaking, introverted people are less likely to strike up conversations with people they don’t know well, or even with people, they do know well.
This can relate to a preference for internal dialogue and reflection. But a dislike of conflict can also play a part.
Research suggests introverts often have a higher sensitivity to negative feedback. If you’re worried someone might criticize you or view you in a bad light, you won’t have much interest to put yourself in any situation that leads to that outcome.
If you do join a debate or discussion, you might be more likely to share your ideas in written form, anonymously, or both. Responding in writing gives you the chance to think over what you want to say first, which is probably what feels most comfortable to you.
You’re good at visualizing and creating
People on the more introverted end of the spectrum often spend a lot of time in their heads. Your friends and loved ones might say you’re always off in your own world, or something along those lines.
But that world is where you do your best work. You might think through challenges or use your imagination to brainstorm new ideas.
Sharing those thoughts and feelings out loud may not come easily to you, but it might seem completely natural to write, illustrate, or set them to music.
You’re a natural listener
If you’re introverted, socializing can drain your natural energy reserves, so you prefer to listen and absorb what’s happening around you.
When at work, among friends, or in other social settings, you usually settle comfortably into the background.
The myth that introverts are shy or socially anxious stems from this natural tendency to quietly observe.
Sure, you might avoid small talk, prefer to let the noise of the crowd wash over you, or feel better when you can tune everyone out with headphones. But you also listen and weigh ideas carefully, and when asked for your opinion, you often have quality ideas to contribute.
And the whole thing about introverts not being leaders? There’s a lot of value in a carefully considered perspective, especially one that includes not only your thoughts but those of your coworkers and peers.
You need plenty of time for yourself
Needing to recharge your batteries after a long day by enjoying some quiet downtime alone tends to suggest an introverted nature, according to MacCutcheon.
This doesn’t mean you always avoid people, but you probably don’t have a large social network. Instead, you most likely share your available social energy with a handful of close friends.
Even if you don’t make friends easily and see no need to widen your circle, you highly value the people you do feel comfortable with.
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