Am I Introverted?
Updated: Apr 6
There have been personality tests circling the internet and social media for ages now, especially those BuzzFeed quizzes. But, what do you really know about introversion? Do they get it right? Even in the age of information, people still often misunderstand and misuse the term, introversion.
What is Introversion?
Most simply put, those identifying with introversion tend to need alone time to recharge their inner energy reserves while those who are more extroverted fill their energy reserves by being around or socializing with people. Introverts also tend to process information at length and react more cautiously, but extroverts tend to react and reflect almost at the same time.
Introversion and extroversion exist on a spectrum, so there is rarely a person who only has introverted or extroverted tendencies. If you have both traits split down the middle, you are an ambivert, so you have the best of both worlds.
Common misunderstandings of introverts:
People who are more introverted are just people. They too can be loud, friendly, fun, “life of the party,” and smart. They just need time to recharge alone and be allowed time to process their environment at their own pace. Introverts are sometimes associated with highly sensitive people, which is a different topic and can be explored more by clicking here.
What Causes Introversion?
Introversion/extroversion are innate temperaments, which people are born with. When an introverted person grows up with parents nurturing their introversion, they can grow up to be a confident and well-adjusted adult. When an introverted person does not grow up with nurturing parents, they can grow up thinking there is something wrong with them since introverted traits are not valued by society, which can cause more emotional distress.
If you are interested, there are different types of introverts, such as social, thinking, anxious, and restrained/reserved introverts. This link has more information:
What Can Be Done About Introversion?
Embrace it. Definitely easier said than done, right? As far as I know, there are no “cures” for introversion. I don’t believe it needs to be “cured.” People who are more introverted actually have many advantages, such as being a good listener, creative, rich inner world, keen observer, and more.
For many, embracing their introverted nature leads to them flourishing in their lives, so the following tips/tricks are based on embracing your introversion:
Look inwards at your strengths as an introvert
For example, you can be a good listener, keen observer, have a vibrant inner world, etc.
Prioritize what is important
Such as alone time to recharge to decrease future irritability and feeling overwhelmed
Set healthy boundaries with self and others
Find supportive and understanding individuals, which can sometimes mean stepping out of your comfort zone
Make sure to reward yourself for going outside of your comfort zone if you do
This online introvert community may be helpful:
If you feel uncomfortable speaking in certain settings, try out the following:
Practice/write down your response, so you will not forget it when it is your turn to speak
Engage in deep breathing/mindfulness exercises before and after speaking
Learn more about introversion
Highly recommend this book:
If you are not a reader, feel free to watch her Ted talk:
At the end of the day, if you are more introverted, there is nothing wrong with you. The world we live in often values the wrong things, such as the loudest voice in the room as the smartest. Oftentimes, we probably should not be following them. To further illustrate this, these are some well-known successful introverts: Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Abraham Lincoln, Emma Watson, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak, and Barack Obama (Rampton, 2015).
If you are struggling with your introversion and want therapeutic services with us, feel free to reach out to us through our site.
Stay tuned. The next topic is "Values."
“It’s interesting, because people say things to me like, “It’s really cool that you don’t go out and get drunk all the time and go to clubs,” and I’m just like, I mean, I appreciate that, but I’m kind of an introverted kind of person just by nature, it’s not like a conscious choice that I’m making necessarily. It’s genuinely who I am… Coming to realize that about myself was very empowering, because I had felt like, Oh my god, there must be something wrong with me, because I don’t want to go out and do what all my friends want to do.” By Emma Watson
Rampton, J. (2015, July 20). 23 of the Most Amazingly Successful Introverts in History. Inc. https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/23-amazingly-successful-introverts-throughout-history.html
Written by Elena Duong, Psy.D.
Edited by Susanna La, Ph.D.