I don’t know about you, but I’ve since a very young age known that I was a bit different.
My parents would refer to me as the shy one compared to my outgoing sister and I would always much rather prefer to stay in my room with my thoughts than having to go downstairs to greet a bunch of people that I didn’t know.
This was the scenario of the 12-year-old Mia.
All my life, I’ve tried to fit into this extroverted world that we live in.
I attempted to raise my quiet voice in rooms of people even I was obviously struggling and literally sucking the life and joy out of me.
I was fighting who I was and I was exhausted.
Perhaps you’ve felt the same way?
I didn’t know I was an introvert and I didn’t know the power of having an introverted personality until my late twenties – when I started to immerse myself in personal development work.
Enter the power of being an introvert.
But after embracing my introvertness, I just can’t seem to shut up about the perks of being an introvert and all its glory – hence the mission with my blog (to empower introverts to start blogs, shine online and chase dreams.)
- What exactly is an introvert?
- What sets an introvert apart from an extrovert?
You can view this post as your ultimate guide to introversion and an introduction to the wonderful world of being an introvert.
- Why I Started A Blog As An Introvert & How You Can Too
- 13 Signs You’re A True Introvert
- The Best Personal Development Books For Introverts
What Is An Introvert?
I’ve defined an introvert as someone who is filled up with energy by solitude in contrast to an extrovert who is fueled with energy by socializing with other people.
Introverts find peace in calm, quiet, and thoughtful atmospheres.
They’re sparked by internal feelings and are not dependent on external sources of stimulations.
Introverts go inward to recharge and refuel their social and other kinds of energy.
The official definition of an introvert has a different ring to it, but definitely falls under the same umbrella:
“A reserved or shy person who enjoys spending time alone.”
Meh. I personally wouldn’t go as far as to say that all introverted people are shy.
I don’t believe that to be true.
Being shy means that you get very nervous in all social situations. You know the classic symptoms of shyness, such as a shaky voice, quivering, sweaty hands, and a heated and slightly red face. Not all introverts will describe themselves as shy. Extroverts can be shy too. Being shy is in other words not strictly connected to the introverted personality type.
Being an introvert means that you are stimulated by spending time alone and drained by social situations that go on for too long. Some introverts enjoy socializing, as long as it’s with people they feel connected to and comfortable with, and that the conversations are deep and meaningful. In other words, introverts will gladly skip the empty small talk.
You can still identify as an introvert and not be shy, which brings me to my next point.
Introversion Is Like A Rainbow
Picture a rainbow if you like.
It’s not just one defined color, there’s a whole variety of colors and different shades of them.
Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean that you see yourself in all personality traits that are linked to that of having an introverted personality.
You can be your own unique shade of pink on the introverted color spectrum and rainbow.
Not all introverts are the same.
We’re all born with our own unique way of how we acquire energy and interact with other people.
Your way of interacting and energizing can also depend on how you were brought up as a child.
- Did you have quiet and thoughtful parents?
- Did you grow up in a peaceful home?
- Or were you constantly surrounded by people from a very young age?
These factors come into play for how you live your life and connect to the world around you.
You might only need a little time for yourself to recharge your social batteries after going to a noisy party, whilst others need more time and feel drained the minute they step into a crowded room.
We’re all different – different shades of introversion.
The one thing that we share and is mutual for everyone who is “diagnosed” with introversion is the fact that we need to spend time in solitude to feel like ourselves again, and to bloom before we can go out in the world and surround ourselves with large groups of people.
Introverts feel mentally drained, tired, and much like a withered flower after too much stimulation and socializing.
This phenomenon has been coined as the introvert hangover – and I couldn’t agree more.
Common Myths About Introverts
There are a lot of misconceptions about us introverts and it’s almost hard not to chuckle at these common myths.
Let’s bring forth the truth to these silly stereotypes and bust the most common myths about introverts.
Introverts hate people
It’s not that we hate people or socializing, we just prefer to do it with a small number of people, and for those people to be someone we know very well and for the conversations to be meaningful.
We’re not anti-social, we just need to do it in smaller doses.
For instance, I enjoy going to parties (with people I know), but I would definitely need to be home by a certain time and I’m not one of those people who are the last to leave.
Introverts can be social butterflies, but they need to have a large tank of social energy saved up.
Introverts don’t want to make new friends
I love making new friends, although I prefer to get to know new people one person at a time.
It’s quality over quantity when it comes to introverts and relationships.
Introverts are grumpy
Extroverts are happy and introverts are grumpy.
Just because we don’t blossom in a room full of people or laugh the loudest doesn’t mean we’re grumpy.
Don’t confuse silence with anger.
We’re just busy taking in the room and experiencing happiness in our own way.
Introverts lack confidence
I struggled a bit to bust this myth because I have been dealing with my own confidence issues all my life – mainly due to the fact that I was trying to be someone I’m not (ahem, an extrovert).
Now that I’m well-rested in my new introverted skin and have embraced my introvertness, I feel more confident than ever.
Confidence doesn’t come from screaming the loudest or having 100.000 friends, it comes from within and being proud of and content with who you are.
It has nothing to do with personality types.
Introverts are shy/quiet
I know we kind of already busted this myth, but I just want to stress the fact that just because introverts err of the side of quiet, it doesn’t mean they are always shy, timid, and mute.
It’s just because they’re not in an environment in which they can thrive.
Introverts may seem shy at a people-filled gathering, but that’s because it’s not their happy place.
Try having a one-on-one conversation with an introvert in an environment they are comfortable in and you’ll come to discover that the “quiet” voice is no longer so quiet.
Introverts have a voice, it can be loud or quiet, but they voice their voices best in their own safe space.
As you can see, there are a lot of false myths circling the web about introverts.
Hopefully, I’ve given you some clarity and with that a relaxed out-breath.
You can relax, you’re not anti-social – you’re just different.
What Is The Difference Between An Introvert And An Extrovert?
If you’re not yet sure if you’re more of an introvert than an extrovert, the signs below may help you gain some clarity.
Signs you’re more of an introvert
- You enjoy (love!) spending time alone
- You have a close circle of friends (quality over quantity)
- You prefer writing over talking (don’t call an introvert, text please!)
- You do your best work in solitude (there is no “introvert” in teamwork)
- You’re introspective and thoughtful
- You’re creative and curious
- You have a big imagination
- You’re “always” in your own head (in your own little bubble)
- You feel all the feels (we’re just a tad emotional)
- You shy away from the spotlight
- You prefer texting rather than calling
Signs you’re more of an extrovert
- You have a large group of friends + acquaintances
- You love going to parties and social events
- You gain energy from socializing and being around people
- You’re active
- You love being the center of attention and in the spotlight
- You speak better than you write
- You’re easily bored when you’re alone
- You prefer calling rather than texting
Busy bee? Pin this article for later.
How Do You Know If You’re An Introvert?
You don’t have to be one or the other.
You don’t have to pick a box and stay in it.
It’s not all black and white.
What it all comes down to is how you gain energy and how you prefer to interact with the outer world.
You can feel like an introvert one day, and more of an extrovert the next.
You get to pick your unique shade of color from the rainbow mentioned earlier in this article.
Generally, though, we tend to hover more to one personality type than the other.
Tune into yourself and ask:
- How do I refuel?
- What brings me energy?
- What drains me of energy?
Only you can truly know if you fall under the introvert or extrovert category.
Before You Go
Being an introvert is not something that needs to be fixed.
You’re exactly who you need to be.
You’re you, you’re an introvert and you my friend, are quite awesome.
Just because we conserve our energy individually and see the world with a different lens does not make us “wrong” or like we’re doing life “the wrong way.”
In fact, quite the opposite is true.
There is truly power in being an introvert.
It’s a true creative gift we should embrace and do something amazing with because I believe…
Quiet people can do amazing things.