The introvert personality is the most misunderstood group of people. Their quiet and reserved nature makes them objects of misconception and they don’t care.
Here is a video by Practical Psychology on what an introvert is:
Introverted people are seen as lacking in communication ability, being awkward in mixing with people and having poor confidence and self-esteem.
But They have something different to say about themselves as they find great joy in being who they are.
The introvert personality thrives in solitude and finds comfort in their own company or with a close-knit group, than a large one and it’s not a disorder.
An extrovert might find an introvert weird and tries to change them while the introvert might think the extrovert is an attention seeker.
Extrovert personality is more outgoing and is energized by what happens externally while being with more people.
There are many misconceptions surrounding introverted persons even though they make up about 30 to 50% of the world’s population.
Being introverted or extroverted depends on how you see, process, and digest the world around you.
These and more we are going to discuss in this article. Feel free to use the table of contents to navigate.
What is an introvert person like?
You might have heard that an extrovert is a nerd, shy, quiet, or finds it difficult to make friends or socialize.
While these attributes may be true, they are different people inside his comfort zone from what they could be outside.
They might actually be unbearable talkative when with their close-knit friends or family, the absolute opposite of what they are in public.
They focus more on what is happening in their minds and are less concerned or moved by what happens externally though they observe and keep tabs.
The Introversion personality is not impressed with large crowds or noisy environments, even if they do, they prefer to be on their own and observe rather than participate.
What are the 4 types of introverts?
Introversion personality is not a one-size-fits-all situation. It is believed that introversion is a spectrum where the sub-types have spots along the scale.
What this means is that some of them are more introverted than others. Studies indicate there are four sub-types of introversion:
- The social introvert
- The introspective or thinking introvert
- The anxious introvert and
- The inhibited introvert
The social introvert
This is the predominant sub-type personality who prefers to spend time with themselves and will strive to make sure nothing comes between them and their solitude.
If at all they have to spend time with others, it is always with very close and trusted friends or family. They enjoy their solitude and are not apologetic about it.
This behaviour is not caused by shyness or anxiety, aloofness or even indifference but by a way of life that suits them.
They set boundaries naturally by virtue of their personality and this helps filter out unwanted energies around them.
The introspective sub-type
This type almost always lives in their heads. They are intellectual and like to think and analyse every situation they come across.
Their secluded world is rich and beautiful to them and is averse to the outside world. They pretty well can judge and predict a situation by merely observing.
Their self-consciousness is high and so know how to exert themselves and avoid ugly situations long before it comes close.
Thinkers might be mistaken to be self-absorbed but truly, they think critically and always want to have a grip of all the nitty-gritty of a situation.
The anxious sub-type
This is the type that gives other introverted persons away as awkward in social situations as they struggle with interactions with others.
They find it difficult to be active in large gatherings of people and are jittery when invited to invents because they are too anxious about crowds, people and unfamiliar spaces.
This is the type that needs to build their confidence and self-esteem. Behavioural therapy or more time in the crowd usually helps.
Restrained or inhibited sub-type
Though this type is common, you will only notice if you pay attention to them enough. They restrain themselves and study the situation taking their time before warming up to people.
This type might also appear to be afraid of socializing, but they are not. They like to meet new people but they don’t just jump in, they are selective of whom they interact or open up to.
They prefer to restrict themselves and open up to people who have earned their trust. This is why they move with a kind of mystery around them.
If you earn their trust, you earn it for a long time.
Traits and signs of introvert personality
Introverts are easy to spot when you are active socially, and introverted persons also spot themselves easily.
Here are some of the traits and signs:
- They need plenty of time to be with themselves
- They are drained by socializing too much and they need quality quiet time alone after
- They don’t like conflict and do everything to avoid it. Not that they are weak though
- They are more creative working alone and on their own terms
- They avoid the spotlight, not because they are shy but because they prefer to remain behind the scenes
- They love to make close-knitted friends whom they trust and share the same values with
- When they know people, it’s on a deeper level
- They purposely zone out to escape boring conversations or meeting
- Their emotions are on a very deep level
- They prefer to write than to talk, and that’s why they love social media as it helps them to express more
Causes of introvert personality
Just like other personality types, introvert personality develops as a result of coming together of two factors – genetic and environmental or what we can also call nature and nurture.
- The effect the environment has on our body determines our responses and this also determines if we are introverted or extroverted. The environment we grow in or how we are treated in childhood will also play a part in the type of personality we would develop.
- Biological parents pass genes to their offspring. This means that an introverted parent can produce children with the same personality type.
- Another determinant of introversion is the parenting style of the caregivers. A child that is restricted from socializing and making friends is likely to grow up being an introvert. On the other hand, a child who mixes up without restrictions would see socializing as a normal way of life and sees it as awkward to stay indoors.
- Experiences with peers also have a significant effect on whether a child would be an introvert. Kids who are bullied in school would reclude and withdraw from their peers to stay safe. They find succour in their own company and grow with it.
Brain chemistry also has a role to play in determining introversion. A study conducted on dopamine system genes and behaviour in 2007 reveals that dopamine transmission plays a role in forming behaviours that have to do with impulses occasioned by stimulation.
One of the differences between introverts and extroverts is how their brains respond to dopamine, a neurotransmitter and chemical that determines pleasure and makes us have euphoria.
Extroverts are endowed with more dopamine and its receptors and so seek stimuli that release dopamine.
On the other hand, introverts have fewer dopamine receptors and are more sensitive to the low effects of exciting situations.
This is why they leave the party early to seek quiet time alone to recover from the noise and overstimulation.
Also, a different study by Fischer, R., Lee, A. & Verzijden, M.N. reveals that dopamine strongly shapes personality traits after studying 127, 685 people who participate from different parts of the world.
From the above study, researchers have a theory that the result points toward avoiding risk by the introvert.
Having a low dopamine system, introverts are inclined to avoid people and scenes to have an elevated sense of safety.
The Role of the Reticular Activating System RAS
According to Verywellmind, RAS, is a neural network in the brain that regulates arousal levels including sleeping and waking.
Psychologist Eysenck Hans of Verywellmind posits that the arousal level is a continuum.
He suggests that introvert personalities have elevated levels of arousal which explains why they seek to escape to the high stimulation that solitude gives them to reflect and digest the situation.
Myths and Misconceptions about Introverts
There are many misconceptions about the introvert personality which are a result of people grappling to understand them more.
Their rather secretive and somewhat mysterious life make people speculate and make up different thoughts about them.
Here are some of the myths about introvert personalities.
They are shy people: Introverts are not shy, they only don’t like small talking or engaging in any conversation or social situation available.
They actually engage in quality social situations that are worth their time.
They don’t like people: Introverts are not anti-people; they just love to be in their solitude as this is how they draw energy.
When socializing, they do so with people who understand and support their needs.
They battle with social anxiety: No! They are comfortable being who they are. It does not have anything to do with anxiety, though some introvert behaviours can be traced to that, generally, they are socially normal.
They need to change their lives and be more social: No! They prefer their lifestyle and people who understand them are not bothered.
Social situations sap their energy just as solitude saps the energy of extroverts. It gives them comfort to be so and they don’t need to change their lives to be what they don’t enjoy.
Being introverted does not stop them from being successful.
Frequently asked questions about the introvert personality
Many people find the introvert personality weird because they hardly understand them. This has given rise to many questions regarding this quiet and serene-loving personality.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about them.
Is introvert person good?
They have a lot of positive benefits which are more protective and help them escape social dangers.
They think through before responding to situations and all their moves are calculated so are not caught unawares.
However, being extreme in introversion is not good as it could make a person lose out on so many fronts like important connections.
Do introverts want to be alone?
Yes! They are more comfortable in their own company than spending time with people, especially people whom they don’t share many affinities with.
The personality is not anti-people, they just want to be on their own to draw energy and think.
Getting away is their way of making sense of the situation, though they might be perceived as rude, selfish, or cold.
They prefer to be alone most of the time, observe and have dialogues with themselves in their heads.
Are introverts quiet?
This interesting personality might be quiet when not in their comfort zone, but that does not mean they are quiet everywhere.
They just don’t want to dabble into situations they feel are not worth it. They avoid conflict, they don’t engage unnecessarily.
When people are wrong, they know, they know how and why they are wrong.
They might remain quiet in an argument while the other person thinks they have won, but trust me they are not just worth their time.
What is an introvert weakness?
They find it difficult to concentrate in a noisy environment. It drains them to be having external stimuli that do not align with their mental element at that moment.
They are also too nice to show their disgust, but observant people would know when they are not comfortable.
Is introversion a rare personality?
They are not rare, they are everywhere. In the US, one-third to half of the population are introverts.
That’s around 40 to 50% of the world’s population. This personality is not hindered to perform in the workplace or elsewhere.
They are found to be successful in almost every area of life including, entertainment, football, business etc.
How introverts are happy?
Enjoying independence makes the personality happy. Freedom is the best thing he desires as this gives them power over their inner resources which serves as their guide than following the crowd.
They are happier alone while figuring things out themselves.
Are introverts intelligent?
Studies support that introverted personalities are brilliant people. This largely owes to their powerful thoroughness in analyzing data and situations to avoid mistakes.
A study conducted on children found that over 60% of children who are gifted are introverts.
Do introverts have friends?
Yes! They make friends but they are very picky as they do not like to be with loud people who sap their energy.
However, their friends are limited and that’s how they want it as they don’t like having a crowd whether with friends or strangers around them.
Do introverts enjoy life?
Of course, introverted personalities enjoy their solitary lives. They can party, once in a while, hang out alone in a serene environment and most times bring everything home to have maximum fun.
Are introverted people awkward?
No! They are not awkward; they are socially intelligent and don’t go about participating in any discussion available that doesn’t suit them.
They are not interested in fitting in or seeking approval, nor do they act fake.
Introversion personalities contribute to discussions that make them feel fulfilled when they have something meaningful to say.
Here is a screenshot of a tweet by Introvert Memes on what they think about the personality type being awkward.
People who don’t understand them might think they are awkward, but they absolutely know what they are doing and what they want.
What do introverts fear most?
They avoid conflict at all costs as they hate anything that brings attention to them.
They don’t like noise and crowdy places but if it’s a gathering that benefits them, why not.
What problems do introverts face?
They face many problems as they navigate life in work, business and social situations.
They are sometimes objects of ridicule when they are misunderstood and labelled snubs or nerds.
Most times, Introversion personalities are exhausted by the pressure to be extroverted especially if they don’t get the opportunity to recharge in their solitude.
Do introverts lack confidence?
No! They don’t lack confidence or are scared of being around people, but having to spend a long time with people is draining for them.
That someone is an introvert does not amount to lacking confidence nor are they shy.
The introvert personality is an interesting person who you might meet often. It’s not their fault that they protect too much or hide too much of themselves.
That is how they are wired to live their lives. If you however show you are understanding and genuine, you will earn their trust and enjoy a very deep and dedicated friendship.
When next you meet a person who does not want to open up, be patient with them and build slowly in communication.
Having this information will make me understand them more.
Thank you for reading!
- What is an Introvert? Signs, Traits, Types & Misconceptions
- If You Relate to These 21 Signs, You’re an Introvert
- Am I an introvert? Here are the 7 signs
- 26 Fascinating Signs of an Introvert You Probably Don’t Know
A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.
Every content published on The Conducts Of Life is well-reviewed by our board of experienced professionals in psychology. Contents are fact-checked for accuracy, relevance, and timeliness and we include links to sources at the bottom of every article for more insight.