There's been a lot of talk about introversion in the media lately.
For decades, it's been seen as the weaker personality perhaps because extroverts tend to be more outspoken. Collectively, they make up the squeaky wheel that gets all the attention!
The pendulum does tend to be swinging in the other direction, though, which is great news for introverts and you should be happy about it!
Don't know if you're an introvert or perhaps you've yet to fully embrace your introversion?
Learn about three key signs that you're an introvert and discover why you should be happy about it!
You don't make an effort to meet new people.
You're not a misanthrope, but you find meeting new people to be somewhat of a chore. Small talk usually makes you feel as if you're faking a connection when one has yet to be established, and this can create anxiety for you.
On the surface, this tendency might sound like a recipe for lifelong loneliness, but there is an upside. Because making friends can be emotionally draining and downright difficult for you at times, you tend to value the friendships that you do have even more.
You only have few close friends.
You are more selective and prefer to spend time with people that you already know. This along with your genuine commitment to your friends helps you build deep, lasting relationships.
Having a few real friends with whom you have special relationships can actually be a lot more rewarding than having a massive social circle of people you barely know or only know on a surface level.
You like to spend time alone or enjoy solitary.
Do people call you a homebody? Would you rather spend a quiet night at home curled up with a good book and a hot cup of tea than go out with friends? Do you take pleasure in solitary activities such as writing, hiking, drawing, or using computers? If so, you're likely an introvert.
A lot of people mistake introversion for shyness, but introverts aren't afraid of interacting with others; they just sometimes don't want to! Introversion is a preference, while shyness stems from distress.
There are a ton of advantages associated with this self-imposed downtime. Introverts are highly creative, especially when alone with their thoughts, and they don't get bored easily since they can entertain themselves without having to rely on others.
Introverts are typically perceived as more reserved, being predominantly interested in one's own mental self. They tend to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction.
You talk to yourself.
Not in the crazy, out loud kind of way, but as more of a silent, inner narrative.
You're constantly thinking about situations (real and imagined) and analyzing them in your head. This may be why extroverts have higher levels of anxiety than extroverts. Overthinking things (especially in a negative way) can activate your stress response.
There is a flip side though. Introverts who learn how to practice positive self-talk can turn their inner narrative into a success story. You're already used to practicing self-talk, which is a plus. They key is to make sure the talk is positive!
You have self-awareness.
Extroverts tend to report higher levels of self-reported happiness than introverts but this does not mean that introverts are unhappy. Introverts tend to be closer to neutral and are strongly associated with positive traits such as intelligence and "giftedness."
Introverts acknowledge more readily their psychological needs and problems, whereas extroverts tend to be oblivious to them because they focus more on the outer world.
One study found that introverts have more blood flow in the frontal lobes of their brain and the anterior or frontal thalamus, which are areas dealing with internal processing, such as planning and problem solving.
Introversion isn't something to be ashamed of; it's who you are. To make the most of your life as an introvert, embrace it and focus on the positive characteristics of your personality. Most importantly, don't try to fake being an extrovert; it will just cause you undue stress and dishonor your authentic self.
Are you an introvert?
Popular introverts include Albert Einstein, Larry Page, Mahatma Gandhi and J.K. Rowling.
Susan Cain's 2012 book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking reports that studies indicate 33–50% of the American population are introverts. Particular subpopulations have higher prevalence, with a 6000-subject Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)-based survey indicating that 60% of attorneys, and 90% of intellectual property attorneys, are introverts.