Things You Should Know About Introverts

1) We need to recharge alone.
This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert v. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds.
I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence.
I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad time. This is especially true on road trips and can be a little confounding to true extroverts. For this reason, I especially like going to the movies where it is already considered rude to chat. Rule #1 for dealing with introverts – Don’t tell me I’m “too quiet.” I hate that. Sorry I’m making you uncomfortable, but you really don’t get to decide how much I have to talk.

4) Just because we are introverted doesn’t mean we are shy.
Introvert and shy are actually two different things. Google it! In my case, I’m a shy introvert (the double whammy!).

5) We can turn on an extroverted personality when necessary, but it is especially draining.
See #1 and #2. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a talk. I don’t even get nervous by a question and answer period. But – here is the thing – I will need major recharge time afterwards and I won’t be able to keep up this extroverted illusion all day. I can turn it on to dazzle a crowd, but if you take me out for lunch afterwards, I’ll probably just listen to you talk. I am an excellent listener.

6) We aren’t judging you.
See #3. Did I get quiet? Do I have a mean look on my face? I’m not judging you; I’m just wrapped up in my thoughts with my bitchy-resting-face on. I might have even forgotten you were there. Sorry, just poke me. I didn’t do it on purpose.

7) We secretly love it when you cancel plans.
I like being with you, but finding out I suddenly don’t need to be “on” and it wasn’t actually me that backed out? – priceless! Don’t worry if you have to cancel, I’m probably thrilled to be able to stay in my pajamas.

8) We can get very wrapped up in our own thoughts.
My inner monologue is epic. When you have a strong monologue constantly running in the background, it is pretty easy to settle-in and listen for a while. I have to work through things in my head before I proceed, so I usually need a few minutes. When I’m ready to move forward though, I am 100% on top of it!

9) We can be pretty bad at connecting.
You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Yeah, I’m bad at that. I tend to wait for extroverts to reach out and include me, so when the time comes that I need support, I can be a bit lost.

10) We don’t like to hang around.
That time after an event or meeting ends and stragglers hang around to talk – yeah, I know this is the perfect time to make more plans, connect with new people, and get involved with future projects, but I really really really hate this. I’m probably already checking my phone in my car before you have even picked up your purse. Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.

11) We have strong opinions.
Just because I have difficultly sharing them sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Give me an extra minute to compose my thoughts and I will continue to push myself to speak up sooner. It is a give and take here.

Like talking about this kind of stuff? Check out my post Things You Should Know About Ambiverts.



  1. It sounds like you are describing a social anxiety or spectrum disorder rather than introvert. Carl Jung’s description of introverts is much more accurate. I am an introvert but have no problem being in a crowd. I like watching and learning about people and prefer deeper conversation than small talk, not that I am not okay with small talk but prefer meaningful conversation. Fearful of crowds or running away is not an introvert trait, this is more of an ASD trait. This is a better definition of introvert and a better understanding come from the 16 personality types. Many on the spectrum are introverted because of difficulty understanding social norms, that is different from an introvert who is often alone to recharge and then go out in the world and engage. Go to or search 16 personality types to find yours.

    1. Yes, we know there’s a diagnosis for EVERYTHING today. Can we just go back to being individuals with individual feelings instead of being put into boxes? I am some of these, not all. I am an introvert at times and an extrovert at times…depending on the situation. Am I on a spectrum? Maybe. Do I care? Nope. Why does it matter? So OTHERS can understand me? Pfffft. The 99,000 possible diagnoses are all correct and at the same time not even close.

        1. Just clarifying the cat joke, are you comparing her behavior to a cat, or is the cat reference a term for a certain kind of person?

      1. Not sure why you read this article or bothered to comment if you “pfft. Don’t care.” Pretty sure the article was geared toward people like me, who are researching to find out more about ourselves. Also pretty sure this is a PERSON’s freaking blog, not a world relnowned scientific journal.

        1. well put. I am n introvert and for the longest time I thought I was not normal or did not fit in. This has help me greatly with understanding myself and accepting myself that it’s ok for me to be this way.

          1. Everyone is ‘normal’. Pulse plus zero coma equals ‘normal’. The more you try to focus on what you think you are, or your peculiarities (if that’s what you are convinced you have) the more likely you are to feel sensitized by it all. Busy yourself elseways.. 😉

        2. What You are saying is is a matter of semantics. Introvert and social disorder anxiety are usually intermingled. Car Jung just pulled a part out and gave it a name. Things like this start never ending arguments, which eventually can cause hurt. Then, why I writing this. Because I should have not made my last reply. If no replies are given, it is evidence it really doesn’t matter. I have a protective nature and You argued with a very well written article. I apologize.

      2. Karen, I couldn’t agree with you more! People are who they are, and we need to accept people whether they’re outgoing or keep to themselves! I don’t understand why we have to be labeled one way or the other. We are all unique, and if people don’t understand your individual uniqueness, then that’s their problem. Just understand that EVERYONE at some point needs their space, and we should respect that.

        1. Introvert isn’t a diagnosis, it’s just a way to describe a group of characteristics. As an extrovert who has a boyfriend who does many of the above mentioned things, it is helpful to read about how he experiences life. It’s very different from the way I experience it. These kinds of descriptors help us better understand ourselves and others.

        2. I agree with you, Josephine, with all of the millions of people in the world, how boring would it be if they were all the same or all agreed on everything. The combination of all of our individual beings is what makes mankind special.

    2. I am an outgoing introvert. I get along with everyone. I can feel the emotions that another person reveals. I can hold long conversations. I have been told that I am a great listener. This made it great when I worked as a cashier. But, at the end of the day, I had to go home and spend hours, if not days, unwinding from all the socializing I did at work. I can say no to friends and strangers alike. I can sit in a packed playroom with many kids and enjoy the book I’m reading. I can do many outgoing things that many extroverts love doing. I just need time to reflect and detach from the overflow of feelings and thoughts that other people throw at me. I am an outgoing introvert.

    3. Yeah, sure, just because someone is introverted, that person has social anxiety. One of the reasons I avoid extroverts. The ones I know think I am suffering from some sort of social anxiety just because I don’t talk much.

        1. So many don’t know that they talk way too much…the next time I’m asked “why are you so quiet?”, I think I’ll reply, “why do you talk so much?”

            1. I used to be a total extrovert, and have slowly begun acquiring attributes of an introvert. In extroverts defense (in general), many of us do talk too much – and know it – but know full well not to be so rude as to ask other people why they are so quiet.

              That is just bad manners! Good comebacks, listed above, for anyone not civilized enough to not ask those kinds of questions.

              As for those of us who talk too much…just like introverts need to decompress, sometimes, for extroverts, the talking is decompressing. This isn’t for all extroverts, but it seems to be a trend.

              Understanding goes both ways, yes? 🙂

        2. Methinks *you* should talk less. At least about extroverts. I don’t mind people who don’t talk much, unless what comes out if their mouths or in their minds is judgemental crap because people aren’t like them.

          1. Yeah. I agree. @k. Seems pretty bitchy for an introvert (or an extrovert). It’s probably better that silence is their preference.

          2. Actually if you’re an introvert, and not sure if you are or not, getting that same crap questioning my demeanor all the time gets old. I don’t think you’re an introvert, telling an introvert to talk less, so there’s that. And yes, we get judgemental sometimes it does help to give that back.
            And we can do it in a ‘friendly’ way, too, just like they do it in a ‘friendly’ way.
            I used to just take it. But not these days and reading your reaction reminds me that, next time someone ‘jokes’ about the expression on my face, I am allowed, also, to joke.

      1. Many extroverts seem to be of the opinion that simply because we are not talking much we are disinterested. Quite honestly, that is not necessarily the case. Quite often my mind is processing all of the thoughts generated around me and I am very ingaged in what is being said. A person in thought is not a person in denial or advocacy, but a person weighing all sides.

      2. I think it makes people uncomfortable when we don’t talk, or don’t act perky. And yes it’s annoying, esp if you’re a woman just walking along the street or standing in an elevator and some guy tells you to “smile it’s not that bad.” I swear I wanna deck guys who say that. I hope some of those folks read this…

    4. No, this sounds exactly like introversion and not remotely like social anxiety. There is nothing in this list about fear of crowds; only a preference for solitude. “Alone and invisible” is not how the socially anxious feel. On the contrary, they fear that they’re being judged by everyone around them. You’re focusing on one small aspect of the article, misinterpreting it, and ignoring everything else.

      1. Agreed! Couldn’t have said it better myself! If anything, this is probably the most accurate description of an introvert I’ve read recently.

    5. Pretty sure the article was geared toward people like me, who are researching to find out more about ourselves. Also pretty sure this is a PERSON’s freaking blog, not a Nobel prize winning scientific journal.

    6. ok i am an introvert AND i have anxiety disorder which includes some social anxiety. THERE IS A BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE! My meds certainly confirm this. for example:
      crowds, with meds: kinda annoying trying to get anywhere, can’t hear myself think, does it really need to take this long to get over there?, i can not wait to get outta hear and get some personal space. without meds: so many people, i feel like i can’t breathe, panic setting in, NEED TO GET OUT OF CROWD, heart pounding, OK I’M PANICKING NOW!, why are they looking at me, REALLY TENSE NOW AND FREAKING OUT, OH THANK GOD I MADE IT OUT OF THERE!!!!!!!

      1. I am also an introvert with anxiety. I don’t get the panic you mention in crowds, but afterward, thought I REALLY dislike them – especially if drinking is involved. Mardi Gras? It’s what my own circle of Hell would look like. I would be fine, but I’d almost have a PTSD response to it afterward. Especially in very loud crowds – like if there is very loud music in what I take to be a social setting. How can you socialize if you can’t even hear a person shouting in your ear? I therefore was dubbed “the school marm” by a neighbor of mine who always wanted me to go bar hopping with her. After being stuck out with her a couple of times, I learned to either drive myself or just stay home! “You never have fun!” Ummm…. going out with her was NOT my idea of fun. People have such a narrow idea of what fun is supposed to be!

      2. Melissa, I do the same thing, I have anxiety and I’m an introvert do I know what you go thru, I used to be an extrovert, how does that happen?

    7. “Fearful of crowds or running away is not an introvert trait, this is more of an ASD trait”. I beg to differ. All introverts I know avoid crowds, not because we’re afraid (what on earth should I be afraid of?), but because it’s uninteresting, we do not feel comfortable and we feel sort of lost, sometimes I can’t even focus on my thoughts, so I don’t feel any need to be among lot of people. It IS an introvert trait, we all have different personalities and you just do not share the same trait, that’s all.

    8. That is a judgement – not yours to give. These traits of introverts may not describe you so perhaps you have misdiagnosed yourself and are not an introvert. I suggest you peruse the DSM and find a more accurate description of your particular disorder……egomaniacal narcissist perhaps?

    9. We’ll said , but some people cannot handle or want to know they have a form of autism and such – sounds like my ex – he likes living in denial and doesn’t want to know if he actually does have Aspergers – so he keeps calling it introvert

    10. I disagree as well. This article describes me perfectly, but I don’t experience anxiety related to crowds, and I’m definitely not on the autism spectrum. Rather, I tend to avoid crowds because they are draining, and it’s usually difficult to have a very meaningful conversation in a crowd (which you also mentioned). I’m not good at small talk, but again, it’s not that I’m anxious in a small talk situation – I just like to think about what I’m going to say before I’m going to say it, and by that time the conversation has usually changed subjects. Essentially, I like being around people, but I don’t enjoy being around crowds.

    11. You wrote: “It sounds like you are describing a social anxiety or spectrum disorder rather than introvert.”
      You couldn’t be more wrong! The author above is SPOT ON! I, to, am an introvert and all the above matches me perfectly, especially No.s 7 & 10. Anxiety or disorder?!?!?
      Break free from Jung already!

    12. I’m assuming you’re probably a mild introvert. I’m more of a severe introvert and generally agree with the points above. While I used to be really shy, I’ve managed to overcome that and don’t really have any social anxiety. I don’t find the experience of being in a large crowd particularly rewarding and rather quite draining, so I tend to avoid them. Why would I want to put myself through something I don’t enjoy?

      So I’m glad you’ve read some documentation on the subject. But I’d say you’re way off base on your assessment.

    13. So…what’s the diagnosis for dorks that seem to think there needs to be a diagnosis or disorder categorization for everyone?

    14. It really depends on the person. Not every introvert is alike. You can’t compare one introvert to the next, so don’t generalize that every introvert is the same. I like being in crowds some of the time, but NOT all of the time. It really depends on the circumstances, and even the type of crowd. It think that it is judgmental to say that someone has a disorder or a spectrum of ASD just because they do not like crowds. Just because someone does not fit into a social norm, it does not mean that anything is wrong with him.

    15. When Carl Jung made up the words introvert and extrovert he was trying to describe the way people process information. Introverts process information based on internal criteria, while extroverts process information based on external criteria. For example-if an introvert gets their degree in psychology they may think, “Now I can do research into bed wetting in adults.” Whether anyone will fund this research or whether anyone is even interested is not a consideration. An extrovert, on the other hand, may think, “Now that I’ve got my degree I should look to see what type of research is getting funded right now.” They are focused on external stuff. Neither is better than the other-some situations call for an internal assessment while some call for an assessment of external factors. The problem is if you are at the extreme end of either spectrum and are unable to utilize both psychological processes. extroverts “fit in” more easily than introverts since they are more aware of external group norms. Introverts often have trouble fitting in because they have trouble picking up the cues that extroverts understand without even being consciously aware of them. But this can lead to moral difficulties-an extrovert might
      not have an internal moral compass and can be led by a group to do almost anything.

  2. Reblogged this on ANDREA'S BLOG and commented:
    V Important info…. I am not an introvert but my youngest daughter is, this helped alot to understand our comunication divide, i. e. SHE = introvert ME= LUNATIC extrovert, poor girl! 😉

  3. This article is me too. Almost to a T. I DO have social anxiety issues though, and probably do fall in the ASD…wouldn’t be surprised. But also have a high IQ, mother of 5, active in church, love volunteering in various capacities several times a week, have a college degree, and run a successful business. So to the “scientific” commenter…do not put us in a box labeled “disorder”. 🙂

  4. Hi Stephanie. This made me cry when I read it. I am going to be 60 in January and only within the last few years have I come to understand how I work. This list is me to a ‘t’ and articulates, so well, my behavior is in response to trying to function in the world.

    I will keep this forever and am passing it around to friends and family. Thanks SO MUCH for this!

  5. Karen Aug 30 : “Can we just go back to being individuals with individual feelings instead of being put into boxes?” Translating into INTP-speak, that becomes: “I [Karen] prioritise other-human validation of my feelings, over impersonal categorisation of my personality type”. Fair enough. But the personality-type categorisation does not in fact preclude, diminish, or interfere with, the scope for such validation. Nor are such categories ‘boxes’; they are ‘landing strips’ or ‘welcome lounges’, akin perhaps to the “I have a place here” feeling that would be triggered if, while at a conference in a foreign country where the majority of attendees were speaking in languages of which you had a rudimentary grasp, you were to enter a room where the conversation was in your native tongue.

    1. Mike G, if you read the post before yours by Lauri Welsh, you will have the answer to your question and that would be no, we cannot go back to beling individuals with individual feelings because unfortunately, in this world we live in, the masses that were will not allow it. Being a quote unquote “typical” person raising a introvert, I can say that reading this post and the comments following are quote helpful for me in continuing to support in the best possible way in understanding my son and helping him to maximize his potential and talents. As he has graduated from college and working to establish full time work, it is important for others to understand the subtle differences in personalities of us all.

  6. OMG! All the things you posted above describes all about me. Well yes its been a long time i knew im an introvert and im proud to be one. Thank you for posting this and hope through this blog post many people can realize and understand what introverts are:)

  7. Why judge a person-leave them alone…..we all are individuals-that live our life the best way we can! We continue life through our journey of the unknown! Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come! Its’ not right to say if they are an introvert or extrovert~

  8. This is what I tell people when I have to explain being an introvert, especially to an extrovert: Imagine that people have batteries just like your cellphone. And, just like your cellphone, some activities charge your battery and some activities discharge your battery. For extroverts, being around people charges their batteries while being alone discharges their batteries. For introverts, being around people discharges their batteries while being alone charges their batteries. It’s not a question of introverts liking people or not. It’s all about energy flow.

  9. Not liking crowds and fearing them are different.

    I don’t like raisins. So I avoid raisins, I politely decline some oatmeal cookies, choose a brownie instead and begrudgingly have a slice of mom’s carrot cake.

    I do not fear raisins or hate raisins. I do not freak out when raisins are present or give up on the entire meal.

    There is you introversion vs social anxiety.

  10. How weird! I always thought I was a total extrovert, but reading this made me reconsider. I identify with almost all of those things. Maybe I’m both. I do love people, but I would really rather stay home. I especially love it when people cancel on me. I consider myself excellent company, and I have absolutely no problems being alone…like, indefinitely. I am very outspoken when necessary, but I don’t enjoy getting into it with people. I don’t know who I am anymore.

  11. An observation of an introvert: I have rarely met an introvert who did not consider himself/herself superior to extroverts (mostly because of our interest in ideas rather than people), however, perhaps paradoxically I have never met an extrovert who wished they were an introvert or an introvert who (perhaps secretly) didnt want to be an extrovert.

  12. I’m an introvert and I thought it was an introverted circle jerk. Most of my friends are extroverts because a lot of self proclaimed introverts use their “personality” to be super lame and self absorbed.

  13. I think what anyone dislikes the most, is being talked at vs being talked to. It doesn’t matter if you are intro or extroverted, no one likes that. Learning the art of being present when you talk to someone, giving just as much space as you expect and actually talking to the person. Communication gets significantly better when you apply those methods. Intro vs Extro to me is a bell curve with extreme polls but most fall somewhere in the middle. I was painfully introverted when I was younger but found it created communications issues. So I had to work on that because my personal and professional relationships suffered. I feel like I have found a nice balance with it but it took me well into my 30’s to get it. I have had people I went to school with say they thought I was “stuck up” and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I didn’t feel superior to anyone, I was just as self conscious as any other young person out there. I think growing up a bit and not personalizing everything someone says or does behooves us all.

    The judgmental part from both sides leads to allot of friction. I do think extroverts are more likely to voice their judgments and Introverts are more likely to lash-out in judgmental anger after they wait too long to speak up. But both need to learn better communication, knowing when to keep your mouth shut and knowing when to speak up. People aren’t mind readers, unless you say something, they don’t know. And just because you think it, doesn’t mean you need to say it. Really, it’s ok to keep something to yourself, the world doesn’t owe you an ear because you have something you want to say. Temperance takes wisdom and for those at the far polls, it’s much harder to gain that wisdom.

    1. Kiersey (sp?) Temperament Sorter. Some people gain energy from being in a crowd, others use their energy when in a crowd. Anxiety doesn’t play a part in a character trait.

      I’ve changed from an extrovert into an introvert. I come across as an extrovert, and I’m fine in a crowd. I do have my personal default settings, though. I am fine being alone. Alone and lonely aren’t the same thing. Being with someone and sharing comfortable silence is a gift.

      People can be extroverts, but end up being introverts because their lifestyles force interaction with others, and in some circumstances, the interaction is emotionally charged. I think a good example would be a Law Enforcement agent, or a customer service employee. You can enjoy socializing, but their jobs require interactions at so many levels that you can become emotionally exhausted. They have to be reactive and maintain emotional distance while being ready to anticipate any situation that could require them to defuse a charged situation. That can make you emotionally tired which is more exhausting than physical fatigue. It also takes longer to recover from. So, it’s not anxiety, it’s enjoying time where you aren’t required to be anything, feel anything, do anything but be yourself.

  14. Reblogged this on Poplar Culture and commented:
    “1) We need to recharge alone.
    This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert v. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.”

    I agree.

    It reminds me, by analogy, of my own mental health difficulties. I can excel briefly at significant life events but the down-time for recovery I need exceeds my output. If I do obtain the time out I need, I can remain well, but if the stress is unremitting, or prolonged at least, I break and become clinically depressed. Few people see that part though, because I’m resting in isolation. That’s how I remain symptom free but my illness still impacts on how I manage my life a lot.

  15. This is the best description of how I feel all the time. Re: #6 – I get accused of being upset all the time. My response is that I am “emotionally neutral”, neither happy nor sad at that point in time, I just powered down.

  16. I experience quite a lot of what the original post described. It’s very hard for me to be outgoing and yet I love people and enjoy a good conversation. I will always feel certain that I want to go a social function right up until it’s actually time to leave and then I want to stay home. I look forward to having time to myself and my mind is continually pondering something. I am quite able to speak up in front of a crowd – but not without a great deal of adrenaline coursing through my system; pounding heart, mild trembling and even flushing. This will happen even if I’m just answering a question in a classroom setting. And yet…if I feel that I have something of interest to add to the discussion, much to my disdain, my hand shoots up. I am, I suppose, self conscious in the worst of ways. If I hardly know anyone in a new social setting I can appear to be confident outgoing and friendly by faking it, but that is not how I feel on the inside and I’ll typically have a pounding headache by the time I get home just from the effort it takes for me to act as if I feel relaxed. It also just so happens to be that I am afflicted with several anxiety disorders. I don’t consider them labels. They are not who I am and although they can cause a great deal of suffering when they are flaring up, they do not define me. They are simply afflictions. My experience of social anxiety is a minor issue in comparison to how Panic disorder has made me feel or Pure O – OCD. What I can say is that my experience of these disorders has made me more empathetic toward others who suffer and that’s a good thing. Anyhow, whether it’s a matter of a person being an introvert like the original poster or social anxiety disorder like me, that there is certainly nothing wrong with either experience. Acknowledging these things allow for others to realize that they aren’t alone in their experiences and that is comforting. “Maybe I’m not the freakish anomaly that I always thought I was. Someone else gets me. Cool!”

  17. I view some of these as being just as much a symptom of introversion as well as a symptom of shyness/social anxiety/low self esteem. It comes down to a question of motivation behind these behaviors.

    For example a person who “[doesn’t] like to hang around” should ask themselves why? Do they find it tedious, draining, and boring or do they experience anxiety or feelings of unworthiness at the prospect? A person who simply finds it tedious, draining and boring is probably an introvert. They don’t want to do it and they are perfectly comfortable not. A person who is shy on the other hand will practice the same behavior however would feel upset at the lost opportunity or yearn for the ability to participate without those feelings of anxiety.

    For many years I thought I was an introvert because I would practice numbers 2,5,6,7,9 and 10. The reason however wasn’t I was happier this way, it was because facing the anxiety that poorly defined interaction elicited from me was so high I couldn’t overcome it on a regular basis. Healing my self esteem and social anxiety has shown I am much happier as an extrovert.

  18. I am an introvert. Having said that, it’s worth looking into Pyroluria, a condition which results in behavior patterns that are identical to what we think of as introversion. Pyroluria can be greatly helped with B vitamin and Zinc supplementation. Google Trudy Scott and read about it on her website or in her book, for starters. So, is it introversion, or is it Pyroluria?

  19. This described me almost perfectly. The only thing with me is I do so much better one on one with someone than with a group of people and I do hate crowds, like in a store but if it’s a crowd like at a concert or church I’m ok in the middle of the crowd cause then I disappear.

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