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What Type Of Introvert Are You?
With many of us spending more time alone this year, this period of rest and quiet has actually been a welcome break for many individuals. Instead of a calendar that is full of events, people have had a chance to take a break, pause and reflect. Those who are the life and soul of the party have started to enjoy a time without the pressure of always having to show up. This has led many people to wonder if they are actually an introvert masquerading as an extrovert after all.
What Is An Introvert?
Interestingly, defining introversion is no easy task. Researchers have found in multiple studies that the scientific definition of introvert didn’t match up with what most people think. As a result, introverts are typically defined by what extroverts are not, rather than what introverts are.
Extroverts are usually defined as those who gain their energy from interacting with others. They are quick-thinking go-getters, who are assertive and seek stimulating environments. Quiet spaces can leave extroverts feeling bored and restless. Being alone can feel energy-sapping.
On the other hand, introverts are usually the opposite of this. Introverts find social situations energy-draining, even if they are having fun. Environments that are peaceful and quiet are typically where introverts find their energy. Conversely, loud or bright environments can feel energy-sapping.
There is also another type of individual, an ambivert. Ambiverts are those who enjoy the best of both worlds and can tap into the power of social interaction but also find energy in solitude too.
Am I An Introvert?
If you are not sure where you sit on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, this test can help to uncover aspects of your personality. If you do find that you are an introvert, remember, it is not one-size-fits-all. As researchers have seen, there is a vast divide between how we define introverts. Furthermore, there is more than one type of introvert, each with their own distinct personality traits.
Is Being An Introvert A Bad Thing?
Absolutely not! However, just as extroverts can find time alone incredibly draining, introverts will find that some situations can cause negativity. By understanding your personality traits, you will have a deeper understanding of what energises you, what pushes you outside of your comfort zone and what situations you may wish to avoid.
By understanding your own preferences, you can make sure to find more balance. If you know that socialising can be draining for you, you can then follow that activity up with some solitude or self-care. It can also help you to map out different events and ensure you don’t reach burnout.
Five Types Of Introverts
The psychology professor, Jonathan Cheek, has described four different types of introverts in his STAR identifiers, but researchers are already adding on to this list with other forms of introversion. So, which one do you best identify with?
These introverts will usually feel very drained after spending time with others, even if they did have fun in social situations. They will need time to themselves afterwards to regroup and re-energise. This type of introvert will typically prefer to socialise in a smaller group than a larger group. Social introverts still enjoy social events; it is not that they avoid activities because of shyness or anxiety. It is just that they prefer to be alone.
For social introverts, there is JOMO – a Joy Of Missing Out, which can be a desirable trait to have. In social groups, this type of introvert can also be incredibly comforting to others who find group situations uncomfortable.
Also known as the thinking introvert, these individuals pay attention to their inner feeling and tend to be quite self-reflective. They will often be lost in their own thoughts and are typically very creative because of this.
Unlike what we normally class as introverts, introspective introverts do not shy away from social situations. However, they may appear aloof to people that can’t hold their attention. These introverts typically don’t say very much, but when they do speak, they usually have the undivided attention on the group.
Part of the self-reflective tendencies is that other people may feel deprioritised. This is usually unintended but can cause relationship difficulties.
Another type of introvert is those that avoid group interaction because they feel self-conscious around other people. These anxious introverts may feel more comfortable in solitude because they’re not confident with their own social skills.
While being alone may feel more comfortable, it is crucial to be aware that the anxiety doesn’t usually fade. When anxious introverts are alone, they may ruminate over past events or worry that something has gone wrong.
This energy can often be used for good and having a practical purpose at an event is a great way to manage the anxiety. For example, this could be arriving early to help someone to set up an event or being responsible for taking minutes in a work meeting.
Just like before exercising, restrained introverts like to warm up before they act. For example, in a group situation, they may be quiet to start with and then join in with the discussion much later on. Typically, restrained introverts like to take things easy and enjoy a slower pace, but are deliberate in their actions. With this, they are usually quite cautious and like to think carefully before they speak and act.
Some may see restrained introverts as being quite guarded and reserved. However, typically, restrained introverts are a grounding force for a group. They can help to prevent rushed or silly mistakes. These introverts are usually full of common sense and useful advice. As a result, these introverts are usually popular thanks to being a wise sounding board.
These types of introverts typically focus on the environment more than the people or event that is taking place. A quiet introvert will shy away from overly loud or bright environments. They will look to avoid sensory overload and instead will seek environments that are quiet and peaceful.
For example, a quiet introvert may avoid going out dancing or meeting at a busy bar or bustling café, but may enjoy quiet bistros, or walks in the park for social gatherings. Whereas other types of introvert alter their energy around people, quiet introverts energy will be changed by the environment. For example, quiet introverts will find loud environments energy-draining and peaceful environments incredibly restoring.
If you are a quiet introvert, it can help to suggest places where you feel comfortable, so you can still enjoy socialising, but in a space that best suits your personality.
Find Out What You Need
Have the last few months have caused you to reflect more on yourself? Perhaps, you have found that what you thought you liked isn’t actually the case? If you’re struggling to adapt to a new normal and feel like your personality has shifted recently, then my blended method of therapy can help you get clarity on your feelings and mindset.
Similarly, if you’re an introvert that’s struggling to readjust to a world with more socialising and louder environments, then I can help provide the tools and techniques that you need to thrive.
To find out more, let’s have a chat. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free 15-minute telephone consultation with me.