Do you enjoy spending time on your own? Do you prefer to stay quiet in big groups? Are you likely to leave a party early or not show up at all? These are just some of the signs of an introvert.
If you are an introvert, you may sometimes feel confused and left out, and it makes sense why. In our extroverted society, the quiet ones are often regarded as antisocial and flawed. It took me years to recognize and accept my introversion.
So if you are a quiet person just like I am, it’s a good idea to look through the signs of an introvert. This will help you make better sense of your personality. But first, let’s start with the definition of introversion.
An introvert is someone who finds solitary activities revitalizing and comforting. It is a person who gives their mental and emotional energy away during interaction with other people, so they need to replenish it by staying on their own.
As you see, the definition of introversion doesn’t include things like ‘poor social skills’ or ‘hating people’. Being an introvert means having limited energy resources and seeking to preserve them. All this goes down to the way the introverted brain is wired.
Key signs of an introvert
If you want to be sure about whether you are an introvert or not, read through the signs below. How many of them ring true for you?
1. You need to stay by yourself after a social gathering
This is one of the most telling signs of an introverted personality. You tend to feel emotionally, mentally, and sometimes also physically drained after socializing, especially if you attended a large gathering.
Even if you are having fun at a party (yes, it happens to introverts too!), there comes a moment when you realize it’s time to leave because you are starting to feel tired and empty. You’ve had enough social interaction and need to rest now.
When you finally get home and relax on your own, it’s one of the best experiences in life.
2. You are unlikely to get bored alone
Another key sign of being an introvert is that you enjoy spending time in your own company. You are extremely unlikely to get bored and always find something to do or think about when you are alone.
This is why you are totally fine with the idea of living alone or staying in on a Friday night.
3. You need your portion of alone time every day
One more basic characteristic of introversion is the need for alone time. If you have guests at your home and keep them company all the time, after a few days of doing this, you will begin to feel tired and annoyed for no reason.
Why? Because you don’t get the opportunity to stay by yourself, which is draining for an introverted person. Solitude, peace, and quiet are among the most important emotional need for this personality type.
4. You have a rich inner life
Why don’t introverts get bored in their own company? Because they have a rich inner life. They are always busy thinking over their plans, pondering about life, or visualizing fantasy worlds.
They often turn to their past and analyze their life. The quiet ones also have a rich imagination and always know how to mentally entertain themselves. In a sense, they live more in their heads than in the mundane reality of daily life.
Being turned inwards is among the basic signs of an introvert.
5. Your personal space means the world to you
Being an introvert means being a private person. If you are one, then most likely you have a strong personal space. You don’t likely when other people snoop in your life or disrupt your privacy. You absolutely try to avoid nosy and intrusive individuals.
This also means that you respect other people’s boundaries too. Ruining someone’s peace is the last thing a quiet person wants.
6. Your home is truly your castle of comfort and safety
There are different types of introverts – some are more daring, empathetic, and sociable than others. But they all share one common trait – their home is extremely important for them.
As an introvert, you regard your home as a sacred place where you can be wholly comfortable, free, and relaxed. It’s a place where you can fully be yourself. Your home is a symbol of a comfortable sense of peace and safety.
Peace of mind means a lot to this personality type, and this is why introverted people don’t like to be disturbed by surprise parties and unexpected guests.
Social signs of an introvert
Here are a few signs that betray an introvert, based on their approach to social situations and communication with other people.
7. You find one-to-one communication more rewarding
Contrary to the popular myth, introverts love socializing – but they prefer to do it on their own terms. Quiet folks enjoy interaction with other people in more intimate settings.
If you are an introvert, you will most likely prefer one-to-one communication because it gives you the opportunity to get personal and discuss more meaningful topics with the other person.
8. You feel more comfortable in small groups than in big ones
Since introverted people seek meaningful communication, they don’t enjoy themselves in big groups. Large social gatherings are not a good fit for deep conversations and personal topics. And they are also too draining for a quiet person.
For this reason, an introvert is more likely to prefer social activities in small groups, such as a get-together with their best friends or a movie night with their family.
9. You keep your circle small
A telling sign of an introvert is having a small social circle. They see no sense in maintaining superficial connections with many random people. They may not have many friends, but they will certainly hang out only with genuine and loyal people.
If you are an introvert, you are concerned about the quality of your social circle in the first place. You won’t surround yourself with fake, toxic, or just random personalities.
10. You can exhibit totally different behaviors depending on how well you know someone
If you are an introvert, you have probably been told that you act differently around your close ones and people you don’t know well.
It’s not because you are fake – you just feel more comfortable in the company of the people you love and trust, so you can be yourself. You are funny and sociable with your best friends and family, but you can be quiet and even aloof with strangers. Sometimes it can look like you are a completely different person.
11. You open your mouth only when you can add something valuable to the conversation
Introverted people find silence comfortable, so they see no sense in filling it with pointless words. That’s why they seek to add value to a conversation and talk only when they have something important to say.
If you are an introvert, you are very careful about your words and think twice before opening your mouth.
12. You can’t stand small talk
It’s one of those traits of introverts that make other people mistake them for being antisocial and arrogant. As an introvert, you really hate those moments when you are expected to have small talk with a neighbor or a co-worker.
You feel that questions such as ‘What’s up?’ and topics like today’s weather and trendy TV shows are too pointless to waste your time on them. What’s the point in discussing this boring stuff when there are so many exciting and meaningful topics out there?
13. Forced communication is even worse
Is there anything worse for an introvert than small talk? Yes, there is, and it’s forced communication. As a matter of fact, the two often go hand in hand.
If you are an introvert, you can’t stand forced conversations with your distant relatives who ask too many questions or neighbors who are being overly friendly. You will do your best to avoid such social situations.
14. You may feel lonely at a party and regret not staying at home
One more trait of introverts that confuses other people. They can easily feel lonely in the midst of a party or group discussion.
It happens when the quiet person finds themselves surrounded by random people they have little in common with. This is when the introvert feels lonely and left out of the conversation and regrets not staying at home.
15. Too sociable and intense personalities drain you in no time
If you find yourself in the company of talkative, intrusive, or intense people, you get tired in no time. Having to deal with someone’s nosy behavior, never-ending chatter, or loud laughter is incredibly exhausting for an introverted personality. They will want to withdraw and distance themselves from such people.
16. Talking on the phone is not your cup of tea
Another misunderstood trait of introverts is their dislike for phone calls. They prefer to express themselves by writing and texting as it gives them the time to think over what they want to say.
The quiet ones also give great importance to other people’s non-verbal cues and body language during the interaction. So when they can’t see the other person while talking to them on the phone, it feels like a major component of communication is missing.
17. You don’t like to be in the spotlight
In our society of attention-seekers, not wanting to be in the spotlight may look like a weird trait to have. It’s another one of the surefire signs of an introvert.
This personality type can’t stand being criticized but also praised in public. Even if you don’t have self-esteem issues as an introvert, you probably don’t enjoy activities such as public speaking or giving a presentation.
18. You can’t fake your feelings
Even though introverts may sometimes behave in a totally different manner with different people, they will never fake their feelings.
You will never see an introvert saying a meaningless pleasantry or giving a fake compliment just to seem nice or take advantage of someone. And they certainly won’t pretend to like someone if it’s not true.
Faking one’s feelings is too emotionally draining for an introverted individual, so they rarely master the art of hypocrisy.
19. You tend to avoid conflict
Handling conflict is another task that is too exhausting for an introvert, so they prefer to avoid confrontation of any kind. Dealing with intensity such as yelling and arguing requires too much emotional energy which a quiet person doesn’t possess.
So, if you are an introvert, you tend to withdraw from conflict situations rather than face them openly.
20. You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings
Among the basic characteristics of introverts is that they are reserved and don’t open their hearts to others easily. They don’t like to show their vulnerable, sensitive side to other people. For this reason, they may experience difficulties with talking about their feelings and needs.
Whether it’s a positive feeling (affection) or a negative one (discontent), they hesitate to speak their mind. That’s why they are unlikely to openly call out someone for their annoying behavior. Most probably, they will just distance themselves from that person.
21. Canceled social plans make you feel relieved
One more weird behavior of an introverted personality that confuses other people. The quiet ones often feel relieved when their social plans get canceled. Normally, someone else would feel disappointed. But not an introvert.
Sometimes quiet folks accept invitations to birthday parties and gatherings they don’t want to go to. They do it because they are afraid to offend their friends and family by not showing. So when the social event eventually gets canceled, they feel immense relief.
22. You are skillful in reading people
One study found that many introverts are, in fact, natural psychologists. It’s true – this personality type tends to be highly perceptive when it comes to reading people.
If you are an introvert, you are probably quite observant of the non-verbal cues and other nuances of people’s behaviors, which allows you to decode their personalities and intentions.
23. You are a great listener
Good listening skills are among the basic signs and the most powerful traits of an introvert.
If you have a reserved friend, they are probably the best person to turn to in times of trouble. Even if they can’t help you, they will listen to you carefully, without judging or interrupting you. Talking to an introvert about your personal problems is comforting.
Mental signs of an introvert
A few more signs that describe the way an introvert’s brain works.
24. You do much thinking before acting
The introverted brain needs some time to process information and experiences. For this reason, introverts tend to hesitate when it comes to making decisions. They want to carefully think over every possible scenario and obstacle before acting.
Thus, if you are an introvert, you may struggle with making up your mind, especially if it’s a life-changing decision that you need to come to.
25. Your inner monologue sounds much more powerful than your speech
Every introvert knows how powerful and convincing their thoughts sound. When they are consumed by a situation or problem, they may have whole debates in their heads. They imagine talking to a person, saying the right words, and winning the argument.
But when the time comes and the introvert needs to talk to that person in real life, all this power magically disappears. Their arguments sound weak, their words sound confusing, and, contrary to the imagined debate, the other person doesn’t get convinced as easily.
26. You overanalyze things
Most introverts are overthinkers – this is one more of their distinct traits. Because they are more focused on their inner world, they tend to get lost in their thoughts.
If you are an introvert, analyzing things in detail is a way to make sense of the world around you and process everything that happens in your life. Sometimes you overthink your own behaviors and actions too, which can lead to unhealthy self-criticism.
27. You struggle with getting used to new people and environments
Introverts thrive in familiar environments and struggle to embrace change. They usually take a while to get used to new people or circumstances in their lives.
Thus, they tend to be overly cautious when they start a new relationship or get a new job. An introvert just needs some time to work through this new stage in their life.
28. You choose planning over spontaneity
One more telltale sign of an introverted personality is a preference for planning.
If you are an introvert, you probably don’t enjoy the spontaneity of any kind. This is particularly true about surprise social situations. You feel more comfortable in familiar environments and need to be emotionally and mentally prepared for social interaction, especially if there are strangers involved.
29. You are more skillful in writing than in speaking
Introverts are patient, imaginative, and insightful, which makes them great writers. But even if you don’t write fiction stories as a hobby, you are still quite good at expressing your thoughts on paper as an introvert.
You have the necessary consistency and patience to put your ideas into words by the means of written communication. Writing also gives you the time to think over your thoughts and make sure you choose the best way to express them.
30. You prefer working alone than in a team
Finally, the last one of the key signs of an introvert is a strong preference for working alone.
Teamwork is not a quiet person’s cup of tea. This personality type produces the best results when they are given a certain level of freedom and independence. If you are constantly supervised or forced to interact with your co-workers as an introvert, it leads to distraction and reduced productivity.
These are the most basic signs of introversion. As you see, being an introvert is not the same as being shy, socially anxious, or antisocial. Hopefully, after reading this list, you have a clear idea of whether you are an introvert or not.