Many of us are surprised to find later in life that we are introverts. This is particularly confusing for those who are outgoing and socially skilled.
How did we miss this all our lives? Aren’t introverts the shy, socially awkward people who dislike going out or being among other people?
The introvert revolution has shined a light on a lot of misinformation and lack of information about us. However, the stereotypes of introverts as wallflowers, computer geeks whose only interactions are online, and crazy cat ladies still abound.
For one, not all introverts are shy. Some of us are, but not all. And we don’t all choose to spend time with our cats instead of people, though some do.
So, who are we and what makes us who we are?
- 30 – 50% of people are introverts.
- Introverts get their energy from time alone, rather than from social stimulation.
- When we spend too much time socializing, we need alone time to recharge.
- We prefer to spend time with small intimate groups and relate to others on a deeper level.
- We don’t want to be extroverts – or different from who we are – most of the time.
- Some social situations are stressful because of the small talk and need to “be on” – not because of social anxiety – though some have social anxiety.
- As introverts, we enjoy solitary things like gardening, reading, being in nature, and similar pastimes.
- We may spend a lot of time “in our heads” imagining or thinking of things that seem more interesting than what is happening in the outside world.
These traits don’t make us any stranger than extroverts. Some people find it odd to strike up a conversation with strangers or spend time in loud, crowded places where a conversation is impossible.
Introverts or extroverts are not right or wrong – simply different. Research shows that it is possible to determine by four months of age which children will grow up to be introverts. We’re born this way.
With these differences in our wiring, our needs and care may be different from others. Our relationships are generally deep and intimate. Our social circle may be small but relatable.
Our work lives may be solitary. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t team players, but that we do our best work in an environment that allows us to dive deep into our thoughts and create without additional stimulation and distractions.
As you dig deeper into the world of introverts in this ebook, you’ll discover much more about:
Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance
Finding Your Voice