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7 Clear Signs You're an Introvert

Updated on February 2, 2015


I’m an introvert. I always have been. At a young age I often wondered what makes someone an introvert or an extrovert. Are extroverts simply louder than introverts? Well this did not make sense to me because sometimes I can be loud when I’m around people I’m comfortable with. I can be myself around specific types of people, albeit very few. Considering that humans are very complex creatures, I found out there are many characteristics of an introvert, not simply how loud or shy you appear to the outside world. Read on to find seven specific characteristics that may help you realize you’re one of us. However keep in mind not every trait relates to every introvert. This list will simply help you realize that you lean more towards one side than the other.

Firstly - What is an introvert and an extrovert?

If you’re new to this phenomena, introversion and extraversion are two different personality types. We are all introverted and extroverted however most of us are not 50% introverted and 50% extroverted – we have a preference for one side. We can be slightly more introverted or extroverted.

After reading so many articles about personality traits I sometimes find myself forgetting that I also have extroverted traits as well. According to the Myer’s Briggs Personality Test I’m 40% introverted. If you want to do the test click here and then use this website to find a detailed report about yourself. I am an INFJ and I will write a more detailed article about this specific personality type at a later time.

If you don’t want to do the test feel free to read the following seven introverted personality traits and see if they suit your lifestyle:

Introverts need time for themselves to re-charge
Introverts need time for themselves to re-charge | Source

Top 10 Introvert Traits

  1. You need time to yourself after socialising for a long time

    Introverts re-gain their energy being alone and extroverts gain energy being around people. We re-charge by reading a book or by simply being away from other people. After being at a party or social gathering for more than 3 hours, I start to feel tired. Drained. As though I cannot go on. Well that might sound a little dramatic but this is usually how most introverts feel after socialising for a long time.

    2. You prefer to have time to think before acting or speaking

    Let’s say someone said something rude to you. Do you act straight away or do you contemplate first and then act? I always find myself in contemplation. I go home, think about the situation and then decide whether or not I should confront the person. This isn’t always helpful if the person being rude is from a café on the motorway you’ll never visit again. Nonetheless I always hold back before acting. A study from Adrian Furnham in 1992 found that extroverts are more active and introverts are more reflective when deciding whether to act. Can you think of a situation where you wish you had acted but your introversion told you to hold back and wait?

    3. Noise is very distracting to you when you're trying to study or read

    A study from the University of Missouri-Columbia by Russel Geen in 1984 found that extroverts can handle louder levels of noise intensity than introverts. A group of introverts and extroverts were completing a task and could choose the level of background noise. They found more extroverts preferred higher levels of stimulating noise and itnroverts preferred less noise while finishing the puzzle. I happen to find it difficult to study with almost any noise so prefer to study in the confines of my own room. Are you the same? Do you find it difficult to read when the television is on or do you like background noise?

Introverts don't like small talk
Introverts don't like small talk | Source

4. You find small talk difficult but deep substantial conversations are easy for you to talk about

Do you prefer to talk about deep rooted beliefs about life or personal problems rather than trying to find something interesting to say to “How are you?”? Small talk can be difficult for introverts, which is quite a catch 22 in my opinion. We find it hard to talk about the simple stuff but shoot us a philosophical question and we’ll be happy to debate or discuss the idea.

A study in Wellesley College by Avril Thorne called The Press of Personality: A Study of Conversations Between Introverts and Extroverts analysed the conversations between 52 people - half extroverts and half introverts. Introverts were paired with introverts for a ten minute discussion which was tape-recorded. Opposite personality types then had a similar length discussion. The types of conversations were analysed. Thorne found that introverts paired with introverts were more likely to engage in a couple of heavy topics, however extroverts paired with extroverts would discuss a range of topics that were more casual and light.

When people communicate they want to find a common ground. Extroverts do this through light-hearted conversations such as 'You have a fish? Oh my sister has a Siamese fighting fish. What type of fish do you have?' On the other hand, Thorne found that introverts find common ground by discussing similar problems shared by the two people such as issues at school or work. In the end, Thorne realized introverts enjoy extrovert's company when they want an easy-going conversation and extroverts enjoy introverts company because it allows them to open up. So how do you fair with small talk?

5. You would rather stay-in and read a book than go to a party

You feel comfortable and safe in your own home and would prefer to do this than to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation, where you’re not sure who to talk to or how to start the next conversation. Personally, this does not relate to me because I would rather go to a party and then read a good book to re-charge. Does this trait relate to your social life?

6. You prefer conversing one-on-one rather than in groups

Do you sometimes sit in a group situation wishing you could contribute only to be overruled by all the other loud voices chattering away? Well you’re not alone. Many introverts want to join in but fear of rejection or judgement can hold us back – well this is my case. Let me know if you are the same. We prefer talking to one person because we are more in control of the situation than if there is a group. If you think you have offended someone in a group it is more difficult to pinpoint than if you have offended one person who is talking right in front of you.

7. You find it easier to communicate through writing

Even if you don’t have a natural flair for the written word, if you find yourself more comfortable typing on a computer to your friends than in person for the same amount of time, you may be an introvert. Not only that, if communicating causes you to stutter or stumble for words but you write coherently then that is also a sign you are more of an introvert. Whenever I have a problem with someone I usually talk to myself, by myself or write it down first. Then I can read out loud what I’ve written or practice what I will say to someone else before I face any conflicting situations.


Are you more of an Introvert or an Extrovert?

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Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts


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    • Moony27 profile image

      Meagan 2 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for commenting! My mum used to be an introvert before she had 4 girls! Having kids gave her something to talk about and gave her confidence, so maybe you're in the same boat. I'm dating an extrovert too and he helps do the little things I hate to do as an introvert (such as go up to the cafe lady and ask for more tomato sauce). Thanks again for your post, love it! :)

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 2 years ago from United States

      I am an introvert, especially in the fact that I get energy from being alone and feel drained by being in social situations. In spite of that, I have chosen to have 5 children, two by adoption, and to have married a person who is primarily an extrovert. The stretching of myself by this has helped me to develop outward traits of extroverts, such as being able to engage easily in smalltalk (I just ask lots of questions) and to be the first to introduce myself and start a conversation (it helps that I live now in the South where this is expected and easy to do). I do feel that learning some traits of extroversion are helpful to make a person more comfortable in social settings.

    • Moony27 profile image

      Meagan 2 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for your comment, I'm glad it helped confirm your belief. I recommend the book Quiet - The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I'm reading it now and it's eye-opening :)

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Very interesting article. The 7 signs you present confirm what I already knew - I'm an introvert too. Thanks for this great and cheerful article!