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I'm not shy, I'm an introvert.

Updated on August 29, 2012

An 'inny' in a world of 'outies'

I am not shy, socially awkward, nervous or anxious. I don't hate people or public places, I am not anti-social, I am not arrogant, rude or depressed. Neither am I angry at you. I do care about whatever it is you are babbling on about I'm not heartless or lacking any sort of empathy. I am not oppressed, a recluse, mentally ill or some hideous monster of the psychopathic variety.

I am an introvert.

It means people suck the energy right out of me, as do large social gatherings. It means I find myself plenty entertaining to keep myself company. I do not depend on nor overly need the company of people. I like to be introspective and get lost in my thoughts, daydreams and fantasies - It rechardges me.

I am a loner in a world of teamwork.

I march to my own beat while the rest line dances in unison.

I am an 'inny' in a world of 'outies'.

An introvert in a nation of extroverts.

"If introversion is a disease, then can I please get a disability so I don't have to work with extroverts all the time"

By Anonymous

Have your say.

Are you introverted, extroverted or an ambivert?

See results

So which is what?


An introvert is someone who is more introspective and reflective in nature. They find people and social situations energy draining or tiring, even if they are enjoying themselves. They need time alone to think, daydream, fantasize and recharge. Introverts are often referred to as wall flowers or butterflies still in their cocoons.


An extrovert is someone who get energized and thrives off social situations. They are the exact opposite of an introvert. When extroverts are alone they tend to wilt like a flower in to high heat with no water. They tend to need social activities and even when alone, they will grab up their cell phones or go to social media, they are the social butterflies.


Ambiverts are a little introverted and a little extroverted. They do not need to recharge nor do they have to be social. They are happy to socialize and do not find it tiring or as much of a drain on energy. They are equally happy to spend time alone or on their own.

These 'labels' are not written stone. It's a sliding scale idea. Put introversion at one end, extroversion at the other end and ambivert smack dab in the middle. Some people are more deeply introverted, others may ambivert with a leaning towards either introversion or extroversion. No two people are alike, no two extroverts, introverts or ambiverts are the same.

"...because I rant not, neither rave of what I feel, can you be so shallow as to dream that I feel nothing?"

By R.D Blackmore

According to a variety of statistics that I discovered in my detailed and exhaustive search of the first 10 pages of google search results, I have concluded with no real accuracy, that a quarter or 25% of North Americans are introverted, and this number rises to half or 50% when extended worldwide.

With numbers like that you are all sure to have encountered at least one introvert in your lifetime. If you are an extrovert, chances are you do not understand introverts and no amount of explaining helps you to understand.

So, what exactly is an introvert? Essentially an introvert is someone who finds people and social situations to be anywhere from tiring to exhausting. They need private time to recharge, gather their thoughts and do some internalizing.

North America is a continent of extroverts, yet overseas value introversion equally or more. An introvert is often perceived as being something similar to an alien by extroverts, and that is okay, cause introverts understand.

"When introverts are in conflict with each other ... it may require a map in order to follow all the silences, non verbal cues and passive-aggressive behaviors!"

By Adam S McHugh

A little explanation ... for those of you who need it.

In my 37 years on this planet I have heard it said of me more than once or thrice, "Oh, she doesn't go out and she doesn't like people" or "she doesn't mean to be so rude".

Au Contraire.

I find people of all stripes and shades to be rather fascinating. I just tend to prefer smaller doses of people - specifically strangers. I do enjoy going out, but again in small doses. Too often I agree to go out somewhere for an hour or so and it turns into a 5-10 hour production. I have learned over the years to say no to most social outings - not because it involves people or public spaces, but because it is not in small doses and I need days to recover.

I can see how many introverts, myself included are perceived as rude, aloof, disinterest or even arrogant. In a world of extroverts the inane social pleasantries, the small talk and general chit chat of nothing much are expected to be performed, demanded even. Conversations don't start till you have spent 5-10 minutes on talking about how they are doing, what they are doing, what the kids are up to and so on. Small talk makes me feel like an actor more often than not.

Just because I am not a big fan of small talk and am quieter in nature, does not mean I do not like to speak or participate in conversations. I interact with people because there is a reason to do so and it is never just for the sake of interacting. Same with speaking, I speak up or participate in conversations cause I have something to add and it is never just for the sake of hearing my own voice or to feel my lips flap.

Best way to start a conversation with me is to just dive in, drop some intellectual bomb or say something witty and leave all the small talk at the door. If you happen to strike a topic that I am interested in or have a passion for, I just may talk for hours, days or weeks.

" ... all this talking, this rather liquid confessing, was something I didn't think I could ever bring myself to do. It seemed foolhardy to me, like an uncooked egg deciding to come out of its shell: there would be a risk of spreading too far, turning into a formless puddle." Margaret Atwood

Final Thoughts.

Introverts understand, accept and in some cases forgive the extrovert for having no idea how to deal with us and for constantly trying to draw us out or change the introvert in us.

Recognize that being introverted or even extroverted is not a choice one consciously makes, it is not some stage of life or lifestyle fad. This is just who they are, their nature, their personality, their biological make up.

Introverts and extroverts process information and use different parts of their brain, they are 'hard wired' this way and can't be changed. If your family member or friend is introverted being quiet or withdrawn is not an immediate sign of depression or being upset with anyone. They do not need you asking how they are, what's wrong or anything else along those lines.

In fact, just be quiet and enjoy an introverts presence.

"A minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population."

By: Unknown

Little TwoTwo's Mailbox

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Deb Welch 5 years ago

    Great Hub. I'm an Ambivert - on a sliding scale. It depends on the day, the mood, the event or activity. I love being around people for the most part and enjoy going to many different places all the time. Yet I must add that since this world has changed drastically and I have gotten more mature - I want to be by myself more than less. Up - Useful and a very Interesting read. Thanks.

  • jenbeach21 profile image

    jenbeach21 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    You described me so well! Great hub.

  • Larry Fields profile image

    Larry Fields 5 years ago from Northern California

    I too am a card-carrying introvert. I enjoy my own company, and I choose my own friends.

    Interestingly, dogs are not judgmental about introversion. On the other hand, their American owners really need to understand that introversion is not a social disease.

    Voted up, shared, and more.

  • Melissa A Smith profile image

    Melissa A Smith 5 years ago from New York

    I am shy, socially awkward, nervous, anxious, I hate people on many occasions, hate many public places, I can be considered to be depressed, I don't really care about 90% of what people babble about, and I'm an introvert.

  • thebiologyofleah profile image

    Leah Kennedy-Jangraw 5 years ago from Massachusetts

    Great hub! I, too, am an introvert and I love being one. Like you said about yourself this doesn't mean I hate social situations and people but it does mean I partake in small doses and always need time to recharge my batteries afterwards. I love spending time by myself and I love my friends and family for understanding 'leah time' is a vital part of my day.

    Thanks for sharing, you really hit the nail on the head with your explanations of what it means to be an introvert!