Hi, I'm Michaela. And I'm An Introvert.

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I’ve written over 300 articles on introvert traits, introvert problems, introvert dating, and pretty much everything else introvert related.

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What is an introvert?

Introverts gain energy by being alone. Stimulating environments and social situations are draining for introverts. We can only handle so much before we MUST restore ourselves in solitude.

This is where many people are confused about introversion. It’s not about wanting to avoid people because of shyness, or sadness. Introverts NEED to spend time alone to feel at our best. Plain and simple.

In contrast, extroverts are energized by socializing. They get a buzz from the very activities that overwhelm introverts. When extroverts spend too much time alone, they feel bored and depleted.

Neither personality type is superior, we simply have different needs.

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How To Overcome INFJ Loneliness

Loneliness is the biggest obstacle slowing down INFJs on the road to happiness. Overcoming INFJ loneliness is not easy. No other feeling causes so much anxiety and sadness. What separates loneliness from other roadblocks on the INFJ path is that it can show its face anytime and anywhere. Why is overcoming loneliness hard for INFJs? Have you ever found yourself surrounded by people, listening the sound of small talk, and feeling judgmental eyes looking straight at you? I know I have plenty of times. Even today I face judging words — “He is weird, quiet, and strange”—  because I love spending hours in bookstores by myself, and love having dinner alone in a restaurant. If I’m honest, I feel lonely where I am now. But I’m balancing that feeling because there are plenty of moments when happiness embraces me. The source of my loneliness comes from the knowledge that people I hold dear live thousands of miles away. Also, my full potential will only be fulfilled when I reach my dream and leave my current location. It will happen, but until then, loneliness and me are stuck with each other. Overcoming INFJ loneliness is hard because we often feel misunderstood. We feel that no one gets us and that we’re all alone in our way of thinking. It feels lonely when INFJs constantly need to explain why solitude is important, why we feel lonely in a crowd, or why we need peace and quiet. It’s not easy to win a race against loneliness, but it’s possible. The best strategy to conquer INFJ loneliness A review by researchers at the University... read more

The Ultimate Introvert Travel Guide

Are you as sick as I am of reading travel advice written by and for extroverts? If so, I’ve got the goods for you today. I’ve put together an introvert travel guide that will show you how to add more wonder to your wanderlust, without getting overwhelmed. Because here’s the thing. Introverts are known for staying home. While extroverts seek constant stimulation and excitement, we seek solitude and peace. But this is only part of the picture. Introverts, too, can catch the travel bug. It’s just that we like to do it on our own terms. While it’s true that travel can be exhausting for introverts, it doesn’t have to be. I should know. Over the years, I’ve travelled across continents in the name of art, adventure, escape, and plain old curiosity. Just to give you some context regarding the range of travel experiences I’ve had, here’s a quick summary of just a few of my overseas escapades. I’ve travelled solo through Latin America, New Zealand, Australia, and Thailand. Those of you who know me know that at the end of 2012, I quit my job, sold everything that wouldn’t fit in a suitcase, and set off on a cross-continental odyssey to find purpose and meaning. I have to be honest, this kind of hardcore solo travel is not for everyone, even if you’re an introvert. But I’ll tell you how you can make it work a bit later. I’ve travelled to Puerto Rico, New York, and Portland with a salsa dance troupe. We went to compete, perform, and take workshops at big dance events called “salsa congresses”. With... read more

Are We Compatible? MBTI Relationship Matches For Introverts

It’s that time of year when most of us are acutely aware of our relationship status. Whether you’re coupled up or single, knowing your MBTI relationship matches comes in handy. Before I introduce you to your matches, which I’ve compiled in a colorful new infographic, I want to let you in on a little secret. Your MBTI relationship matches aren’t rules for your love life to live or die by. This is love we’re talking about after all! Matchmaking — even when the matchmaker is the MBTI — is more an art than an exact science. There’s no need to dump your fiancé because he didn’t make the cut on your MBTI relationship matches list. There are always exceptions, dearest. As comedian and actress Charlyne Yi puts it: “Compatibility is weird. Love is confusing. Love is one wild beast.” Okay, now that we’ve got that little caveat out of the way, let’s be honest. It’s really nice to have some guidelines surrounding compatibility. After all, no one knows what lottery ticket is going to be the winner. But it sure is nice to understand the odds before you invest your hard earned money in a ticket. Knowing your MBTI relationship matches gives you a better idea of your chances in the love lottery. Sure, you could beat the odds, and find love with an unlikely match. But you could also discover that the MBTI did not lie. Sometimes, the Myers-Briggs can help predict relationship compatibility with eerie success. Now you might be wondering … How does it work? How exactly does this Myers-Briggs thingy determine your matches? Allow me... read more

INFJ BEWARE: 3 Warning Signs You’re In a Toxic Relationship

If you’re an INFJ like me, you know how it feels to be overwhelmed in a toxic relationship. All our senses are messed up and we start feeling guilty and unworthy. The INFJ personality is like a magnet for relationships that utterly drain us, but we tend to stay in them nonetheless. Allow me to explain why. Why are INFJs more likely to stay in a toxic relationship? Staying in a toxic relationship can have roots from a childhood trauma, according to Ken Page, a psychotherapist and author of the book Deeper Dating. If a person was deprived of love or attention from their parents while they were kids, they tend to replicate that behavior in adulthood, seeking out partners who deny them that crucial validation and appreciation they so desperately need. This counterintuitive feeling is known as an “attraction of deprivation,” according to Page. As Dr. Page points out, past traumas are one of the main reasons why INFJs refuse to leave a toxic relationship. Combine this with conflict avoidance, and the INFJ desire to maintain peace and understanding, and you got yourself a one-way ticket to overwhelm. We don’t want to hurt anyone Staying in a toxic relationship is much harder for INFJs because we don’t want to hurt anyone. For example, I never had the loving support I needed during my childhood and adolescent years. I was on my own and left to handle my fears as best I could. One of my ex-girlfriends was a classic narcissist and the relationship with her overwhelmed me daily. I wanted to speak up, but fear got a hold... read more

Too Tired After Work? 10 Ways Introverts Can Recharge Fast

If you’re an introvert, you know how it feels to be too tired after work. After a long day slaving away for the man, you come home with mush for brains, and zero energy. This is frustrating for many reasons. First of all, there are a lot of things you need to do when you get home. There are animals and loved ones to tend to, friends to call back, neighbours to hide from. But here’s the problem. All of the above tasks take energy. And when you are an introvert who works in a draining environment, energy is one commodity that is in very short supply at the end of the day. Thankfully, there are ways to refill your energy tanks when you are too tired after work. Many of these after work recharge tips are things you can easily slip into your daily routine. Before I share my top tips, as well as a summary infographic, I want to ask you something important: Do you know why you feel too tired after work? For introverts, this is an important question with an answer that is more layered than you might think. Sure, work is stressful and demanding for anyone — that’s why they call it “work”, right? But for introverts, it’s more than that. For introverts, going to work is a daily battle with overstimulation. The reason has to do with the way an introvert’s brain works in comparison to an extrovert’s. In the 1960s psychologist Hans Eysenck proposed that introverts and extroverts have different levels of cortical arousal (the speed and amount of brain activity). Introverts... read more

An Epic Introvert Job Interview Guide

If you’re an introvert like me, you probably don’t leap for joy at the prospect of going on a job interview. Let’s face it, selling ourselves to strangers doesn’t come easily to most introverts. That’s why I’m sharing an epic and awesome introvert job interview guide with you today. But first, can I be honest with you? As an introvert myself, I actually don’t think we’re at as much of a disadvantage in job interviews as others would lead us to believe. You see, we have a lot of goodies in our introvert job interview toolkit. 4 Introvert Job Interview Skills You Already Have As an introvert, you have a wealth of skills and gifts to bring to a job interview. You’re already better prepared to wow a potential employer than you think. Here’s why: 1. You’re highly observant. You pick up on subtleties others might miss. This comes in handy when you’re at a job interview and you need to pay attention to body language and facial expression cues from the interviewer. 2. You like to be prepared. Introverts are known for thinking things through before acting. When it comes to job interviews, you’re more likely to do your research and prepare your answers ahead of time. After all, you are an internal processor, which means you need time to think before you speak. You’re not going to just breeze into an interview and rely on smooth talking and charm. 3. You’re an innovative creative. You might think that creativity has no place in most corporate jobs. The same goes for jobs for introverts in the medical field,... read more

Trump: So Bad Even Introverts Can’t Keep Quiet

President Donald Trump has created a unique dilemma for many introverts. Allow me to explain with a scenario most introverts will relate to. Imagine you’re on a plane, and fate has sat you right next to someone who won’t shut up. They talk and talk and talk without pause. Under normal circumstances you would politely nod and pretend to listen, while looking for the nearest exit. But guess what. It’s a plane! You can’t escape until that puppy lands. Unfortunately, this happens to be a very long flight. The Trump plane isn’t scheduled to land for another four years. This leaves introverts with a choice: Stay quiet or speak up about Trump? For others, this might sound like a simple choice. But for introverts, the decision to boldly voice our opinion is not one that we take lightly. We are, by our very nature, calm and conflict-averse. Speaking out against bullies is sure to create some conflict. So, yeah, it takes a lot to get us to the point where we tell the obnoxious dude on the plane to shut up. I don’t know about you, but for me it takes … Being ignored and underestimated by a narcissistic bully who doesn’t know how to listen Dishonesty, half-truths, and, yes, even ‘alternative facts’ Chauvinism, sexism, racism, and any other form of unfair discrimination Constant fear mongering and the overwhelming energy of anxiety it creates At this particular moment, I feel like the noisy POTUS sitting next to me on the plane embodies all of the above. And I simply cannot keep quiet anymore. Never mind the fact that I’m an introvert, and... read more

How to Have Fun Dating When You’re an Introvert

Dating is hard when you gain energy from alone time, rather than socializing. But believe it or not, dating as an introvert can be fun and easy. First of all, let’s banish the stereotype of introverts being hermits who hole up in their closet with a book. The fact is, as an introvert, you’re at your best when you have alone time to recharge. Relationships with family, friends, and colleagues can be straining enough on your energy reserves. Add onto that having to approach a perfect stranger and find something to talk about? Yikes. If you’re not a social butterfly, how can you convince a special someone that you’re not anti-social, while avoiding boring yourself stiff with small talk? Here are 4 tools you can use to make dating as an introvert feel natural and fun. 1. Prepare a list of topics As an introvert, you hate small talk because it’s inconsequential, so you avoid it at all costs. Prepare a list of topics before you meet up with your date, so when imagination runs dry, you can throw in a new subject to keep things going. Flirt.com has a list of the best things to talk about on a first date to get you started. Whether your date is extroverted or introverted, they’ll find you more interesting if you skip over the mundane. 2. Think of it as a friendship first Introverts are chronic over-thinkers. Rather than trying to decide whether your date will think you’re fat and cheat on you when you’re fifty-six, scale it back a bit and take the pressure off. Instead of putting them... read more

INFJ Self-Care: Why You Put Yourself Last

INFJ self-care is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. If there’s one thing INFJs struggle with, it’s this: putting ourselves first – or even second, or third, for that matter. We care for others all the time, You won’t find a more supportive friend, and understanding partner than an INFJ. The level of our care and concern for the wellbeing of those we cherish is otherworldly. Problems occur when we focus little on our own needs. Taking care of ourselves is not easy for the INFJ personality. A daunting task Imagine this scenario. You are invited to a social gathering (a party or conference). Your INFJ intuition is screaming that you shouldn’t go because you will get overwhelmed. The people there are extroverts who always call out introverts as “weird”. Saying no as a primary INFJ self-care tool sounds like a good choice. However, here’s what happens instead. You accept the invitation because you feel guilty that you’ll offend someone if you don’t go. Your kind INFJ mind doesn’t want to argue. Instead, you go to a place, which will only cause you to feel drained. You’re also dreading hearing questions like: “Why are you so quiet?” or “Why are you standing near the exit?” I experienced this scenario more times than I can count. Instead of spending a quiet night, tucked in your blanket fort, and watching Netflix, you attend a noisy, unpleasant gathering. And you feel terrible about it. Don’t blame yourself, it’s not your fault. INFJs want to make everyone around us feel good, but we forget that we, too, need to take care... read more

The #1 Way Introverts Can Be More Creative

Are you a creative introvert? Here’s a scenario from your student days that might sound painfully familiar: It’s 6pm on the day before a big assignment is due. Your final grade depends on you acing this paper. But there’s one very big catch. It’s a group project, so you’ve got to work as a team to make sure everyone succeeds. In what seems like the trillionth group meeting, you are trying to hammer out a creative conclusion for your argument. Then it happens. The loudest person in the group yells out a lame idea, and the others seem to be on board. You want to wave your arms in the air and say, “Please, no! We can do better than that. At least, I know that I can do better than that.” Unfortunately, there is no “I” in team. There is, however, most definitely an “I” in “introvert”, and that is exactly what you are. This means that your best ideas emerge in solitude. Why The Creative Introvert Needs Quiet As an introvert, your creative powers, which are about as badass as they come, can only be accessed in solitude. You need quiet to connect dots, and create worlds. You also require solitude to to give your brain a break from all the overstimulation assaults you face each day. Think of it this way: You know that children’s story, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, by Judy and Ron Barrett? It’s about this town where the townsfolk get all their meals from the daily shower of food from the sky. This is all fine and good until suddenly the... read more
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Michaela Chung is an introvert author, coach and entrepreneur. Her first book, The Irresistible Introvert will be out July 5th 2016.

Copyright: © Michaela Chung 2016