There are plenty of occasions when being able to spot an introvert comes in handy.  Many extroverts enjoy the quiet company of introverts.  If you are an innie yourself, you might like meeting people who share your temperament.  If nothing else, being able to pick an introvert out from the crowd will help you understand his or her behavior.  And understanding leads to connection.

First of all, I’d like to point out that spotting an introvert isn’t as easy as it sounds. Many introverts disguise themselves very well as extroverts.  False introvert stereotypes might also lead you astray.

Keeping the above obstacles in mind, here are some surefire ways to spot an introvert:

Check the sidelines

Introverts do go to parties, but their way of interacting at social gatherings is distinct.  An introvert can mix and mingle and meet new people.  They might even enjoy doing so.  Their approach, however, will be different than that of an extrovert.

An introvert usually hangs out along the edges of a room.  She avoids large clusters of people in favor of one-on-one conversation.  Rather than ‘working the room’ an introvert is likely to spend the bulk of the evening talking to one or two people.  She will often appear deeply focused on the conversation – as if there were no one else in the room.

Don’t overlook the host

I know a lot of introverts, myself included, who would rather host a party than attend someone else’s.  There are several valid reasons for this.  As a host, you can choose the guests, time and atmosphere. Hosting duties give you an excuse to escape the group when needed.  Introverts might also coordinate activities and clubs as a way of connecting with people on their own terms.

Find them in nature

A lot of introverts find refuge and peace in nature.  The great outdoors is a place where introverts can wonder and explore without feeling overwhelmed. Most outdoor clubs (except perhaps the extreme sport kind) are teaming with nature-loving introverts.

Spot them amongst artists & inventors

The intense focus involved with creative and scientific endeavors is very appealing to introverts.  Many of them relish the long periods of solitary focus that these fields require.  The same can be said of computer programming and development.

Know the signs of a pseudo-extrovert

As I said before, introverts are quite capable of disguising themselves as extroverts. So, how can one spot a pseudo-extrovert?  At first glance this might be impossible, but within a couple of hours you might notice one or more of the following:

  • Zoning out
  • Sudden quietness
  • A desire to leave even though the event/party is just getting started
  • Irritability
  • A desire to stick closely to familiar people
  • An intense interest in books or art in the room
  • Special attention given to the house pet
  • A desire to perform activities that don’t require conversation (i.e. helping to clean, serve, DJ, take photographs, etc.)
  • Unwillingness to indulge in small talk

All of the above behaviors are signs that you’ve found an introvert in disguise.

Now that you know how to spot an introvert, I hope that you will use these powers for good not evil.  Happy hunting!