The defining characteristic of introverts is that we draw energy from being alone.  Social interactions and overly stimulating environments drain us.

Every introvert has a unique personality, but there are some key traits most of us share.

Most Common Introvert Traits

  • Crowds agitate us
  • Amusement parks revolt us
  • We want to leave a party shortly after arriving
  • We hate small talk
  • We need time to think before we speak
  • Get us on a topic we’re passionate about and we can talk at length
  • We dislike talking on the phone
  • We express ourselves better in writing than in conversation

Introverts vs. Extroverts

So what is the main difference between an introvert and an extrovert? While introverts gain energy from being alone, extroverts need lots of human interaction and outward stimulation to recharge.

Extroverts tend to think as they speak, allowing them to have fast-paced conversations that flit from topic to topic.

Conversely, introverts prefer slower paced conversations that allow them to think before they speak. Click to tweet.

No one is entirely an introvert or entirely an extrovert.  Each person falls on a different point in the spectrum.  A person who lands in the middle of the spectrum is called an ambivert.

Introverts are often misunderstood

There are so many misconceptions about introverts I feel exhausted just thinking about them.   Introverts are labeled as shy, aloof and socially inept so often that many of us come to accept these labels as truth.  More often than not, we are none of the above.

Common misconceptions about introverts:

  • We have poor social skills
  • We don’t like people
  • We are shy
  • We are unadventurous
  • We are rude

These are not the defining characteristics of an introvert.

Introverts are as unique, lovely, charming and flawed as extroverts.Click to tweet.

I have met many very likeable introverts who have superior social skills.  I’m absolutely certain you have too.

You might have an introvert boss, close friend, daughter or spouse and not realize it.  If you don’t know the true definition of an introvert, it’s easy to be misled.

Introverts live in an Extrovert’s World

Even though introverts comprise a quarter to half of the population, we often feel like a minority.  We constantly feel guilty for being too quiet in an increasingly loud world.

Introverts are singletaskers in a culture obsessed with multitasking. Click to tweet.

Introverts are word economists in a society that’s suffering from verbal diarrhea. Click to tweet.

Introverts draw from within in a world abuzz with stimulation that keeps getting bigger, brighter and louder. Click to tweet.

So, now that you understand introverts, go easy on us.  We are an oppressed and misunderstood group.  And if you are an introvert, I hope you recognize that you are not alone – even if you really want to be.

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