The fascination with introverts has risen to the surface in recent years. These days, many of us are wondering, "Am I a true introvert or an extrovert?" It's easy to spend several hours of research on this topic. However, there are many clues to help you figure out if you fall into the introvert camp. If you find yourself saying, "This is so me!" to a majority of these signs, you might just have your answer.
1. Small Talk Is a Big Waste of Time
As a natural listener, you aren't a fan of conversations that bounce back and forth too much. You're an observer and enjoy letting people vent their feelings out. The standard, "I watched 'Real Housewives of Orange County' last night, and Tammy is something else!" is something that doesn't captivate you (apologies to my friends, but it's true). Yeah, she was dramatic, but the play-by-play is a snore fest.
You'd rather be discussing the cosmos, the current political climate, or investing time in someone else's emotional issues. You also find that light chitchat evolves into a deeper topic when you're part of the conversation. A simple, "Have you seen 'Orange is the New Black'?" could progress into issues in the prison system (again, sorry friends). You just go in a little deeper than your extroverted buddies.
2. Networking Doesn't Work With Your Real Personality
One of the reasons small talk situations are not your favorite way to interact is that they force a false persona to come to the surface. Light banter about the next big Fortune 500 Company and sharing your teamwork philosophies bring you anxiety because all eyes are on you (gasp!).
Being the center of attention is not what most introverts do best (please reference birthdays, awards, or even your wedding (glad you got through that, right?). In fact, introverts will deflect attention as much as humanly possible! In networking situations, it's unavoidable that you need to speak up, or you'll be doomed to never get that dream job. But it's draining and uncomfortable, to say the least.
3. You Schedule Time for Downtime
You secretly hope your friends are going to back out of a long night so you can melt into your couch--sound familiar? Not to say that introverts don't have or want any friends, but we look at alone time much differently as it is just as important as social interaction (we desperately rely on it).
A Friday night spent at home reading isn't a missed opportunity for an introvert. Quite the opposite actually. Books open our mind to more picturesque ways of thinking. It brings you to a world that exists in your head (where most introverts spend a majority their time). Going to a club or a party can actually fall lower on the list of priorities than a binge Netflix night at home.
4. Your Batteries Run Low After Burning Too Much Social Energy
When you are out and about, you usually get over the scene faster than your extroverted friends. It hits you like a ton of bricks and only drags down from there. You pine for your bed, and you yearn to stop babbling about the new Kayne West song.
If you drove, you might even pull a, "I so wish I could stay, but I have to get up so early tomorrow" (guilty). It's nothing against your gal pals, but you just need time to recharge. The minute you get back home is when you start feeling your strength returning. Home is your safe place.
5. Audience Participation Is Not Something You Sign Up For
Ever get tickets to "The Price is Right"? Probably not, because you can get picked to go ON STAGE (queue lightening bolts)! You don't mind catching the show as a spectator, but that little chance of getting selected is just enough to send your anxiety through the roof. You might even go so far as to time bathroom breaks during selection time, so you pull yourself out of the "winner's pool."
If you are selected, your brain goes into overdrive sending various scenarios through your head and word combinations to construct without looking awkward (breaths heavily into a paper bag). Playing along with the game is fun, but it loses its luster when you're in the limelight.
6. You Keep Others Mystified
Have you ever heard things like, "Why do you have to be so mysterious?" or "You should just try to open up more"? Yup. It's not that you're trying to provoke attention about your personal details--you just don't feel the need to over share.
It takes a little more time to warm up to people because your guard is a bit higher. That's where extroverts are so amazing, they force introverts out of their shell and make them feel more comfortable (hallelujah!). Imagine a room filled with only introverts. Who would bring that extra warmth into the room? Everyone would be waiting around for someone else to get the ball rolling. The downside is, extroverts really want to get to know you, but you might not be ready yet. Be friendly, but go at your pace--they'll understand.
7. Your Voice Never Stop Talking--On the Inside
Yes, there is nothing more beautiful that the imagination of an introvert. Although you may not be speaking physically, you're caught in a deep internal monologue. We can get lost in thoughts and ideas for hours--boredom isn't much of a thing with an introvert. Where extroverts get restless and drained from being alone too long, introverts survive and thrive from it!
Even when you aren't at home, the wheels keep turning. Introverts see details that many extroverts miss because they pay attention to smaller things. It's probably common for you to blurt out an idea that's on step five when your audience is still on step one. You just can't slow that mind down!
8. The Term 'Selectively Social' Rings a Bell
Introverts aren't anti-social. We do enjoy social outings but are selective in the gatherings we choose. If you don't know many people at the event, you'll likely back out because this means a lot of small talk, and an overall feeling of unease (aka the worst!).
There is a general misconception that all introverts are shy, but in reality, you can be an introvert without being a shy person. You just do better in small groups with people you trust because there won't be judgment, and you'll be more likely to open up a bit more. The more people involved, the more hesitant you are to come around. Honestly, you could be the life of the party in your smaller circle. But the bigger the event, the more time you need to recharge those introspective batteries.
Life on the Inside
Being an introvert is actually a very special thing. You get to see the beautiful details life has to offer, and you get in touch with many creative ideas other don't typically think about. Although you are an extrovert's polar opposite--you need each other like peanut butter needs jelly (yum). So embrace your introspectiveness and tap into your inner voice!