When you do not say much, people assume that a lot is going on within you. Silence is a form of communication that creates a wall where people project themselves. It gets more interesting that some people do not realise that one could feel loneliness in the company of another person or in a crowd. Some of us love to be in our heads. It is nothing personal.
Introversion, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the act of directing one’s attention toward or getting gratification from one’s own interests, thoughts, and feelings. It is also defined as the state or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life
Based on Jonathan Cheek’s research, there are four types of introversion:
This type of introversion entails an individual preferring solitude and if he/she must be with people, they would rather it were a small group. According to Cheek, people who are social introverts “prefer to stay home with a book or a computer, or to stick to small gatherings with close friends, as opposed to attending large parties with many strangers.”
Introspection and thoughtfulness characterise this type of introversion. Contrary to the consensus of what it means to be introverted, these people do not avoid social situations. They enjoy being in their heads.
Anxious introverts, unlike social introverts, desire alone time because they are socially awkward. “This kind of introversion is defined by a tendency to ruminate, to turn over and over in their minds the things that might or could or already have gone terribly wrong.”
People who fall under this category are reticent, reserved. They love to deliberate on their actions and words before expressing them. “Restrained introverts sometimes seem to operate at a slightly slower pace. “
If you are introverted, you can identify with the following:
You come across as haughty
When you smell good, mind your business, and face front, people say you are haughty. They go on to say you are forming, not being real. (Seriously, what does it mean to be real? You cannot be cool, calm, and collected in peace.) How do people look at a quiet person and imagine that the person’s silence is an affront?
You are prone to anxiety and depression
Because you are mostly inside your head, you tend to over-think things. You are bothered about past and future. When things do not go right, you sink into the mire of depression – protracted sadness.
You are not so expressive
Everyone is emotional only that we express it differently based on nature-nurture. As introverts are inward people, you tend to channel your feelings inside. You have chances of festering negative feelings inside, but when you let it out, you might be explosive.
You love space
This is not restricted to romantic partners. You need your friends to understand you want “You Time”. Left to you, you do not have to talk to your significant other on a daily basis.
Loyalty is important to you
This does not necessarily mean inheriting feuds from your friends. You are interested in quality, not quantity – this makes you have few friends you can count on. You have realised that being friendly with people is not tantamount to being friends with them.
You’re probably smarter than most people
Problem-solving, memory, and creativity are the major determinants of intelligence. Spending time alone can heighten these abilities in a way. You could be reading or watching something educative, enlightening. Alone time gives you opportunity to think up solutions to problems.
You enjoy solitude
Human interaction may be a bit too stressful and draining for you. Because you are smarter than a good number of the population, you might have issues finding your tribe – people who vibe with you. It is easier being all by yourself than staying around people who stress you. That you are alone does not mean you are lonely.
Small talk irks you
As you loathe the idea of small talk, you tend to avoid relationships that would create an avenues for you to indulge in small talk. This trait might make you see answering phone calls as a chore, especially when your instincts tell you the person calling has nothing important to tell you. You might prefer texts messages. The speed at which you reply solely depends on how much you like the person, or if it is urgent.
If you can relate to at least five of these, you are introverted. To be honest, introversion is a chore when you live in a society filled with people dedicated to not minding their businesses. You might have caught yourself complaining that people do not understand you. The important thing is to find like-minded people who would not feel threatened or put-off by your introversion.
P.S. Carl Jung coined the terms “extraversion” and “introversion”. They exist on a continuum – just like other human proclivities. At this point, we must have come to terms with the fact that the world is all shades of grey, not just black and white. There are people in between lumped in the box of “ambivert”.
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