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24 Signs You’re An Introvert- Not Shy

24 Signs You’re An Introvert- Not Shy

Many people believe introversion and shyness are one and the same, but this is not true. All my life I was told that I was shy. I believed it too… until I learned that shyness is the fear of people due to insecurity or social anxiety.

When I learned this, I thought: wait a second- I’m not afraid of people, but being around too many people for too long always leaves me feeling drained. I also know that I always require alone time to recharge my energy. Moreover, I’m not a fan of interacting for the sake of interacting. I usually have a reason behind every interaction. It was then I thought to myself: nope, I’m not shy at all… what I am is an INTROVERT.

If you’ve always thought that you were shy, but you’re not afraid of being around people, check out this list of 24 signs that you are actually an introvert:

1. You Don’t Enjoy Small Talk

Introverts prefer conversations with substance over small talk. We’re thinkers, and thrive on heavier conversations about life, ideas, theories and big goals. But when small talk is inevitable, we can’t help but try to make the other person feel comfortable. We’re good listeners and are naturally in tune with how the people we interact with are feeling. More often than not, you find these casual chit-chats morph into deeper, more meaningful conversation.

2. You Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Your Phone

Introverts are not the best at talking on the phone. It’s not personal, honest; we screen calls from even our family and closest friends. At times we really hate the phone because it’s intrusive and tears our minds away from whatever we’re deeply focused on. However, those we choose to speak with can be sure that our monthly (or annual) phone conversations will be spilling over with plenty of heartfelt talk- and these calls will more than likely last for hours!

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3. You Wait to Text Back

When you’re notified that you have a text from a family member or friend, you wait until you’re ready to give it your undivided attention, to read it, and send a thoughtful response.

4. You Find Crowds Stressful

You prefer one-on-one time, where it’s more intimate. If spending time around a lot of people is inevitable, you can’t wait to go home and recharge your batteries.

5. You’re Not Anti-Social… You’re Selectively Social

As an introvert, you find it difficult to meet people you like and feel comfortable with. You don’t get energized by the people around you, and most of the time, it takes you a little while to warm up to someone. We don’t invest our energy on people we’re not completely crazy about, so we choose to get to know them better before we get too close. That said, when we do find someone we enjoy being around or have an interest in getting to know better, it’s kind of special!

6. You Enjoy Being Out With a Group of People… in Small Doses

Every once in awhile you like to go out with a group of people and have a great time. It could be a party, networking event, or a huge concert. But once that’s done and over, it may take days, weeks, or even months, to completely recharge your batteries and feel ready to do it again.

7. You Are Extremely Observant and Mindful of Your Surroundings

You enjoy getting to really know what the people around you are really about. Introverts are also very mindful of their surroundings and small details, so people enjoy having you around and quickly grow comfortable opening up to you.

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8. You Unlock Your Heart for Only the Most Special of Souls

Introverts are extremely careful in choosing who we allow to see our inner self. Sure, being left open and vulnerable is incredibly frightening for us, but it means we’ve determined the recipient of our affection and attention is worth the risk. That being said, we’re pretty quick in shutting people out when we feel threatened or hurt. We just don’t have the energy for that.

9. You are Creative

Studies show that introverts are a creative bunch! We are able to take in a lot of information and use it to create wonderful new ideas!

10. You Value Listening… Deeply

Introverts are great listeners. You listen to understand, not simply to respond. And if you’re asked for advice, the help you share has been thought out fully for that specific individual. The act of listening is our way of showing love and respect, and as such, we deeply appreciate when those we communicate with recognize that we carefully think through the messages we share… and that we love it when the same is done for us.

11. You are Highly Introspective

You tend to over analyze situations that don’t even need to be analyzed at all. It may take you a little longer to understand what’s going on, not because you don’t get it, but because you always seek to understand the deeper meanings.

12. You Think Before You Argue

Introverts need to take time to work things out in our heads first, and we choose our words with care. Once we’ve been given the chance to carefully process the issue, we’ll be able to clearly communicate exactly where we stand with those involved.

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13. You are Accused of Flirting with Everybody

Which is pretty funny, considering that it takes time for most introverts to actually warm up to anyone. This misconception is usually due to your great listening skills and your mindfulness towards those around you.

14. You Enjoy Your Time Alone

This may not sound like fun to everyone, but introverts not only like our alone time- we need it. Just doing nothing and having some ‘me-time’ is a way for us to unwind and re-energize.

15. You are Rarely Bored

While our extroverted counterparts turn to others for stimulation, we are constantly working out our lives and dreams in our heads. Introverts are deep thinkers and almost always have an inner monologue running through our minds- it keeps us highly entertained!

16. You Don’t Trust Easily

You take your time to observe and really get to know someone before inviting them into your inner circle; but once you have the right people in your life, you don’t hold back and strive to always give the best of yourself.

17. You Have a Very Small Group of Very Close Friends

While introverts usually don’t enjoy much socializing, we adore our small group of close, trusted friends. We prefer to create and maintain fewer friendships at a much deeper level, over a large group of casual connections.

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18. You Fiercely Guard Your Personal Space

You value your space and are extremely picky about what you give your attention to and who you let in because the wrong thoughts and people will leave you feeling burned-out.

19. You are More Comfortable Expressing Yourself in Writing

You prefer communicating through text and email because it gives you more time and space to clarify your thoughts before putting them into words.

20. You are Great at Getting Stuff Done

Your alone time is packed with brainstorming, outlining, creating blueprints and putting them all into action!

21. You are a Good Judge of Character

Because you keep to yourself, you are able to take time and observe the people around you and truly get to know who they are. Introverts pay close attention to nonverbal cues because we know words can only tell us so much. So, we’re usually able to see everyone for who they really are and not just what they appear to be.

22. You are Great at Making Decisions

Introverts are masters of thinking things through, allowing us to thoroughly gather all necessary data and weigh the pros and cons before making important choices.

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23. You Retain an Air of Mystery

We know there really is nothing mysterious about us, but our tendency to stay just outside the crowd, simply watching and observing, while keeping our emotions and body language in check, makes us seem like we are mysterious.

24. You are A Loyal Friend

Introverts highly value the few close friends they have. If you’ve been welcomed into an introvert’s inner circle, you can almost be certain you have a loyal ally for life.

More by this author

Carmen Sakurai

Mental Declutter, Stress Management & Burnout Prevention Coach. Feeling Stuck? Overwhelmed & No Energy? Let's Talk!

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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