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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.

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.

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Carmen Sakurai

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

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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