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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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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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