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24 Signs You’re An Introvert- Not Shy

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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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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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