Being an introvert in today’s world can often lead us to feel like we’re somehow social outcasts, but this isn’t the case. We are all complex and unique, meaning we can no longer label people as simply an introvert or an extrovert.
Most people actually carry both qualities — sometimes in equal measure. However, there is an entire spectrum of introversion which shows that not all introverts are the same. As a true introvert, you are more likely to enjoy spending less time interacting with others and genuinely enjoying your own company.
A recent Quora thread united different introverts in a discussion describing their own “struggles” with living in a world where introversion is often seen as a negative trait. They discuss how it really feels to be a person who loves spending time in their own company. Here is a highlighted list containing different points of view through the eyes of those who live in the spectrum of introversion.
1. We Have A Low Tolerance For Unfulfilling Social Interactions
We choose quality over quantity when it comes to our social interactions. While some people get a lot out of each interaction they have, we have a low tolerance for conversations that we don’t gain anything from. We would rather have a deep and meaningful conversation than a quick chat or small talk that doesn’t lead anywhere.
2. It Takes Effort For Us To Withdraw From Our Internal World
As we are quite analytical and have great imaginations, we often have a lot of creative and interesting ideas swirling around our brains. Our time alone fuels these ideas, which usually means we need to make more of a conscious effort to shift from our internal world to the external world. We can find this quite a struggle at times, which is why we sometimes retreat quickly from a social interaction or avoid social interaction in the first place.
3. Our Alone Time Is Longer Than That Of Non-Introverts
While most people like to have a bit of time by themselves, as introverts, we need longer than most. We use our alone time to re-energize ourselves — to gather our thoughts and recharge our mental batteries. We can easily spend a whole day happily entertaining ourselves with little interaction with others, which many extroverts find strange and withdrawn. However, we find it perfectly normal and definitely needed.
4. We Can Have An Extroverted Side Too
People can be surprised when we show a less introverted side to ourselves, but in essence no one is 100% introverted. As humans, we are all unique and most of us have a mix of introversion and extroversion within us. Sometimes, our extroversion comes through when the mood takes us, so we should never be labelled as just an “introvert.” Most people are around half and half, with true introverts being around 60-70%. This leaves a small space for our extrovert tendencies to shine through from time to time.
5. We Are Intensely Passionate
Extroverts tend to have an interest in a wide variety of topics, but as introverts, we are intensely passionate about a select few things. This can usually come across in our varying conversations — we are more likely to take part in conversations that really spike our interest and retreat from those that don’t. When we’re passionate about something, we won’t hold back and will happily chat about it, but we don’t have much energy for anything that doesn’t interest us.
6. Being Alone Doesn’t Mean We Feel Lonely
Society tends to assume that being alone means a person is lonely, and while this can be the case, introverts can enjoy being by themselves with minimal social interaction. People who are more extroverted feed off interaction from others and so find it difficult to understand that we just don’t need it as much. This is why loneliness rarely crosses our mind, because we’re busy connecting with ourselves.
7. We Make Good Friends Through Listening
We may not be great talkers but we’re excellent listeners, and this is an innate quality that means people trust us with their problems. Listening is a skill that a lot of people don’t have or find difficult to do — sociability and connecting with people is not all about how much we speak but also how attentive we are to what others say.
8. Speaking Is All About Quality Not Quantity
The amount someone speaks and what they speak about depends on their objective. Many people speak as a way to connect with others or find it genuinely relaxing, but as introverts we usually speak mostly when we discuss things on a deeper level, like life aspirations or something that we are passionate about. We use speaking more as a way of learning and gaining insights, opinions, and knowledge rather than a stream of consciousness to relieve our minds of our daily thoughts.
9. Our Alone Time Is Proactive
When we do spend time by ourselves, we are seldom bored. Since our alone time is significantly greater than that of an extrovert, we realize the need to be constructive with our time and we are good at filling up our day with activities — whether for relaxation or important matters. This is our optimum time to get stuff done, when our mindset is most relaxed and in tune with our inner being.
10. Social Status Doesn’t Impress Us
As introverts, we are more impressed with the depth of people’s personalities, views, and thinking rather than social or career status. We find it harder to identify with an outward appearance and connect better with a person’s inner thoughts, feelings, and drive.
11. Small Talk Is Meaningless To Us
We love to get to know people on a deeper level and therefore small talk always seems unnecessary and fake. Small talk is seen to us as more of an obstacle placed in the way of getting to know someone better. We find it awkward and would much rather explore the minds of the people we know or try to connect with them on a much deeper level.
12. Social Interaction Is Exhausting
We do like to interact with people but, after a certain point, we need to retreat because it can be quite mentally tiring for us. This doesn’t mean we don’t like the people around us, but taking a break is necessary for us to recuperate so we’re ready for our much-needed next social interaction.