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14 Signs You’re an Introvert Who Are Misunderstood Often

14 Signs You’re an Introvert Who Are Misunderstood Often

What comes to your mind when I say the word “introvert”? A shy, timid person? Or someone who thinks they are too-cool-for-school? As an introvert myself, I’m proud to tell you introverts are not what you think they are.

Introverts are seen as quiet, reserved, and often rude and reclusive. However, the introvert definition doesn’t include being anti-social. Introverts can have great social lives and close friends, and they do enjoy spending time with others, but they feel so tired physically and mentally after a long day of socializing and mingling.

What they need is spending alone time to regain their energies. They mainly appear in places which provide silence and solace like parks, their home, and cafes. They also enjoy a good ole bus ride alone.

But why do introverts act this way?

The real science behind introverted behaviors.

Everyone possesses dopamine and acetylcholine in their brains. These are both neurotransmitters linked to pleasure. Scientists[1] discover introverts rely on acetylcholine — a chemical that makes you feel good when you turn inwards; while extroverts respond better to dopamine — a chemical that provides the motivation to seek external rewards and stimulation.

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Also, a study[2] in 2012 finds out introverts have thicker gray matter in their prefrontal cortex, which is a region of the brain linked to decision-making and abstract thoughts. This explains introverts tend to sit and ponder alone before making a decision.

In relationships, introverts may leave you feeling a little confused.

Of course, dating an introvert could be more challenging than working with one, especially if you are an extrovert, but here is why:

If introverts have a choice, they would rather stay at home and spend time together than going out for a date. Introverts enjoy spending quality time with their loved ones in a space with minimal social interactions, simply because a loud and noisy atmosphere it is more draining and boisterous. Also, introverts like to direct their attention on one person, going out just creates more distractions.

They really need a lot of alone time, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Often times, introverts in relationships are deemed as non-communicative and distant. Their partners (usually extroverts) may feel less attention from them. It’s not that they don’t love you, it’s only because their introverted temperament requires a silent space to absorb and process information from both outside and inside.

They let their partners shine. Introverts prefer stepping back and let others have the spotlight, it’s the same in relationships. Their introverted nature makes their more extroverted counterparts feel less threatened and competitive for attention.

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They don’t like to socialize with their partner’s friends, but they are willing to try. It all comes back to introverts not liking small talks. They can be friendly and sociable (and may be mistaken as an extrovert), but they find it mentally draining afterwards. They hate being the center of attention too. But because introverts are great listeners, they understand what their partner wants and try to accommodate their needs.

They are often a source of great advice. Because they are such deep thinkers who grapple with all the big questions of life on a daily basis, introverts are often a great source of advice. They can also be wise coaches, willing to pass on their valuable experience and insight. They are often slow to comment, but when they do offer their input, it is often useful and packed with wisdom. An introvert will usually bring an aura of calm to even the most fraught situations.

They may take a while to respond to your messages, but don’t take it personally. If you have ever sent a text or email to an introverted friend and had to wait hours for a response, don’t worry. Introverts typically take longer than extroverts to reply because they value their alone time. As a result, they are happy to let some time pass before sending a well-considered response. It doesn’t mean they don’t like or love you. When they feel like doing so, they really enjoy reconnecting with family and friends.

At work, introverts keep themselves to themselves.

They don’t boast, they just take actions. Introverts don’t crave the limelight, and they think boasting is another form of attention-seeking. They prefer working hard on their own instead of gaining popularity or likeness from others.

They don’t bother to act nice. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean introverts are stuck-up or extroverts are fake. Introverts do not prefer small talks, or even dread chitchats. They think small talks are not acts of niceness, but pointless conversations.

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They perform best when they work alone. Introverts appreciate the time and space required to process their own thoughts, and work to their own schedule. They dislike working in groups, because conversations with others tire them quickly. This doesn’t mean that they have no respect for their colleagues, merely that their performance improves when they are given free rein to govern themselves.

They can be great leaders. Introverts are not inclined to spend a lot of time with others and are hesitant to join in conversations, which can cause others to assume that they aren’t leadership material. The truth of the matter is that an introvert can be a wonderful leader, under certain conditions. Specifically, they do best when they manage people who are able to motivate themselves, and do not need to seek out guidance from their boss every ten minutes. Such employees would drain an introvert at a rapid rate.

They don’t ask questions very frequently, but when they do the questions are the wisest ones. Sometimes, an introvert may give the impression that they are not paying attention during a meeting or conversation. Don’t be fooled – underneath their calm exterior, millions of thoughts are zipping around their head! However, they like to consolidate their position first, and only then communicate it to others.

They aren’t shy to present themselves, they only say things when it counts. Introverts are often assumed to be soft-spoken and shy, in fact, they are listening and internalizing their thoughts while others speak. They prefer thinking before speaking, and say things that are really meaningful and constructive.

They hate gossips and don’t understand why others love it so much. As I have mentioned before, introverts seldom enjoy trivial conversations, and office politics is no exception.

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Despite everything, when they make friends at work, they make really close ones. The reason why introverts don’t enjoy chit-chats is because they prefer deep, introspective conversations with others. They build friendships beyond the surface, but not upon superficial interactions.

Not all introverts are identical.

After reading this, you might see a bit of yourself, or you may think “nah, my introverted friends are nothing like this”. I just want you to know, there isn’t a solid and absolute introvert definition.

People have different degrees of introversion, and it’s more important to know introverts can be different from one another, and people may change after time, but just remember, they all share one ultimate similarity — they need their alone time to recharge.

No matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, let us know if there are any other qualities you think an introverted person possess!

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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