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If You Find Socializing Draining, You Have An Introvert Personality

If You Find Socializing Draining, You Have An Introvert Personality

It’s Saturday night, and you’ve finally managed to get yourself out of the house and to the party your friends have been bugging you about. As you walk in, you scan the social scene. Everyone sticks to their prospective party-going persona. There’s people chatting amongst themselves in various corners, others are playing drinking games that will probably carry on all night. There’s that fly on the wall that you hardly notice, and of course the dynamic center of attention; the life of the party.

Between the fly on the wall, and the life of the party, which of the two would you consider to be introverted? Stereo-typically speaking, you would automatically assume that the fly on the wall is the introvert. And you would be correct. But would it surprise you to know that the life of the party is an introvert as well?

Being introverted doesn’t necessarily translate to anti-social

Many introverts can pass as being a social butterfly, because they are not a shy type of introvert. Oftentimes, they are mistaken as extroverts because of their ability to be talkative and sociable. But sociability is not what defines an introvert. This probably goes against everything you thought you knew about outgoing personalities. While some introverts are incredibly reclusive, some still manage to be social for short periods of time. This catch 22 can make it difficult to identify individuals as introverted.

“Spotting the Introvert can be as difficult as finding Waldo,” Sophia Dembling, author of The Introverts Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World.

Introverts, as social as some may seem to be still tend to find social events draining. While they manage to show face and excel at entertaining; they need lots of down time to recharge after such events.

Your source of energy determines whether you are an Intro or Extrovert

For the majority of us, we don’t have cookie cutter personalities that you can fit in a box. I consider myself to be introverted, which comes as a surprise to people who have only witnessed me in a party atmosphere. Sure I don’t have trouble going to social events alone, or hanging out while I’m there. But after I go home I slip on some sweats, crawl into bed, and drift off into Netflix world for an undisclosed amount of time.

This is true for all people. No one is 100% an extrovert or introvert. But where we fall on the Ambivert Personality Scale all depends on how much energy we exert on social situations.

Extroverts cannot spend too much time alone and introverts work the opposite

Extroverts find solitude draining, and are recharged by socializing. These people have a lower rate of arousal than others, and need to work harder to feel stimulated. Extroverts often feel “high” from their surroundings, because they feed off of the energy around them.

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However, introverts find social situations draining, and need their downtime to charge them back up. You cannot determine if someone is introverted by how social they are at a gathering, but by how much energy is lost from the event. Introverts have a higher level of arousal than others, and are stimulated very easily.

Let’s revisit the party scenario. Same party, same fly on the wall, same introverted social butterfly. After the party is over and everyone goes home, that social butterfly will go into hiding for a while to regain all of their strength spent while socializing.

For an extrovert, they will find the party exhilarating. These are the people who never want the party to end, and will make plans to extend it into the next day. They feed off of the energy of others.

Are you secretly an introvert?

Many people think that introverted is synonymous with shy, which isn’t always the case. Many introverts avoid social situations because they find them draining. Whereas shy people avoid social situations because they are afraid of being judged or rejected. If you exhibit both of these characteristics, then you’re a shy introvert.

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While introverts may not be easy to spot, we do have some characteristics that could make us easier to seek out. Who knows, maybe you are even a bit introverted! If you exhibit some of these traits, then you probably are.

You find social situations very draining and you keep your circle small

It’s not that you don’t enjoy being social, but only in small doses. You prefer to have a small group of friends in comparison to a large group of acquaintances, because it’s more authentic. You never initiate small talk, and find it incredibly pointless and boring. People may describe you as quiet, but you just take longer than others to open up. You may be a person of few words, but when you speak, your words have meaning.

You enjoy being alone- you even prefer it

You don’t like distractions and people tend to cause them. You require a lot of downtime, and don’t find it at all counterproductive because you need that time to reset. Self-care if a very high priority for you, and it takes precedence over activities. You don’t suffer from FOMO very often. Unless you’re out unwillingly, and are sorely missing your bed.

You possess a very high self-awareness and sense of independence

You are very independent, and prefer to do things on your own. You’ll avoid asking for help at all costs unless you have no other choice. Waiting around isn’t your thing. If you’re capable, you’ll do it yourself. You are very focused, and your goals always take priority. You’ll pass up on a night out with friends if it means getting an early start in the morning to get some work done. Because of this, you are drawn to jobs where you can be independent. More likely than not, you are probably a freelancer or entrepreneur of some kind. Working mindlessly towards someone else’ dream has no appeal for you.

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You are drawn to extroverts, they give you balance

More likely than not, your best friend is incredibly outgoing. They capture the attention of the room as soon as they walk in, and everyone is captivated. They can hold a conversation and keep the party going effortlessly. This is your counterpart because they help you to open up, while you help to keep them grounded. You’re the person they come to when they need stability; and they’re the person you go to when you need to let loose.

Your brain just never stops. You have a constant inner monologue

The reason why you’re probably not speaking is because your mind is just overwhelmed with thoughts. You may have responded a dozen times in your head, but just never bothered to say the words out loud.

Does this sound like you? We live in a world that rewards extroversion, but that doesn’t mean you are less valuable because you’re introverted. There is nothing wrong with needing a little extra downtime, and preferring conversations and interactions with a level of substance. Introversion can be very rewarding as long as you embrace it.

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1]University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2]Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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