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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.

More by this author

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 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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