Signs You Are an Introvert

Signs You Are an Introvert

What is the Difference Between Introversion and Extroversion?

The terms “introvert” and “extrovert” were coined by Carl Jung in the 1920s. He put forward the theory that extroverts gain energy from social interactions while others while introverts gained energy from solitude and reflection. Introverts don’t hate or fear large social gatherings; they just don’t feel the same sense of satisfaction in these settings as extroverts. They also feel overstimulated by large crowds and noisy environments.

Introversion is sometimes viewed in a somewhat negative light by others. In Western culture, extroversion is viewed as the social norm. In a world that is designed to be social, people are often expected to spend quite a lot of their free time at social gatherings or in the company of others. These expectations also hold true in the working world. In workplaces, those who have extroverted qualities are favoured for leadership positions and are often given opportunities to earn more money. Introverts are usually not viewed as leadership material and often get passed over for managerial positions, even if they can deliver better results.

Are Introverts Loners

Are Introverts Loners?

Introversion is a misunderstood personality type. One common misconception is that introverts are “loners”, but this is incorrect. Although most loners are introverts, not all introverts are loners. Classic introverts enjoy the company of a small group of people that they know well. In contrast, loners do not find the outside world overwhelming; they just want to engage with it on their own terms. When it comes to social settings, introverts are more likely to feel out of place because they find small talk quite draining. They prefer to have deep and meaningful discussions with friends instead of a rapid-fire of chit-chat with strangers or acquaintances.

Introverts can be warm and powerful individuals in their own right. Unfortunately, because of some residual social stigma attached to introversion, some people tend to resist or outrightly deny these feelings within themselves. This can mean forcing themselves to spend more time on social outings or pushing themselves to be more outspoken at work so as not to damage their career progression.

Extrovert, Ambivert, and Introvert

Somewhere in the Middle?

The two personality concepts have gained a lot of interest and have, in some sense, take on a life of their own. Although they are widely used terms, they should be viewed on a scale. Jung also conceded that there is a third group known as “ambiverts” who have traits of both introverts and extroverts. Ambiverts are more common than those with hard extroversion or introversion personality types.

The science behind introversion

The Science Behind Introversion

Science has caught up with Jung’s claim since the 1920s; a study found that introverts do not have the same reward system as extroverts. Rewards such as status, money, relationships, etc., don’t hold the same importance to introverts.

The driver behind the reward system in the brain is dopamine. The levels of dopamine in the brain regulates a person’s reward system. Dopamine aids in helping us to notice rewards and opportunities and helps us to take action to move towards them. It also reduces the perceived “cost of effort,” meaning it increases how much effort a person is willing to make for the possible reward. Another study found that extroverts have naturally higher dopamine levels than introverts and that overall, introverts just don’t get as excited about the possibility of a reward.

Signs You Are an Introvert

There are several key behavioural traits of introversion. Having a few of the below traits does not automatically mean you are an introvert. There are plenty of extroverts who like to spend time on their own

Woman spending time alone

1. You Make “Me Time” a Priority

One of the hallmarks of a true introvert is that spending extended periods of time in the company of others is taxing and requires a lot of energy. Introverts will need longer periods of solitude to “re-energise” after get-togethers.

When introverts miss out on their alone time, they can experience:

• Fatigue
• Mental and physical exhaustion
• Trouble concentrating
Anxiety
• Irritability
Depression

Quiet time is essential to the well-being of all introverts. Many individuals have reported that the longer time they spend in over-stimulating settings, the longer it takes for them to recover. Introverts who happily live in alignment with their personality accept this and are careful not to over-extend themselves.

A man working independently

2. You Prefer to Work Independently

Being an introvert does not limit your career options. However, those higher up on the introversion scale seem to do best in fields that offer a high degree of independence and self-reliance. Introverts are just as adaptable and hard-working as their extrovert counterparts, but higher levels of job satisfaction have been reported in certain jobs.

As a general rule, introverts perform better in quieter environments when they only have one task to focus on at a time rather than having their attention pulled in different directions at once.

Here are a few careers worth considering if you are an introvert:

Psychologist

Psychologist

A high percentage of introverts show superior listening skills. Psychologists are required to carefully listen to their patients and empathise with their struggles. Because introverts are naturally sensitive and caring, they quickly put their patients and ease and allow them to feel heard. Psychiatrists typically work one-on-one and in tranquil environments, which are added bonuses for the classic introvert.

Accountant

Accountant

If you are an introvert who is quite analytical or mathematically inclined, then perhaps a career in accountancy is suited to you. Accountants enjoy a great deal of autonomy and financial security. They are usually not client-facing, they spend most of their time balancing the books and managing spreadsheets. This role can be performed with a company or on a freelance basis and will always be needed.

Computer System Administrator

Computer System Administrator

A computer system administrator is an excellent career choice for introverts who want to be part of the booming tech industry. This career involves setting up computer systems for all kinds of businesses. The role is very much in demand. There is an unemployment rate of 1% for those qualified as a CSA.

Generally speaking, the highest-paying jobs for introverts are those in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Introverts should try to avoid hyper-competitive workplaces or jobs where they constantly have to interact with others. However, life circumstances mean that we cannot always have our dream job. It is best to try to find a career that strikes some sort of balance.

Stimulation from the outside world

3. You Actively Avoid Over-Stimulation

Stimulation is the amount of input that you take in from the outside world. It can be a crowd of people, strong smells, heat and cold to bright strobe lights. True introverts will spend the minimum amount of time possible in situations that overload their senses. Stimulation can come in many forms such as, loud nightclubs, chaotic cities or even dramatic acquaintances are very hard on an introvert’s psyche. It is important that introverts maintain self-care to stay on top form.

Here is a list of self-care rituals introverts can put in place:

• Practise breathing exercises and gentle stretching every morning
• Take long walks in nature (if you live in a city, find a nearby park and make a peaceful stroll part of your day)
• Arts and crafts is an opportunity to tap into your creative side and refocus a tired
• Mindfulness apps can be a great listen on your daily commute to and from work

Introversion and extroversion can be viewed in terms of levels of stimulation; it is a matter of putting yourself in an environment with the ideal levels of arousal that fit your personality type.

Conclusion about introversion

Conclusion

There are many internet personality quizzes available online; the most popular tests are the Briggs Myers personality test and the Big 5 Personality Test. These tests are a good indicator of where you land on the personality scale. Remember that introversion and extroversion both exist on a spectrum. There are introverts who have outgoing personality traits and certain extroverts who enjoy spending time alone to recharge. There is no “better” personality type; both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Recognising which personality type you are can be a great way to know yourself better. However, if you suspect that your introversion is because of anxiety or depression, then you should book an appointment with your physician.


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