You think, “introvert” and instantly picture the loner against the wall at the school dance. Well, what if the “social butterfly” was actually the textbook introvert?
I would never classify myself as a “social butterfly” but I do have an extensive amount of friends and acquaintances. I would never say I’m shy, but I’m not a woman of many words. I don’t find speeches or presentations terrifying at all, but breaking into conversation in a small crowd is the last thing on my agenda.
I recently read an article in The Huffington Post titled, “23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert” and found myself reading about myself.
It’s a shame how misunderstood introverts are. As a kid, my grades were the best but my “class participation points” were always the worst. I didn’t even like playing in the ball pit at McDonalds—it was terrifying. Society always made me feel like being me was wrong.
The article even stated:
“As recently as 2010, the American Psychiatric Association even considered classifying ‘introverted personality’ as a disorder by listing it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), a manual used to diagnose mental illness.”
I’m not saying that being mousy and perpetually silent is a good thing. But young minds shouldn’t be forced into developing pseudo social traits for the sake of fitting in.
When I reached high school and became completely comfortable with whom I was—an introvert—I joined after-school clubs, student government, ran for homecoming court, and attended social gatherings regularly.
I started college and was accepted for my major: Media/Communication Studies.
Not so much. The long list of misconceptions about introverts starts with ‘inability to be social.’
Inspired by the Huffington Post article, I put together a list: 15 Major Signs You’re An Introvert.
1. You are small talk-phobic.
Although I’m highly capable of holding any conversation, small or extensive, chitchatting just for the sake of chitchatting feels insincere and pointless. I don’t get anxiety when there’s silence, so let’s just bask in our killer auras.
2. You go to parties—but not to meet people.
I love a good party, especially if people I know and love surround me. Meeting people is never the goal. If I happen to make friends, cool, but for the most part, no new friends.
3. You often feel alone in a crowd.
Even within people I know, I still get that feeling. There’s a big difference between being welcomed into an activity rather than putting myself out there.
4. Networking: small talk on a whole ‘nother level.
My career path requires tons of networking. I’m good at it, but I love authenticity in interactions so networking can be extremely draining since it doesn’t come naturally.
5. You’ve been called “too intense.”
I love to peel all the layers off concepts down to the core, pose big questions, and exchange philosophies. Sometimes people just want to discuss reality TV.
6. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.
Another very big common misconception. Many introvert’s lead huge corporations, are public speakers, performers, or work in media—like me. Now put us in a meet-and-greet scenario with a large group of people and the heat is on.
7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive.
If I find moments of idleness it’s the best therapy to me. A lot of extroverts love being busy and active ALL the time. I appreciate a full agenda, but I would never find time alone to be boring—it’s satisfying.
8. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.
My best relationships are with extroverted people. We’re just dynamic. It’s a healthy balance. Too much time with another introvert could potentially lead to seriousness at a dangerous high.
9. You screen all your calls—even from friends.
Hate to say it, sorry guys! Even when people I love call me, a rapid train of thought follows. I keep stress at such a minimum, sometimes I’ll decide it’s better to call back later—even if it’s 30 seconds that I need to mentally Zen.
10. You notice details others don’t.
A big benefit from being introspective is being able to stop and process details. I tend to have a keen eye for subtleties, which explains why I take on editing and creative roles well.
11. You have a constantly running inner monologue.
I am ALWAYS talking to myself, whether it’s out loud or in my head. I find it necessary, as it helps develop my thoughts, especially before I talk.
12. You don’t feel high from your surroundings.
I’ve noticed that extroverts find pleasure in having tons of energy and people around them at all times. Huge crowds tend to give me anxiety. I appreciate the occasional techno concert but definitely not 24/7.
13. You’re young and live an “Old Soul” life.
As someone who is very articulate with words and analytical with life, people tend to assume I’m more mature. The keyword there is assume. Experience comes with age so I have so much more to learn.
14. You’re a writer.
I’m pretty decent with pen and paper. Words are the greatest weapons to me, for good, of course. 😉
15. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and social activity.
Nobody values me-time more. Spending time alone is the perfect way to regroup after much activity or human interaction.
Are you innie or outtie?