I’ll bet you thought defining an introvert would be easy. On the contrary, there are several types of introverts, and they all have unique qualities.
For those of you that don’t already know, an introvert is somebody who thrives in isolation. They gain their energy from being alone. The opposite of an introvert is an extrovert. Somebody outgoing and energized from their social interactions. It really seems simple when we lay it all out like that, but there is more to it. There are several types of introverts, many you might have never heard of before.
You may not even be entirely certain whether you are an extrovert or an introvert. While this might seem like an easy thing to determine, many of us *including me* really toe the line between introvert and extrovert. This makes it a tad bit more difficult to define.
Introversion is a personality definition that means the person enjoys spending time alone or with a close-knit group of friends. Opposed to an extrovert who prefers to spend time with large groups of people. This ties all four types of introverts together, but each type of introvert characteristic varies.
#1 The social introvert. I recently wrote about being a social introvert, and this one is the most interesting to me because I can relate. For the longest time I had a hard time relating to either the extroverts or introverts, because I felt as though I fell somewhere in between.
Every time we did personality tests in school, I always fell between the two. The social introvert is quite common. Basically, a social introvert spends time in small groups for social interactions, but when their social “juice” runs out, they go home and recharge.
#2 The thinking introvert. Those who sit in the corner of a coffee shop and “people watch” may be considered a thinking introvert. A thinking introvert is often very creative and poetic. They choose to spend time alone and in their mind.
They don’t necessarily avoid social events, but they definitely won’t be the center of attention either. They likely go to social interactions and spend time in self-reflection and watching those around them. They often end up in writing careers, as they are very creative and observant. [Read: Why introverts are much more than just shy or awkward]
#3 The restrained introvert. This type of introvert often chooses to work on their own during group projects, since they do take longer to get things started. They overthink everything, and take longer to start projects, or even their daily activities. They tend to not be morning people.
#4 The anxious introvert. Often times, this type of introvert avoids social interactions because they make them very nervous. While it is not always true, many anxious introverts suffer from social anxiety. They often withdraw and are quiet, choosing to stay away from social gatherings. They have one to two close friends and nothing more.
Anxious introverts stay to themselves because they typically are very self-conscious and not confident in their own skills.
An in-depth look at your personality type
If you have yet to complete the Myers-Briggs personality test, I highly recommend doing so. It takes some time to complete. It is incredibly informative and digs deep to help you fully understand your personality type and the type of people you should build friendships and relationships with.
This test also tells you whether or not you fall more on the introvert or extrovert spectrum. It is incredibly interesting to get to know yourself a little bit better.
Since we are all built differently and shaped based on our experiences and relationships, it can be difficult to understand ourselves and those around us. I originally completed the Myers-Briggs test in high school, when I was much more extroverted. My personality test results mirrored that. I recently completed the test and received an entirely different test result.
I am now far more introverted, and prefer to spend time at home reading a book or writing. But I do enjoy social gatherings with small groups of my close friends. I consider myself a social introvert. Years ago I would have never considered myself an introvert at all. It’s interesting how things changes over time. [Read: How to really get to know who you are]
Understanding the types of introverts
Not only will the personality test help you better understand the types of introverts, you’ll understand yourself and others better too.
Sometimes we get frustrated with our peers because they have different morals, or ideals than we do. Sometimes our personalities just clash entirely.
Understanding these personality traits and why they make us who we are is important. We need to put ourselves in other people’s shoes once in a while. Before you get annoyed with an anxious introvert because they cancel plans with you at the last minute, consider how they feel. It is just the way they are. I’m sure they don’t cancel to hurt you.
Once we take the time to understand ourselves and our loved ones, bridges are built and barriers to communication crumble.