It can be difficult to admit to yourself that you may be an introvert. When we think of people as being introverted, we often wrongly assume that they are people who don’t like people. However, as Susan Cain so effectively showed the world in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, introverts can be warm, interested in others, and powerful in their own right. Yet the stigma many still attach to being an introvert may lead people otherwise inclined to have these tendencies to resist if not deny them within themselves.
These nine behavioral signs of introversion can give you a start in learning about traits and attitudes that suggest your own personality may be less outer-oriented than you realize. See how many you feel honestly apply to you:
Being an introvert definitely has its advantages. You’re less likely to make a social gaffe, such as by inadvertently insulting someone whose opinion you don’t agree with. Because you enjoy reflecting on your own thoughts, you’ll be less likely to get bored when you're alone than someone who needs constant social stimulation. The only risk you face is that people who don’t know you might think you’re aloof or that you feel superior to everyone else. Giving yourself permission to be a little more open in revealing your thoughts and feelings may help you make the best of both worlds, being true to your personality while not erring in the direction of seeming antisocial.
If, on the other hand, you’re an all-out extravert, you might benefit from practicing a little introversion in your daily life. See what it’s like not to be the first one to speak, take charge, or offer your opinion. It’s possible that allowing yourself to tap into your secret introvert may help you experience the world in a new, more reflective manner.
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Copyright Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. 2014
Reference: Ponari, M., Trojano, L., Grossi, D., & Conson, M. (2013). “Avoiding or approaching eyes”? Introversion/extraversion affects the gaze-cueing effect. Cognitive Processing, 14(3), 293-299. doi:10.1007/s10339-013-0559-z