Ever wonder why you enjoy solitude more than being in the public? Or why so many people ask you if everything’s alright? Chances are if your inclination is to gravitate toward time alone, being quiet, or only requiring minimal contact with people, you may be an introvert.
Some people confuse being shy with introversion, but there is a difference. To be shy means that you struggle with some social anxiety, and this is the reason that you shy away from people or are quiet when you meet them. There tends to be an underlying fear in shyness. However, an introvert doesn’t necessarily have social anxiety. They simply prefer quietness and limited social interaction.
If you’re wondering if you are an introvert, here are 13 signs that you may be:
1. You prefer to decline invites to social events
It’s not that you don’t like people, but when someone asks you to a party or to go out on the town, you politely decline. The thought of mingling with a lot of people or having to contend with a lot of noise and energy makes you feel uncomfortable. You know this because you’ve tried this before and have come home telling yourself not to do that again.
2. You are an amazing listener
Chances are your whole life you have been a wonderful listener. You’ve developed exceptional listening skills and people come to you often sharing their problems. You can listen intently and offer patience and compassion toward them. You can also give pretty good advice.
3. You do not like talking on the phone
Introverts are usually not that attached to their telephone. Most of the time when someone calls, you do not pick up the phone. When your phone rings, your heart kind of sinks because you don’t want to talk to anyone. You’d rather text them or keep conversations to a bare minimum.
4. You’re contemplative
Often, you’re lost in deep thought. You like to contemplate and think about all sorts of things. You’re very introspective and you like to know exactly what’s going on. As a contemplative, you might also like to journal your thoughts on the deeper meanings of life.
5. Being around people drains you
Having to mingle with people can drain you. This is especially true if you are around people with a needy or high energy. Being around people doesn’t energize you like it does some people. Rather, your time alone energizes you.
6. You are very aware of your surroundings
Introverts know what’s going on around them. They’re mindful. They’re observing what’s going on and who’s there. They know when someone needs something. They’re paying attention to what people need. Introverts are very good at serving other people because they’re so attentive to their needs.
7. You think before you answer
When you’re asked a question, you don’t blurt something out. Most of the time you pause and you think about what it is you want to say. You really take to heart the question. Even when you’re in an argument, most of the time you will not just blurt things out without thinking. You’ll take some time, think about things, and process before you respond.
8. You prefer alone time
Your family, friends, and partner may worry about you because you enjoy being alone so often. If you are close to an extrovert, they may not understand this. They may think that you are upset with them or perhaps struggling emotionally because you enjoy being alone so much. But you love your alone time. You love being in your own personal space, as this feeds your soul. You feel safe and creative. Cuddling up with a book thrills you. Taking a walk in nature excites you. Taking off for the day on a mini excursion makes you feel alive.
9. It takes time for you to get to know people
It takes a while before you can really trust someone. You’re not going to wear your feelings on your sleeve. It’s not that you’re afraid to be vulnerable, you’ve just got to know someone on a deeper level before you can share intimately. Once you do get to know someone and trust them, you can develop a deep and meaningful relationship or friendship with them.
10. You have a small circle of friends
You don’t need a lot of friends or acquaintances in order to feel fulfilled. You may only have one friend, or you may have several. You’re not really interested in making new friends, although you aren’t against it if the opportunity arises. You don’t need to talk to your friends constantly. Every once in a while you may check in. Most of the time, your friends are aware of your need for space. They may be the ones to check on you to be sure that you’re doing alright because they know that you won’t call them.
11. You value your free time and space
You really value having free time to yourself outside of your work and relationship. You really value personal space. If you’re in a relationship, you may have a space just for you or your own bedroom. Or you may have a man cave or woman cave or just hang out in the garage to get your own space. If you don’t get a certain amount of free time, you’ll likely become agitated and anxious. It is there that you can completely recharge your batteries.
12. You feel very alive when you are creating
Chances are you are a creative genius. You love to get in the creative zone by yourself and create in various ways. Maybe you’re a writer and your creativity comes out in your writing. Or maybe you are a painter and you paint amazing portraits in your free time. You may jump from one hobby to another just to experience the thrill of a new project, where your creativity can shine.
13. You make an amazing friend
When you do make a friend, it’s oftentimes a deeply meaningful friendship that last a lifetime. Because it takes you awhile to get to know someone, you’re thoughtful and purposeful concerning each friendship that you develop. Those who are your friends enjoy being your friend because they know that you are loyal and genuinely care for them. You won’t waste time on superficial friendships and you’re big on equal reciprocity.
Do you recognize some of these characteristics in yourself? If you do, chances are you are an introvert and that is something to be proud of. The world needs introverts who bring important characteristics like compassion, empathy, creativity, and so much more to the world. If you are an introvert, proudly be who you are, knowing that you are expressing your unique self beautifully.