There are broadly two types of people in the world, introverts and extroverts. Also, there are Ambiverts who are considered to be a mixture of introvert and extrovert nature.
Understanding your personality type is crucial for understanding ‘Yourself’ better. I often wondered about certain behavior of mine which was not acceptable by my family, for example; avoiding social gatherings or not accepting sudden change in plans. This behavior of mine was often misunderstood for anger and being a mean rebel. My family tried to make me understand that being stone-cold distant from people won’t help me in the future and explained how relationships were needed to be maintained. I tried learning how to be interactive with people and relatives, but these interactions often left me feeling exhausted and craving solitude.
So, in order to find out why I had certain kind of responses to particular situations, I started searching on the internet about types of personalities and how understanding them is important for expressing yourself in the right ways to other people.
Sadly, in India, living in a socially tight bound cultural-religious country, you can either be an extrovert or pretend that you are an extrovert. Today in this post I want to brief you all about introverts and what goes on in their minds.
So, what exactly are introverts?
According to me, an introvert is someone who just enjoys his/her/their own company rather than being with other people. An introvert is often misunderstood to be shy and are forced to be a part of big gathering so that they can learn to interact with people. The truth is, introverts know how to interact with people, it’s just that that they don’t ‘want’ to be a part of these social gatherings.
The terms introversion and extraversion were introduced into psychology by Carl Jung.
An extrovert is often regarded as an outgoing-upfront person who likes being in company of many individuals. They like social interactions and can’t see themselves without their particular group of friends/ people. An introvert on the other hand is often thought of as a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual. They don’t seek out special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling exhausted and drained.
But the definition doesn’t completely explain what introverts are exactly like. Introversion is a spectrum with many more types of sub-categories.
According to psychologist, Jonathan Cheek, who teaches personality psychology at Wellesley College, there are 4 types of introverts — social, thinking, anxious and restrained. Cheek further argues that many introverts are actually a combination of all of the 4 types — instead of identifying as just one of the types.
- Social Introverts: These are the kind of individuals who love going out and at the same time tend to be more private about their feelings and thoughts. Even these outgoing introverts get emotionally drained at a certain point if they stay out with people for too long.
They do prefer having few close friends they can depend on and share their thoughts with. They will be the most social when they are with the group of their closest friends.
- Thinking Introverts: Daydreamers fall into this category of introversion. They don’t mind socializing but even when socializing they can be often found to be lost in their own little world. Introspection is their strong suit and thus they are always in tune with their own feelings.
- Anxious Introverts: These are the individuals who keep replaying social encounters in their head, trying to derive possible ways in which they could have/ haven’t interacted with people. They are more like shy introverts and crave solitude even when they are with close friends.
- Restrained Introverts: These individuals get highly uncomfortable when they are rushed into situations, especially social ones. Restrained introverts are reserved, thoughtful and don’t like change. These individuals will do anything if they have planned for it far enough in advance. They love relaxing by themselves and find comfort in routine. If you are willing to make plans with a restrained introvert personality, make sure you give them ample of forewarning about the plans.
Apart form this classification of personalities there is one other classification too known as MBTI. MBTI or Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
This type of classification comprises of 16 different types of personalities based on the combination of introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving. One letter from each category is taken to produce a four-letter test result, like “INFJ” or “ENFP”.
Introverts can seem like hard people to deal with at first, but if you do have an introvert friend or family member, try and understand why they act in certain ways in particular situations. Chances are that these people are suffering more mentally and getting exhausted because they don’t want to hurt you by rejecting forced social interactions but also don’t want to drain themselves by accepting to be in one.
There are many online tests to figure out what kind of personality type you have. They might not always be accurate, so it’s better to first observe your own behavioral pattern and stay connected to yourself. With a little more searching and learning about yourself, you’ll eventually be able to figure out your own personality type and express your feelings in the right ways to other people.
Introverts especially go through a lot of trouble trying to explain people why they are the way they are. Note that not everybody will be willing to understand your point of view and few might not be able to understand even if you try, so, don’t stress over it much.
As correctly put by the famous INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging) Eleanor Roosevelt, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do”.