There are some definite telltale signs you’re an introvert and not shy. Ask any group of introverts if they have ever been called shy (or too quiet), and you are likely to be met with a round of knowing smiles. Yet, research is beginning to show what introverts have known for years–there is a huge difference between introversion and shyness.
While shy people and introverts both like time alone, they have widely different reactions to social experiences.
The most obvious difference between shyness and introversion boils down to the way people respond to spending time around other people. For shy people, social interactions are met with anxiety.
Introverts, however, look forward to spending time with others, but they will feel drained of energy if they do not get enough time alone to recharge. If you have always thought you just didn’t quite fit the shy label, then these 16 signs may indicate that you are truly an introvert at heart.
16 Signs You’re An Introvert, Not Shy
1. You Avoid Crowds
Introverts gather energy from small groups and alone time, and spending time in a crowd can quickly drain their energy. That’s why introverts will be seen browsing a small local shop rather than roaming around the mall.
2. Cancelled Plans Bring You Relief
Most people find it annoying when plans are cancelled at the last minute. Not introverts! Now, they can enjoy spending more time alone.
3. You Prefer Texting
Random phone conversations feel intrusive to introverts who feel pressured to answer questions right away. Instead, introverts prefer to text or email so that they have time to provide a thoughtful response.
4. You See People For Who They Are
When introverts spend time with others, they make an effort to truly connect. Deep conversations, picking up on nonverbal cues and focusing on only one person at a time allows introverts to really understand the depth of a person’s character.
5. Decision Making Is Your Specialty
Shy people will often angst over a decision until they are frozen in fear. However, introverts use their time alone to carefully think a situation through until they are certain they have made the best choice.
6. Boredom Is a Foreign Concept
Introverts have a running monologue in their head that keeps them constantly entertained, even when they are alone. Whether you are sketching out a novel or solving a problem, your thoughts alone are enough to keep you happily occupied.
7. You Believe That Trust Must Be Earned
While an extrovert will quickly attach to new friends, you prefer to stand back and really assess a person before you can call them a trusted friend.
8. You Have a Circle of Close Friends
A shy person may only have one or two friends, yet introverts often have quite a large group of friends that they enjoy spending time with one-on-one.
9. You Find Small Talk Annoying
There is nothing an introvert abhors more than idle chit chat about the weather. Instead, you’d prefer to enjoy a meaningful conversation that provides insight into the other person.
10. Your Personal Space is Your Sanctuary
As an introvert, your personal space is considered sacred since intrusions from others make it harder to recharge your energy. People invading your personal space without asking permission first is one of the few things that will set you off.
11. You Are Exhausted After a Party
A shy person will avoid going to parties, yet you will always attend. Afterward, however, you will feel as though you ran a marathon until you get some more of that sacred alone time.
12. You Enjoy Creative Pursuits
As an observer, you take in tons of information that serves as inspiration for writing, painting or some other creative outlet.
13. You’ve Been Described As a Great Listener
When people talk about your attributes, one of the first things they will mention is that you always listen. This is because you value understanding and prefer that others do the same.
14. You Rarely Act on Impulse
While you will enjoy a spontaneous surprise such as a beautiful sunset, you rarely act with spontaneity. Instead, you prefer to make careful plans that take every factor into consideration.
15. You Have an Air of Mystery
Since introverts never put their whole self out there at once, others find their quiet nature and controlled reactions to be mysterious. If you are an introvert, people likely ask you to share your thoughts, and you just might be willing to open up if you sense that they are worthy of your trust.
16. You’re a Selective Socializer
Perhaps the easiest way to know that you are just introverted and not shy is that you truly enjoy socializing when you are able to be selective about the people with whom you are surrounded and have a private space where you can retreat and recharge. If you’re a selective socializer this is a definite sign you’re an introvert, not shy.