I’m all about harnessing and understanding your energy to make the most of your life and business. One of the easiest ways to understand how to maximize your energy is by understanding the difference between introverts and extroverts.
Being introverted doesn’t mean you’re never outgoing or that you’re anti-social. It just means you need alone time to recharge, i.e. get your energy from inner sources. Extroverts get energy from external sources. They both fall on a continuum, so you can probably have traits of both.
I’ve come across a bunch of great posts, both funny and serious, about being an introvert. I’m aware that some of these border on social anxiety, but sometimes they’re pretty close.
Here’s a collection of my favorite points and also some of my own additions and ideas from friends on Facebook:
1. Anticipating and engaging in small talk causes anxiety and often annoyance.
Introverts are much better at deeper, more involved topics. This often leads people to call you intense.
2. Because of your aversion to small talk, networking is difficult and often makes you feel fake.
3. “We feel desperate or clingy when we ask someone to dinner, fake and slimy when we network, and self absorbed when filling in a distant friend on our lives.” JoinBlush
4. You’ve been called too: intense, reserved, shy, in your own head, anti-social, quiet, in a shell.
5. A day of meetings, group work, networking, etc. leaves you completely drained.
6. Your best friend or partner is an extravert. They often compliment each other perfectly, as long as they understand each other.
7. “Now I’m going to choose a volunteer.” This statement while attending a show, class, etc. creates instant panic.
8. A ringing phone creates anxiety, and it’s rare for you to answer it. You’d rather call people when you’re more prepared.
“To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go ‘BOO!,'” says Dembling. “I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend — as long as it’s not jumping out of the sky at me.” Huffington Post — This is me exactly!
9. You have a constantly running inner monologue.
“Extroverts don’t have the same internal talking as we do,” says Olsen Laney. “Most introverts need to think first and talk later.“ Huffington Post
10. “You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.” Huffington Post
11. You’re better at written communication than speaking because you need time to process what you’re going to say.
12. You prefer working by yourself.
You may excel in a profession such as writing, computer programming, graphic or web design, etc.
13. “You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.” Huffington Post
14. The idea of going out and being social after a work day is often overwhelming.
15. You aren’t upset when a friend cancels plans.
In fact, you’re relieved.
16. You can be out having fun socializing but still thinking about the moment you get home and can crawl into bed and read.
17. You can have a great time “socializing” only to realize later you didn’t say much at all.
18. You’ve napped in your car or eaten lunch in your car to get some time alone during a busy, social-heavy day.
19. You’ve felt “weird” or even hungover (exhausted) after too many social activities, even without drinking.
20. Working in an open office setting leaves you exhausted every evening.
Working from home can be lonely, but you’re able to focus better and get more work done, so you prefer this.
21. You dread Friday or Monday when people ask, “So what do you have planned this weekend?” and “What fun things did you do this weekend?”
21. The idea of staying in a shared dorm in college was scary.
23. Skipping work events or canceling plans feels relieving.
24. You’ve had to barter with yourself to go to a party.
“I’ll go for an hour,” “I’ll talk to 5 people,” etc.
25. Related, you like going out, but tend to be one of the first to leave.
26. Also related, you’re comfortable going out if you know you have an excuse to leave early if you need to.
27. You’ve run/hid/timed leaving your house because of chatty neighbors, even if you like your neighbors.
28. People point out when you get excited, raise your voice, show anger, etc. And this drives you crazy.
29. You’ve been accused of being “stuck up” because you’re reserved or quiet.
30. Having people stay at your house is terrifying.
31. You haven’t liked staying overnight at friend’s houses since you were a small child.
32. People tell you to “smile more,” constantly ask if you’re okay and ask “why are you so quiet?”
33. People make you feel weird for doing things alone, like shopping.
34. You feel most comfortable in small groups, no more than about 4-5 people.
35. Surprises make you extremely anxious.
36. Seeing event photos all over social media makes you feel guilty or bad, but you still don’t want to go.
There’s a definite societal pressure in the U.S. to be extroverted, and introverts are often made to feel guilty for being themselves.
37. “When we like something, we love it; when we don’t like something, we hate it.” EliteDaily
38. “We don’t often let people in, but when we do, we open up like a book.” EliteDaily
39. “We often get lost in our thoughts, even when someone is talking directly to us.” EliteDaily
40. It’s hard to remember names when first meeting someone because you’re too focused on planning what to say.
41. You can be a great leader, but you prefer people who are self-starters and motivated.
42. You rarely raised your hand in class and were frustrated when class participation was part of the grade.
43. “You are capable of being bubbly, outgoing, and even effusively warm, but doing so completely exhausts you. You feel as though you have to switch on that side of your personality.” Thought Catalog
44. You often pretend not to see someone you know to avoid conversation, by literally hiding or pretending to be suddenly very engaged with your smart phone.
45. You avoid Wal-Mart in your home town.
46. “You love meeting new people, but you definitely don’t love it as much as you tell people you do.” Thought Catalog
47. You’re very interested in psychology, sociology; what makes people tick.
48. You love getting lost in the different world of books.
49. You eloped rather than having an elaborate wedding in front of people.
50. You don’t cry in front of people, no matter how upset, because that would draw too much attention.
51. You take criticism a little more personally and harshly than others.
52. Friends often turn to you for advice or just to vent because they know you’re a good listener and won’t force your opinion on them.
53. You wear ear buds public so people aren’t tempted to talk to you.
Sources, Inspiration + Introvert Related Articles:
23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert
How to Interact with the Introverted
An Open Letter From Introverts
15 Signs You’re an Introvert and Secretly Obsessed with it
10 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert
Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.