Introversion has been having its moment in the sun recently, which is an odd characterization for a group of people who “tend to shrink from social contacts and to become preoccupied with their own thoughts”, according to vocabulary.com.
Introverts, often described more easily by what they are not than what they are, are finally being given a bit of movement within their own label.
It has to be tough to feel introverted or like an introvert but not like you fit, neatly and specifically, into the “introvert” box.
Recent studies have shown, however, that there are actually 4 kinds of introverts. Check this out:
1. Social introverts
are closest to the commonly-held belief about introverts: people who prefer small groups to large crowds or being alone to being in a group at all. Social introverts generally prefer solitude over socializing in groups at all. It’s important to distinguish this from shyness, though: social introverts feel no anxiety about their choice. They just generally prefer small groups of friends or solitude over large, loud crowds.
2. Thinking introverts
are people who don’t share the social preferences that social introverts do; their introversion actually has nothing to do with groups of people at all. Thinking introverts are highly self-reflective, introspective and thoughtful. They spend a good deal of time internally reflective in a creative, imaginative way. One way to describe it is “lost in their own fantasy world”, but not in a neurotic way.
3. Anxious introverts
are usually those described as “shy” because their introversion comes from feeling uncomfortable with crowds or large groups of people due to a lack of confidence in their social skills. Anxious introverts are likely to ruminate at length about what could have or would have happened if they had attended an activity, how things could/would have gone terribly wrong.
4. Restrained introverts
can otherwise best be described as “reserved”. They operate at a slower pace and often take longer to take action. They take longer to get going and won’t be the type to spring out of bed to greet the world, preferring instead to take their time and move at their own pace.
Do any of these ring true for you? You can take a quiz here to find out what kind of introvert you might be. Let us know in the comments!