Picture yourself at a very crowded party. There’s barely room to put down your drink, let alone breathe. There are so many people and it seems as if more are coming in by the minute.
You’re trying to be social and engage with people, but you feel as though conversation is a losing battle. You long to be home and working on your novel or painting or just watching TV. You’re always one of the first people to leave a party.
If this sounds like you, you could be an introvert.
The way you act is often mistaken for shyness, social phobia, or an avoidance personality disorder. It isn’t that you don’t like to socialize; you just prefer not to.
You like people and create strong bonds with them, so you aren’t just a lonely loser. You enjoy your own company and can get overwhelmed in social situations.
These are the four types of introversion. Which one are you?
1. Social introvert.
The social introvert prefers to stay home, entertaining themselves with reading, playing on the computer, gardening, listening to music, or binge watching Netflix, as opposed to going to a party or event with mostly strangers. This differs from shyness, as there is no anxiety-driven preference for being alone or with a small group.
2. Thinking introvert.
The thinking introvert gets lost in his or her thoughts. They enjoy getting lost in a fantasy world in an imaginative and creative way. They enjoy playing virtual reality games, but enjoy social events. They’re overall very thoughtful and introspective.
3. Anxious introvert.
The anxious introvert has a lot in common with an awkward person. They prefer to be alone and not go to social gathering because they’re not very confident in their social skills.
They have a great deal of social remorse and will go over a social encounter repeatedly which they feel didn’t go well. If only they hadn’t smashed their friend’s father’s glasses in that awkward hug hello.
4. Restrained (or Reserved) Introvert.
The restrained introvert likes to consider things before they think or act. Hamlet is a classic example of a restrained introvert. After all, as he said, “Conscience doth make cowards of us all.” In other words, if you think too much, you’re going to be pretty slow to take action.
It isn’t better to be an extrovert or an introvert; they’re just personality traits. But the more you understand yourself and the reason you do and feel the things you do, the more comfortable you’ll become.