Introverts don’t always wear a sign on their forehead calling them out and in fact, they themselves may not even be aware of their introverted nature. Having this type of personality isn’t about being shy or socially awkward. In fact, according to Dr. Martin Olsen Laney, psychotherapist and the author of The Introvert Advantage, this is a basic temperament and “it affects everything in your life.”

Even though you may truly enjoy the company of friends and being around others, which may lead you to believe that you are more extroverted, recognizing your individual style can help you regulate your emotions and even assist you in being more productive. Some people get energy from being in the presence of others, while there are those who, over a period of time, are left feeling drained.

Some interesting fun facts about most introverts:

– They tend to be great public speakers but terrible at mingling. They can stand before a crowd of hundreds and speak, either impromptu or rehearsed, quite adeptly but when they have to socialize with that same crowd they can become anxious and even withdrawn.

– They like an easy escape route. When they travel on public transportation or go to the theater, they tend to sit away from others or on the aisle. They don’t like to get boxed in.

– Being with others for a long period of time can ultimately be draining for an introvert and so they need solitary time to recharge. If they don’t get this sort of time they often zone out.

– They tend to have a keen eye for detail. While the extrovert may be able to handle a great deal of stimuli coming at them all at once, the introvert gets overwhelmed. Instead of focusing on the big noisy picture they hone in on the small details and are able to commit them to memory more skillfully than the extrovert.

– A study conducted in Japan in 2006 actually showed that introverts have lower blood pressure than extroverts!

– Most introverts find writing a good way to sort out their thoughts and many famous writers, as well as performers, describe themselves as introverted.

Many of the traits associated with having an introverted personality type are based on an internal process and not on what the outside world sees. So often parents, and later spouses, tell these individuals to work harder in social situations. As kids many of them were labeled as shy and in the long run ended up acting shy as a result. Shyness and introversion are not the same things. These labels and criticisms can leave people feeling badly about themselves and wishing they were more like their extroverted friends. This is unfortunate and need not be the case.

The sooner a person learns to embrace their unique style of interacting and processing information the more self-confident they will be. Recognizing the many advantages to being an introvert, and clarifying what it actually means, can help people feel more empowered in social situations and freer to be themselves. If you identify with some of the above descriptors then learn to honor your need to recharge with some solo downtime so you can be fully present when you are interacting socially. Thankfully, the world is made up of all different types of people, each having something unique to contribute.

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