Marriage and Family Therapist
Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross is a licensed psychotherapist with almost twenty years of clinical experience in the fields of clinical psychology and organizational management. She has worked extensively with a wide variety of…
How to Accept That You May Be an Introvert
Posted in Shyness by Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross on Feb 12, 2014
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or rehearsed, quite adeptly but when they have to socialize with that same crowd they can become anxious and even withdrawn.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.

- Cyndi


       Send to a Friend     Share This

CONDITIONS AND COMMUNITIES: Agoraphobia & Social Anxiety  •  Family Issues  •  Shyness

TOTAL COMMENTS: 14 - View All Comments »

Add a Comment
Displaying comments 14-1 of 14
This article makes no sense. First, being an introvert isn't necessarily something that people need to overcome. Second, you don't have to become extroverted if you feel that being an introvert is a problem. That's such black-and-white mentality.

I don't consider myself neither. I don't have to be the life of the party in order for me to socialize and enjoy social situations. In fact, I trust my instinct when I am in a social setting where I feel uncomfortable. It's an indicator that I am not surrounded by the kind of people I prefer. That's not a bad thing at all.
By chris1976  Aug 03, 2014
Well, I'm not sure why this article presents being an introvert as something one has to "embrace" as if it's something one has to overcome.

The information seems useful, but I'm baffled about the tone of the article. Am I supposed to be bad for being an introvert? What is the assumption this article is making about introverts?
By chris1976  Jun 05, 2014
Nice one. I'm a devoted introvert, and it's one of the worst things in the world to have extroverts desperately attempt to convert you, as if being with and enjoying yourself is a federal crime.
By lilwashu87  Mar 15, 2014
great article.
By energylost  Mar 03, 2014
By LoveAlice  Feb 28, 2014
Why can't we just be both? I always have having to put labels on myself.
By LoveAlice  Feb 28, 2014
i like it
By math8screen  Feb 28, 2014
Well.. Maybe I do have a problem..
By witekwilkos  Feb 24, 2014
So if being an introvert is so normal and good why is Agoraphobia and social anxiety listed under Conditions and Communities????

Is there an article for extroverts? Would attention whore and verbal diarrhea be listed under the Conditions and Communities?
By CecilBGreen  Feb 23, 2014
I found this so interesting! I must be at that awkward stage in a teenager's life, that they talk about in movies, when I'm trying to figure myself out - I couldn't figure out whether I was shy/unsociable or not until I read this. Thank you so much :D
By Jaime97  Feb 22, 2014
Very, very grateful for this whole post!
Thank you,
By MomofJosh  Feb 21, 2014
Your comments describe me to the proverbial "T." Have I been mistaken all my life, because I never considered it a problem??? As an only child, I have always been accustomed to needing and having my own private space, and my spouse understands that my occasional need to retreat to it isn't about him. It's about me. And he accepts that. My best friend is also an introverted only child. We have been best friends for more than half-a-century. We can chatter like magpies, or just as easily share companionable silence, not needing to fill it with chatter. We are who we are, and that's OK.
By madbookworm  Feb 18, 2014
In most countries and cultures to be an introvert is a quality, families tell their children the worse kind of husband or wife is a popular one or that has too many friends.
I am an introvert and love it, I am private , polite , enjoy my own company a lot, and I am very picky on who I want as a friend, few in quantity and big in quality.
I do not drop into friends homes and they are the same.
At work I have colleagues and not friends, I do not participate in office parties, I give any money that is needed.
Love to read and happy with my loved ones.
I also wanted my children to be private and not in need to be in a group like sheep, but to be themselves.
Introverts think before they act and we are observers of others.
I interact with others when needed , but I am never lonely, even that I love to be alone and solitude.
By deraming  Feb 16, 2014
I am an awesome introvert! How can I follow this thread? I'm new here?
By shelle68  Feb 14, 2014
Got a Question?
My Fans
Agoraphobia & Social Anxiety
(2,328 Discussion Topics)
Family Issues
(3,767 Discussion Topics)
(1,375 Discussion Topics)