Most of us hear about the differences between introverted and extroverted, but sometimes it can be difficult to truly understand the differences between the two. Some people might believe their an extrovert, but they could be exhibiting some signs that they're actually an introvert. Because there are so many misconceptions about what makes someone an introvert or extrovert, you may have actually been mislabeling yourself this whole time. This is especially true for introverts who happen to be outgoing or comfortable socializing.
"Numerous misconceptions exist as to what makes you introverted," says Adam Awale, founder of Fearless Introvert, over email. "Being an introvert doesn't mean you're shy and terrified of social interaction. It just means you have a different core personality than extroverts, and that's a good thing."
According to the definition coined by Carl Jung, introverts feel energized when they're alone, or with people they are comfortable with, and they tend to be reflective and reserved, sometimes forgetting to check in with the outside wold.
Although you can definitely exhibit qualities of both an extrovert and an introvert, some people may actually be more introverted than they even realize. Here are nine surprising signs that you're actually an introvert, despite what you previously thought about yourself.
1You Keep Your Opinions To Yourself
Extroverts are more likely to jump into a conversation and share their opinions, but introverts prefer to keep their thoughts to themselves unless someone else has inquired about them. "In a world of instant fame, trolling and everyone having an opinion courtesy social media, introverts are more likely not to share an opinion until asked," says psychologist Anjhula Mya Singh Bais over email.
2You Really Hate Small Talk
Most people don't particularly love small talk, but for introverts, small talk can make them feel bored, intimidated, or even exhausted, according to Psych Central. It's not that they're forced to interact with people that makes it so unpleasant, but it's meaningless of the conversation that leaves them feeling like there's a barrier between the person they're talking to, which ends up draining their energy.
3You Like When Other People Approach You First
When in a social situation, an introvert prefers to be approached rather than to approach others first. They may be interested in socializing, but their energy levels have dipped below a level that they need for a comfortable interaction. "As such, introverts projects this experience onto those that they intend to approach," says Remus Zhong, author of The Introvert Teacher, over email. "They think that the other person may be apprehensive, like they are, about being approached, so they would rather hang back and let the other person make first contact instead."
4You Seek A Lot Of Me Time
Everyone needs some time to themselves, but introverts actively seek alone time as it can be more rejuvenating or fulfilling. "The defining characteristic of an introvert is in the way they generate and replenish their energy reserve," says Zhong. "An introvert does so in solitude, with minimal external stimulation."
5You Do Things To Disconnect From The World Around You
If you're someone who avoids eye contact, likes to put on you headphones, or buries your head in your phone, you may be an introvert. "Introverts are more likely to want to use ear plugs to drown out all that is around them," says Bais.
6You Stick To Talking To Your Friends At Parties
Just because you're introverted does't mean you won't go to parties, but once you're there, you prefer to stay close to your good friends."Introverts often appear extroverted or outgoing when they are in situations they are familiar and with people they are comfortable," says Leah Lesesne, MA, CSP over email.
7You Pay Close Attention To Details
Part of being so reflective involves noticing details that others might not pick up on, and that's because introverts process information differently than extroverts. Research shows that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, which allows them pick up on more details, according to Live Science.
8You're Better At Expressing Yourself Through Writing
If you prefer text messages to phone calls, or emails to long conversations, you're probably introverted. Introverts are often better at expressing themselves through writing, as there's more time to put together their thoughts, and writing removes the possibility of nerves and hesitation.
9You Get Distracted In Busy Environments
If you find that you have a hard time focusing while at a big event, it's not because you don't have discipline — you're just likely an introvert. Because introverts tend to get overwhelmed in situations with a lot of action, they tend to get easily distracted, according to a study from the Journal of Personality and Psychology. Because of this, quieter and more intimate environments are often preferred.