***Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on this topic. This is just what I understand from the research I have done.
What do you think of when you hear the word “introvert?” Do you think of a shy person who doesn’t like talking to people and only has a few friends? This is the stereotypical introvert, but there are actually four different types of introverts.
Before I get into the different types, I want to talk about what an introvert actually is. While a lot of shy people are introverts and a lot of introverts are shy, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. There are shy extroverts and there are outgoing introverts. It’s not about how comfortable you are talking to people, it’s about energy levels. An introvert gets drained by being around people and needs time alone to recharge, and an extrovert gets drained by being alone and needs time around people to recharge. So, the different types of introverts are based off why they need time alone to recharge.
The social introverts are the people that you wouldn’t be able to tell are introverts just by observing them around people. Social introverts aren’t necessarily shy, and they aren’t socially awkward, but they prefer to be in smaller groups of friends, not in big groups of people. Some days they need to say no to social activities and just be by themselves. The social introvert needs to be alone to recharge socially.
Thinking introverts tend to be quieter. Not because they are shy, but because they’re usually lost in their own thoughts. They don’t mind being around people and the size of the group they’re in doesn’t matter to them. Thinking introverts usually just sit back and take in the conversation, rather than contributing much to it. They need time alone to recharge their mind. Thinking introverts need to have a chance to sit and process all that they’ve been thinking about throughout the day without being bothered.
Anxious introverts are the people who always feel awkward in social interactions. They worry about social events days in advance and after an event they overanalyze everything they did and everything they said. This is the type of introvert that will rarely go to any social gathering, and if they do, they will be nervous the entire time. Anxious introverts need time alone not only to recharge in general, but also to recharge their emotions.
Restrained introverts—also known as reserved introverts—take a while to warm up to people. They may enjoy being around people, but they have to get used to the people and the situation first. This type of introvert pays attention to every detail and is slow about being present in a situation because they have to take everything in first. This is the type of introvert that would become overwhelmed in a situation that is very stimulating. A restrained introvert needs time alone to recharge their senses.
All introverts are different and throughout this blog I will talk about my experience as an introvert, which will not always be the experience that all introverts have. If you’re wondering which type of introvert you are, take this quiz.
Which type of introvert are you? Do you think people could be a mix between a couple different ones? Tell me what you think in the comments!