1. They love cancelled parties.
Introverts love cancelled parties. Okay, maybe love is too strong a word. But an introvert really wouldn’t mind if a big party he was invited to suddenly got cancelled or postponed.
Partying with a big group of people for a long period of time zaps an introvert’s energy. To expend less energy, introverts enjoy one-on-one conversations instead of group activities. You may know someone who’s dubbed as a “kill joy” because he wants to leave a party early. Stop the name-calling and consider that maybe that person is just tired and needs to recharge by spending some time by himself. He could be an introvert.
2. They’re cool with shutting up.
Society has a funny perception of silence. It’s as if something is terribly wrong if someone just wants to sit quietly by himself.
Remember that there is such a thing as companionable silence. It’s when two people are so relaxed and comfortable with each other that no words need to be spoken. And there’s solitude too, which is the creative’s refuge.
Introverts like silence and solitude because it’s during quiet times that many people, not just introverts, produce billion-dollar ideas, relax their minds, and recharge their bodies to face another day.
3. They get high (with energy) on being alone.
No invites on a Friday night? No problem!
While most people would be horrified and perhaps acutely depressed at the thought of spending the weekend minus social activities, your typical introvert is already getting started on his reading or movie list. That, or he’s already out hiking, hanging out at a bookshop, gardening, or writing weird poetry at the cafe.
But remember that being alone doesn’t equate to loneliness. The thing is, introverts need “alone time” for them to conserve their energy. This doesn’t mean that they’re alone all the time. Balance is key as Marti Olsen Laney explains in her book, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, “Introverts need to balance their alone time with outside time, or they can lose other perspectives and connections.”
4. They’re comfortable with eating alone.
Dining alone has such a bad reputation, doesn’t it? Heaven forbid you eat a meal without a living human body next to you!
For most introverts, solo dining is a relaxing experience and a good opportunity to truly enjoy a meal in peace. Bear in mind that introverts have a low threshold for stimulation and are easily distracted. It’s a good thing people are starting to realize the value of dining in peace, like this restaurant.
5. They just like to watch.
As funny as that may sound, they do.
Introverts are observant by nature. They’re the quiet ones who prefer to sit at the sidelines and observe those around them. And no, they’re not judging people when they do this. This also doesn’t mean that introverts are wallflowers. They can talk your ear off if the topic is something they’re passionate or know a lot about. They simply don’t feel the need nor have the energy to be social butterflies.
As Susan Cain puts it, “We’re not anti-social; we’re just differently social.”
6. They have few friends.
More than anyone else, introverts are masters at prioritizing quality over quantity, especially when it comes to friends. They form fewer but deeper relationships with people. Amazingly though, many introverts thrive in the online world. Perhaps because online communication and networking gives them more time to think and reflect about how to express their responses as compared to real-world conversations.
7. They take it slow.
Most of the time, taking things slow is seen as a weakness and the ability to “think on your feet” is favored over the ability to reflect. But introverts prefer to do things little by little and think carefully before making big decisions. The innate gifts of slowing down and tuning into their inner world and reflecting on experiences and situations allow them to better understand other people and empathize.
Introverts are good at unsettling extroverts without even trying. They can appear mysterious and don’t show much reaction or facial expression. So take the time to get to know someone and learn what makes them tick. Do this especially when your personality leans toward extroversion. Pretty soon these positives may hold true for you as well.
- When you need to take breaks and recharge after socializing for too long.
- When spending a heavenly weekend alone means that you’re missing out on time with friends. (”How was your weekend”? ”Great, I didn’t see anyone for two days”.)
- When people stop inviting you places because you keep canceling plans. (I’d love to hang out, but I have to go sit in my house by myself)
- When you’re asked to do a group project, and know that you’re going to hate every minute of it.
- When you hear, “Are you OK?” or “Why are you so quiet?” for the umpteenth time. (Just because you prefer to listen or only speak up when there’s something important to say.)
- Trying to be extra outgoing when you flirt so your crush doesn’t think you hate them.
- When you have an awesome night out, but have to deal with feeling exhausted for days after the fact.
- When people pressure you to be more social, whether you like it or not.
- When you’re trying to get something done, but you can’t, because everyone else is talking.
- When someone calls you out for daydreaming too much.
- When you carry a book to a public place so no one will bug you, but other people take that as a conversation starter.
- When someone interrupts your thoughts, and you get irrationally angry.
- When you need to be completely alone so you can recharge and get back to being awesome.
- Because even though introverts are misunderstood constantly, you know this to be true: I am not mad, depressed or antisocial. I just need Not to talk to anyone for awhile and that is OK.