People are either introverts or extroverts and although these two terms are well-known, there are still a lot of misconceptions about these personality traits. An introvert is a person who gains energy from being alone and loses power in overcrowded environments like social events. People usually associate introversion to loneliness, and there’s a lot you can learn from introverts about being lonely. Some things may surprise you! Throughout this article, you’re going to find out more about the introvert personality and the idea of solitude.
Introverts vs. Extroverts
Most people know that extroverts are outgoing while introverts aren’t, but these two personality traits have more to them. To understand how introverts function you have to know what makes them different than extroverts. Here are some key differences:
- Extroverts recharge by being social, while introverts recharge by spending some time alone
- Extroverts enjoy group conversations, while introverts prefer one-on-one interactions
- Introverts have close relationships with a few friends while extroverts have more friends, but their bonds aren’t as strong
- Introverts listen more while extroverts speak more
- Extroverts easily adapt to any change while introverts don’t
- Introverts can focus on certain things for a long time while extroverts are easily distracted
- Extroverts open up to anyone, while introverts open up to a few people only
- Introverts reflect before making decisions while extroverts make decisions quickly
- Introverts aren’t interested in getting attention, but extroverts love being in the spotlight
It is not uncommon for people to assume that introverts are lonely, but here’s what an introvert can teach you about this assumption.
- Introverts like Solitude
While an extrovert person “recharges” by hanging out with other people, having fun, and so on introverts are entirely different. For example, an introvert person would rather spend some time alone reading a good book. In fact, solitude is a way for an introvert person to “recharge.”
One study found a possible reason behind this behavior. Scientists from California discovered that human faces might hold more meaning for socially outgoing individuals i.e. extroverts than they do for introverts. The study showed that brains of extroverts pay more attention to human faces than do introverts.
Interestingly, introverts’ brains didn’t even distinguish between human faces and inanimate objects. What does this mean? These findings partly explain why extroverts are more motivated to seek the company of others while introverts enjoy being alone.
The research also supports the claim that introverts, or their brains, could be indifferent to people. The introvert person’s brain treats interactions with people the same way it handles encounters with other, non-human information. That could be the reason why an introvert person would rather cherish solitude than being outgoing.
- Introverts take Solitary downtime
Introverts usually feel pressured to achieve something and be productive. Although this seems perfectly reasonable for other people, introverts tend to find it overwhelming. As a result, they get stressed out, frustrated, uncomfortable, and so on. The constant pressure and activity can burn out an introvert and do more harm than good.
However, everyday life, work, and many other obligations require introverts to step out of their comfort zone on a daily basis. So, one of the most important secrets to healthy living for introverts is scheduling some alone down time. Yes, sometimes introvert chooses to be alone because that’s how he or she copes with constant pressure from the environment. Scheduling time to be alone nourishes an introvert’s natural tendency to “look within.”
While most people assume introverts love being alone at all times, that isn’t necessarily true. In fact, an introvert individual doesn’t need to take a lot of “solitary down time.” It is enough for them to take at least 30 minutes or an hour to cool down and relax.
- Solitude is in the air an introvert breathes
Yes, introverts do like being alone because it helps them relax, recharge, and cope with the world. But sometimes this loneliness turns into a habit; it becomes air that an introvert breathes. For example, some introverts function with other people; they do socialize, but take some time alone when it’s necessary.
However, other introverts get accustomed to loneliness so that it becomes the only thing they like (or want) to do. You probably know a person (or more of them) who almost never socializes with other people, they don’t talk and don’t even spend some time with people who are closest to them.
Ask any introvert, and he or she will tell you there is a fine line between solitude and harmful isolation from everything and everyone. Most introverts are trying to figure out how much time alone is, actually, too much time alone.
- Solitude can turn into depression
It is not uncommon for people to assume that every introvert is, automatically, depressed. However, that is not entirely correct. Throughout this article, you’ve had the opportunity to see that some introverts thrive in taking at least some time alone, but others can’t find that balance. Inability to determine how much time alone is too much can cause more stress, feeling of helplessness and loneliness, as well as other symptoms of depression. In fact, a growing body of evidence confirms that depressive patients tend to be more introvert than the general population. It is highly likely that introversion acts together with other core personality variables, thus influencing depression.
- Being alone isn’t same as being lonely
Bearing in mind that introverts appreciate and thrive in solitude it’s easy to presume they're on your own. That said, every introvert will tell you that being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. Loneliness comes by itself, uninvited, and it is usually a result of a strong urge to belong somewhere or to someone.
On the other hand, being alone is a matter of choice, a decision that person makes to take some time to reflect, think, and feel better about life in general. Being alone isn’t a result of wanting to belong somewhere or to someone; it’s the necessary break a person takes to recharge the “batteries.”
Introverts do socialize, and they do have friends, but they prefer having a smaller social circle and spending time with people they trust and feel connected to. So, you should assume they have zero friends.
What every introvert should bear in mind is that it is important to find a perfect balance and avoid spending too much time alone. Based on how you feel, you can determine how much alone time is just enough. To easily cope with everyday life and pressure from the environment, it is not uncommon for introverts to take dietary supplements like Procera AVH to improve memory and mood and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Introversion is considered the same as loneliness, but it isn’t entirely correct. Being alone and lonely are two different things. Introverts can teach other people that taking some time alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it can be very helpful. At the same time, it is important not to let introversion to become depression and the best way to do that is to avoid harmful isolation.