Why Are You an Introvert?

An introverted blogger I follow found the following explanation of what makes one an introvert and took exception to it:

The introvert ‘class’ behave the way they do (quiet, shy, private, etc.) because they…

  1. don’t know who they are and/or
  2. intentionally want to hide who they are from others (because who they are is unattractive/offensive/etc. to others in perception and/or in reality AND/OR because they perceive some tactical advantage over others by not revealing their ‘hand’) and/or
  3. are afraid of / don’t trust others

Of course, I find this list as ridiculous as the fine blogger I linked to above does.

I thought about this and realized that I’m an introvert because I find my inner life to be much more fascinating than pretty much anything going on in the outside world. I’m hard pressed to imagine a party that would provide me with more fun and enjoyment than being left alone with my thoughts, books, notes, writing, etc.

And why are you an introvert?

18 thoughts on “Why Are You an Introvert?

  1. I’m an introvert because I prefer to think before I speak. I’m also an introvert because I find that attending big social events to be physically and emotionally draining for me. I sometimes feel like extroverted vampires have sucked up all my energy. Lastly, I am an introvert because, like Clarisa, I find what’s going on in my own head more interesting than what’s going on outside of it.


  2. It’s a common misconception that introverts don’t like crowds or people. We’re fine among crowds and people. We just don’t need them to motivate us, unlike Extroverts.


    1. Depends on the person. I hate crowds because they tire me. I like people for the most part, but I can only take so much at one time.


  3. I just am. There’s no reason to justify it. Any reason I could give would be a restatement of what an introvert is: someone who finds inner life very interesting and is emotionally drained by excessive socializing for its own sake.


  4. Wow! I’ve been planning a whole post about introverts and how to clear up common misconceptions. But these misconceptions take the cake. Just wow! Such an example of “anyone different than me wishes they were just like me” mentality. How amazingly ego-centric to think that an introverted person doesn’t want to talk to you because they don’t like themselves. Maybe, and probably (given the quoted comments), they don’t like YOU.

    I agree with you Clarissa – I am introverted because the world inside my head is far more complex and interesting to me than the outer world. The written word is more interesting than the spoken word. Knowing who I am is more important than defining myself through others.

    I think introverts simply like to figure things out for themselves rather than through others. Introverts gain energy from themselves, where extroverts gain energy from being around others. Introverts enjoy being alone, not to hide in shame but to hide from boring or obnoxious outer stimuli. Extroverts have a hard time being alone with themselves.

    I’ve never met an introvert who wasn’t in some way introspective. I’ve met a ton of extroverts who aren’t. Jeez this quotation above suggests all introverts are sociopaths or hermits who wish they weren’t. Why don’t extroverts stop projecting and just thank us for doing all the introspective reflection for them.


  5. I like to focus intensely on a subject, without interruption, and so like to have some quiet time. When I socialize, I pay attention to people, but when I work or play or muse or create, I avoid distracting personal interaction.

    I grew up being somewhat withdrawn due to being out of step – I was one, then two years younger than my classmates. Much of the time I was either regarded as the little sister or as a target for bullying or exclusion. I was also gender-atypical – didn’t play with dolls, didn’t swoon over boys, didn’t do makeup and fashion. Once I got to college and found the geek crowd, I became more socially active.


  6. I have great disdain for the imperialism of consciousness. I believe consciousness is the last and only domain of freedom and still they come to occupy it. I think the examples above clearly represent that imperialism and its justification. As an introvert not everything I think is word worthy or explainable. I swing through thoughts like a monkey playing in a tree they are not all ethically based they are more of an interactive environment where everything just is. Language is slow no precision sloppy reckless its like a candy bar you spit out to entertain.


    1. When I published the post, I knew I was going to get absolutely brilliant comments on it. If anybody can create brilliant comments, it’s my fellow introverts.

      Thank you, Keith, and everybody else!


  7. Hmmm. I like the topic of this post. I’m glad that you brought it up. I find the list above ridiculous as well, although most of it is repetitious. I also find interactions with people very draining for the reasons provided above. Who wouldn’t if the pauses in conversation are interpreted as evidence that one is deficient, or when someone who thinks before they speak is seen as someone in need of fixing? I don’t generally self-label as an introvert, because I’ve had others jump to this conclusion in a negative, disrespectufl way. I’ve tended to not use labels given all the negative connotations attached to someone who isn’t considered an extrovert.

    I require lots of privacy and enjoy being left alone too. I can find plenty to do to enjoy myself just like you–books, music, cooking, writing…etc. I find that internal world infinitely richer, more rewarding and satisfying….I only wish at times that I could find others of like mind as I think they may appreciate my needs for privacy and wouldn’t try to change me or judge me harshly for them–as opposed to those people who tend to view me as in need of fixing.


  8. I’m not an introvert for any reason that has to do with personal preference. I’m an introvert because I was born that way. I often wish I weren’t. But I can’t change it any more than I can change my height. And yeah, that list is ridiculous and offensive.


  9. I’m hard-wired that way. No choice, hiding, fear, etc. involved. It’s like hair color, nose shape, or breast size: sure, you can change the appearance of all of those, but the genes know what they are. Some extraverts grasp that these are innate differences, but there sure a lot of them who think introverts are “just shy” or some such crap. I’m not shy; I don’t want to talk to you. There’s a difference.


  10. I do distrust others and am generally insecure, but that’s certainly not why I’m an introvert. There are other issues that are the causes of that. And I don’t feel the need to hide who I am; in fact, I’d rather just be myself. Maybe I’m hedging t because my timidity precludes me from being vocal. But that still doesn’t mean I’m trying to be someone else. I don’t do things that are *not* true to myself. Just because my insecurity and introversion coexist doesn’t mean that the former caused the latter.

    In fact, I have a friend who can seem extroverted. She talks a lot, and people take to her easily. But she’s an introvert. She prefers her own inner life; in fact, when she seems outgoing, it’s so that she can satisfy her inner life. This is hard to explain; it would be much more understandable if you knew her, ha.


    1. I also meant to mention people don’t have to be vocal to be themselves. Just because someone doesn’t share *everything* about themselves doesn’t meant that the person is attempting to hide something. They just don’t feel the need to share it.


  11. I’m not an introvert. I’m actually slightly to the side of extroversion. I’ve adapted to a rather introverted lifestyle because I find too many conventional social assumptions to be alarming. The pop psychology embraced by all too many, including university professors, makes my head spin with its degree of wrongness. For instance, there is the idea that what others believe they observe about you must necessarily be more objective than what one observes about oneself. The illogical and obscene nature of this assumption is something I have no will to deal with. It’s just crazy.


  12. I’m an introvert because I can accomplish so much more on my own than in groups. To be honest, people slow me down.

    Furthermore, I’m planning to become a therapist. Therapists work one-on-one with people out of necessity. (Unless, of course, they’re group therapists, but that’s still different.)

    I also have an extroverted side and I do love being with people when I want to have fun, but they wear me out pretty quickly.


    1. Miriam just said something that reminded me of working with extrovets: “I’m an introvert because I can accomplish so much more on my own than in groups. To be honest, people slow me down.”

      The one thing I always hated in graduate school were group projects. In many (but not all) of them, I would simply do 90% of the work to ensure we got a good grade, while the extroverts frittered the time away making like they were moving the world.

      In fact, my Masters program allowed students to do their Masters thesis in pairs or individually. I deliberately did mine alone, despite having several folks who wanted to work with me. My thesis won an award that year for best Masters thesis. Had I worked with someone else, I am convinced that it would have taken me much longer, and it would have been of much lower quality.

      Has anyone else had similar experiences?


      1. Oh, I hate group projects! I always went to great lengths to avoid working collectively on anything. So much time is usually frittered on extraneous discussions, talking about the weather and recounting the funny stories that happened with one’s uncle’s brother. I have nothing against such discussions but after the project is completed, not in the midst of it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.