People who are introverted at heart but have a lot of friends often display these 9 subtle behaviors

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Introverts are often stereotyped as being aloof, anti-social, and socially awkward.

But the truth is many introverts have a wide group of friends whom they enjoy spending time with.

Doesn’t that make them an extrovert, I hear you ask?

Not quite…

These types of introverts are known as socially selective introverts, ambiverts, or extroverted introverts. 

While introverted at heart, they tend to have more social energy than other ‘full-blown’ introverts. 

Not only do they find enjoyment in some social settings, but they are more skilled at building and maintaining friendships, something many pure introverts struggle with.

So, how do you spot one?

Well, they don’t only have more friends than pure introverts, but they are more likely to display these nine subtle behaviors…

1) They prefer intimate gatherings

Introverts think and feel deeply, so they are not fans of surface-level socializing like attending parties. 

These group social events drain their energy, leaving them feeling exhausted.

However, one-on-one interactions have the opposite effect.

Engaging in a deep conversation with a trusted friend in a quiet coffee shop revitalizes an outgoing introvert.

That’s why one of the most prominent signs someone is an ‘extroverted introvert’ is their love of 1-1 interactions. 

They have what is known as selective socialization.

They might not be keen to go out for dinner with a group, but if you invite them to do anything one-on-one, they will be there.

2) It takes them a while to get comfortable around new people

While extroverts have the habit of becoming best friends with someone they just met, ambiverts take a while to feel comfortable around new people.

It’s not that they’re not open to making new friends. But instead, it’s harder for them to feel relaxed in new social interactions.

While ambiverts enjoy the benefits of making new friends, doing so requires them to push themselves out of their comfort zone.

As a result, they might not always make the best first impression, coming across as aloof initially.

But after just a few interactions with the new person, they will start to let down their guard and appear warmer and more open.

3) They’re listeners rather than talkers

Introverts with lots of friends are more sociable than those who prefer and seek solitude. 

They accept more social invitations, which is why it is easier for them to maintain and deepen their friendships, something some introverts struggle to do.

However, you will notice that these ‘extroverted introverts’ don’t contribute much towards group conversations.

They are never the ones dominating the conversation. 

Because of this, they may come across as shy, but this is not the case.

They prefer to listen attentively and contribute only when they feel they have something valuable and meaningful to say.

As a result, they usually become the ‘agony aunt’ of their friendship group as others recognize and seek out their exceptional listening skills.

Their ability to listen also links to the following behavior…

4) They’re the first to notice tension within the friendship group

Introverts have a highly observant nature. They notice all the things that go on around them, including subtle details. 

They can pick up on changes in human behavior and social dynamics that their extroverted friends may not. 

Therefore, whenever there is tension or hidden conflict between friends, an extroverted introvert will be the first to notice it.

Extroverts are too involved in the conversation to pick up on these things, and some introverts are too busy dealing with their social anxiety to notice.

So, introverts with a social nature are the most skilled at navigating social situations with tact and empathy.

5) They’re active in (online) group chats

Introverts prefer written communication, such as text messages or emails, over speaking on the phone or face-to-face.

In these communication styles, they feel more comfortable to express themselves authentically and thoughtfully. 

However, some introverts who prefer solitude over socializing will still be absent or quiet in group chats, as the multiple conversations and constant notifications feel too much.

Social introverts, on the other hand, thrive in WhatsApp or Facebook group chats.

Socializing through these digital channels provides introverts with extrovert qualities a way to connect with others without feeling drained. 

The gaps between messaging offer periods of introspection or recharge, which is crucial for introverts.

6) They prefer meaningful activities

Extroverts love spending time with others regardless of what they are doing. 

However, introverts with many friends only enjoy socializing if it feels meaningful.

Socially introverted people are more likely to accept invitations if they involve activities that align with their interests and values. 

For example, an extroverted introvert may love:

  • Taking hikes with friends
  • Attending creative workshops
  • Checking out a new yoga class with others

This is because when it comes to socializing, introverts prioritize activities that foster connection and personal growth

These meaningful experiences strengthen bonds with their friends and provide a source of fulfillment.

7) Their social energy is constantly fleeting

Some introverts are never in the mood to socialize.

In contrast, many extroverts will never turn down a social invitation.

‘Social introverts’ are someone in the middle.

Introverts with many friends are less reserved than ‘pure introverts,’ which is why they have so many deep friendships. 

However, their friends might notice that their social energy is fleeting.

Sometimes, they seem up for socializing, but other times, they don’t.

As a result, they tend to “disappear” from time to time.

As Jenn Granneman explains in her book The Secret Lives of Introverts, this can be based on their energy levels. 

If they are exhausted due to being busy with work or having trouble sleeping, an extroverted introvert will prefer to recharge alone.

That’s because, for them, the best way to rejuvenate their energy is to engage in self-care practices.

Once fully recharged, they will be more likely to accept social invitations and may even initiate them.

Another thing that can cause their social fuel to deplete is socially spreading themselves too thin. So, to protect their energy, they may do the following…

8) They space out their social engagements

Engaging in too much socializing in a short time will deplete any introvert, even one with some extrovert traits.

This is known as the ‘introvert hangover,’ which, according to Clinical Social Worker Michelle Risser, is a state of emotional and mental exhaustion. This type of social fatigue occurs explicitly after extended periods of social interaction.

Introvert hangovers are more common among social introverts and unsocial introverts.

Unsocial introverts are more likely to avoid social interactions in the first place. 

However, outgoing introverts enjoy socializing, so they may accept an invitation that they don’t have the energy for, resulting in a feeling of burnout.

Recovering from social fatigue can take a long time, requiring extended periods of quiet space, self-care, and time alone.

Therefore, many outgoing introverts will strategically choose and plan their social events, ensuring ample time to recharge between them.

Here’s another common way ambiverts will protect themselves against social fatigue…

9) They always have an escape plan

Having both introvert and extrovert qualities can be highly challenging.

These types of introverts find some people intriguing and others exhausting.

It’s all to do with their need for depth.

Two things seriously drain an outgoing introvert:

  • Small talk
  • Highly extroverted people (especially a group of them) 

So, in scenarios where they may encounter these things, such as parties and large gatherings, outgoing introverts will ensure they have an escape plan.

For example, if they get stuck in a small talk conversation and feel their energy is draining, they will have a back pocket full of excuses to use to escape. 

Or, if they are going on a date with someone new, they will have a code word ready to text their friend should the person be too extroverted or surface-level for them.

Final thoughts

Introverts with a wide circle of friends exhibit traits that defy the conventional stereotype of an introvert. 

While they may possess many introverted tendencies, they navigate social interactions with more grace, authenticity, and depth than pure introverts do. 

You could say that ‘ambiverts’ blend the best traits of both introversion and extroversion. Doing so allows them to form deep connections with others while maintaining a rich and reflective inner life.

Gemma Clarke

I am a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and an experienced content writer in the spirituality and personal growth space.
I’m passionate about sharing my expertise through the power of
words to inspire and guide others along the path of personal and spiritual development.

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