Do you find it tricky to figure out who the introverts are in your life?
Everyone knows introverts don’t love going out socializing a lot. But there’s more to being an introvert than simply enjoying being at home. People often assume introverts are shy and reserved, but that’s not necessarily true either.
So how can you really tell which of the people around you are introverts?
Introversion and extroversion are all about where you get your energy and what drains you. Introverts are easier to spot than you might think. You just have to know what to listen out for, as it’s hidden in what they say.
With that in mind, today, we’re exploring 6 phases that according to the experts, only introverts use. This will help you to easily recognize introverts, without relying on the popular and inaccurate stereotype that introverts are always shy and reserved.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
1) “I just need some time on my own”
Do you ever feel like you just need some time on your own to recharge, after being around people for a while?
The truth is: everyone tires of socializing eventually but introverts feel mentally drained more quickly than others. And when they’ve had enough they might say “I just need some time on my own”.
The experts have figured out why. The simple reason introverts tire more quickly of social interactions is that they’ve got a less active dopamine reward system.
In short: “extroverts get more energized and excited by the possibility of reward than introverts” as outlined by Jenn Granneman, author of ‘The Secret Lives Of Introverts’. Introverts also find high levels of stimulation draining, which is why they don’t last long at big, noisy gatherings.
It’s not that introverts don’t like being around people, they do, they just don’t get as much reward from it as their extroverted friends.
Instead, they get energy from being alone. And when their reserves are low, they need to go home to recharge their social batteries so it makes sense this phrase is a firm favorite among introverts.
2) “Let me think about that one and get back to you”
Another phrase only an introvert would say is “Let me think about that one and get back to you”.
Here’s the thing: the last thing an introvert wants to do is think out loud and make comments off the cuff like a lot of people around them seem to do.
They’d rather have some time to process the information, reflect on it alone, and then come back to share their fully formed thoughts.
If this sounds familiar to you, you might be an introvert. And you’re not alone.
Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking’, confirms “Introverts often prefer to have completely worked something out in their minds before they start speaking–one reason they usually don’t speak up right away.”
Asking for time to think about something and come back with an opinion is classic introvert behavior reminding everyone that they prefer to think before they talk.
3) “I’m not a big fan of small talk, I prefer deep conversation”
As an introvert myself, I admit that I’ve used the phrase “I’m not a big fan of small talk, I prefer deep conversation” many times.
Although I don’t enjoy big crowds and trivial chit-chat, I’d happily sit in a quiet corner with one or two people, learning about them and their lives for hours. I love to go deep and truly understand people.
And it’s not just me. As outlined by Psychology Today “Conversationally, introverts prefer to dive deep. We want to know what’s really going on in your head.”
This love for deep and meaningful conversation can sometimes throw people off the scent that I’m an introvert. People tend to believe the stereotype that introverts are shy and antisocial.
In reality: we love good quality conversation with a few people so if you hear someone expressing their disdain for small talk and their love for deep conversation, you know they’re an introvert for sure.
4) “I like to listen first, then speak”
If you meet someone who says they prefer to ‘listen first, then speak”, you can tell almost instantly that they’ve got introverted tendencies.
Extroverts have this crazy ability to think and talk at the same time, but not introverts. They prefer to listen to fully understand every aspect that they can first. This is why introverts often get complimented for being great listeners.
Active listening is all about listening to understand and then thoughtfully engage. And this is where introverts thrive.
Think about it: it takes introverts a little longer to process information, according to research, which means they’re less likely to interrupt people. And because they’re more comfortable listening than speaking, they happily take time to fully understand what someone is saying.
Self-proclaimed introvert and motivational speaker Simon Sinek highlights the difference between passively listening and actively listening when he says “There’s a difference between listening and waiting for your turn to speak”.
Introverts choose listening over speaking every time. Hearing that someone loves to listen is a telltale sign they’re an introvert through and through.
5) “I don’t mind being alone, I quite enjoy it”
These days, it’s common for people to chat about how their company is approaching work, right? And often people share their preference for working from home or being in the office.
A lot of extroverts, who get their energy from people say they prefer to be in the office as they miss the social aspect. And others will respond by saying something like “I don’t mind being alone, I quite enjoy it”.
This phrase instantly tells you these people are introverts. Sure, introverts need to be alone to recharge, but it’s about more than just that.
Introverts embrace being alone because it allows them to be more creative, it fuels their independence and it increases their sense of calm and joy.
This one resonates with me big time. As much as I like my work colleagues, friends, and even family there is nothing quite like spending a few hours alone not just to recharge but to truly indulge in my own interests and enjoy myself.
Some people fear alone time but like so many other introverts, I genuinely love it so it’s likely you’d hear me say “I don’t mind being alone, I quite enjoy it”.
6) “I value deep meaningful connections over having lots of friends”
Which do you prefer, to have lots and lots of friends or a few super close friends?
When it comes to friendships, introverts prefer quality connections over quantity. They’d rather have a few close friendships than a lot of surface-level ones.
And here’s why: Introverts and extroverts approach friendship differently.
“Introverts feel like they can only get quality time with people one-on-one, but extroverts can get their social needs met in group gatherings.” as noted by Sophia Dembling, author of ‘The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World’.
Introverts, don’t see value in having lots of friends because they know maintaining friendships takes a lot of effort and they prefer to have your social needs met in one-on-one interactions and deep meaningful conversations.
If you hear someone say “I value deep meaningful connections over having lots of friends” it’s a dead giveaway they’re more introverted than extroverted.
How many of these phrases do you recognize from the people around you?
If you hear any of these phrases, you’re probably with an introvert, someone who likes to think before they talk, values deep conversations, and is always there to listen deeply and understand what you’ve got to say.
Remember, introverts are much more than just what the stereotypes tell us.
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