Here’s the thing about secret introverts like myself: although we often appear outgoing and even extroverted in social situations, deep down, we identify as introverts.
While it’s not always easy to spot an introvert, if you look close enough, you’ll see that we exhibit certain behaviors that reflect our introverted tendencies.
Read on to find out how to spot an introvert:
1) They need alone time
Here’s the thing: Secret introverts won’t avoid social engagements.
In fact, they’ve been faking it for so long that now they look totally comfortable speaking at a work event or going out to clubs with their friends.
So, how can you tell them apart from the real extroverts?
Because introverts need alone time!
They’re the people who take way too many cigarette breaks or fake phone calls just so they can spend a few minutes by themselves.
And after they do a lot of socializing they’ll usually go “into hiding” for a few days to recharge their batteries.
2) They enjoy solitary hobbies
Secret introverts are friendly and often seem outgoing. It’s only once you take a closer look at their hobbies that you can tell something’s up.
So what’s up?
Well, they usually have hobbies that don’t involve other people, such as reading, writing, gardening, baking, arts and crafts, playing an instrument, and other similar activities.
Personally, I like to get lost in a good book and I can spend hours on end tending to my garden, just me, the plants, the birds, and all the insects.
And look, it’s not that I have anything against doing stuff with other people, it’s just that this is a lot more … relaxin and less complicated.
3) They have a close-knit circle
Here’s an interesting fact:
While secret introverts may have a wide social network (both online and offline) upon close inspection you’ll find that they actually have a very small group of close friends!
I’m talking about the people whom they feel comfortable around and can be themselves with.
In short: There are very few people an introvert can share their innermost thoughts and feelings with.
4) They express themselves through writing
From Jane Austen to Edgar Allen Poe to J.K. Rowling, many famous and successful writers were introverts.
You see, introverts have a natural inclination for introspection and deep reflection, which gives them a unique advantage when it comes to writing.
And did you know that introverts have a rich inner world?
It’s true, that’s why they can channel their wild imagination into captivating stories – just think about the rich world of Harry Potter!
And even if they don’t write professionally, you’ll find that they at least have a blog or keep a journal to jot their thoughts and ideas into.
5) They prefer smaller social gatherings
Ask me whether I’d prefer to go to a big party where I don’t know anyone or if I’d prefer to have an intimate dinner and movie night with a group of friends.
My answer is the latter of course!
The thing about (secret) introverts is that while they will attend parties and events with tons of people, they prefer and even gravitate toward smaller, more intimate gatherings.
It’s not that they can’t handle big social gatherings, it’s just that they feel more at ease in intimate settings.
Plus, it’s a lot easier to have more meaningful interactions in small groups of people.
6) They text and email
This is totally me!
If I need to make plans with a friend, order something online, or get any kind of information, I’m going to send a text, write an email, or fill out a form and wait for them to get back to me.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t it much easier – not to mention FASTER – to just pick up the phone?
Faster, yes, easier… well… Not for (secret) introverts!
When it comes to people I know, I guess I could call, but don’t always feel like “talking” and texting is just easier.
And when it comes to getting in touch with someone I don’t know?
Well, I’ve gotten better over the years but back in the day, I used to stress about making a phone call for days on end! It was a nightmare!
All in all, if you’ve noticed that you’re always texting and emailing with someone and that you can never get them to actually pick up the phone, chances are that they’re introverted!
7) They avoid unnecessary social engagements
Here’s the thing about secret introverts, they can be very selective about the social events they attend.
Chances are that you’ll only see them in places that genuinely interest them or where they have no choice but to attend.
They’ll probably decline a bunch of invitations to avoid feeling overwhelmed or emotionally drained.
8) They love spending time in nature
Do you know how I start my day?
I have coffee and breakfast in my garden and then I walk the dogs by the lake or take them to a forest. It’s what grounds me and gives me an energy boost.
Now, if you know someone who avoids meeting up for coffee and instead they offer alternatives that involve nature, it’s almost certainly a sign that they’re secretly introverted!
Nature offers solace and outdoor activities like hiking, walking, or simply being in a park can be quite rejuvenating.
9) They work better alone than in a group
The truth is that it’s not easy for introverts to work in a group. They often have a hard time making themselves feel heard.
Personally, I’ve dreaded group work since I was a kid.
There’s always going to be a dominant person who thinks they know best and I just don’t have the energy to disagree or argue with them.
That’s why you may notice that secret introverts thrive when they’re working on a project alone and struggle in a group.
10) They need quiet to concentrate
The thing about introverts is that they need calm and quiet to hear themselves think.
An extrovert can listen to loud music, have the TV on, or have people talking loudly next to them and still manage to focus on writing a dissertation or doing their taxes. But not an introvert! They need quiet.
And it’s not just to concentrate, it’s also to sleep. For example, if someone is watching the TV too loud or there’s a party in the neighborhood, I can’t fall asleep!