9 things introverts do that extroverts just don’t understand

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

There’s a world of difference between introverts and extroverts.

This difference boils down to understanding. Extroverts often find it hard to comprehend the actions of introverts, simply because they process things differently.

Being an introvert myself, I’ve often noticed the puzzled looks on extroverts when I do certain things that seem perfectly normal to me.

So here are nine things we introverts do that leave extroverts scratching their heads. These might help clear up some misunderstandings, or at least provide a good starting point for conversation.

1) Need for solitude

One thing that extroverts often find perplexing is an introvert’s need for solitude.

For extroverts, the idea of spending significant amounts of time alone can seem strange, and perhaps even a little lonely. But for introverts, this solitude is not only enjoyable but necessary.

Solitude is where we introverts recharge. It’s our time to process our thoughts, to reflect on our experiences, and to simply be with ourselves.

This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the company of others. In fact, we value our relationships deeply. But we also recognize the importance of spending time alone to maintain our mental well-being.

2) Preferring one-on-one conversations

Introverts, like myself, often prefer one-on-one conversations over group discussions. This is something that puzzles many extroverts.

For instance, at a recent family gathering, I found myself gravitating towards my cousin. We ended up having a meaningful conversation about our careers and future plans. Meanwhile, the rest of the family was engaged in a lively group discussion.

To an extrovert, my behavior might have seemed anti-social or disinterested. But it’s not that I don’t enjoy the company of my entire family. It’s just that I find deep, focused conversations more satisfying than being part of multiple overlapping discussions.

This preference for one-on-one interactions allows us introverts to forge deeper connections and understand people on a more personal level. It’s not about being exclusive, it’s about engaging in a way that feels most authentic to us.

3) Comfort with silence

Introverts are often comfortable with silence, which can be puzzling to extroverts who are more used to filling the air with conversation. This comfort comes from an understanding that silence isn’t always a bad thing.

In fact, researchers found that silence can actually have some fascinating benefits. It can aid in stress relief, improve memory and even promote brain growth.

As introverts, we don’t feel the need to fill every moment with words. We’re content to sit in companionable silence, allowing thoughts and ideas to form at their own pace. It’s not about being aloof or disinterested, but rather about appreciating the peace and potential that silence can offer.

4) Deep thinkers

Introverts are often deep thinkers, which can sometimes be misunderstood by extroverts. We like to take our time to process information and reflect on our thoughts and experiences.

While extroverts might be quick to voice their thoughts or make decisions, introverts tend to mull things over. We may appear reserved or slow to respond, but it’s simply because we’re taking the time to fully form our ideas before sharing them.

Guess what? This depth of thought can lead to insightful observations and innovative ideas. It’s not about being slow or indecisive, but rather valuing thoroughness and reflection in our thought processes.

5) Observant nature

Introverts are often highly observant, a trait that can sometimes be misunderstood by extroverts. While extroverts are typically the ones engaging and driving the conversation, introverts are usually in observation mode.

We tend to take in our surroundings, notice small details, and understand the nuances of a situation. This might make us seem disengaged or distant in social settings, but really, it’s just our way of interacting with the world.

Our observant nature allows us to pick up on things that others might miss. It’s not about being standoffish or uninterested, it’s about taking in the world around us in a thoughtful and detailed manner.

6) Valuing deeper connections

Introverts play by a different rulebook when it comes to relationships—it’s all about quality over quantity. 

Sure, our social circles might not rival a celebrity’s entourage, but the friendships we nurture run deep—like roots anchoring us in a storm.

To the extroverts out there, our approach might seem a tad perplexing. While they’re out there collecting acquaintances like trading cards, we’re crafting connections with the care and precision of master artisans.

7) Overthinking

As an introvert, I often find myself overthinking situations. This can range from replaying conversations in my head to worrying about future events.

While this might seem like a negative trait to some, it’s simply part of being an introvert. We process things deeply, which means we tend to mull over situations more than others might.

For example, after a social gathering, I might spend hours analyzing the conversations I had, fretting over whether I said something wrong or could have expressed myself better.

This overthinking isn’t about being anxious or insecure, but rather a reflection of our deep internal processing. It’s just one of the many ways we engage with and understand the world around us.

8) Enjoying quiet hobbies

Introverts often enjoy quiet hobbies, which can puzzle extroverts who thrive on more social or active pastimes. We might spend our free time reading, writing, gardening, or engaging in other solitary activities.

These quiet hobbies aren’t about avoiding people, but rather about finding joy and satisfaction in peaceful pursuits. They allow us to relax, focus, and engage with our thoughts and interests in a satisfying way.

Now, this doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy group activities or outdoor adventures. But when it comes to winding down and recharging, you’ll often find us happily immersed in our quiet hobbies.

9) Need for personal space

The most vital thing to understand about introverts is our need for personal space. This isn’t about being antisocial or disliking people. It’s about maintaining our mental and emotional health.

Personal space is where we process our thoughts, recharge, and simply exist without the need for external stimulation. When our personal space is respected, we’re able to better engage with the world around us.

So keep in mind, if an introvert retreats for a while, it’s not a reflection on you. It’s just us taking care of our needs in the way we know best.

Final thoughts: Embrace the difference

Here’s the thing: there’s no right or wrong when it comes to personality types. Introversion isn’t better than extroversion, or vice versa. They’re simply different ways of experiencing the world.

As an introvert, I’ve come to realize that my traits – whether it’s a preference for solitude, deep thinking, or a need for personal space – are not flaws. They’re part of who I am. And they can be strengths in their own right.

Whether you’re an extrovert trying to understand your introverted friend, or an introvert trying to navigate in an extroverted world, remember this: our differences make us unique. They give us fresh perspectives and diverse ways of interacting with the world.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

People who stay young and energetic as they age usually adopt these 9 behaviors

9 subtle signs a woman still has a lot of growing up to do