What is being an introvert?

What Does Introvert Mean

We explain what it is to be an introvert, differences with shyness and the characteristics of someone introverted. Also, what is it to be outgoing.

An introvert tends more towards his inner world than towards the social.

What is being an introvert?

It is said of someone who is introverted when their general personality traits tend towards the enjoyment of solitude, reflection and introspection , and less towards the outside or towards the contexts of intense socialization . Put differently, introverts are those who recharge their emotional and psychic energy alone, the opposite of the so-called extraverts or extroverts.


Both introversion and extroversion are personality typologies formulated by the Swiss physician and psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) in his 1921 work, Psychologische Typen ("Psychological Types"). There he proposes the existence of two “poles” of the personality: the one that tends toward the inner world (introvert, that is, poured in) and the one that tends toward the outer world ( extrovert , that is, poured out). .

Furthermore, Jung combined these poles with his four main functions of consciousness: two of them judging or rational, which would be thought and feeling; and two perceptual or irrational, which would be intuition and sensation. Therefore, regarding the introverted attitude , Jung identified four different psychological types:

  • Introvert-thinking . People who have as an experiential priority the understanding of their own being, and who tend to ask questions and immerse themselves in the realm of their ideas in order to explore it.
  • Introvert-feeling . People with little access to others, who generally live devoted to their passions, such as musicians and artists, and tend to project an air of autonomy .
  • Introvert-feeling . Silent people who live focused on their emotional world, dealing with their inner sensations. They tend to prioritize sensory impressions over any other type of experience .
  • Introvert-intuition . Dreamer people and given to interior visions, often prone to esotericism and the search for spiritual or religious transcendence.

All these personality types have in common the prioritization of the inner world over the social world, so that they describe reflective, introspective, and inward-looking personality forms.

It can help you: Psychology

Characteristics of an introvert

Broadly speaking, introverts tend to be:

  • Introspective, reflective , prone to venturing into imagination, creativity and the inner life.
  • Silent , even shy, and they prefer to go unnoticed.
  • Not prone to public activities and leadership , group tasks or tasks that require social skills, such as parties.
  • People very connected with their emotions , their thoughts and their way of looking at the world.
  • More energetic in situations of solitude and reflection, and less energetic in social situations.

Introversion and extraversion

Introversion is the exact opposite of extraversion, and they are fundamentally distinguished in that extraverts privilege the social and external world over the inner world of each one, which is why they "recharge their energy" when they are in social activity, that is say, surrounded by people.

Extraverts, therefore, tend less toward reflection and inner contemplation, as they feel more comfortable dealing with the real world and with others.

More in: Extrovert

Introversion and shyness

Although they can go hand in hand, introversion and shyness are by no means synonymous . As we have seen, the first is a typology of personality, a general tendency within which very different people can be found, but who always tend towards their inner worlds before the social world.

This does not mean that they do not know how to deal with others, or that it is difficult for them to make friends, simply that situations of social friction or group participation demand much more energy than extroverts.

In contrast, shyness is a social difficulty that consists of fear of intervening or speaking , or attracting attention in some way. Shy people generally feel insecure, anxious, and live social situations with fear: of being judged, saying the wrong thing, being rejected, etc.

So a person can perfectly be outgoing and shy, which will undoubtedly bring him more suffering than if he were an introvert, since deep down he wants to expose himself to social situations, but he suffers from them due to his insecurities.

Introversion is a personality form, that is, a general pattern of being. While shyness is a form of insecurity that can be perfectly worked on and overcome, without this implying at all that one will cease to have the personality they have.

Follow with: Qualities of a person

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