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Introverts: Definition, Signs, Positive & Negative Traits and Characteristics

Introverts – Complete Guide of Signs, Types & Common Traits

Introverts are stereotypically viewed as the shy, less assertive cousin to extroverts. However, being quieter and more reserved does not necessarily make you less of a quality friend or colleague.

In fact, introverted personalities may have a number of hidden talents that take some time to truly develop.

While the introvert may not be a social butterfly, lots of people truly find value in spending time with this type of individual, as they often complement more energetic teams well and balance out an organization’s energy.

In this article, we will address a number of misconceptions about introverts and identify common personality traits they share. To gain deeper insight into your own personality tendencies, consider taking the HIGH5 strengths assessment. This science-backed tool provides a comprehensive analysis of your unique strengths, helping you understand and embrace your introversion as a powerful asset. By identifying your key strengths, you can learn to leverage them in personal and professional settings, maximizing your potential as an introvert.

Who are Introverts?

Introverts are individuals who tend to be more introverted, otherwise referred to as “quiet types.” They feel more comfortable alone with their own thoughts and emotions as opposed to sharing their ideas and feelings with others.

They get their energy from within themselves, not from outside sources. Their circle of friends tends to be smaller but more tight-knit; many fear or dislike speaking to large groups.

While introverts are usually quieter than their extroverted colleagues, not all introverts prefer a quiet environment all the time. There’s a lot more nuance to this type of person.

Who are Introverts – Meaning & Definition

To understand some of the intricacies of introversion, look to Carl Jung. Dr. Jung is a psychologist who first described introversion and extroversion. He characterized people into these two groups based on how they get and spend their energy.

For introverts, the source of their inspiration and energy comes from themselves (their own goals, thoughts, etc.) instead of focusing on finding outside inspiration. Energy is often spent in more controlled, quieter environments instead of in a taxing busy environment.

8 Most Common Signs of Introverts

Now that you know the basic definition of introversion, you may be wondering: am I an introvert? A few common habits of introverts are present in the entire introverted population.

Below are a few of these habits and major personality traits that could be signs you are an introvert:

1. A Social Event Often Stresses You Out

Feeling exhausted after participating in a social situation commonly occurs to introverts. If after a day of work and stress, you prefer to retreat to your own quiet environment instead of letting loose with others, you may be an introvert.

This is so because introverts spend their energy in social gatherings, while extroverts gain energy from these same events. However, you do not have to dread social events or avoid social activity altogether to be an introvert.

You may simply prefer to spend your time with a smaller group of people instead of going to gatherings simply to socialize with new individuals.

2. Solitude is Appealing to You

The introvert’s idea of an ideal weekend is usually spending time with yourself, enjoying the peace, and focusing on your hobbies. Maybe you enjoy watching television, reading a book, or taking a walk with your dog in the morning instead of spending time partying and mingling with others.

The average introvert does not want to be alone constantly, but they do value their quiet time and look forward to spending time with themselves to recharge.

3. You Have a Small, Tight-Knight Friend Group

Social relationships truly matter to introverts, contrary to popular belief. They may not be comfortable speaking to everyone or be exceptionally popular, but they do have a handful of people they are very close with.

Introverts prioritize deep, long-lasting relationships, so their social circles are typically smaller than extroverts, who have a wide range of friends and enjoy speaking to them just for the sake of getting a feeling of euphoria achieved through interaction. Having a few very close relationships is one of the key characteristics of introverts.

4. People Think You Are Quiet or Reserved

Introverts are often described as mellow, reserved, quiet, or even shy. The notion that all introverts are shy is a very common myth, but do not confuse introversion with timidity.

Most of the time, introverts simply do not wish to waste their energy on small talk or unnecessary conversations.

People with this personality trait choose their words carefully to avoid making mistakes, but they do not necessarily have a fear of people. Being quiet or reserved usually indicates you are an introvert.

5. Social Stimuli Leave You Distracted

When you are in a hectic environment, do you feel discombobulated and find making decisions near impossible? In stressful and bustling environments, introverts often get this confused and panic feeling, while extroverts thrive on this hectic energy.

According to research, introverts are more prone to being distracted than extroverts. Because of this, they tend to enjoy more peaceful and controlled environments as opposed to action-filled situations.

Of course, this does not mean introverts enjoy monotonous tasks or unexciting work. They simply prefer a quieter, less hurried environment.

6. You are Immensely Self-Aware

Introverts enjoy focusing their energy inward, so they spend quite some time evaluating their own experiences, success as well as failure, and performance.

Being very in tune with your emotions, thoughts, and inner desires could mean you are an introvert. Such personalities tend to enjoy examining their mind.

They devote time to getting to know themselves and their own weaknesses/strengths. Often, introverts dedicate time to finding new hobbies/interests and exploring topics that fascinate them.

7. You Learn Better by Watching

Extroverts enjoy jumping into tasks and learning hands-on, but introverts enjoy being spectators and learning from the sidelines. Trial and error are usually avoided by introverts, as they prefer to watch the best way to perform a task before doing something themselves.

They may watch others perform the task multiple times (especially with detail-oriented tasks), before finally trying it themselves once they gain confidence.

Sometimes, introverts will try to learn from experience but prefer to do so in private. They do not wish to perform a task for the first time in front of an audience.

If you prefer learning through watching as opposed to hands-on learning, chances are you are more introverted.

8. You Enjoy Independence at Work

The social aspect of a job usually does not appeal to introverts. So, they are more attracted to jobs with independence and less social activity.

Possible examples of introverted and independent careers include accounting, writing, computer programming, art, and designing.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

If you resonate with several signs of introversion, consider exploring your unique strengths through the HIGH5 assessment. This personalized analysis can reveal how to leverage your introverted tendencies as powerful assets in your life.

Types of Introverts

There are many different personality types and characteristics which fall into the umbrella term “introvert.” Some individuals are extremely averse to social interaction, while others are more social introverts, also known as ambiverts. There are many ways to display introversion.

People usually have both extroverted and introverted traits. However, you can categorize most introverted people into the following groups:

Social Introverts

This type of introvert is one that is most commonly thought of when you say “introvert.” Such individuals enjoy reserved settings, and independent work, and prefer spending quality time with a small group of people.

Thinking Introverts

This subtype is especially prone to daydreaming. They are imaginative, and creative, and spend a lot of time thinking.

Often, they have clear goals and enjoy pondering the outcomes of their decisions and their future.

Anxious Introverts

This type of introvert can sometimes be socially inept. They seek out time alone not only because they enjoy solitude, but also because they feel awkward or shy.

Their level of extroversion is especially low, and they often have lower levels of self-confidence.

Restrained Introverts

People in this group often carefully consider their options and think deeply before they make decisions. They are the exact opposite of impulsive and they typically avoid taking action until it is absolutely necessary.

Introverts Traits of Male and Female

Male and female introverts share a large number of traits. They both enjoy quiet environments, prefer independence, avoid hectic situations, and get energy from themselves as opposed to from social events. However, a few traits separate the two sexes when it comes to introversion.

Here are a few key differences between male and female introverts:

Traits of Male Introverts

Enjoy being able to be themselves.

Male introverts naturally enjoy their closest relationships even more if they are able to be open and honest without judgment from their spouse or friend. To make an introverted man feel comfortable, give him space, be patient, and do not put pressure on them to open up. Women introverts are typically more reluctant to be open, even in this environment.

Introverts Traits of Male and Female

Less reactive.

Introverts often spend more time in their own heads, meaning they are less prone to react to their external environment. Many men feel more powerful or dominant when being non-reactive, but introverted men simply do not like to cause scenes.

They like to challenge others without being combative.

Introverts dislike hectic situations, but they enjoy participating in deep conversations. Men tend to be more comfortable with challenging others in conversations about topics they care about, while women may stay quiet or avoid the potentially controversial topic altogether.

Traits of Female Introverts

Very independent.

Women are stereotypically viewed as reliant on men, yet introverted women are not afraid to go against the grain and prioritize time alone. Like all introverts, they are quite shy, but it is common for women to be a bit more people-averse than men. This leads to the woman relying more on herself for finishing tasks and achieving goals.

Untapped potential.

While men may have career managers who constantly challenge them, women are unfortunately still overlooked in today’s workplace. Because of this, introverted women often have untapped potential. They can often achieve far more than they think they are capable of.

Traits of female introverts


Female introverts feel emotions strongly and are often very in tune with their feelings. Men may have to suppress these emotions, but women introverts are more likely to acknowledge these feelings and address them. They can be protective of themselves and those they care about, often making them very selfless individuals.

Introverts’ Traits of a Child

Many people begin to show signs of introversion at an early age. Most children show a mix of extroversion and introversion in their personalities, though. They develop a more dominant source of energy as they age, gain experience, and interact with others.

Introverts Traits of a Child

With that said, here are a few of the most common characteristics of introversion in children:

  • Prefer to keep emotions and thoughts to themselves.
  • More self-aware. They tend to understand their own strengths, weaknesses, and limitations.
  • Maintain a small group of friends and prefer talking to familiar people.
  • Make decisions more carefully than the average child.
  • Communicate better on an individual basis, but could struggle with public speaking.
  • Listen more than they speak.
  • Must be given time to think about questions before making a reply.

Negative Traits of Introverts

All personalities have positive traits and negative traits. This is true with introverts as well. Although they can be extremely great partners are friends, introverts also have some unappealing traits that should be noted.

Certain people may find their mellow nature as a weakness. Others may simply overlook introverts as less skilled in customer service roles, or other consumer-directed jobs.

Some other negative traits include:

  • Prone to being viewed as socially awkward, weird, or snobbish.
  • Overly quiet and unwilling to stand up for their beliefs, for fear of conflict or chaos.
  • Poor ability to handle stressful situations.
  • Overthinking decisions and delaying action.
  • Avoid asking for assistance, even if it is helpful or necessary.
  • Easily scared in new environments.
  • Cannot concentrate unless the environment is familiar or comfortable.

Pro Tip From HIGH5

While introversion is not inherently negative, some perceived ‘negative’ traits may arise from failing to understand and strategically apply your introverted strengths. Take the HIGH5 assessment to illuminate your most powerful introverted strengths, then develop an action plan to leverage them, minimizing potential drawbacks like overthinking or struggling in unfamiliar environments.

Introvert vs. Extrovert – Main Differences

Most people have varying amounts of introversion and extroversion composing their overall personality type. However, most individuals also have a dominant way to send and receive energy, which determines whether someone is introverted or extroverted.

Personality attributes vary quite substantially between these two personality types. Here are a few key differences:

  • Introverts enjoy solitude and recharge when they are left alone.
  • Introverts are reserved, quiet, and mellow. Extroverts are more energetic, gregarious, and talkative.
  • Introverts listen more in conversations. Extroverts are more impulsive and speak their minds almost immediately.
  • Introverts recharge and gain energy through alone time in peaceful settings, while extroverts gain energy from conversations with others.
  • Extroverts embrace change and like excitement, while introverts are resistant to change.

Introversion vs. Shyness – Main Differences

Introversion is often confused with shyness, but they are not directly related. Introversion is a personality characteristic, while shyness is a temporary feeling.

Shyness typically arises when one is uncomfortable in a social setting. They may feel social anxiety, and the physical effects of this discomfort quickly become evident (sweats, tremors, fast heart rate, etc.).

Shyness may lead people to avoid social events, for they wish to avoid the negative feelings such events bring about. Introverts may also dislike social gatherings, but it’s usually not because they are afraid of others.

They simply prefer to get their energy from within and enjoy spending time with a smaller group of people more than mingling in large groups.

Introverted Personality FAQ

How You Can Tell That You’re an Introvert?

You can tell if you are an introvert if you get your energy from within, you enjoy quieter environments, and you prefer to have a smaller group of friends. You may be naturally quieter or mellow. See if you get energized by social interactions. If you feel better alone and get energized by your alone time, you are probably an introvert.

Will an Introvert Make the First Move?

Typically, introverts are not comfortable making the first move in relationships. They may not be comfortable with even starting a conversation with a new individual. They prefer to communicate with the same people, and going outside of their comfort zone is quite hard for introverts. Usually, the more extroverted person will make the first move.

Are Introvert Antisocial?

While introverts may be mistakenly viewed as antisocial, they are in fact not antisocial (usually). Simply, introverts are just less interested in social interaction than extroverts. They value their alone time, but still enjoy fascinating conversations about topics they care about with people they find interesting.

How Introverts Make Friends?

Introverts sometimes struggle with making new friends. However, the most common way to make friends as an introvert is through your already existing friends and colleagues.

This allows the introvert to already have contact with the potential friend, so they feel more comfortable reaching out to them. It also keeps the introvert’s friend group tight-knight, which is how they prefer to structure their relationships.

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