17 signs to tell if you're an introvert

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Are you a closet introvert? AKA an introvert in-hiding because you’re trying to fit in with the extroverted world you've found yourself living in?

Or maybe you’ve heard about the term ‘introvert’ and thought it sounded like you, but you’re still on the fence about it…? Or maybe you have no idea that introversion is even a thing... Like me, 7 years ago.

I didn’t know the term introvert existed until I was in my early 30’s. I had grown so accustomed to trying to fit into the extrovert world I was part of it was never part of my vocabulary. 

If I had known then, what I know now, I’ve no doubt my life would have looked vastly different.

It was only when prompted to take the Myers Briggs test during my Health Coaching studies that I made the discovery.

I was still fairly new to the self-development world at this point, so learning about this test and the subsequent revelation of being introvert, was mind-blowing!

It suddenly dawned on me that all of my so-called ‘quirks’ -

  • preferring to stay-in than go out;

  • always having my nose buried in a book;

  • only having a few close good friends;

  • preferring to eat lunch alone each day at my corporate job than go out in large groups -

- Were all just signs I was an introvert; and above all, there was nothing wrong with me!

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Up until this point, my colleagues probably thought I was antisocial given I mostly always turned down group lunch invitations and social events after work.

I also had no idea why I was exhausted all the time.

I would get home from work each day and pretty much want to do nothing but sit on the couch and stare blankly at the television. Weekends were mainly spent recovering from the previous week and preparing to do it all over again by the time Monday morning rolled around.

My new discovery was a joyful revelation and above all, it was a relief to know that I could now begin to intentionally design my life around my need for plenty of solitude and time to decompress.

In many ways, it was like my permission slip to stop feeling so guilty about saying ‘no' and feeling like I always needed to keep up with people around me.

As it turns out, I’m from a family of introverts.

Both of my parents are introverts, as is my sister and two half brothers from my Dad’s side. No wonder I had zero clue about this whole introvert thing - as far as I was concerned, staying at home; being a book nerd, and needing plenty of alone time, was totally normal!

Upon my discovery, of course I then had to research everything there was to know about being an introvert and what it meant.

From then on, whenever I met people, I'd do a quick assessment on whether they were introverts or extroverts, and if they were introvert-folk, I instantly knew we’d get along, having an unspoken code about our respective ’needs’.

So what does it mean exactly, to be an introvert?

Basically it comes down to where we get our energy from.

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Introverts get their energy and refuel their creative juices from spending time alone; whereas extroverts get their energy from being with other people and therefore thrive in large group and very social environments.

Being in large groups and around people for long periods exhausts introverts and depletes them of energy, so it’s super important for introverts to carve out plenty of alone time to decompress and refuel their energy.

When we don’t get this time to recharge, we find ourselves extremely over-tired and exhausted; feeling anxious; overly stressed; generally cranky and not pleasant to be around at all!

This is why plenty of self-care is mandatory for introverts.

It’s important to note that while neither ‘type’ is more superior than the other - our modern world is largely designed for extroverts. The way corporate organizations are structured including the open plan office; constant meetings and mandatory team bonding experiences are just some of the reasons why introverts don’t thrive in this kind of environment.

Unless we equip ourselves with the appropriate self-care strategies, or change our working environment (or career!) entirely, we find ourselves on the road to burn out - just like I did.

Which is why it’s now my mission to help you avoid this at all costs and instead, empower you to design a life that honors your unique gifts as an introvert.

It’s estimated that introverts make up around 30% of the world’s population - yep, there’s a lot of us!

This is why it’s so important for us to design our lives in a way that supports us thriving and ultimately creating a life we’re obsessed with.

So, if you’ve been wondering if you’re an introvert, I’ve compiled 17 signs to help you quickly assess whether you are or not.  

If you answer ‘yes’ to most of these questions, then my friend, you are an introvert!

You:

  1. Feel most energized after spending time alone.

  2. Would rather stay at home than go out.

  3. Prefer having one or two really close friends than a large circle of friends.

  4. Like to avoid large, crowded, parties, often feeling overwhelmed when you need to attend them and much prefer intimate gatherings.

  5. Like to form a considered response before contributing to group conversations or in meetings.

  6. Hate small talk (and avoid it at all costs}, preferring deep and meaningful conversations about topics you’re passionate about.

  7. Feel exhausted after too much stimulation and need time to recover after being around people for too long.

  8. Would feel completely ok about staying home all weekend not seeing another person.

  9. Have a strong desire to do and create meaningful things in the world.

  10. Recall that as a child, your favorite activities were reading or playing quietly on your own.

  11. You love to listen, more than you love to talk; and people tell you that you’re a good listener.

  12. Can only deal with social occasions like parties, conferences and concerts in small doses and generally can’t wait to leave them. After you’ve been at one of these events with a lot of stimulation, you need a lot of down time to recover.

  13. Can easily get lost in your own thoughts and love daydreaming.

  14. Feel anxious at the thought of having to be around people for extended periods of time.

  15. Dream of being able to work from home or in a quiet coffee shop with minimal distractions; while open plan offices are your least ideal working scenario {AKA your worst nightmare}.

  16. Recoil when things like ’networking’ and ‘team building’ activities come up and you’re required to participate in.

  17. Feel relieved if someone cancels your plans.

So tell me lovely, are you an introvert? And if you are - what else would you add to this list?
Rachel x