How to Spot the Signs of Introversion in Yourself and Others and Use Them to Make your Life Better
The term introvert has been bandied about a lot recently—as have other trendy psychological buzzwords (like hypocrite, triggered, narcissist, self-care, and mindfulness). And like many of those other words adopted by people who spend far too much time on scrolling various social feeds on their phones and digesting click-bait articles, introvert (or introversion) has been shorn of its original meaning. In fact, labelling someone as an introvert or stating that you yourself are “such an introvert” has become sort of cool, in a weird way. Why? Why do people adopt any of these self-imposed labels? Because it’s neat to be in on the minority (introverts only makeup an estimated 33% of the human population); because they don’t really understand what it means (like how being OCD doesn’t just mean you like things neat and tidy—let’s talk about intrusive thoughts and rituals for a while, shall we?); because they may possess some introvert traits—most people—even the biggest extroverts around—do. Regardless of the why behind this relatively recent popularity of the introvert, this particular personality type (Actually a group of various personality types which share common traits) has become a hot topic.
There have been major books written about how introverts can survive and even thrive in a world built by and for extroverts (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, creator of The Quiet Revolution). Learning how to use introvert personality types to their fullest potential in leadership positions has become a whole subset of the self-help publishing sector. Introversion has become a topic (and a title) for popular music and music videos from major rising stars like Little Simz. Introverted characters have even become a popular trope (though often misrepresented) in popular movies like The Avengers, Big Hero Six, and many more. “Introvert” has even become a popular target for internet marketers who need to drive traffic to their websites so they slap it in just about every title for an article or blog post they can think of.
For those of us who have been introverts all our lives, this new-found interest in how our brain works is exciting, validating, and—at the same time—a bit offensive. But, like the good introvert I am, I’m going to analyze this phenomenon a bit and (because I’m always trying to push myself out of my comfort zone) I’m taking you with me.
So, let’s dig into this a little bit and see what really makes an introvert an introvert.