People don’t believe me when I tell them I’m an introvert.
But we exist, and we are thriving.
Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily make you shy or socially awkward, although it can be the case.
Introverts are people who get their energy from solitude, internal reflection, and deep conversations. We tend to feel drained after long periods of social interaction or in noisy environments.
If this sounds like you, chances are you’re an introvert too.
Here are some unmistakable signs that might confirm your suspicions.
13 Signs You Are an Introvert and How to Thrive as One
1. You prefer small, intimate gatherings.
As long as you are not a monk, you have social needs, and introverts are no exception.
But instead of large parties or loud clubs, you prefer more intimate gatherings such as dinner with close friends or game nights at home.
These types of interactions allow you to engage in meaningful conversations and connect with people on a deeper level without feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve never been to a club before, and I’m pretty sure I never will.
I am not a fan of crowds, loud music, or people invading my personal space.
Although sometimes I have to be in large gatherings for parties or occasions, I always look forward to going back home and recharging.
Even on my wedding day, I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could go home and relax in my own space.
I would have loved a small wedding with just a few people I know, but trust our African parents to invite every single person they know! lol
2. You have a rich inner world.
Introverts are known for their vivid imagination and creativity.
Our minds are always buzzing with thoughts, ideas, and daydreams.
We are often lost in our own heads, analyzing our experiences or exploring different scenarios.
It’s no wonder I’m a fiction writer; my love for creating alternate realities and characters stems from my rich inner world.
Sometimes I wonder if I could ever get bored as long as I have access to books, music, and my thoughts.
Our rich inner world makes us great problem-solvers and critical thinkers.
But it can also make us appear aloof or distant to others, as we may seem lost in thought even when we’re physically present.
3. You can be very outgoing in the right setting.
Just because you are an introvert doesn’t mean you shy away from social interaction completely.
In fact, many introverts can be very outgoing in the right setting.
For example, I am quite talkative and animated when discussing topics that interest me or when teaching a class.
But after interacting with people for an extended period, I need to recharge alone.
4. You value your solitude.
In fact, we don’t just value solitude; we need it to thrive and survive!
The constant stimulation and noise of the world can be overwhelming for introverts, so we need time alone to process our thoughts and emotions.
This is why I always look forward to my family going to bed every evening so I can have a few hours of uninterrupted solitude.
I just can’t go to bed like that.
Every night, I must have at least an hour or two of quiet time to read, write, or watch a show by myself.
This is why I go to bed late and wake up tired.
I literally trade my sleep for solitude.
5. You prefer one-on-one conversations.
Small talk is not our forte. We rather engage in deep, meaningful conversations with just one person.
One-on-one interactions allow us to listen attentively and give thoughtful responses without feeling overwhelmed or drained.
I can go on for hours discussing a topic I’m passionate about with someone who shares my interests.
But small talk at parties or networking events?
That’s a hard pass for me.
6. You are an excellent listener and observer.
Introverts are often praised for their ability to listen attentively and observe keenly.
Because we tend to be more reserved in group settings, we take in everything that’s happening around us.
We also observe people’s behavior and body language, making us excellent judges of character.
This can be especially useful in personal relationships and professional interactions.
So if you’ve always been the go-to person for advice, just like me, chances are you might be an introvert.
Another reason you might be the go-to person for advice might be because people trust you and feel comfortable opening up to you.
This is because introverts are usually great at creating a safe space for others, making them feel heard and understood.
And because we are not loquacious, people know their secrets are safe with us.
7. You enjoy solitary activities.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean you dislike being around people or can’t have fun in group activities.
It just means that you also appreciate and enjoy solitary activities like reading, writing, painting, or hiking.
My favorite hobby is reading, and I can spend hours lost in a book.
Although adulting and motherhood have significantly reduced the time I have for solitary activities, I still make sure to find some time for myself every day.
These solo activities allow us to recharge and rejuvenate, making us more productive in our personal and professional lives.
8. You feel drained after socializing.
If you’re an introvert, prolonged social interaction can quickly drain your energy and leave you feeling exhausted.
You might find yourself making excuses to leave early or avoiding social events altogether, not because you don’t like people or enjoy their company, but because it takes a lot out of you.
Whenever my husband and I go out to visit, I’m usually the first one to say I’m ready to leave.
9. You have a small circle of close friends.
Introverts value quality over quantity when it comes to friendships.
We prefer to have a few close friends with whom we can share deep connections rather than a large group of acquaintances.
Even though I have thousands of connections on social media, my closest friends can be counted on one hand.
I cherish these friendships and am grateful for the deep connections I have with each of them.
10. You are comfortable with silence.
Introverts don’t feel the need to fill every moment of silence with chatter.
In fact, silence is often comforting and necessary for us to process our thoughts and emotions.
We don’t feel the need to constantly keep a conversation going and can appreciate moments of quiet contemplation.
11. You prefer writing over talking.
Introverts tend to be better at expressing themselves through writing rather than speaking.
Honestly, this is me.
I’d rather send a text or email than have a phone call.
Writing allows us time to organize our thoughts and express ourselves in a more deliberate and meaningful way.
12. You prefer to plan and take your time.
Introverts tend to be more deliberate and thoughtful in their actions.
We like to plan ahead, weigh the pros and cons, and take our time before making decisions.
This can be a strength, as it allows us to avoid impulsive mistakes and focus on our goals.
The downside to this is that we can get stuck in analysis paralysis and not take action at all.
I struggle with perfectionism and procrastination, always wanting to make sure everything is just right before I put it out into the world.
But I’m learning that sometimes, done is better than perfect.
13. You prefer working alone than in a group.
As introverts, we thrive in solitary environments where we can focus and recharge our energy.
This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy collaborating or being part of a team, but too much time spent on constant interactions and brainstorming sessions can drain and overwhelm us.
We need quiet and space to think, create, and work at our best.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not team players.
In fact, many introverts excel at working one-on-one with others or leading small groups where deeper connections can be made.
That’s why there are some careers that are particularly well-suited for introverts, and they can be just as successful and fulfilling as any other job.
Some of these careers include writing, graphic design, programming, research, and accounting.
These jobs often allow introverts to work alone for extended periods of time while still utilizing their unique skills and talents.
For example, writers can create imaginative worlds through their words without needing to constantly interact with others as I am currently doing.
Graphic designers have the freedom to express their creativity on their own terms without having to conform to group opinions or ideas.
Programmers can code in peace and focus on solving complex problems without being interrupted by constant meetings or discussions.
Researchers can delve into new discoveries without feeling drained by excessive social interactions.
And accountants can use their meticulous attention to detail in a quiet environment without the pressure of constant scrutiny from others.
Life is so good when your personality and strengths align with your chosen career path!
Being an introvert is not a flaw or something to be ashamed of.
In fact, introverts have many unique qualities that make us valuable and essential members of society.
So, fellow introverts, embrace your quiet nature, enjoy your solitude, and use your rich inner world to create magic in the world.
However, find a balance between alone time and social interaction because sometimes even introverts need a little human connection.
And if you’re unsure whether you are an introvert or not, don’t worry.
There is no right or wrong way to be, and everyone falls on a spectrum of introversion and extroversion.