Introversion is not defined by what it is not

Introversion is not defined by what it is not

Academics often define introversion by what it is not: extroversion. What everyday introverts think about introversion is not really factored in.

As early as 1980, this problem was identified when a study found that the scientific and common-sense definitions of introversion were not the same.

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Introverts tend to turn inward rather than outward, but beyond that, it is more complex. There are four types of introverts:

  • Social. The preference for solitude or socializing with small groups instead of large ones. It is not the same as shyness.
  • Thinking introversion. They don't share the aversion to social events. They do tend to be introspective, thoughtful, and self-reflective.
  • Anxious introverts seek solitude because they feel awkward or self-conscious. They tend to ruminate on the things that might or could go terribly wrong.
  • Restrained or reserved introverts prefer to think before they speak or act. They might take a while to get going.

Many introverts are a mix of all four types.

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