15 things introverts do that set them apart

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Introversion is a characteristic that we all demonstrate to some degree or another, but while many people experience it only occasionally, there are some who spend most of their lives as out-and-out introverts.

These people don’t interact with the world in the same way as everyone else; they often exhibit very specific behaviors which are all rooted in their more reclusive personalities.

The following 15 points cover the most common traits of introverts in relation to their interaction with the world and the people/things in it.

1. They are more likely to be an expert on one thing, than a jack of all trades.

Introverts excel at focusing on a single skill or exercise until they master it. This allows them to shine at hobbies such as playing musical instruments, painting, and magic tricks.

It is far rarer to come across an introvert who has a more generic skill set – the type of person who can install a new dishwasher, cook a tasty dinner, and rework a dress into a new style, all without instructions.

2. They prefer to express themselves in writing.

An introvert is perfectly able to speak on a given subject, but they much prefer to put their thoughts down in writing instead.

They can often be found with pen and paper on their person and are far more likely to utilize texts and emails when contacting others.

3. They detest speaking on the phone.

The very thought of an impending phone call can send an introvert into physical meltdown. They can’t stand this form of communication and actively avoid it wherever possible.

They try not to answer a call unless it is urgent and they will put off making calls until the very last minute.

4. They think carefully before they speak/type.

Whatever the means of communication, introverts often exhibit caution and tend to ponder their points carefully before making them. This can mean that conversations come across as less fluid, especially between more than one introvert.

5. They relish deep conversations, but dread small talk.

Discussions on superficial matters are very taxing for an introvert and they would much rather engage in conversations about the deeper, more meaningful topics, and their feelings about them.

This is one of the main reasons they dislike meeting new people, because such instances inevitably require some element of chitchat. The same applies to phone calls, networking, and other social events.

6. They are keen to look at the big picture before reaching conclusions/decisions.

Introverts will often have quite open minds and they tend to try and see things from all of the possible angles before coming to their own conclusion. They are deep thinkers won’t get easily swayed by one particular argument until all points of view have been heard and deliberated upon.

They also like to see the bigger picture beyond their own life. This often means putting the good of society before personal gain where there is an option to choose.

7. They hold back when in a crowd.

Not desiring to be the center of attention, an introvert will withdraw into themselves and seek to preserve energy and avoid confrontation when in a crowd.

In fact, they seek to steer clear of them in the first place, turning down invites to parties in favor of solitude and the company of a small group of good friends.

8. They can succeed as performers, but shun the limelight.

There are many fine actors, actresses, musicians and performers who would class themselves as introverts and being one certainly does not prevent such a talent from shining.

Commonly, however, an introverted performer will seek to avoid as much of the subsequent attention and interaction as possible.

9. They do their best work on their own.

In a world which moves ever closer towards mass collaboration, introverts tend to discover their greatest genius when working by themselves. They like to dive in and tackle problems using all of their own energy instead of interacting with others which only serves to displace much of this energy.

They prefer quiet, separated offices to large open plan arrangements and will often be found with headphones on to block out all external stimuli.

10. They get easily distracted, but rarely ever bored.

One of the reasons that introverts like to hide themselves away when working is because they have a tendency to get distracted by all manner of things.

But they don’t get distracted because they are bored by what they are doing, but because they have an insatiable mental appetite to learn new things.

It’s precisely because they are stimulated by so many different topics that they become distracted in the first place.

11. They have a very fine eye for detail.

An introvert often sees things that most others would miss. They have an amazing eye for the smallest of details and they see more of the infinite complexities of the world because of this.

They make great analysts across all walks of life – business, political, and societal – and can notice patterns, trends and meaning in data where others see just a blur of figures.

12. They are drawn to creative, often solitary career paths.

While some do become the analysts discussed above, many introverts find their way into careers that contain a certain creative element. Design, art, writing, and even science, draw more introverts than extroverts because of the greater individual freedom and expressive thinking that is required.

Because of their desire to master an art, they often become very good at what they do and many form small businesses of their own. Even when they have to take on staff, they will typically seek to retain their more solitary working environment with a separate office or closed off space.

13. They locate themselves close to an exit when in uncomfortable situations.

When introverts find themselves in situations that they dislike – such as in crowded environments – they will instinctively seek out the position closest to potential escape routes.

They avoid getting fenced in by other people or objects and like to have a clear plan in their head as to how they will eventually escape from the situation altogether.

That’s why introverts will often be found standing or sitting close to the door at parties or booking the aisle seats at the cinema.

14. They experience their surrounding environments differently.

Introverts don’t experience seemingly rewarding situations like most people; they don’t get the same rush or overwhelming feeling that is linked to the world directly around them.

They tend to live inside their heads a little more and this means that things such as parties, music concerts, and sporting events don’t give them the same buzz that an extrovert would feel.

They are more likely to find reward in a good book, relaxing bath, or walk in the forest – activities that other people may take for granted.

15. When their energy is spent, they virtually shut down.

When an introvert has depleted their energy reserves, they try to literally stop doing anything. They don’t attempt to push through the tiredness; there is no such thing as a second wind for them.

When they need to rest and relax, that is just about all they are capable of doing. They cannot charge their batteries through the company of others; an energy drink is not going to cut it; they need to have some quiet time, alone, without stimulation.

About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.