When you hear the word "introvert," what comes to mind? Most of us may think that introverts are people who tend to speak less and only communicate when necessary or, in other words, "quiet."
However, what is the true meaning of introvert? So you don't misunderstand this term, let's discuss it step by step in the following explanation!
1. What is Introvert?
Before we delve into further discussion, let's first understand what an introvert is. Simply put, an introvert is someone who tends to prefer spending time alone or in a calm environment rather than engaging in intense social interactions.
They are inclined towards introspection, derive energy from solitude, and often feel that too much social interaction can drain their energy. Introverts are not the same as being shy or antisocial; rather, it is a personality preference in how they gain energy and interact with the world around them.
So, compared to extroverts who feel energized and enthusiastic when spending time with many people, introverts prefer to spend time alone or in small, familiar groups.
2. Introvert Characteristics
Everyone has a unique personality, and so do introverts. Here are some common traits that are often seen in introverts.
2.1. Spending Time Alone
Introverts tend to enjoy alone time to reflect, think, or do activities they enjoy without being distracted by intense social interactions.
2.2. Tendency to Listen More
They are often good listeners and prefer to pay attention to their surroundings rather than being the center of attention.
2.3. Choose Close Friends Carefully
Although introverts can socialize well, they would rather have a few close and intimate friends than a lot of friends who are just acquaintances.
2.4. Tend to Think Before Taking Action
They tend to ponder and process things before taking action, often thinking deeply before speaking or making a decision. They will try not to be hasty in making decisions or acting.
3. Introvert Types and Their Advantages
Quoted from mindbodygreen, a site that discusses introverted personality, there are four types of introverts that we commonly encounter in everyday life. Among them are:
3.1. Social Introvert
This type prefers to enjoy his time alone. However, they don't mind interacting with those closest to them. For example family, friends, and other loved ones.
3.2. Thinking Introvert
People of this type tend to go deep into their own thoughts and reflections. They enjoy spending time alone thinking, reading, writing, or exploring their personal interests.
3.3. Anxious Introvert
The next type is introverts who get nervous easily. People with this type have a fairly high sensitivity to the surrounding environment. They prefer a quiet and peaceful environment. Conversely, when they are in a crowded environment, they will easily get nervous.
3.4. Restrained Introvert
Yes, you read that right. This type is a combination of personality between introvert and extrovert. People with this type have good adaptability in social environments. Even so, they will still need time alone to recharge their energy.
Although introverts prefer to spend time alone. In fact, they have advantages, such as greater social sensitivity, good self-reflection skills, and forging deeper social relationships.
4. Difference between Introvert and Extrovert
Besides introverts, there are also groups of people called extroverts. So, what's the difference between the two? The main difference lies in the source of energy they enjoy. Introverts tend to draw energy from within themselves, while extroverts draw energy from social interactions and busy environmental situations.
This doesn't mean that introverts and extroverts can't socialize or interact with each other. They just have different preferences in utilizing energy and responding to the environment.
5. How Should We Treat Introverts?
When interacting with introverts, it is important that we understand and respect their preferences. Here are some tips for dealing with introverts:
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5.1. Give Space and Time
Don't force introverts to engage in excessive social interactions. Give them time and space to get comfortable.
5.2. Listen with Empathy
When they speak, listen intently and show genuine interest in what they have to say. This can make them feel valued and heard.
5.3. Respect Their Choices
Given that introverts tend to draw energy from alone time, don't get me wrong if they choose to spend time alone. Respect their needs and provide support.
5.4. Don't Judge Them
Introverts are not someone to be "fixed" or seen as odd. Don't judge them for their different social preferences.
6. Introvert and Extrovert Personality Test
Many of us may not know the personality type we have. So, for those of you who are curious whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can try a personality test.
One of the sites that you can access for free is 16personalities.com. This site provides a personality test that can help you understand your preferences and personality characteristics in greater depth. The test not only differentiates between introverts and extroverts but also involves other aspects of your personality.
7. Can Introverts Become Extroverts and Vice Versa?
The question that often arises is whether an introverted person can become an extrovert, and vice versa. It's important to understand that personality is not something fixed and unchanging over time. While there may be inherent tendencies in a person's personality, environmental factors, life experiences, and personal development can influence one's personality.
However, these changes usually do not involve extreme transformations from being completely introverted to becoming extroverted, or vice versa. Often, the changes lean towards improving social skills, and comfort in interacting or adapting to specific situations.
For example, an introvert can learn to become more comfortable in social situations or improve their communication skills while still retaining their inherent preference for recharging their energy by spending time alone. On the other hand, an extrovert can learn to appreciate alone time and develop additional skills they possess.
Dear BFI friends, now you have a good understanding of what an introvert is, right? It's important to remember that every individual is unique, and appreciating differences is key to creating harmonious relationships.
There is no better or worse personality. Both introverts and extroverts have their own strengths and uniqueness. What matters most is accepting and appreciating oneself and others as they are, and fostering understanding relationships between introverts and extroverts. So, let's continue to learn and respect each other without judgment.
That concludes this simple article, and I hope it benefits you in understanding yourself and the people around you. Stay true to yourself, whether you're an exceptional introvert or extrovert. See you in the next article, BFI friends!