Healthy Living

What It Feels Like To Be An Introvert

Treasure alone time? Don't worry, you're not the only one.

Introverts, you are hardly alone. (Not that it would bother you!)

We’ve gathered 16 insightful stories ― and a bonus gift guide ― that will make you feel understood, loved and more than okay.

This mega-list covers all the introvert bases, so get reading:

A hallmark trait of introverts is how cumbersome they find small talk. Experts say those with the personality type find it disingenuous and it can even be a source of anxiety. But that doesn’t mean introverts aren’t open to connecting with new people ― quite the opposite. Introverts value deep conversations that allow them to explore their own inner worlds and connect with others. And doesn’t that sound so much better than chit chatting about the weather We asked the self-identified introverts of our Facebook communities what they’d rather discuss.

“Spotting the introvert can be harder than finding Waldo,” Sophia Dembling, author of “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World,” tells The Huffington Post. “A lot of introverts can pass as extroverts.”

While a person’s introverted or extraverted tendencies fall within a spectrum — there is no such thing as a pure introvert or pure extravert, according to famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung — an introvert is most obvious and vulnerable when he or she is in an overstimulating environment.

4. 16 Spot-On Tweets You’ll Relate To If You’re An Introvert

If you’re an introvert, you likely value your alone time. You think before you speak. You’d much rather socialize one-on-one than in a group. A phone call is probably your worst nightmare. But most of all, you are silently strong. It can be tough to prefer to be alone in a world that values boldness and extroversion. But take heart, quiet types: Twitter has your back. Check out these 16 tweets that will seem all too real if you’re an introvert.

5. 12 Illustrations That Are All Too Real For Introverts

If you’re the kind of person who prefers inner dialogue to small talk — or watching “The Breakfast Club” over going to the club — then you’re more than familiar with the daily struggle of being an introvert. Artist Maureen Wilson, the mastermind behind the series Introvert Doodles, knows just how you feel. She sketches out her trials and triumphs as the “quiet type,” turning her daily life into funny comics.

If you’re an introvert, you might be used to feeling misunderstood (many introvert children are criticized for not speaking up at school, and grow up being told to “come out of their shells”) and having your actions (or inaction) misinterpreted. And if you’re an extrovert, there’s a good chance that you have a least a few misconceptions about those mysterious quiet types in your life. Scroll through this list for six of the most common false assumptions about introverts — and why they’re wrong.

7. An Open Letter From Introverts To Everyone Else

Hi, it’s us, Introverts. We just wanted to write a quick note to everyone to clear the air. We know that we can be hard to read, a little closed off and even irritable sometimes, but we do love you. To help you deal with us, we have put together a list of things you should know.

8. 12 Things Every Introvert Wishes You Understood

Introverts aren’t a bunch of awkward killjoys who don’t like to have a good time. In fact, many introverts enjoy going to parties if it means interacting with people who make them comfortable. What can be so grating about large gatherings is the overstimulation and unsatisfying conversations. As Laurie Helgoe explained in her book, “Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength,” introverts feel exhausted by small talk and prefer more intimate conversations.

9. 10 Thoughts Introverts Have About Parties

“I may take a few bathroom breaks throughout the event or take a quick walk outside for some air and a recharge. Introverts are not afraid to mingle or let loose and have fun, they simply don’t want to do it all the time.”

In reality, few of us fit neatly into either of these personality types. And for those of us who are truly in the middle of the introversion/extraversion spectrum, there’s a name, too. Psychologists refer to such people as ambiverts, meaning that we express qualities and behaviors of both introverts and extraverts, depending on the situation.

For the solitary dreamers who tend to live inside their own heads, books have always been cherished companions. In reading, introverts can indulge their need for a respite from socializing; even better, they can live vicariously through the characters on the pages, sharpening their powers of observation in a forum where they won’t be called upon to get involved. Whether you’re a bred-in-the-bone introvert or a hardcore extrovert (or, like many of us, somewhere in between), this list has 12 brilliant books you should read that capture what it can be like to be introverted.

So your job leaves you feeling like you’ve been in a marathon you didn’t sign up for, eh? I’ve been there, and well ... it sucks. No simpler way to put it. And you start to wonder if you’ll ever get better at it. You wonder if you’ll ever learn to thrive as an introvert in an extroverted work environment. Meanwhile, you feel a pang of envy whenever you see extroverts fitting in with ease — you feel left out like you’re not one of them. And worst of all, you’re tired of faking it to fit in.

In spite of their differences, introverts and extroverts make great romantic partners. Perhaps it’s a case of opposites attracting — what one partner lacks, the other more than makes up for. They balance each other out. We asked authors, psychologists, relationship writers and real-life couples to share the common situations that arise when an introvert marries an extrovert.

14. What Is It Really Like to Be an Introvert?

It isn’t that introverts don’t like social time — it’s that for us, social time is giving out energy rather than receiving energy. A lot of us fall somewhere in the middle between the two, and some interactions take more out of people than others.

My journey into understanding my introversion has only recently begun, but already I’ve put specific steps into place that have allowed me to lose a great deal of guilt about the way I’m wired — and to be a better parent, a more straightforward friend and (my husband would say) a much nicer person to live with.

Being an introverted homebody does have its perks. Introverts are more successful at dating than extroverts, they’re empowered by doing things alone, and they’re better at sympathizing and viewing situations from different perspectives. But, introverts also sometimes really, really don’t want to be around other people ― and that’s OK! Introverts need quality alone time to feel fully recharged and ready to tackle their next social event. Check out these 47 gift ideas for your introverted friends.

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