Introverts are a largely misunderstood bunch. We often come off as quiet or even shy, generally preferring to be behind the scenes and not be the center of attention, and we actually enjoy being alone more often than not. It's a difficult concept for our more extroverted counterparts to understand.
Growing up, I often wished I was naturally more outgoing and got my energy from others like so many of my friends did. But these days I’ve really grown to appreciate and nurture my introverted qualities—they're what make me who I am.
Here are 21 things I wish more people knew about introverts. Not every single point will be true for every introvert out there, but they’re worth keeping in mind the next time you want to gain a deeper understanding of your introverted best friend, co-worker, or family member:
1. I need my alone time to recharge—it’s not an option.
2. I do like people; I just can’t be around them 24 hours a day.
3. I’m not actually shy; I just choose my words carefully before talking.
4. You can always talk to me—I listen really, really well.
5. I love being around extroverts because it brings out my more social side.
6. You’ll like being around me much more if you give me the time and space to take care of myself.
7. I get a little overwhelmed in big groups, but I really enjoy one-on-one or small-group situations.
8. If you bring up a subject I love (such as health and fitness) you may not even know I’m an introvert, and I’ll probably talk your ear off.
9. There’s a fine line between getting enough space to take care of myself and getting too much space and feeling lonely.
10. Small talk is difficult for me—I much prefer deeper conversations.
11. I'm a very good observer and notice and hear everything.
12. Even though I like to be alone, I work better when surrounded by people (hence my tendency to "coffee shop hop").
13. It's hard for me to ask for help, so when I reach out I really need it.
14. Taking care of myself, proper nutrition, and getting enough sleep is really, really important for me.
15. Sometimes I wish I could say yes to more things without feeling like I’m going to overwhelm myself.
16. I need even more time to recharge after big events such as parties or conferences.
17. I like being an introvert for the most part, but sometimes I get a little envious of the extroverts who are always the life of the party.
18. I don't like to waste my time with people who don't fill me with joy, so if I spend time with you, you can be sure you're important to me.
19. It's not that I'm necessarily a quiet person; it's just that I talk only when I have something specific to say.
20. I prefer to have fewer, closer friends to lots of acquaintances.
21. I am very loyal—once you've earned my trust, I'll have your back for life.
Are you an introvert? Here are four "weaknesses" of introverts that are actually huge strengths.