What is an introvert?

Introversion is a personality type. Generally regarded as one of the principal types,. The main confusion surrounding the term "introvert" is that it is often thought of as identical to "shy". It is rather different, although it can look quite similar to an outside observer. Also introversion like all personality types is not a black and white question. It exists on a scale that runs from extreme introversion to extreme extroversion. Everyone is somewhere on that scale, and most exhibit both introvert and extrovert characteristics in different situations and at different times.
Principally an introvert is someone who focuses first on their own interpretation of a situation, rather than the situation itself. It seems to me (definitely an introvert) that introverts take in and give out information just as promptly as an extrovert, but spend much more time -in between- running the idea through:- processing, memory, goals & ambitions etc. Although this can sometimes make introverts seem a bit slow, they make good listeners, and their responses are usually clear and consistent. They are often fun to talk to and even frequently quite witty. Psychologists sometimes talk about introverts finding that external stimulation is draining where extroverts find it invigorating. A complex social situation like a party makes them tired or even (weirdly) bored! "A shy girl and an introvert boy were at a party. They both looked rather unhappy and a bit uncomfortable. She was desperately wishing someone would help her join in, he was desperately wishing everyone would let him go home." If he had just helped her join in, she would probably have taken him home.
There is plenty more to read about introversion on the net so keep looking. In the mean time here are my ten reasons why being an introvert is a good thing!

  1. Introverts are not actually any more clever than the average, but they use their intelligence well and are often seen as pretty bright.
  2. Introverts are good listeners.
  3. Introverts are rarely if ever bored. They enjoy thinking.
  4. Introverts are rarely if ever lonely. They enjoy (yes Enjoy) solitude.
  5. Introverts don't chatter inanely.
  6. Introverts usually work hard and effectively.
  7. introverts tread lightly on the world demanding less of others and the worlds scarce resources.
  8. Introverts rarely try to dominate others, being better at seeing how they would feel if the roles were reversed.
  9. Introverts are often quite patient.
  10. Introverts aren't extrovert. (You'll probably only understand that one if you are an introvert yourself).

Finally the only real disadvantage I can see to being an introvert is how annoying it is when people try to cure you. Sometimes I wish I was just Gay. At least they are generally seen as being happy being themselves.

Hope this helps.