Inside the Mind of an Introvert

There is more to them than you think.


What is really going on in the mind of an introvert?

Timothy Zaluski, Staff Writer

Introverts make up at least a third of the United States population, yet misconceptions about what it means to be an introvert are common. What causes these misconceptions? What can be done to combat them? In order to get these answers we need to see inside the mind of an introvert.

Introversion tends to be mistaken as wanting to socialize with others but being too scared or self-conscious to do so. While this may apply to some, this definition is not accurate to everyone. Most introverts would rather socialize in smaller groups of people they know instead of a large party with others to whom they cannot relate. In these larger groups, it becomes hard for introverts to make their voice heard and feel valuable to the conversation, whereas small groups or even one on one interactions greatly reduce their social anxiety and allow them to comfortably speak their mind.

Taking some time for yourself to read is always relaxing. (Ben White Photography)

But socialization can still be very draining for people after a long time, especially for those that are introverted. This does not necessarily mean that they do not like who they are talking to, but that they need some time to themselves. The reasons for this are to think, to reflect on anything in their life, or to stay productive. Introverts enjoy their solitude because they are better thinkers when they are alone.

But too much solitude can be very unhealthy, and introverts acknowledge that. They just do not feel the pressure to socialize with people who do not help them feel fulfilled. Also they do not feel the need to make useless small talk. Meaningful conversations with only one person is much more effective to them.

The truth is, extroverts are more likely to find career success than introverts. This is due to their energetic and outgoing personalities, which makes it easier to build strong connections with others. But this does not mean that introverts are incapable of success in their field, rather that they might have to push themselves to exhibit a more proactive behavior.

The difference between an introvert and an extrovert is apparent. (

Multiple introverts have gone to accomplish very creative things in life. Albert Einstein, Dr. Seuss, and even Bill Gates have all shown introverted qualities. When people wondered how an introverted person can possibly succeed in an extroverted world, Bill Gates had this to say:

“Well, I think introverts can do quite well. If you’re clever you can learn to get the benefits of being an introvert, which might be, say, being willing to go off for a few days and think about a tough problem, read everything you can, push yourself very hard to think out on the edge of that area.¨ 

Based on that statement, it can be understood that introverts can take advantage of their nature to get an edge in this competitive world.

This does not necessarily mean that they do not like who they are talking to, but that they need some time to themselves.

The misconceptions about introverts can come from people who make assumptions about why someone prefers to stay conserved. When an introvert shows the traits of being withdrawn, awkward, or shy, it should not always be taken personally. In reality, anyone can show these traits in any given situation in which they feel some sort of discomfort. So if an introvert decides to stay quiet, do not hold it against them, rather be understanding of the circumstances that they may be in.

A meaningful friendship between two people is displayed before the ocean. (

Introverts do have some positive qualities like appreciating alone time, not getting distracted over trivial things so easily, listening intently to others, and being able to solve problems independently. They can have longer friendships because they do not waste their time with those who treat them poorly. Introverts value personal connections that are strong and meaningful.

Going back to the initial question, what causes these misconceptions about introverts? It is those who default to the generalization of everyone who is reserved in their speaking or anxious around large groups of people. They need to realize that introverts have similar wants and needs as everyone else. They just require relationships on a deeper level.

So, what can be done to combat these misconceptions? Simply be aware and understanding of their feelings. If they wish to be alone, give them their much needed space because they are likely trying to do something productive. The misconceptions can be pushed back when society finds the value in everyone, and allows for their voices to be heard.