You frequently attend parties, know the name of everyone at the office and are up-to-date on all the latest gossip. Introvert or extrovert? The answer may surprise you, because "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," told The Huffington Post. "A lot of introverts can pass as extroverts." And some introverts don't even realize that they belong in that category. Read on to get holistic help in determining if your mind, body and spirit belong to the introvert or extrovert classification and what it means.
If you aren't even shy, you may think that you're an extrovert. Well, maybe, says Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, psychotherapist and author of "The Introvert Advantage: Making the Most of Your Inner Strengths". But being an introvert "affects everything in your life" beyond your social life. As for its implications, well, as an admitted introvert (blush), it dismays me to discover that just a few years ago, the American Psychiatric Association even considered contemplated terming "introverted personality" a disorder by listing it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), a manual used to diagnose mental illness. No longer is that the case. So without fear, check these 15 signs of the classic introvert from the Huffington Post's experts to see if you too might be an "innie" versus an "outie:"
- You find small talk to be difficult. In "Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength," author Laurie Helgoe writes: "We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”
- Although you attend parties, it's not to meet new people (you have other goals but prefer being with people you already know).
- You sometimes feel alone in a crowd.
- You don't feel as if you're a natural networker when it comes to climbing up the ladder of success by schmoozing with everyone and anyone.
- You cherish thought-provoking conversations, books and movies (let me know of your favorites, and I'll buy the popcorn!).
- A classic test: Are you easily distracted? "While extroverts tend to get bored easily when they don't have enough to do, introverts have the opposite problem -- they get easily distracted and overwhelmed in environments with an excess of stimulation."
- You need time alone rather than constantly being with other people.
- You'd rather give a lecture in front of 500 people than make small talk with those people afterwards (got a podium? I'd rather stand behind that than go to a party).
- Where do you sit when you ride a bus? If you're like me and will walk the length of the bus for an end seat, you're an introvert (you don't like to be surrounded by other people).
- Opposites really do attract: If you're in a relationship with an extrovert, you might be an introvert who wants help in not taking everything so seriously (My tip: Can't find a nice extrovert? Get a good dog.)
- You screen all calls, even from your best friends (but I do call you back).
- You're detail-oriented. In studies, researchers discovered that "introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, as compared to extroverts."
- You're a writer. (I like to think I am, anyway). Evidence from a famous introvert: "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, who feels that she is "most creatively charged" when she can be alone with her thoughts.
- You get stressed when you have long periods of social time with no alone time.
- People tell you to "come out of your shell" and be more social.