Cool Stuff: 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert – Some surprising characteristics of introversion

I was surfing the internet when I stumbled upon this interesting article about introversion on The Huffington Post.

Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who’s hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the “social butterfly” can just as easily have an introverted personality.

Being an occasionally gregarious introvert, I’m always interested to see what new insights people have developed about introverts and their unusual habits. Carolyn Gregoire offers 23 signs that you may possibly be an introvert, which I’ll be taking a quick look at.


#1 You find small talk incredibly cumbersome

Agree with this one. While I’m not against some idle chit-chat, if the conversation in a group isn’t what I consider “engaging” I’d prefer to quietly sit on the sidelines.

#2 You go to parties – but not to meet people

I go to parties? Seriously though, the last time I was at a club was about two months back, and I can’t even remember the last time I went to a house party. Sadly it seems I am getting old (or always have been) as most of the social events I go to are far more mellow and tend to be more along the lines of dinner, or breakfast, or just hanging out and having a couple of drinks. I do go to specific events (like Doodlebug) to meet people, but these events are way too chilled to be described as parties.

#3 You often feel alone in a crowd

I used to feel a lot more awkward in crowds. Now it’s less of an issue, as long as I have the space to mentally retreat a bit when I need to. For instance in a busy mall or train I can still start to feel weird, but at a concert I can just focus on the music and I won’t start to feel stressed out.

Alone in a crowd

#4 Networking can make you feel like a phony

One hundred percent behind this one. I’m a big believer in skill/talent and hard work being rewarded, but I know that I have my head in the clouds on this one. I’m also going to fully own up to the fact that I just drank some Haterade and say that I have met people who are worse artists or worse writers than myself or other people I know, but because they knew the right people, they get the work. It’s freaking annoying that people are chosen based on who they know, how well they know them or how good they are at stroking their egos, rather than how good they are at the job. Now obviously this isn’t the case for everyone, but I’ve met enough people who have networked themselves into some pretty awesome jobs to realise that there is a fair amount of truth to it.

#5 You’ve been called “too intense”

Can’t really agree with this one. I used to be extremely shy (I could barely say thank you to a cashier when paying for something). If anything people have told me I’m too reserved and distant.

#6 You’re easily distracted

At work yes, but I think this is the case with most people. When I’m at home doing stuff I want to do it’s much easier to focus.

Easily distracted

#7 Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you

I usually don’t leave the house on Sundays since I consider Sundays my recharge day. Most Sundays I sit in my room and do whatever the hell I want without feeling guilty about it. You have to be pretty important to me to make me come out on a Sunday, since it’s a day I find very necessary to maintaining my energy levels.

#8 Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards

I’ve never given a talk to that many people, but I did teach for a year. The classes were about 40 people at most, but for the first three months of lecturing I was a mess. Teaching was without a doubt one of the most stressful things I had to get used to. I’d had no lecturing or tutoring experience and had the job land in my lap by accident. I was supposed to come on as an assistant but the lecturer turned down the position last minute, leaving me, at the ripe old age of 23, lecturing 18 to 25 year olds. It was really weird at the start but I got used to it, learnt to relax, and actually got pretty damn good at it. Too bad the closure of another campus left my employers with a huge surplus of teachers, and as they say “last one in, first one out”.

#9 When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench – not in the middle

I laughed when this one came up. I had never thought about where I sat as a sign of introversion, but when I get on the train (we don’t have subways in South Africa) I always sit at the end of a row of seats. If I can’t sit at the end then I’ll find a corner to stand in. Now this strange habit of mine is starting to make a bit more sense.

Train seating

#10 You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long

Yup. Not much more to say about this one. If I’m quiet or in a bad mood it’s generally because I’m hungry or because I’m all “socialed” out.

#11 You’re in a relationship with an extrovert

Not at the moment. In terms of the girls I’ve liked it’s been a fair mix of extroverted and introverted girls. I have to say that drama girls (as in actresses and singers, not girls with drama) generally seem to really like whatever I have on offer, and they’re definitely more extroverted than introverted.

#12 You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything

I foolishly believe I can be an expert at everything, and that I can handle any project on my own. Regretfully, this has resulted in many ideas that simply failed to get off the ground due to lack of manpower.

Jack of all trades

#13 You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation

Younger me would definitely agree. Present me would disagree.

#14 You screen all your calls — even from friends

I wrote an entire blog post about how I hate answering the phone. I think it’s safe to assume I agree with this one.

#15 You notice details others don’t

Maybe? The one thing I pride myself in is being able to read body language extremely well. This was mostly because I failed to notice girls noticing me when I was younger, so I decided to fix this. However I consider it a learned skill more than something that I had because I was highly introverted.

Big picture

#16 You have a constantly running inner monologue


#17 You have low blood pressure

Well when I went to the doctor the other day he told me my blood pressure was fine, so while it may not be low, at least it’s not high.

#18 You’ve been called an “old soul” – since your 20s

I’ve been called an old soul for a lot longer than that. When I was 18 I used to go to a video arcade near the university to beat people up (at Tekken). All the Indian guys who hung out there thought I was much older. Most of them estimated that I was around 26. Now, it’s actually the opposite. Most people still think I’m 26 (or younger), even though I’m only a few months away from 30.

#19 You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

Generally no. I prefer to keep things small and intimate, and most large and loud parties which lack a focal point usually cause me to seek out the quietest area in the venue.

#20 You look at the big picture

Pretty much exclusively. Little details usually pass me by unless I’m specifically looking for them.

Big picture

#21 You’ve been told to “come out of your shell”

When I was a child I was never explicitly told this, but a lot of people used to comment about how shy I was.

#22 You’re a writer

I’ve been scribbling words into notebooks and journals (diaries are for girls) since a very young age. In fact, there’s never been a time in my life where I haven’t been working on some piece of writing.

#23 You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity

I get social burnout if I spend too much time around people, even the awesome ones who are my friends. For example, I’ve been attending a lot of birthdays recently and there was one weekend in particular where I was only at home to sleep and shower. When I got up on the Monday after the weekend was over, I felt like I had a hangover (and I don’t think two drinks over the entire weekend is enough to give me one).


If you’re an introvert and agree or disagree with this list, or have your own sign of introversion you’d like to add, feel free to comment below, on Facebook, or send me a tweet!


2 thoughts on “Cool Stuff: 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert – Some surprising characteristics of introversion

  1. Hey there. Most of the above (almost all) are true in my case. I hate phone calls, I prefer to communicate via messaging/email. I prefer to be in a group conversation rather than a one-on-one chat (other than with my friends/family). I dislike meeting new people as it makes me extremely uncomfortable (I never know what to say to them…other than introduce myself/be intoduced). I take forever to warm up to people.

    I recently broke up with my ex who is the complete opposite of me. He craves interaction with others, accepts every extended invitation, visits friends (new, old, lost-and-found, even ones he doesn’t really like) and he really wants to accompany him to all these occasions. Unfortunately, he didn’t understand that I’m not like that, and I can’t be like that. I used to be fairly social, when I was young (16-25). Now, at 31, I just prefer my own company and the company of my friends (occasionally), family (mostly) and used-to-be-boyfriend (all the time).

    So now, in this time of loneliness, I have decided to read up on introversion. It has been really enlightening and wonderful to see that there are others like me out there…somewhere.

    The saying goes “opposites attract”. However, in this case, I think that intimate relationships are hard(er) if you dont have a like-minded idea of what you want the relationship to be like. Do you think that 2 introverts being in a romantic relationship would be easier (seeing as they would understand what it is to be an introvert)?

    I don’t know.

    Your post was a great read. Thank you. I always enjoy being able to relate to things (anything)…and if I can’t relate I’ll ask a whole bunch if questions (so luckily for you, I can relate to this post).



    1. Hey Lynn! Glad you liked the post! I did this write-up a while ago, but a lot of it still holds true for me.

      I think the meeting new people thing is something people like us can work on, or find easier depending on the context. If you were to ask me to strike up a conversation with someone in my early twenties, you would barely get a peep out of me. Now I host art meetups for people to network (they are extremely draining) but I think I play the host role reasonably well (it helps a lot of the people there share the same interests as me). And I still take a while to warm up to people!

      I also find myself recently out of a relationship with someone who was more extroverted than me, and part of me thinks trying to maintain all my friendships and the relationship was more draining than I realised at the time (you can check out some of my thoughts on the relationship here if you like:

      In regards to your question, do I think 2 introverts being in a romantic relationship would be easier? I have to be straight up and say I lack the experience to give you a solid answer on that. I’ll have to get back to you on that later in the year (I’m pretty sure an introvert I know is interested, but I’m really taking it slow after the last breakup burnt me pretty bad).


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