Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, was a best seller in 2013, but most important put introverts out of the box of been “weird”.
Do you want to know if you are an introvert?
In 2011 Jonathan Cheek psychology professor at Wellesley College found out that introverts can be divided in 4 categories: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained. And many introverts are a mix of all four types. He got to this conclusion after interview 500 adult between the ages of 18 to 70 years old. He presented these results at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX.
Here the original study
All is in the brain
As it turns out, the brains of introverts and extroverts are wired differently! The front part of introvert’s brains are most active and stimulated by solitary activities while the back part of extrovert’s brains are most active. This part of the brain is stimulated by sensory events coming in from the external world! In addition, a chemical called “dopamine” is released by our brains whenever we experience something positive. It’s an automatic reward center and makes us feel good! Extroverts need more dopamine to feel an effect, whereas introverts have a low dopamine threshold. They don’t require a lot of stimulation to feel rewarded.
The four different types of introverts
A social introvert is the cliché type of introverti if you will. It is the type of introvert who likes to be alone and prefers not to socialize or if they have to, they prefer to keep their group fairly small and close-knit.
Social introverts get their energy from being alone – one of the biggest traits of introversion – and being around people drains them emotionally, mentally and sometimes even physically. This type of introversion is often the type that gets mistaken for shyness. Being socially introverted doesn’t necessarily make you shy or having anxiety about social situations, it simply means the individual prefers solitude over time spent with lots of other people.
A thinking introvert is somebody who likes to think, about anything and everything. The perfect word to sum up a thinking introvert is pensive. Being self-reflective and analyzing situations, conversations and memories is one of the traits of being a thinking introvert.
Cheek claims thinking introverts are “capable of getting lost in an internal fantasy world. But it’s not in a neurotic way; it’s in an imaginative and creative way.”
A self-explanatory title for this introvert: an individual who gets anxious in social situations. The anxious introvert might not stay away from the party because they enjoy solitude but because they experience a high state of anxiety, self-consciousness and/or awkwardness when in, or even thinking about, social situations.
This kind of introversion ties in with worrying about previous social interactions and why things are the way they are. This type, however, can be manipulated should you define yourself as an anxious introvert.
Therapy and counseling can be a very useful tool in finding coping strategies for anxiety, building your social confidence and moving you out of the anxious introvert box.
Perhaps the least-known type of introversion there is, restrained introverts are people who take a while to “warm up.” They may enjoy being around people, but only after they become used to the situation and the people. Another word for this type of introversion is reserved and preferring to observe and then think before speaking or acting.
Take the quiz to find out what kind of introvert are you-
Have a great weekend.
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