This test for introversion will reveal whether you’re an introvert or extrovert – or a little of both. It’s a simple, effective self-assessment tool for introverts.
This test for introversion, adapted from The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, is a self-assessment tool that helps people discover whether they’re introverts or extroverts.
Simply answer true or false to the following statements in this test for introversion:
The Introverts’ Test: Personality Characteristics
1. When I need to rest, I prefer to spend time alone or with one or two other people rather than with a group.
2. I feel anxious if I have a deadline or pressure to finish a project.
3. People sometimes say I’m aloof, quiet, and calm – and hard to get to know.
4. I usually think first before talking – I rarely blurt my thoughts without editing them in my head.
5. I sometimes react strongly to smells, touches, tastes, sounds, and people.
The Introverts’ Test: At Work, School or Home
1. When I work on work or home projects, I like to have large uninterrupted chunks of time.
2. I write notes to myself before having conversations with people.
3. I like to share special occasions with just one person, or a few close friends, rather than a large group of people.
4. I notice details that others don’t see, such as facial expressions or movements.
5. If I say I will do something, I almost always do it.
6. I can zone out if too much is going on.
7. It takes me time to sort through large amounts of information, such as reports at work or long stories from friends.
8. I often dread returning phone calls.
9. My mind sometimes goes blank when I’m asked a question or caught off guard.
The Introverts’ Test: Social Situations
1. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention or in the spotlight.
2. Groups of people make me uncomfortable or nervous.
3. I sometimes rehearse things before speaking.
4. In general, I prefer to listen to other people over talking.
5. I don’t like hugely stimulating experiences, such as rides at an amusement park.
6. I have few friends, but they’re very close to me.
7. I feel drained after social situations, even when I have a good time.
8. I like to watch a group or activity for awhile before I join in.
9. When people have an argument or heated discussion, I notice the tension in the air.
The Results of the Introverts’ Test
Add up the number of Trues in this test for introversion. The higher your score, the more introverted you are; scores range from “highly introverted” to “more extroverted than introverted.”
The Introvert’s Personality Traits
Introversion as a Personality Type — Shy, Quiet, and Tentative?
Knowing if you have extroverted or introverted personality characteristics will improve your professional and personal relationships.
Most of us are introverts or extroverts by nature, but we all display either introverted or extroverted personality characteristics at different times. For instance, you may be an introvert in a group of strangers and an extrovert at home with your family. However, most people exhibit stronger tendencies one way or another, towards either the introvert or extrovert side of the spectrum.
Do you have an introvert’s personality traits? Try this test for introversion.
The Introvert’s Personality Traits: Crowd Control
Introverts have an inward focus and aren’t usually the life of the party. They have a strong sense of self that can make them feel highly self-conscious around other people – making walking into a crowded room a little nerve-wracking. Introverts have a hard time being goofy in front of the camera and telling jokes to more than a couple of people at a time, but they can be extremely witty. They’re less “Larry, Curly, and Moe” and more Woody Allen – but that doesn’t mean introverts’ personality traits are neurotic.
Introverts process their emotions, thoughts, and observations internally. They can be social people, but reveal less about themselves than extroverts do. Introverts are more private, and less public. Introverts need time to think before responding to a situation, and develop their ideas by reflecting privately. Introverts’ personality traits can be passionate, but not usually aggressive.
Introverts can focus their attention more readily and for longer periods of time, and they aren’t easily swayed by other people’s opinions.
The Introvert’s Personality: Shy and Quiet?
Some introverts aren’t stereotypically shy and can strike up conversations with anyone. These introverts enjoy talking and listening to people, and going to parties and events. But most introverts would rather be at home. Introverts can find small talk easy but tiring – and sometimes boring. They’d rather have meaningful conversations about the depths of human souls and minds, but find few opportunities (those aren’t your usual conversations at water coolers or dinner parties!).
An introvert’s personality traits aren’t necessarily tentative or hesitant, but introverts do prefer to think before they act. When introverts are ready they take action!
The Introvert’s Personality: Energy Source
Introverts tend to get their energy from within, so being with people is draining. After a day filled with people or activities, introverts tend to feel exhausted and empty. To recharge their batteries introverts need to be alone reading, daydreaming, painting, or gardening – any solo activity fills them up again. This doesn’t mean introverts have to live alone in a cave in the hills or on Walden Pond; they just need quiet time to come back to themselves. The energy source for introverts is from within.
The Introvert’s Personality: Physiological Differences
Introverts’ personality traits include increased blood flow in the frontal lobes, anterior thalamus, and other regions associated with remembering events, making plans, and problem-solving. An introvert’s brain is literally wired differently than an extrovert’s!
The Introvert’s Personality: Love Relationships
Introverts don’t necessarily have a fear of intimacy – but they can be more difficult to get to know than an outgoing, friendly extrovert
Dating for introverts can be difficult: meeting new people, making small talk, making the first move. These tips will help introverted people enjoy the singles scene.
Dating for introverts is often intimidating because relationships – especially new ones – often require huge amounts of energy. When you’re an introvert in the singles scene, you’re often required to make small talk with unfamiliar people, go out of your comfort zone, plan outings, make the first move, and process pent-up emotions.
Being an introvert in the singles scene doesn’t have to be painful; marriage for introverts isn’t an impossible goal. Millions of introverted people enjoy great relationships, especially when they and their lovers truly understand one another. Knowing how introverts communicate is a huge step toward creating strong bonds. Introvert love isn’t impossible — it can be romantic, gentle, and rewarding.
Dating for Introverts: Meeting Somebody New
If you’re just getting used to being an introvert in the singles scene, here are some suggestions for meeting somebody new.
1. Tell your friends and family. Dating for introverts can be easier when people you know are introducing you to their friends and family. You won’t be jumping into a nightclub or singles weekend retreat all by yourself. Dating for introverts should be a little softer and quieter than dating for extroverts.
2. Take a class. Now’s the time to take a writing or cooking class. Explore the activities you’ve always been interested in, but haven’t pursued. The singles scene for shy men and women doesn’t have to be obvious or embarrassing; it can be as simple as following your own natural interests.
3. Volunteer. Dating for introverts can begin with a genuine desire to help others: spending a few hours a week at a homeless shelter, hospital, or church with other volunteers is a great way to get to know people. Volunteering allows you to learn about your community and yourself in a whole new way – and it could open up the door into some introvert love! Being an introvert in the singles scene can be helpful for the whole community.
Dating for Introverts: On a Date with Someone New
These strategies will help shy men and women break the ice and feel more comfortable.
* Start small. If it’s your first date, make it a short coffee or walk. Dating for introverts is easier when there’s less pressure, such as dinner at a fine French restaurant.
* If you feel uncomfortable or nervous, talk about it. Voicing your feelings makes them less intimidating – and often makes them much easier to handle.
* Be yourself. Dating for introverts (or for anyone) is difficult when you’re trying to be someone you’re not. Let yourself be real.
* Bring a list of conversation starters. Even just jotting down interesting things to talk about before your date will help spur interesting conversation during the date. Dating for introverts is easier when you’ve thought in advance about making small talk.
* Don’t overindulge in alcohol. Calm down with deep breaths and reminding yourself that your date is another human being with real feelings – and may be just as nervous as you are!
ntroverts’ communication style is different than extroverts’. Here’s how introverts communicate, how to talk to introverts, and what “normal” introverted behavior is.
Introverted personality types are different than extroverted personality types in three major ways, according to Dr Marti Olsen Laney in The Introvert Advantage. Introverts are energized by their inner worlds while extroverts are energized by outer worlds. That is, introverts get their energy from themselves – their ideas, emotions and impressions. Extroverts get their energy from people, activities, and things outside of themselves.
Introverted personality types don’t thrive on a variety of stimuli, while extroverts do. Introverts tend to gain experience with a narrow, in-depth focus. Extroverted personality types tend to get experience and knowledge through a wide variety of people, places and things.
Introverts may like people very much, but they find it draining to be around anyone too long. Introverts feel overwhelmed more quickly than extroverts do – especially in group settings.
How Introverts Communicate
In The Introvert Advantage, Dr Laney says that introverts tend to:
* Keep energy, enthusiasm and excitement to themselves. Introverts hesitate before sharing personal information.
* Need time to think before they respond. Introverts need time to reflect before reacting.
* Prefer communicating one to one. Introverts don’t like parties and groups as much as extroverts do.
* May occasionally think they told you something they didn’t, because they’re “always going over things in their head.”
* Need to be invited to speak or be drawn out. Introverts tend to prefer written over verbal communication.
10 Tips on Talking to People with Introverted Personalities
These tips on talking to introverts work well with anybody – introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between!
1. Set a time to discuss big issues. This gives introverts time to prepare their thoughts.
2. Let introverts talk – don’t interrupt. “It takes energy for introverts to start talking again,” says Dr Laney in The Introvert Advantage.
3. Occasionally communicate in writing. Introverts may prefer written communication because it’s less stimulating.
4. Ask what their day was like. Introverts may need to be drawn out.
5. Give them a chance to talk. Offer silence, which may prompt introverts to share their thoughts.
6. Be comfortable with silence. Introverts generally like it quiet – but they also enjoy spending time with others. Quietly.
7. Repeat what you heard them say. Ask introverts if your summary was accurate.
8. Use nonverbal communication. Shoulder pats, hand holding, kisses on the cheek are effective ways to “talk” to introverts.
9. Appreciate how much energy it takes introverts to be with people – whether it’s a group or just you. Show your appreciation.
10. Get comfortable with a different conversational pace. Learn to value how introverts communicate.
Though introverted personalities & highly sensitive people seem similar, they’re actually quite different. In fact, highly sensitive people can be extraverts.
Dr. Elaine Aron describes the characteristics of highly sensitive people in The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You and stresses how different they are from introverted personalities. There are some similarities between highly similar people and introverts – but being highly sensitive isn’t a predisposition to introversion and vice versa.
Highly sensitive person are more attuned to their external and internal environments. They notice sounds, sights, and sensations that others don’t. Highly sensitive people are more sensitive to stimulation and more easily aroused, but not necessarily introverted or extraverted.
Dr Aron found that 30% of highly sensitive people are socially extraverted.
Highly Sensitive People & Extraverts
“As an extravert, you have large circles of friends and tend to enjoy groups and strangers. Perhaps you were raised in a big, sociable, loving family or safe neighborhood and learned to see people as sources of safety rather than reasons to be on guard,” says Dr Aron in The Highly Sensitive Person.
Highly extraverted people tend to enjoy small talk. Extraverts tend to seek agreement, look for similarities, and appear upbeat and outgoing. Extraverts get their energy from others (the opposite of introverts). They resonate with the phrase “a stranger is a friend I haven’t met yet.”
Highly sensitive people can be extraverted – but they may get quickly overwhelmed or overaroused by their surroundings. Then, they need to withdraw and take a break.
Highly Sensitive People & Introverts
Highly introverted people tend to be more serious, focused, and cautious. Introverts listen intently and give advice. Introverts get their energy from being alone (not from the company of others).
Introverts tend to prefer close relationships with a few people, and enjoy discussing life, struggles, philosophy, feelings.
Dr Aron states, “To be introverted is simply to turn inward, towards the subject, the self, rather than outward toward the object. Introversion arises from a need and preference to protect the inner, ‘subjective’ aspect of life, to value it more, and in particular not to allow it to be overwhelmed by the ‘objective’ world.”
Highly sensitive people & social discomfort
Highly sensitive people may feel uncomfortable in social situations – especially if they have to give a speech or make a toast. In fact, extraverts and introverts may feel the same discomfort in certain situations.
Highly sensitive people aren’t born shy, awkward, or introverted. Highly sensitive people are simply more sensitive to the environment – which leaves them free to express their natural personality style, whether it’s extraverted or introverted.
Introverted personalities may feel more anxious over the holidays (Thanksgiving stress, Christmas tension, Easter anxiety). Here are 3 ways to cope with holiday stress.
Reducing the negative effects of stress is important – whether you’re an introvert stressed during the holidays or an extrovert bored at work – because stress impacts your physical health. Coping with holiday stress will help you sleep better, feel better, look better, and have a better time.
Holiday Stress and Introverts
Introverts experience holiday stress differently. Introverts may find making small talk at holiday parties daunting and dealing with Uncle Sam’s demands at Christmas or Thanksgiving draining. For shy people the holiday season may be filled with everything but love, peace, and joy.
This holiday survival guide for introverts helps reduce the negative effects of stress. It focuses on easing introverts’ holiday stress (but even extroverts can benefit from these tips for coping with Christmas tension or Thanksgiving stress). If you’re in an introvert-extrovert marriage or business partnership, you may find this holiday survival guide for introverts useful for both you and your partner.
3 Ways for Introverts to Cope With Holiday Stress
1. Pinpoint the exact cause of your holiday stress. Is your holiday stress caused by external or internal factors? External causes could include holiday office parties, shopping, family dinners, or traveling. Internal causes could include high self-expectations, self-induced pressure to entertain, or high standards for decorating your home. Be honest about why you feel stressed. Once you’ve figured out if your holiday stress relates your introverted personality type or other more general reasons, you’re in a better position to deal with it.
2. Brainstorm ways to deal with holiday stress. When you brainstorm, jot down everything you can think of that will ease your Christmas tension or Thanksgiving stress. Be creative and even unrealistic. Accept your introverts’ holiday stress and pretend you can hole up in your house with a stack of great books until the holidays are over. Accepting your introverts’ holiday stress also includes being realistic about how you can survive the holidays intact – and healthy and happy.
3. Pick 2 or 3 practical ways to deal with holiday stress. Go to holiday office parties, but only stay for an hour – or even less if your introverted personality style requires it. Take a time out at family dinners; go for a walk or catch an afternoon matinee by yourself. Let go of unrealistic self-expectations, such as being the star of the holiday season or hosting a perfect dinner party. How you cope with your introverts’ holiday stress should be driven by how drained or anxious you feel, so stay in touch with yourself.
Many jobs require abilities that aren’t natural for introverts. Understanding the introvert at work makes it easier for introverts and extroverts to succeed together.
If you’re an introverted job seeker, remember that introverts at work have a different set of skills and talents than extroverts – making it interesting (or difficult) for introverts and extroverts to work together. If introverts at work are misunderstood, they may appear to be uncooperative, withdrawn, or unmotivated. An introvert at work may appear not to be a team player.
“Unlike extroverts, who wear their personalities on their sleeves, introverts often keep their best to themselves. With extroverts you see what you get,” say Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen, authors of Type Talk at Work. “With introverts, what you see is only a portion of their personality. The richest and most trusted parts of an introvert’s personality are not necessarily shared with the outside world. It takes time, trust, and special circumstances for them to begin to open up.”
Introverts at work may not appear as “together” as extroverts. Since they’re quiet and prefer to listen instead of speak, introverts at work often surprise coworkers and supervisors with their depth of knowledge.
The following characteristics of introverts at work are adapted from The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney.
Characteristics of Introverts at Work
Introverts at work tend to:
* Like quiet for concentration.
* Care about their work and workplace.
* Work well with little supervision (you can usually trust an introvert at work to stay on task).
* Work alone contentedly.
* Seem quiet and aloof.
* Need to be asked for their opinions (introverts at work rarely volunteer information).
* Need to think and reflect before acting.
* Have trouble communicating (though not all introverts at work struggle with communication. See How Introverts Communicate).
* Dislike intrusions and interruptions.
* Be reluctant to delegate.
Since North American culture promotes teamwork and communication, introverts at work may struggle professionally. Extroverts at work enjoy attention, network well, and are good at marketing themselves. These qualities make them appear to be better at their jobs than introverts at work, but appearances are often deceiving.
Happy, Successful Introverts at Work
To be a happy and successful introvert at work, you need to:
1) be aware of your introverted personality characteristics; and
2) tell coworkers and supervisors about your introverted traits.
The more your introverted personality is understood, the more comfortable you’ll be as an introvert at work – even if you’re working with a team of extroverts.
Caring for Your Introvert
The Atlantic Monthly | March 2003
DO YOU KNOW someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?
If so, do you tell this person he is “too serious,” or ask if he is okay? Regard him as aloof, arrogant, rude? Redouble your efforts to draw him out?
If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that you have an introvert on your hands—and that you aren’t caring for him properly. Science has learned a good deal in recent years about the habits and requirements of introverts. It has even learned, by means of brain scans, that introverts process information differently from other people (I am not making this up). If you are behind the curve on this important matter, be reassured that you are not alone. Introverts may be common, but they are also among the most misunderstood and aggrieved groups in America, possibly the world.
I know. My name is Jonathan, and I am an introvert.
Oh, for years I denied it. After all, I have good social skills. I am not morose or misanthropic. Usually. I am far from shy. I love long conversations that explore intimate thoughts or passionate interests. But at last I have self-identified and come out to my friends and colleagues. In doing so, I have found myself liberated from any number of damaging misconceptions and stereotypes. Now I am here to tell you what you need to know in order to respond sensitively and supportively to your own introverted family members, friends, and colleagues. Remember, someone you know, respect, and interact with every day is an introvert, and you are probably driving this person nuts. It pays to learn the warning signs.
What is introversion? In its modern sense, the concept goes back to the 1920s and the psychologist Carl Jung. Today it is a mainstay of personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say “Hell is other people at breakfast.” Rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.
Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses.”
How many people are introverts? I performed exhaustive research on this question, in the form of a quick Google search. The answer: About 25 percent. Or: Just under half. Or—my favorite—”a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population.”
Are introverts misunderstood? Wildly. That, it appears, is our lot in life. “It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert,” write the education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig. (They are also the source of the quotation in the previous paragraph.) Extroverts are easy for introverts to understand, because extroverts spend so much of their time working out who they are in voluble, and frequently inescapable, interaction with other people. They are as inscrutable as puppy dogs. But the street does not run both ways. Extroverts have little or no grasp of introversion. They assume that company, especially their own, is always welcome. They cannot imagine why someone would need to be alone; indeed, they often take umbrage at the suggestion. As often as I have tried to explain the matter to extroverts, I have never sensed that any of them really understood. They listen for a moment and then go back to barking and yipping.
Are introverts oppressed? I would have to say so. For one thing, extroverts are overrepresented in politics, a profession in which only the garrulous are really comfortable. Look at George W. Bush. Look at Bill Clinton. They seem to come fully to life only around other people. To think of the few introverts who did rise to the top in politics—Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon—is merely to drive home the point. With the possible exception of Ronald Reagan, whose fabled aloofness and privateness were probably signs of a deep introverted streak (many actors, I’ve read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors), introverts are not considered “naturals” in politics.
Extroverts therefore dominate public life. This is a pity. If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. As Coolidge is supposed to have said, “Don’t you know that four fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still?” (He is also supposed to have said, “If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it.” The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.)
With their endless appetite for talk and attention, extroverts also dominate social life, so they tend to set expectations. In our extrovertist society, being outgoing is considered normal and therefore desirable, a mark of happiness, confidence, leadership. Extroverts are seen as bighearted, vibrant, warm, empathic. “People person” is a compliment. Introverts are described with words like “guarded,” “loner,” “reserved,” “taciturn,” “self-contained,” “private”—narrow, ungenerous words, words that suggest emotional parsimony and smallness of personality. Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty.
Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts. Also, it is probably due to our lack of small talk, a lack that extroverts often mistake for disdain. We tend to think before talking, whereas extroverts tend to think by talking, which is why their meetings never last less than six hours. “Introverts,” writes a perceptive fellow named Thomas P. Crouser, in an online review of a recent book called Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money? (I’m not making that up, either), “are driven to distraction by the semi-internal dialogue extroverts tend to conduct. Introverts don’t outwardly complain, instead roll their eyes and silently curse the darkness.” Just so.
The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts’ Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say “I’m an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.”
How can I let the introvert in my life know that I support him and respect his choice? First, recognize that it’s not a choice. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s an orientation.
Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don’t say “What’s the matter?” or “Are you all right?”
Third, don’t say anything else, either.