When you think of a classic introvert, you picture a person staying holed up in their apartment, avoiding any and all social situations. But as it turns out, not all introverts quite fit this mold. By definition, an introvert gets their energy by spending time with themselves. Not always shy, they just prefer to sometimes be alone to think and recharge.
In fact, there may be secret introverts all around you, and you might not even know it. If you’re a social, but closeted introvert, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
People think you’re fun and outgoing, you have many close friends, and you can have great conversations. However, when it comes to down to big groups of people you don’t know, going to networking events by yourself, or having a long one-on-one conversation with a perfect stranger, nothing could sound more uncomfortable.
Being an introvert doesn’t make you inherently shy, and although this could seem confusing for the naturally talkative and comfortable extravert, outgoing introverts do exist.
Put in the right situation, introverts can definitely express themselves when needed, but it doesn’t mean they feel right at home doing it. If this sounds like you, here are six signs that may indicate you are a secret introvert.
1. You Like Socializing…With Someone By Your Side
Socializing can be fun for a secret introvert, but you’re most comfortable when you have a close friend nearby. You like to attend social events, but mostly when they’re filled with people you already know. You go to parties to be with friends, not necessarily make friends.
2. It Takes You Some Time To Warm Up
You have lots of friends, and you have close relationships with them, but it takes you a little more time to open up to them.
Extroverts tend to jump into new friendships quickly, but introverts need to ease into the relationship, sometimes feeling uncomfortable at the prospect of interacting with someone they don’t know much about. Once they do feel comfortable, however, they’re completely themselves.
3. You Spend Time Around A Lot Of Extroverts
People often mistake you as an extravert because you spend so much time around so many of them.
This is because extroverts help pull you out of your comfort zone, and they can also help break the ice in awkward situations. Extroverts pull out your outgoing side.
4. You’re Hyper Observant
Outgoing introverts tend to be the ones in the middle of the social scene, quietly observing their surroundings.
They notice details, and pick up on people’s emotions much more quickly, as introverts tend to be more sensitive. This will also have you questioning whether someone dislikes you because they left to get a drink 10 minutes into your conversation.
5. You Find Networking Stressful, But You Still Go Anyway
Even though you still go to every single networking event and seminar (even when they’re not mandatory), the process can be draining for a secret introvert.
You can put on your best face and fake your way through hoards of people, but nothing feels more unnatural or nerve-wracking than forced conversation. However, secret introverts know the benefits to socializing and connecting with people, so they go anyway.
6. You Need To Be Alone At The End Of The Day
Extroverts can spend hours and days on end around people. Secret introverts can spend the whole party socializing, but by the time they get home, nothing sounds better than being alone.
For introverts, alone time is when you decompress, reflecting on the day and working through your thoughts.