What is an Introvert?

When did you first realize you were introverted?  In her book, The Introvert Advantage, Marti Olsen Laney says it was like a revelation.  “There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m just introverted!”  This site is for that “25% of the Planet” who identify as introverted.  So are you SHY or INTROVERTED?  Are they interchangable?  I don’t think so – shyness may be a result of an introverted personality but an introvert is not necessarily shy.

Confused?  Okay, let’s see . . .  I have a introverted temperament – my Myers-Briggs is INFP and my “greek” style is Phlegmatic.  I was a HIGHLY shy child and it didn’t change that much until I reached my junior and senior years in high school.  It didn’t get a lot better even then but I did find I enjoyed theatre and in doing plays you have to become more outgoing.

Strangely I’ve spent most of my career in sales and that has required me to be more outgoing though I won’t ever become an extrovert; not in my genes!  Shyness seems to be more a reaction to the world around you — the circumstances of your growing up years.  If you had parents who worked hard to “socialize” you, then you may have grown up less shy.  If, like me, your parents left you pretty much to your own devices, then shyness may have been the result.  An Introvert is a person who is more internal than external; who finds satisfaction in being alone to recharge (notice I did not say “lonely”), and is most likely happy with a few close friendss.  So are you introverted?

And what about you Extroverts reading this?  What do you think and feel about introverts?  We’d like to know!