What is an introvert?

  • The psychologists Allport and Allport define an introvert as one who dwells largely in a realm of imagination.
  • An introvert comes form a modern Latin word introvertere. Intro means “to the inside’ and  ‘vertere ‘ means to to turn.
  • Introversion is not the same as social phobia.
  • Social phobia is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations.

Introverts may say that,

  • They concentrate best when they are alone.
  • Introverts are known for being more introspective and have greater self-awareness.
  • They prefer to surround themselves with a smaller social circle with less stimuli than a larger group.
  • They prefer to engage in deeper conversations.
  • They are good listeners and rarely interject and cut others off.
  • They chose their words carefully.
  • They enjoy creating.
  • They can be focused for extended periods of times to accomplish challenging tasks.
  • Introverts tend to be good listeners.
  • Most introverts think before they act.
  • They tend to notice the world around them.

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. wrote about introverts saying that, “you’re also not likely to invade the boundaries of others.” and “They certainly make better roommates or neighbors because they prefer a steady, quiet, lifestyle.”

“Both introverts and extroverts have cognitive strengths, though those strengths are quite different. When new stimuli come their way, introverts react quickly and strongly. Extraverts, in contrast, seem better attuned to detecting small differences from one situation to the next.”

Reference Stauffer, C. C., Indermühle, R., Troche, S. J., & Rammsayer, T. H. (2012). Extraversion and short-term memory for chromatic stimuli: An event-related potential analysis. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 86, 66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2012.07.184

An article in Business insider states, “Studies have shown that introverts outperform extroverts in high-ticket sales positions because they are wired to be able to nurture longer lasting relationships with more depth and patience. It is this exact trait that allows introverts to gain quick and thorough connection with people that they have just met.”


  • “Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me. They’re shy and they live in their heads. The very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone…” Steve Wozniak
  • “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” Susan Cain

Ted Talk

  • This is a great TED talk on people who are introverts

Allport F. H., & Allport G. W. (1921). Personality Traits, Their classification and measurement. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol. 16, pp. 6-40.

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