Four Types Of Introverts: Which Are You?

Unlike extroverts who are outgoing and gain energy externally, introverts are reserved, quiet and introspective. They gain energy from within themselves. You probably have a good idea of whether you are an introvert versus and extrovert; however, did you know that there are different types of introverts?

Jonathan Cheek, a psychology professor at Wellesley College, noticed that the way people described introversion often differed from its definitions in science. In 2011, Cheek and his colleagues Jennifer Grimes and Julie Norem presented this research at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference. They concluded that there are four types of introversion, which spell out the acronym STAR: Social, Thinking, Anxious, and Restrained.

You will likely identify as a blend of more than one these types depending on the circumstances:

Social Introvert: If you are a commonly mistaken for being an extrovert because you enjoy socializing and can be outgoing, you are a social introvert. Social introverts are not shy and are at ease in conversations; however, they prefer socializing with individuals or small groups rather than at large parties or events. Even though they like to socialize, like other introverts, they require breaks from meaningful socialization to recharge their energy.

Thinking Introvert: Thinking introverts live in their heads. Even in social settings, they prefer to sit on the sidelines and observe rather than engage. Many mistaken their lack of social participation for disengagement; however, thinking introverts are constantly engaging with their own thoughts. They wonder, daydream, and they spend much time in self-reflection. This type of introvert understands themselves deeply because they are in tune with their feelings and emotions.

Anxious Introvert: Anxious introverts have the most overlap with shy individuals. Unlike the thinking introvert who is observing situations and deeply thinking about their inner thoughts and feelings, they are ruminating over what they said or did, and anxiously wondering how they are being perceived by others. They hesitate participating in social environments, because they feel self-conscious.

Restrained Introvert: Restrained introverts are inhibited, slow to act and open up to others and new situations and opportunities. They are structured and love routine. They can be perceived as extremely guarded, detached, and aloof until they feel comfortable. On the spectrum of impulsiveness vs cautiousness, restrained introverts fall at the extreme cautious end. They are even cautious in how the express themselves, which can cause them to retreat into isolation due to feelings of discomfort.

Do you see yourself as a mix of these four types of introverts? If so, comment below which type(s) of introvert you can identify with.

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