How to Become an Introvert

Three Parts:Understanding IntroversionSpending More Time AloneBeing a Productive Introvert

Introversion is a basic social temperament that favors solo reflection and solitude to socializing. More simply put, introverts are focused inward, while extroverts are focused outward. If you want to learn whether or not you're an introvert and how to cultivate a comfortable reflective atmosphere for yourself, you can learn to enjoy spending more time alone and be productive with your own faculties.

Part 1
Understanding Introversion

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    Distinguish between introversion and anti-social behavior. There are a lot of misconceptions about what being introverted means, and it's not an "anti-social" behavior. Introverts are regenerated and energized by spending time alone, and often prefer solitude to group activities, which many introverts find emotionally taxing.
    • Anti-social personality disorder is more akin to psychopathy or sociopathy, and refers to an inability to empathize or emotionally connect with others. Truly anti-social people are often ego-driven and superficially charming in ways that correspond more with a traditional view of extroversion.[1]
    • There is nothing wrong with introversion, and although many self-help books and get-rich guides suggest that extroversion is the key to happiness and wealth, there's no evidence to suggest that one personality trait is more productive or successful than the other.[2] Both personality types can be creative and productive in the right working environment.
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    Distinguish between introversion and being "shy." While many introverts may be said to be "shy" in public, this isn't necessarily the case, and it's important to learn the difference. Introversion is not a measure of shyness, just as extroversion means more than "being outgoing."
    • Shyness refers to a fear of speaking out in group situations and failing to communicate with others, and a preference for solitude based on this fear.
    • Introverts prefer solitude because working alone is more stimulating than working with others, and social interactions may be more taxing than exciting for the introvert. Introverts aren't necessarily "scared" to interact with others, they are just unenthusiastic about it.
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    Pay attention to what excites you. Are you energized by the thought of spending time alone? Would you rather work on a project alone, or collaborate with others? In a group situation, would it drive you crazy to not contribute your thoughts, or would you rather save your opinions for a side conversation?
    • Generally speaking, you don't "become" an introvert by changing your behaviors, because there's little point in spending more time alone if you don't enjoy it, or it doesn't stimulate you creatively.
    • Pay attention to your own tendencies and foster them. If you think you're extroverted, there's no reason to try to change yourself. Instead, give yourself a more social work environment to be productive.
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    Look beyond the dichotomy. A person doesn't have to be clearly in one or the other "camp." Ambiversion is a term used to describe people who move comfortably between the two ends of the personality spectrum, and a great many people actually score somewhere in the 50/50 range on personality tests.[3]
    • Try taking a Myers-Briggs personality test to learn more about how you score in the personality department, and what this might tell you about how to foster your traits and give yourself the best chance for success, given your unique qualities and desires.

Part 2
Spending More Time Alone

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    Pursue solitary hobbies. If you want to get a feel for what the life of the introvert is like, explore hobbies that require you to be alone to pursue them, or are greatly improved by the solitary experience. Introverted hobbies might include things like:
    • Gardening
    • Reading and writing creatively
    • Painting
    • Golf
    • Playing an instrument
    • Hiking
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    Try staying in on Friday night. If you want to take a little step toward creating a more introverted space for yourself, try staying in next Friday night, instead of going out. Introverts are often exhausted by social interactions, much preferring to spend an evening relaxing with a good book than by hitting the town or heading to a party. If you want to see whether this agrees with you, try it out.
    • Do you ever secretly hope your friends will cancel plans, so you can stay in and catch up on Netflix? Do you sometimes regret saying yes to party invites? These are good indications of introversion.
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    Speak less. Introverts aren't the chattiest people in the room. To behave in a more introverted way, try remaining mostly silent in your next group interaction, letting others talk more than you do. Ask questions to get others talking, but try to keep things focused on others and less on yourself.
    • Speaking less doesn't mean disengaging entirely. Practice listening more than you speak, and reflect before you respond to others statements to stay engaged in things without constantly talking.
    • Are you ever embarrassed when a group's attention shifts to you? This is a good indication of introversion. If you secretly love the spotlight, that's more of an extroverted trait.
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    Focus on one-on-one relationships. Introverts aren't isolated loners who are unable to communicate with people, they're just exhausted by the work of socializing, and prefer solo reflection. It's much more common for introverts to enjoy having deep, meaningful conversations with friends one-on-one, instead of going out with a big group.
    • If you're not a big fan of parties, it's still good to try to make an effort at keeping up your friendships with regular one-on-one hangouts, to avoid seeming distant or cold. Let your good friends know you just prefer solo hang-outs.
    • Do you cringe at the idea of small talking at dinner parties? Good indication of introversion.
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    Make your living space comfortable. If you're going to be spending more time alone, it's a good idea to make your living space a sanctuary. Make it the kind of place you'd prefer to spend time. Whether you want candles, incense, and your favorite books around, or a mini fridge and a record player all at arms' length from your favorite sitting chair, organize your space with your comfort in mind.

Part 3
Being a Productive Introvert

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    Pursue a career and interests that require fewer interactions. The less time you've got to spend around others, the more introverted your existence will become by necessity. If you think you benefit from living a more introverted lifestyle, try to pursue interests, jobs, and hobbies that will allow you to live that way and work at your most productive.[4] The following jobs are all good for introverts:
    • Computer programming
    • Writing and editing
    • Research scientists
    • Court reporters
    • Archival work or library science
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    Focus on one task at a time. Extroverts are multi-takers, while introverts prefer diving into one task and seeing it through to completion. try to prioritize your time to keep focused on each thing you need to do before you move on to the next.[5]
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    Dig deeper. Introverts generally dislike small talk, preferring to dig deeper and have more serious, intellectual, or hard-hitting conversations. This also applies to the type of work and creative projects introverts like to take on.
    • Next time you're working on a project for work or school, don't be satisfied with merely doing "enough," or with doing what's expected of you. Go above and beyond. Put your own creative twist on the project, putting some extra effort into it.
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    Take on solo responsibilities and work alone. Introverts prefer working alone instead of working with others on group projects. If you often value the help of others, try taking on a project all by yourself next time and seeing if you can't do it without extra help. This might help increase your confidence and allow you to rely on yourself more in the future, even if it's necessary to work with others in some cases.[6]
    • Get what you can from collaborations. Often, you'll have to work with others, and introverts shouldn't reject the talents and abilities of others, just because they prefer working alone. Learn to negotiate group projects without controlling them, taking the help offered and delegating separate tasks, so you can also have some alone time.
    • Be self-sufficient. The less you need to ask for help, the less you'll have to rely on the help of others.


  • You cannot change your temperament, just your personality. Temperament is the canvas but the personality is the painting.


  • People may think that you are antisocial and, thus, belittle and mistreat you. If this occurs, try to explain to the person what introversion is; it doesn't necessarily mean you are antisocial. It means that you enjoy being around people but need a healthy balance, by still spending time with people but not so much that it gets draining. This also means finding enough time for solitude. If people mistreat or insult you for your introversion, they are toxic people and you should try to distance yourself from them.

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Categories: Personal Care and Style