Just when you thought that the term introvert is specific enough to describe people who prefer to be alone (a.k.a. us), here comes a work-in-progress research study that shows that no two introverts are alike. In fact, there are four types of introverts according to Jonathan Cheek, a psychology professor at Wellesley College.
The STAR Classification
Cheek and his graduate students Jennifer Grimes and Courtney Brown asked 500 adults of ages ranging from 18 – 70 about their personalities. According to them, while each introvert has a dominant trait, a person can also be a blend of two types.
A social introvert is the exact opposite of our standard definition of a social person. People who belong to this type loves solitude but are not necessarily shy. Social introverts can still handle social interactions but they prefer to be with their close group of friends.
Because of these people’s insatiable craving for aloneness, their hobbies are far from the likes of partying on Friday nights. Instead, they choose low-key activities like snuggling up in their own room with a good book and warm coffee or tea.
Picture Luna Love good and her signature moves in the Harry Potter movies. If you saw an introvert who is always lost in her own thoughts and is often daydreaming while all her friends are either busy or having the time of their lives, you got the exact definition of a thinking introvert.
These people’s brain has no switch and they are mostly introspective, self-reflective, and thoughtful. A thinking introvert’s hobbies may include journaling, creative writing, painting, and other artistic endeavors.
While solitude is a preference for social introverts, anxious introverts prefer to be alone for a number of reasons. One of these is that they are not very confident about their social skills. These people often stutter when they talk and public speaking may be one of their worst fears.
Anxious introverts are more prone to wallow in self-pity and depressing thoughts because they often wonder where things could go or have gone possibly wrong. They are the overthinkers who stay awake late at night.
Did you flinch when you watched Dead Poets Society and heard the words “Carpe Diem?” Do you always lack the energy to do thrilling things, or worse, accomplish day-to-day tasks? Are you always late to school or work? Is Friday your favorite F-word because you want to just stay in your room all weekend and spend your time alone? You might be a restrained introvert.
These people tend to move at a slightly slower pace because they lack the energy and motivation to do so. Also, they prefer to think hard and weigh in the options first, so it might take a while before they act or speak.
Ten years ago, there was a stigma in the society about introversion and people with introverted personalities. People mistook us for being shy, unintelligent, or weak and even called us names such as nerd, geek, and weird.
Thanks to Cheek, his colleagues, and a bunch of other people who make every effort to study the personalities of human beings, the society is slowly beginning to accept us for who we are and understand why most of us love to get lost in our own little worlds.
This was originally published on Introvert Diaries