Introversion and Shyness: What’s the Difference?

| June 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Most of the time, introversion and shyness are thought of as both one and the same. However, there’s a big difference between these personality traits. If you are introverted, you prefer solitary activities and feel emotionally drained after spending a considerable amount of time with other people. On the other hand, you are the shy type of person if you often feel uncomfortable in new or familiar situations, and having a hard time talking to people.

Despite of his brilliant political beliefs, Mahatma Gandhi's extroversion and shyness remain to be a dark secret.

Despite of his brilliant political beliefs, Mahatma Gandhi’s extroversion and shyness remain to be a dark secret.

To know more about introversion and shyness, read on.

Digging Deeper: Being Introverted vs. Being Shy

Below, are two situations that can give more clarity to the difference between introversion and shyness.

  1. Situation 1– Anna loves to read, write poems, and contemplate on different things. On weekends, she prefers to stay at home than go clubbing. She rarely hangs out with people and when she does, she feels an extreme need to recharge her energy. But despite her fondness for spending time alone, she manages to make few friends and get along well with other people. Also, she is a good listener and has the ability to give good pieces of advice. It’s just that socializing is not appealing to her.  As a whole, Anna would definitely choose to have a time of solitaire; rather than mingle with different people.
  2. Situation 2– Jamie wishes that she could join interpersonal activities and gain a lot of friends. But, she just couldn’t. She often feels uncomfortable to start a conversation or whenever someone comes up to have a little chat with her. On weekends, she wishes she could go out; however, she has no choice but to just stay at home. She has no real friends to spend time with, for she’s having a hard time establishing relationships with people. She’s afraid to approach or befriend just anybody.

Introversion Versus Shyness Explained

  1. Situation 1– It describes how it is to be an introvert. As you have read, Anna doesn’t have a problem in terms of communicating with other people. It’s just that she prefers to be alone and she’s fine with it. She doesn’t even feel the need to look for a constant buddy; for she prefers to do solitary activities.
  2. Situation 2– On the other hand, this particular scenario describes how it is to be the shy type of person. If Jamie has a choice, she would rather socialize with a lot of people rather than spend her time alone. It’s just that she’s afraid to do it. She does not feel good about the situation. Worst of all, but feels as if she has no choice.

Dealing with Introversion and Shyness

As you see, introverted people are not necessarily shy and vice versa. Introversion and shyness are two different personality traits, and there are different approaches and expectations when dealing with them. As for shyness, therapy can be suggested. In some cases when it becomes severe, it may even turn into a mental disorder. For this, shyness needs to be overcome by certain techniques and therapy; and the patient needs an ample amount of support from his/her loved ones.

On the other hand, some effective and easy to do coping strategies may help introverts to deal with social situations but introversion is not something that needs to be reversed. Doing so, may cause stress and self esteem conflicting issues. It is likewise important to understand, that introverts are also normal people who just happen to need a lot of personal space.

There you have it. The basic differences between introversion and shyness. Being in the know of such differences, is important to everyone specially to people who have an either introverted or shy type loved one. Introvert or shy, they both need to be accepted and understood. Moreover, having enough knowledge about various personalities can prevent conflicts and lead to harmonious relationships among people.

Category: Self Improvement

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