Are you an introvert or just shy?

This is the ongoing survey question over at The Mighty Introvert authored by Mark Dykeman.

Silk Vendor by MJMac

At the time I saw the survey,  57 out of 67 people had already answered that they were Introverts!  That is 85% – a huge majority.    I am assuming that most of the people visiting Mark’s blog and answering this question might also be bloggers.

I used to think the term Introvert was more applicable to the offline, face-to-face interactions but recently,  I’ve found myself struggling to participate in discussions on twitter and another network I am a member of.  I felt the same feeling that you get when you first start blogging with no readers.  Except, on twitter you already have people ‘following’ you.  That I think contributes to an already shy person’s nervousness even more.   Its almost like you are on a stage and people are watching you and waiting to hear the words coming out of your mouth.  Like stage fright you know?

But I am trying to participate and learn the network.  You could very well say I don’t need to try to get comfortable with the network if its making me feel this way, well, that’s the point.

Whereas I might consider myself an introvert at time, I am also very outgoing.  I am shy at times and find it hard to participate, but I have a drive to learn and be better.  So I keep trying.  I think no one can be a 100 percent introvert.

So here are my questions.

What scenarios make you behave as an introvert?  and why?

Are you an extrovert all the time?  What advice would you give to those who are not extroverts?

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20 Responses to “ Are you an introvert or just shy? ”

  1. @Phil – its interesting to me that so many of us consider ourselves introverts. I do feel this impedes a lot of what otherwise I’d like accomplish….

    you know what though? being shy and introvert might just be the reason that I listen well I think… so not all that bad I guess :)

  2. hey Betshopboy – thats what I was trying to figure out too… but I guess there are upsides to having these traits too… I am comfortable with most of it though as I am not chatty and don’t do well with people who won’t stop talking or talk loud…. I need to have quietness and alone time to recuperate .. my only issue is with groups and gatherings where I find it hard to be myself…

  3. Hi Pearl, thank you for linking to my blog!

    Shyness and introversion are two different things, although both traits can exist in the same person.

    Shyness has more to do with anxiety and a lack of self-confidence. Extroverts can suffer (greatly) from shyness because it’s a barrier to being able to interact with other people.

    Introverts are comfortable in their own company and, while they can perform like an extrovert in the right conditions, they need time on their own to think and assimilate feelings and experiences. Being around other people can drain the energy from an introvert.

    I don’t think that feeling shy or insecure means that you are an introvert. I think that the need for “alone time” and fatigue in social situations are a better indicator of introversion.

    Mark Dykeman’s last blog post..Social media – moving beyond your weaknesses and limitations

  4. I am generally shy when i am around new people but sometimes i prefer my own company so that means i am introvert too.

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post..Sabeer Bhatia launches – free conferencing service

  5. @Mark – hmm I”ll have to analyze ‘me’ according to these definitions then! I don’t think I am shy then – but definitely an introvert – although for some reason I feel the term ‘shy’ should be more acceptable than ‘introvert’.

    I feel some psychologist came up with these definitions and we all just ran with them instead of analyzing these terms and figure out the behavior ourselves!

  6. hello Madhur – welcome! I don’t have a problem dealing with ‘new’ people, just when I am in groups! I am getting more and more comfortable on twitter though.. but still when someone doesn’t respond back, i start questioning if I annoyed them :) But Maki was good about calling them snobs ;)

    glad you came out and commented here… hope you visit again…

  7. A lot of people actually tend to think that being an introverted is the same as being shy. You can be introverted without necessarily being shy in front of other people or of the camera. You just don’t feel like sharing yourself with other people. And extroverts can sometimes switch to being introverts as well! We’re all just really complicated individuals, I guess!

  8. I think you are absolutely right Jen! Its difficult to generalize ‘coz we can even surprise ourselves sometimes acting differently in new situations! complicated is the word :) thanks for coming by!

    Pearl’s last blog post..Mixx, Propeller or Squidoo? Social Media Mega Project

  9. What scenarios make you behave as an introvert? and why?

    I think I act like an introvert where there are people that I’m not overly familiar with, or am intimidated by.

    Are you an extrovert all the time? What advice would you give to those who are not extroverts?

    I’m an extrovert when I’m comfortable around people, or when I’m feeling great. It’s awesome when that happens.

  10. I think I’m an introvert. I can be outgoing when I’m around people I’m comfortable with and I can be shy around people I don’t know.

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