It’s Okay to Be an Introvert

Grace Kim, Co-News Editor

Over the past few years, I noticed that whenever I spent time with friends or with a group of people there was a certain point where I started to feel drained and told myself that I needed to go home. I was confused over this feeling because I loved spending time with my friends, yet I still needed that time alone to recharge. After this realization, I continued to notice other parts to my personality that I had no explanation for. I preferred to write my thoughts down rather than voice them out. I enjoyed listening to people talk about anything and quietly observed details of my surroundings. After several google searches about these personality traits, I discovered that these were the makings of an introvert.

Introvert (n): a typically reserved or quiet person who tends to be introspective and enjoys spending time alone

Being an introvert is often seen in a negative light. It can be tough being an introvert in an extroverted world. This type of personality seems to be synonymous with being quiet and antisocial, but being an introvert is so much more than what people may think. Introverts are good listeners and are more observant of their surroundings. They can help foster a welcoming atmosphere where people can feel comfortable to share their thoughts because they know that they’re being heard. 

For introverts, the current education system can be quite challenging to fit into. Some teachers and professors prefer extroverted students who are eager to meet new people and are ready to contribute to class discussions. Extroverts make their presence known in many settings. Although extroverts will answer questions more often and can perform well in front of large audiences for presentations, introverts can also be successful students. Introverts are drawn to thought and feeling. They often work slowly and more deliberately, but they can have the mighty power of concentration and focus on how best to complete each task one at a time. 

Most introverts might have a horror of small talk but enjoy meaningful discussions. They might not always speak up, but they spend a lot of time thinking before they talk and will contribute to the discussion if they feel that they have something meaningful to say. For what they lack in quantity, they make up for with the quality of their words.

Of course, no one is purely an introvert or purely an extrovert. Both personality types exist on a spectrum. If you’re curious as to where you might fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, you can assess yourself with this quiz based on characteristics of introversion often accepted by contemporary researchers. Answer each question with “true” or “false.”

  1. ___ I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.
  2. ___ I often prefer to express myself in writing.
  3. ___ I enjoy solitude.
  4. ___ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me.
  5. ___ People tell me that I’m a good listener.
  6. ___ I’m not a big risk-taker.
  7. ___ I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions.
  8. ___ I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members.
  9. ___ People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.”
  10. ___ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished.
  11. ___ I dislike conflict.
  12. ___ I do my best work on my own.
  13. ___ I tend to think before I speak.
  14. ___ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself.
  15. ___ I can concentrate easily.
  16. ___ I don’t enjoy multitasking.
  17. ___ In classroom settings, I prefer lectures to seminars. 

The more you answered true, the closer you probably are to the introvert side of the spectrum. If you have a roughly equal number of true and false, you might be an ambivert. 

There is more to being an introvert than what might appear on the surface. It’s definitely worth getting to know them and forming meaningful relationships. Introverts can do anything extroverts can do. It’s ok to be an introvert. 

Works Cited:

Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Random House, Inc., 2013.

Holland, Kimberly. “Are You an Introvert? Here’s How to Tell – Healthline.” Healthline, 31 July 2018,