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The Guide To Understanding Loners: Looking At The Mind Of An Introvert

By Edited Apr 23, 2015 9 18

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?

It really does take all types to make the world go round. For some unknown reason I often find myself surrounded by extroverts, socialites, dominant characters who demand attention from others in one way or another. Basically, all my closest companions have been and still are now my polar opposites. Maybe there is truth to the "opposites attract" theory? Extroverts make up three-quarters of the population, blasting their way through life, whilst the minority commonly referred to as "the loners"... slip through life in a more discrete way. 

A Different Outlook

Hi I'm An Introvert
In the past it has been considered to be "unhealthy", not a good thing to be more of an isolate, an introvert...but these days whilst society still often views loners as "not normal", which we've seen the statistics prove, with the scales being tipped well over towards outgoing extroverts... professionals have a new take on the matter. It is not just a case of being less social and wanting to stay at home away from people, introverts engage with the world and life itself in totally different ways. Introverts often share many of the same traits and similar personality profiles. There are many strong, positive characteristics that belong to introverted people. In fact, even though they are out numbered by outgoing personalities, at least 60% of gifted children are believed to belong to the introverts camp.

 

Introverts vs Extroverts

Extroverted people need stimulation. They savor social interaction and often being alone for any more than two hours for these types of people, is almost impossible to accomplish. They seem to bore of themselves quickly, which then see's them seeking social interaction of some kind....any kind.

Introverted people require solitude to process thoughts and events. MRI studies have proven that too many people, large crowds and noise, often cause over stimulation of an introverts brain, making them weary and causing them to seek personal space and solitude

It is a widely held belief that most introverts are shy and actually fear social contact; however this is not normally the truth. Most loners do have friends, work colleagues, partners and are open to relationships, it is just that they don't rely on them. They are happy to be with their own company and thrive on doing just that...exactly the same way as extroverts thrive on having others around them. 

Positive Characteristic Traits Of The Introvert

Amanda Guyer, a psychologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland has found that "loners", have an increased sensitivity when it comes to emotional interactions and sensory cues. This can mean that they often find pleasures where others can't. Loners spend a lot of time in thought and come to know themselves very well. They are very astute at observing the world and the people around them, almost making it seem like they have a kind of emotional antennae. They can notice subtleties that other people miss and can respond quickly, coming to people's side in times of need and showing an abundance of empathy towards friends when the going gets tough.

Introverts can be known for showing much talent in areas that require creativity and originality and can gain huge amounts of enjoyment from any endeavors that ask for them to utilise these positive traits.

They are well suited for careers that require them to use their highly tuned observation skills such as scientific research and writing.

Some noted famous introverts are Emily Dickinson, Sir Issac Newton, Stanley Kubrick, Albert Einstein, Warren Buffett, Frederick Chopin, Charles Darwin, Mahatma Gandhi, Al Gore, Larry Page (co-founder of Google), Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, J.K Rowling, Steven Spielberg and Steve Wozniak. 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Amazon Price: $16.00 $6.10 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 23, 2015)
A super interesting read that talks about how dramatically under valued introverts are within the society.

Introverts In The World Of Business

Author, Susan Cain, obliterates the commonly held view that extroverts make better leaders than introverts in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Cain points out that it is important for the world to differentiate between those who are outspoken and those who are truly leaders. This goes along with statements made by Harvard Business School Professor, Quinn Mills. Mills believes that extroverts are often more prone to taking risks, and that their actions can be less than fully thought out. He is also quoted as saying  “We need leaders who build not their own ego, but the institutions around them.” Those are pretty strong words, but it is starting to become the trend now, to realise that introverts may actually have a lot to offer the business world and society in general. Why has it taken so long to realise this? It's obvious isn't it?

The Silent Introvert

Sometimes Needs To Be Heard

Typical Introvert
It almost seems like a contradiction in terms, but it is a fact, that in a world of "go out and get it" extroverts, the "sit in the background" introverts nature is such that it constantly sees them being overlooked, passed over, ignored and not taken seriously. This can actually just be more of a surface appearance that comes across to people. There is often much going on in the mind of an introvert, that many people don't know about. It can indeed be a very frustrating world for introverted characters, who know their abilities and also feel that they never get recognised for the talents they do have. It can be a mixture of fascination and annoyance for the introvert watching the extrovert calling all attention to his work and then being praised for it, whilst they themselves roll along in the background, often totally unnoticed.

Don't dismiss the quiet ones, you would probably be surprised at the depth of a topic that can be touched upon whilst making the effort to converse with an introverted person.

A Preferential Choice Or Enforcement?

B/W Introvert
It should be pointed out that there is a big difference between the "loner by choice" and the "enforced loner". There are some people who don't want to be alone but because of certain fears, anxieties, shyness problems or social phobias, can find it very difficult to interact with society. Anyone struggling with this kind of problem falls into a different category than the loner by preference that I have mentioned in this article. The loner by choice enjoys solitude and the associated pleasures it brings, but for an enforced loner it can cause stress and health problems. It is the belief by much of society that there is in fact only one type of loner, and that is the enforced one. The majority of people that fall into the extrovert category... can't get an understanding on why people would actually want to be alone. This has led to many introverts feeling a sense of doubt about themselves, sometimes making them believe that maybe there really is something wrong with how they live. The good news is that whilst not in the majority, loners are not actually alone, and as pointed out... there is nothing wrong with having an introverted personality profile. It actually has many benefits, it is just that introverted people are often the only ones who actually notice this fact.

Togetherness

A final thought, maybe it's time that introverts and extroverts try to learn from each other, draw on one and others good points and meet somewhere on a peaceful island that's middle ground...but I guess that would be an introverts meeting place, the extrovert opting for the party held tonight on the corner of 9th and Main.

A book to help introverts dispell the myth that there is something wrong with them and forge forward using their strengths.
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Comments

Jun 3, 2013 11:14am
vicdillinger
There are also those of us who are introverted who simply cannot stand being around the majority we come across every day. Mild misanthropy has its place among the introverted, and I count myself among those who choose to isolate themselves rather than suffer the daily idiocies of the average Joes and Janes on the street. Good piece. A thumb.
Jun 3, 2013 4:14pm
chopsooy
Hey Vic, I can fully understand that. Thankyou for reading, rating and taking the time to comment.
Jun 3, 2013 9:14pm
aguy
Nice piece.
Jun 3, 2013 9:37pm
chopsooy
Thank-you :-)
Jun 3, 2013 10:08pm
christar999
I rarely ever leave comments, or even read an article all the way through.
Great article.
Jun 4, 2013 2:29am
chopsooy
Hey cristar999, that's a really lovely comment. Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked it.
Jun 4, 2013 6:18pm
KimChaos
Great article, Chops. As an introvert myself I always have to prepare myself when going to a large social gathering. It can be overwhelming. I have to take breaks periodically just to be by myself for a few minutes. Some people think it's social anxiety, but it isn't. It's just a different way of being. A very funny misquote of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre is, "Hell is other people at breakfast." So true! lol
Jun 4, 2013 9:17pm
chopsooy
lol...Thanks Kim, It really takes a big effort to make myself do the big social gatherings ...I have to wonder why I put myself in an overpopulated country, that thrives on social meals and get togethers...must be some kind of masochist tendency.
Jun 5, 2013 11:08am
andrewagreen
Loved this... don't think introverts are always 'loners' though......it's about how you process ideas. Someone says something to me.. I take it in start thinking about it and am lost to the rest of the conversation...an extrovert doesn't really hear either .... too busy batting back with what they want to say. Great article.
Jun 5, 2013 11:11pm
chopsooy
yep I agree there are different types of introverts. I think that people like yourself, can be so caught up in processing thoughts, that it may give the perception to others that you are a little quiet, or even aloof...which in turn can make people think someone is a bit of a loner. I think it's all very interesting. Thanks heaps for dropping by, reading and commenting. Much appreciated!
Read more at http://www.infobarrel.com/The_Guide_To_Understanding_Loners#KdeiqX2k1b1Sqy9Z.99
Jun 5, 2013 11:11pm
chopsooy
yep I agree there are different types of introverts. I think that people like yourself, can be so caught up in processing thoughts, that it may give the perception to others that you are a little quiet, or even aloof...which in turn can make people think someone is a bit of a loner. I think it's all very interesting. Thanks heaps for dropping by, reading and commenting. Much appreciated!
Sep 6, 2013 5:58pm
cleopatrabrown
I enjoy being out, but then a sustained amount of time around some people feels like its draining the life or energy from me. So , that wouldn't be considered unusual? Thanks for the article.
Sep 7, 2013 6:41am
chopsooy
Thanks for the comment:-) It seems fairly common reading the above comments and I know that feeling too...Get to the point where I just gotta get out... I get that feeling because of the energy that I need to expend conversing is obviously much more compared to the energy I expend being alone and the fact that I just find it dreary conversation and everyone going through the same ole "ropes" makes it a whole heap worse. Can't comment on if it's particularly unusual for you, as only you know your health and mind state, but as a whole...I don't think it's as uncommon as many people may think.
Sep 7, 2013 6:42am
chopsooy
Thanks for the comment:-) It seems fairly common reading the above comments and I know that feeling too...Get to the point where I just gotta get out... I get that feeling because of the energy that I need to expend conversing is obviously much more compared to the energy I expend being alone and the fact that I just find it dreary conversation and everyone going through the same ole "ropes" makes it a whole heap worse. Can't comment on if it's particularly unusual for you, as only you know your health and mind state, but as a whole...I don't think it's as uncommon as many people may think.
Jan 20, 2014 12:03am
Yindee
As you say, some introverts do not resist the crowds but prefer their own company. That's why writing is our passion. But we do need "loud" company from time to time, as long as we can switch it off! Thanks for giving us your insight. Thumbs up.
Jan 21, 2014 5:42am
chopsooy
Thanks Yindee...appreciate your comment :-)
Feb 25, 2014 1:44pm
Moina-Arcee
Thanks for understanding us introverts. Good article, appreciate it.
Nov 15, 2015 6:00pm
LavenderRose
Don't know how I missed this one. This is so me. I've been accused of being a social phobic, due to the vertigo and celiac disease, but that isn't it really. I have been a lover of solitude for most of my life, even before my health turned sour. I prefer micro groups when I go out, and I'm pretty selective when it comes to friends. I really appreciated the insights you presented.
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Bibliography

  1. Karl Moore "Introverts No Longer The Quiet Followers Of Extroverts." Forbes. 11/05/2013 <Web >
  2. "All Loners Aren't Social Misfits." This Time - This Space. 11/05/2013 <Web >
  3. Elizabeth Svoboda "Field Guide To The Loner: The Real Insiders." Psychology Today. 11/05/2013 <Web >

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