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How to Tell If You're an Introvert on the MBTI

Andrea writes on various topics from dating, couples, astrology, weddings, interior design, and gardens. She studied film and writing.

Learn more about introversion and the typical traits of introverts.

Learn more about introversion and the typical traits of introverts.

Introversion and Extroversion in Myers-Briggs Personality Theory

According to Myers-Briggs personality theory, there are four fundamental spectrums that define you. These are:

  • Extroversion to introversion
  • Sensing to intuition
  • Feeling to thinking
  • Judging to perceiving

According to Myers-Briggs theory, you should be able to figure out your personality by looking at these four spectrums. For example, the introversion-extroversion spectrum is on a 200-point scale, and where you land on the scale determines whether you’re more introverted or extroverted. When you go toward the middle, you act more as an ambivert.

Interpreting the MBTI Scales

Extroversion and introversion should be one of the easiest aspects to figure out about yourself. If you fall into the ambivert crowd, this could be based on the other three spectrums you find yourself in. For instance, introverted NFs (intuitive-feelers) care a lot about people; thinking about people and social interactions gives them a charge. So INFJs and INFPs can easily come off more ambiverted, or even extroverted, to people; however, INFJ’s dominant function is introverted intuition — and, for the INFP, introverted feeling. The dominate function is what defines whether you are more extroverted or introverted.

We all have aspects to us that are extroverted or introverted. This may confuse you and make you think that you are an ambivert, but you probably lean more one way or the other. By finding out where you stand, you can get more satisfaction out of life.

How to Tell if You're an Introvert: What Charges Your Batteries?

One of the easiest ways to tell if you are an extrovert or introvert is by what you prefer doing with your free time. Would you rather spend an entire week at home reading books and watching movies and thinking, or would you rather go on a weeklong adventure with your best friends? Which of these options makes you feel more alive? Which one drags you down?

Extroverts can find themselves in a situation where they really don’t like being alone. They may force friendships on themselves in order to feel a connection. An introvert is offended by fake connections. They only want to spend time with people who are genuine and authentic, because they don’t want to waste their time when they could be doing the actual things they love, like learning new things.

Are Introverts Shy and Socially Awkward?

Introverts are not necessarily shy or outgoing. Being introverted does not mean that you dislike people, that you are socially anxious, or that you’re socially awkward. Some introverts are highly charismatic. Some extroverts are actually shy. It just depends on where they want and seek to spend their time. Yes, introverts are often shyer, partly because they might not develop social connections that are as intense as an extrovert’s.

Interpersonal vs. Intrapersonal

Introverts tend to be more interpersonal. They like to spend time with people one on one, and they find it taxing to constantly be in large groups, at parties, or networking. They may manage these things just fine, but they would prefer to do other things. For an extrovert, constantly having to study or depend on ideas will get boring or lonely way too fast.

Famous Introverts

Some famous introverts are:

Jesus, Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Christina Aguilera, Rosa Parks, Audrey Hepburn, Mark Zuckerberg, Lady Gaga, Barbara Walters, Stephen Spielberg, Marlon Brando, Henry Ford, Natalie Portman, Robert De Nero, Sigmund Freud, Plato, Dante, Leo Tolstoy, Marilyn Manson, Edward Norton, Cate Blanchett, Carey Mulligan, Sufjan Stevens, Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa, Christopher Walken, Kanye West, Kirsten Dunst, Tiger Woods, Jessica Simpson, Bruce Willis, and Matt Damon.

Remember That All Introverts Aren't the Same (Neither Are Extroverts!)

Humans are complex and unique, and because introversion-extraversion varies along a continuum, individuals may have a mixture of both orientations.

Sometimes introverts may do things to dissuade people from talking to them. But I think theories based on what clothes or music introverts like are pretty bunk. People are going to have their own interests for their own reasons, dress how they want, etc. I find clothing has more to do with the judging-perceiving scale than extroversion-introversion. A good example of an ISFP is Michael Jackson— can you get any more flashy in your wardrobe?

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Read More From Pairedlife

Everyone needs some amount of solitary time, and everyone needs human interaction. You can only survive so long as a hermit.

Do you give off Alice in Wonderland vibes? You're probably an introvert.

Do you give off Alice in Wonderland vibes? You're probably an introvert.

How to Interact More as an Introvert

First off, try to find other introverts. You’ll have a common understanding. Try going to different things. I think introverts like activities that engage their mind and are not just meeting for the sake of meeting. Try hanging out with different people, go to new places, and ask yourself what things you’ve always wanted to try. You can continue to improve your social skills by interacting with more and more people. This may sound intimidating, but remember… you’re not meeting everyone all at once. If you don’t like a social scene… then you don’t have to stay committed to it.

1. Find People Who Share Your Interests

Do what you can to find friends with common interests. Like-minded people end up in the same places. Do what you can to change up your schedule. You may be surprised when you start pushing yourself to do new things.

2. Don’t Use Introversion as an Excuse

Don’t make being introverted an excuse to get out of social situations. You can hurt yourself if you never come out of your corner. Being introverted doesn’t mean you are socially awkward. You have a lot of ideas that everyone else would love to hear, so don’t keep it all to yourself. In fact, you need to make it a goal that what you learn when you’re by yourself, you share with others. This way it’ll enrich people, and you’ll start to find others who are like-minded.

Excellent introverts know how to balance their social lives and also gain from it to where it better enriches their imagination. So don’t use being introverted as a crutch. Put yourself out there! It won’t be the end of the world. Sometimes you need to unplug from digital media and try new things.

3. Put Yourself Out There

If you do put yourself out into the social world and it doesn’t go well, don’t be too hard on yourself. Things don’t always go smoothly and sometimes it takes some patience. Give a social situation a few tries before you give up. Be reassuring to people. Try talking more.

Try taking community classes:

  • Pottery
  • Dance
  • Rock wall climbing
  • Horseback riding
  • Guitar
  • Yoga
  • Metalwork
  • Photography
  • Cooking

MBTI Introverts

The Introverts of Myers-Briggs are:

  • INFJ — the counselor
  • INFP — the dreamer
  • ISFJ — the protector
  • ISTJ — the inspector
  • ISTP — the inventor
  • ISFP — the artist
  • INTJ — the thinker
  • INTP — the architect

Introverted Idealists INF

Idealists spend time heavily in introspection. They are on a quest to find their true self. They are also considering heavily what are the true paths of their peers. To the Idealists, self-discovery is one of the greatest experiences of all. This personality wants to be able to answer deep philosophical and humanitarian questions within their mind.

INFJ and INFP enjoy getting to know people and then spending time in healthy self-reflection. This group is strongly motivated by their hearts and intuition. They are sympathetic, caring, empathetic, and hopeful. They tend to be very emotional as children and calm down as adults. They like simplicity, but also complexity. They have a great deal to their personalities, but most importantly — people are what inspires them most, even if they have to run away and hide in a forest.

INF personalities tend to be spiritual, intelligent, and soft-hearted. They are easily moved… and sometimes too spontaneous for their own good. They are good at predicting the future and can easily empathize with others. Neither the INFP nor INFJ like conflict… INFP abhors it with their entire being… INFJ just wants to make sure they are just and fair.

Both types are creative and weird. Some of the best humanitarians on the planet have been INFP or INFJ. This is a small group of people, and so they can often feel out of place. You may see a triumphant amount of them in an English department.

Introverted Traditionalists ISJ

Traditionalists tend to be more quiet and introspective and are well aware of their immediate surroundings. They tend to be more detail-oriented than the other types.

This group is hard-working and goal-oriented. Both the ISTJ and the ISFJ have goals set for their careers and family. They like to achieve what is normal. They have very strong relationships with those that they love. They tend to be solid people as friends and mates. They fight fair, they manage well, and they are supportive. They don’t get too distracted by frills, and they are easily some of the most dependable people you’ll ever meet. They are great at organization, planning, and acts of service. They are extremely loyal to those they love and take their contracts as spouses and parents seriously.

Both ISTJ and ISFJ are selective about people, but the people they do love… they love deeply. Those people are central points to their hearts. They don’t like to bother people; they prefer to give space.

ISTJ in particular likes to make sure that finances are running smoothly. They want to take care of their family. A lack of a job or financial stress is felt strongly by an ISTJ. As for an ISFJ, when people around them are hurting, they hurt too.

Introverted Experiencers ISP

Introverted sensors have a love for art and aesthetics. They may come off really dreamy or as procrastinators. They like to get into projects with their hands. They are very kinesthetic people. They enjoy building art, working with mechanics, and getting in touch with what is sensual. Both ISFP and ISTP like to think about sounds, smells, colors, tastes, and textures.

Experiencers don’t like being overstimulated by their environment. They can be really quiet about what they really want and have a hard time expressing it unless it is through another artistic medium. ISTP is more mechanical whereas ISFP is more artistic. But both are going to use their hands to make things.

Both tend to have an interest in the outdoors. They are not near as energetic as their ESFP and ESTP cousins. They can seem like their dormant until a big project that interests them comes their way.

Because these personalities have a preference for perceiving over judging, they’re impulsive, spontaneous, and indecisive. They can really feel a lot of pressure if you put too much on them to make a decision, a commitment, or meet up at a certain time. This could potentially put their stomach in a knot.

SP personalities have a hard time with traditional schooling. The ISTP won’t see a lot of value in their classes, so they won’t put in enough effort to study. ISFPs, on the other hand, are daydreamers and have a tendency to get bored in class… and also see no point. If you can get these two to use their hands in class it will help them to learn, because theoretical reasoning in their heads, honestly isn’t their favorite thing to do.

Introverted Conceptualists INT

The NT gang are powerful thinkers. The INTP and the INTJ are some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet. They are able to quickly understand abstract theory and find its application. They enjoy a number of topics, and they enjoy it when people can discuss these topics. They are constantly finding new ideas, new people, new everything.

Sometimes they struggle with their lower functions, and it is really hard for them because they are smart so their flaws really stress them out. They don’t understand why their bottom functions keep betraying them. For instance, the INTP is dominated by introverted thinking, their Achilles’ heel is extroverted feeling. They can easily be manipulated into a bad relationship because of their inferior function.

INTPs deeply want to love and feel love, but usually, they miss the red flags of a bad relationship. They need romantic partners who are honest, and INTP needs to be frank when someone is taking advantage of them. Dating an INTP is awesome because of how great of a thinker they are, and great thinking is attractive. Their emotions, however, can be rough.

INTJ can lose sight of its sensing function. This type can easily walk into walls, forget that they need to sleep, or even clumsily go through life getting bruises and the like. INTJ is like INFJ in this regard. They both are flabbergasted by their weak extroverted sensing. Both can do better by stretching this function. You can do this by taking classes that force you to use your body and senses. Try dancing, cooking, something that makes you interact with external stimuli.

© 2016 Andrea Lawrence

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