Friday, 26 February 2016

Introversion and writing.

A lot of writers are introverted, myself included.  It’s the nature of writing to be introspective and comfortable with your own company.  The problem is that introversion is often seen as a negative trait, particularly in childhood, where choosing a book over a day out is considered 'missing out' on some level. But being introverted doesn’t necessarily mean lonely or antisocial and shouldn't be assumed as such.  Simply put, introverts just don't require the high levels of social stimulation or adrenaline that others need. Being quiet is not the same as being unhappy and does not necessitate being 'coaxed' (or bullied) into engaging in social situations. Perhaps this happens because introverts are a minority, making up just 25% of the population (often hidden!).  

So what's makes an introvert different?

Sensitivity to noise

Introverts tend to be sensitive to noise. There's enough going on in an introvert’s head without having to juggle external noise (big crowds, loud music).  This is why we find silence relaxing.


Introverts tend to be loyal.  We have little patience for gossip, finding small talk exhausting and mostly pointless. I can't remember the last time I found Kim Kardashian's bottom interesting but give me a snippet of science and I'm all ears.  We make excellent 'listeners' because we don't require a space on the center stage.   An introverted friend tends to be a friend for life. 


We prefer one-to-ones.  Parties are an assault on our senses and can make us feel alien and stressed, particularly if there’s no corner to hide in.  Short social bursts are enough, after which we need to be alone to recharge.  There have been many parties where I've wished I was at home in my pyjamas but that's not to say I don't enjoy others. 

Time alone

Introverts spend a lot of time thinking and when over stimulated, we shut down. What we need then is silence and preferably a book, a painting or a piece of music to escape into.  I find time spent with another introvert is as good as time alone.


We don't tend not to follow fashion but our own beliefs.  This is why we can often appear 'weird' or as my friend charitably says: ‘Artistic’.

Social media

Introverts love social media and we tend to congregate on it, especially writing sites.  It's a chance to step back and only engage when you feel ready. It can be horribly addictive though.


The best jobs for introverts are creative, whether that’s mathematical or artistic. Here is a handy list if you're looking:

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