12 Things Introverts Absolutely Need to Be Happy

IntrovertDear.com introverts happy need

Introverts have unique needs that are different from those of extroverts. We’re not always looking for the next party, and we may be just as happy staying home. So what does it take to avoid feeling exhausted and drained? Here are 12 things that just about every introvert needs to be happy.

What an Introvert Needs to Be Happy

1. Time to wind down after a busy day

An absolute must. Due to biological wiring, introverts are sensitive to stimulation and process information deeply. Time to unwind allows them to fully comprehend the events of a busy day — and lower their stimulation level to one that’s more comfortable and sustainable.

2. Meaningful conversation

Introverts can’t survive on a diet of small talk alone. “How was your day?” or “How ’bout this weather?” won’t be enough. Introverts tend to dive deep, both in their interests and relationships. They need something more: What’s one new thing you’ve learned lately? How are you a different person today than you were 10 years ago? Does God exist? Of course, not every conversation has to be deep. Sometimes introverts really do just want to know what you did this weekend. But occasionally, to feed their minds and souls, they need those wide-awake-at-midnight-can’t-stop-talking kind of moments.

3. Comfortable silences

On the flip side, introverts need people in their lives who are content with quiet. People who can sit in the same room with them, not talking, each doing their own thing. People who will not nervously jump to fill a pause in the conversation, but will let thoughts linger, waiting until each idea has been fully digested. Trust introverts when they say that silence can be beautiful.

4. Space to dive deep into their hobbies and interests

17th century horror novels. Celtic mythology. Restoring old cars. Gardening, painting, cooking, or writing. If it’s out there, introverts are doing it. Having the time and space to dive deep into their interests is recharging. But it’s about more than just doing the thing. It’s about slowing down and entering a state of flow — which may come naturally for introverts. Bonus: They end up becoming experts in their areas of interest.

5. A quiet, calm space that’s all theirs

Admittedly, this is something I don’t have right now. But the dream is real: A room to be alone in. A room to arrange however I’d like. A room with a door that closes out the  world, even just for a little while. For introverts, having a space that’s all theirs makes an incredible difference in terms of their energy levels. Being alone — truly alone, without fear of intrusion or interruption — is freeing and invigorating on a nearly spiritual level.

6. Time to think before responding

There’s hardly anything more stressful than an impatient boss or spouse standing before you demanding an answer right now. For extroverts, it’s usually easy to spout something off. But not so for introverts, who may rely more on long-term memory than working memory (for extroverts, it’s the opposite). Usually, a few (pressure-free) beats is all an introvert needs to reach into their memory and pull out just the right words they want. Give them that time. It will be worth it, I promise.

7. Friends who understand that sometimes they will stay home. Introverts won’t attend every party or get-together. They do enjoy some socializing, but it’s all about dosage. Too much, and their sensitive systems will have them begging for their beds. They need friends who understand that sometimes they just can’t “people” anymore today. These friends know that once introverts have had downtime, they’ll be up for another (laid-back) adventure.

8. A deeper purpose to their work

Many introverts want a job that is more than just a paycheck. Sure, they need to pay their bills, but they want their 9-to-5 efforts to feel worthwhile, too. They want to know that they’re helping others. That they’re making at least some small difference in the grand scheme of things. If introverts are just punching in and punching out, doing routine work that doesn’t seem to fit a wider goal, life will feel hollow.

9. Permission to not explain sometimes

There are times when they just have no words. They may be feeling something strongly, but they can’t describe it. Or they need to be alone right now, but don’t have the energy to provide a lengthy explanation. When an introvert says, “I don’t want to talk about it,” or simply, “This is what I need,” let that suffice. After some time to process, they will likely come back to you with more words.

10. Time and space to work uninterrupted

It’s no secret that introverts do their best work alone. Unfortunately, our offices and classrooms are not geared toward quiet reflection. As a result, you may find introverts sneaking away to the abandoned corners of the office building. Or coming early or staying late. Or begging to stay in the classroom — where it’s quiet and empty — during recess. To all teachers, supervisors, and parents — give introverts the quiet space they need to think. You may find that you get higher quality work in return.

11. Their tribe

Rarely the ones for chasing popularity, introverts usually have just a few close friends — and they prefer it that way. However,  note that the key word is “close.” For introverts, friendship isn’t about just occupying the same space, doing the same activity. Nor is it about trading gossip. It’s about finding a kindred spirit, someone who will peek into the introvert’s inner world — and reveal theirs in return.

12. Time to slow down

Breathe. Take it all in. Just be. Repeat.

Did you enjoy this article? Sign up for our newsletters to get more stories like this.

Read this: Introverts Don’t Hate People, They Hate Shallow Socializing

Learn more: The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World, by Jenn Granneman 

This article may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products we truly believe in.


  • May Oppenheim Hiddleston says:

    What do you do when you see an introverted child being pushed and pulled impatiently by an extroverted parent who just doesn’t get it. How to help that child when you know nothing you could say to that parent will get through?

    • Dan Caveye says:

      i constantly try to praise the kid when he or she does or accomplishes simple little things i notice the child does, in an obvious attempt for attention, confirmation, reassurance or even just recognition or appreciation for doing something right, when they think noone is looking or cares or will even notice.. Praise from an outside unbiased adult seemingly equal to thier parent will not only bolster the kids confidence, but will draw the parents attention to the fact they may not be saying “great job” as much as “why didnt you
      ____?” let them know its not only ok to be different, but actually better to be unique, (while making the bully jealous that you view the kid as an equal an not just a kid to be told what to do.. . its how ive always connected with kids, (even the ass holish ones) and i only found a term for the type of human i am a few hours ago

      • May Oppenheim Hiddleston says:

        You are super kind. I do those things and I can see that it’s earned me a special place in his life. He lives in Virginia and I live in Michigan; he’s my brother’s son’s son and five. He’ll be fine, but it’s very frustrating when I see his mom being impatient with him. He’s clearly thinking something over and she wants an answer NOW. But as with every child, if they are truly loved they can get through their difficulties. And she does love him and keeps trying. I was very sensitive to the subject cause I had just gotten back from a 10 day visit. I carve out time to be there whenever I can and I am welcome so there’s much to be thankful for. But thanks to you!

        • Dan Caveye says:

          yeah i seriously enjoy, trying to use analagies or simple honesty with kids and how responsive they are to it and the impact or impression it can make by simply getting on thier” level” or making them feel that they arent the weird ones the rest of the world is, and its a select enlightened, exclusive group they get to be a part of, the most understanding non judgementle ppl i know have been through negativeity and recognize when they are acting like or showing traits of who or they despised. to understand is to have known, expirienced, and felt what and who you dont want to become

  • Linda Hobbet says:

    This list explains why introverts thrive in cohousing communities.

  • Michael658 says:

    It’s interesting how much this sounds like me (with a difference or two; I sort of need people around), yet in taking the Briggs-Meyers personality test, I am an ENFP.

  • Dan Curtis says:

    Time away from high strung loud energetic people. That includes kids.

    • Irene says:

      And dogs. Most of the introverts I know (including myself) have cats.

      • Dan Caveye says:

        eh, ive connected with all kinds of animals, felt terrible as i shared the last breaths with any animal i had wounded, and hadnt passed before i could find it. and i always thanked the animal and treated it honorably and respectfull. even if there was noone around to know, watching the truth and calmness i brought to the animal even as an obvious preditor, was profound, i love dogs and have only had the privilege of raising one cat, but my drive to be understood, or the pride i feel when, a dog cat snake, bird rabit or mouse somehow trusts me despite the laws of nature. is enough for me to use what worked to achieve that, and forget the rest.. gave up hunting and fishing, ranching or meat packing slaughterhouses

  • trueatheart says:


  • Lee Rowan says:

    Do not need time to ‘put thoughts into words.’ And .. who needs ‘permission’ not to explain? “None of your business” can be said courteously, but you always have the right to say it.

    • Strider says:

      Not if it’s going to cause more conflict. If you’re not up to the intense engagement taking a stand requires, you need people to just leave you alone.

  • Wolf says:

    And, pen, paper and a notebook to write anywhere they can

  • Megan Lacefield says:

    This is so good. I was having this conversation with myself this morning “am I an introvert?” I think I’m an introverted extrovert..my current life season has allowed/caused/enabled me to be more introverted and I’m learning a lot about myself.

  • LadyGin says:

    This is me to a T!

  • Muhammad Fahd says:

    . An Introvert especially feel guilty of being boring, when he has to spend time with an individual . But he feel a bit relaxed in the presence of a group of couple of friends, when he doesn’t have to talk so much, and he can comment little bit on a discussion . In this way, he doesn’t feel guilty of being boring. But when they are alone with someone. He can’t held the conversation going. Awkward silences , not finding anything to talk about leads him to self-doubt. What do you think?

  • MikeInOhio says:

    Wow. I must have read this four or five times, and each time I marveled more at how accurately these 12 points describe me. And while I do have an extroverted side that I can switch to, at the times it is necessary, it will eventually exhaust me, and I need to recharge with a period of quiet solitude and introspection.

  • Tania Camilleri says:

    Spot on !! I relate with everything in this article 🙂 It is so good to see that i`m not alone and that actually there is a name for who i am, Thank you Jenn Granneman for the acknowledgement xx

  • Strider says:

    We need enough money. With just a few bucks in our pockets, we have choices, such as whether and when to go out to eat, or hang out with friends, or buy a good book we’ve been wanting. Lack of money is oppressive.

  • Ana María Correa says:

    I have been deeply struggling for the past few years, as I am a profound introvert with two small children and my husband and I have opposite work schedules…plus things are tight economically, so I can’t just have a night off to get coffee or a drink. Don’t know what to do or where to turn….

  • Brian says:

    Uh, yes! I need all these things!

  • John Wynn says:

    How do you know me so well? We haven’t even met.

  • Shelley Krupa says:

    Love how you included well rounded home and work situations on your list! # 8 is so true.

  • Pk Mitchell says:

    wow, thats me.

  • Guess I have always been an introvert, loved being alone as a kid, dreamed of moving to the wilds of Alaska or Canada to live alone, only had one really close friend growing up, although I had lots of friends, only hung out with one, even years later, in the military, my superiors saw I was not good with lots of people and had me working with small teams. Then I met my wife, now we have four daughters and 12 grandkids who live within five minutes of us, so not much alone time anymore, but do have a cabin out in the woods, that I spend most of the summer and a few days during winter, at alone, or take a couple of grandsons to enjoy.

  • Krystyna Ostaszewska says:


  • Sane Alex says:

    Astonishingly accurate and correct for this introvert.

  • Esther McCormack says:

    Yes, I can relate with this.

  • Hye Kan Chu says:

    great point of advice for teachers and about them providing open classroooms during lunchtime and snack breaks. When I went to high school before computer graphics was around I took drafting classes all 4 years. As an introvert I was thankful I was able to escape into class and work on drawing where it was quiet. I ended up getting awards for my work and got accepted to an engineering college. I was so thankful I didn’t have to socialize with the jocks or sit in a corner eating lunch alone which is all I did during 6th 7th and 8th grade where you werent allowed in classrooms during lunch and snack.

  • It’s interesting to have discovered via my blogging community that my need for down-time, a room that’s all my own and a lifestyle away from the 9-5 grind is something I share with my new online tribe, with whom I share another over-arching character trait I’d never really considered before: we are all introverts. I’d never considered myself and introvert, I do love a party occasionally, I don’t have a problem talking to strangers, but I often prefer time at home over going out and I need my silent, quiet time, as much as I need food and oxygen. Interesting to follow this ‘explosion’ of introverts on the world wide web. Thank you for this article, I identify with all of the above 🙂

  • Dan Caveye says:

    unbelievably refreshing, reassuring and downright remarkable how accurately all this describes me..

  • Alan Outhier says:

    Jenn, you’re WONDERFUL!