Why Introverts Are More People-Oriented Than You May Think

Friends toast their drinks at dinner

In reality, introverts are more than capable of holding their own, discussing their opinions, and socializing with others.

People are often amazed whenever they talk to me one-on-one. They tell me they never thought I could speak so much, since I seemed shy in group settings. In a more intimate setting, however, I can talk and connect with others on a deeper level, as I give them my undivided attention. 

Perhaps that’s one reason many also say that I’m a good listener, which is one of my strengths as an introvert.

Myths About Introverts

One myth about introverts is that we don’t like people. In more extreme cases, we can even be referred to as “loners” or “anti-social.”

I know this from experience. From my high school days to my years of working in an office, people seemed to think that I didn’t enjoy other people’s company. Even my managers described me as “reserved,” a “quiet type” of person who wasn’t interested in talking to people. In fact, many office introverts may appear rude — but we’re not trying to be, I swear!

The truth is, I wanted to form deep friendships and talk for hours about countless topics. I enjoyed new adventures and appreciated the company of other people. The idea that we “quiet ones” aren’t interested in others is just part of the overall misconceptions many people still have about introverts.

Here is a stereotypical image of an introvert that others often have: someone who is shy, soft-spoken, and afraid to voice their opinions. (By the way, there is a difference between being introverted and shy.) They think introverts lack self-confidence, so this may be why they’re hesitant to take part in big-group conversations.

When it comes to parties and other social gatherings, the introvert is seen as someone who refuses to go — or, if they do, they prefer to stay in the corner alone.

In reality, introverts are more than capable of holding their own, discussing their ideas, and spending time with other people.

In other words, introverts are more people-oriented than you may think.

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6 People-Oriented Traits of Introverts

1. They’re good listeners who can pick up on not just what someone is saying, but also what they’re not saying.

Talking is not everything in communication. It is just as important to listen and pay attention.

As an introvert, I enjoy listening to people. Even if I do not say much, I feel that no connection is lost as long as I can pick up on what the other person is trying to convey.

Plus, listening is educational. I feel I truly get to know someone better, both what they’re saying and not saying through their body language.

Yet another perk of being a good listener is there is no pressure to think about what I want to say in response.

2. They crave deep and meaningful relationships.

When you have an introvert as a friend, they may be the best friend you will ever have. It’s not that extroverts can’t have deep friendships. But introverts have an innate quality that keeps their close friends very close. Even though they need alone time to recharge their energy, they give them all the attention they can. 

3. They make an effort to understand other people’s perspectives.

Since we introverts tend to be self-aware and introspective, we may be great at noticing your reaction to things and can empathize with how you feel. 

Many introverts are deep thinkers, too, which makes us interested in how other people think and feel. We often wonder how other people see the world and why they react to things in a certain way. 

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

4. They thrive in one-on-one conversations.

If you want to have a good conversation with an introvert, try to talk to them one-on-one. Don’t dwell on small talk; instead, turn it into a meaningful conversation. After all, introverts don’t hate people; they hate shallow socializing. Discuss issues that matter deeply to them (and to you). Open up and speak sincerely about what’s on your mind. (Here are four hacks to transform small talk into meaningful conversation.)

That way, you’ll find out how much an introvert can talk. By sharing your deepest thoughts, you’ll also invite them to share theirs. That’s something most introverts enjoy doing — when they’re passionate about something, they might go on and on… Plus, the more comfortable they are with you, the better.

5. They are sweet, thoughtful, and attentive.

Introverts may not always express their feelings verbally, but they often have other ways of letting you know they care about you. For example, they may remember special occasions in your life and get you thoughtful gifts that mean something vs. any old thing.

In a quiet and warm way, introverts give their affection to the people closest to them, and you’ll see it through their thoughtful actions.

6. They will support you emotionally.

If you have introverts as friends, you’ve probably noticed how they are often available whenever you need someone to talk to. When you are going through a hard time, you may find their presence very comforting.

Many introverts know what it’s like to be hurt by people who misjudge them, so as a result, they avoid judging others. Instead, they’ll offer you understanding and compassion. 

Introverts Are More People-Oriented Than You May Think

Because of their quiet nature, it’s easy to assume that introverts don’t care much about getting to know other people. Plus, since they prefer to interact with smaller groups, rather than attend loud and crowded social gatherings, you may think they’re anti-people in general.

But if you look deeper, you’ll see that introverts are more people-y than you may have realized. With their highly empathetic nature and sense of compassion, they can relate well to others’ thoughts and reactions. And when you need a friend to lean on, they will give you their full support. 

Once you get to know introverts better, you will discover how much they value the people around them. In the end, it’s not the number of people that they have. It’s how much they can give their full attention and care to those in their inner circle, those who matter most.

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