Introverted Personality: Definition & Characteristics

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  • 0:01 Introduction to Personality
  • 0:38 Personality Continuum
  • 1:36 Characteristics of…
  • 2:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

Do you prefer to be alone and find being around a large group of people tiring? If so, you may have an introverted personality. Learn more about the introverted personality from examples and then test your knowledge with a quiz.

Introduction to Personality

Imagine that you are attending a party with your two best friends, Holly and John. The second you walk into the party, John starts socializing with other people and quickly becomes the life of the party. Holly is more comfortable doing things alone and spends most of the night sitting on the porch reading a book.

As the night continues, John becomes more energetic. After three hours at the party, Holly is completely exhausted and asks for a ride home, while John is still dancing and enjoying himself. In this example, John has an extroverted personality. Holly has an introverted personality.

Personality Continuum

So now we understand how your friend Holly is very introverted. That is, she focuses on and gains energy from internal thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Holly enjoys spending time doing solitary activities (i.e. reading and writing), while social activities (i.e. parties and weddings) tend to drain the energy from Holly even if the event is enjoyable.

John, on the other hand, focuses on outside stimuli, making him extroverted. He gains energy from being involved in events and socializing with others and dislikes spending time alone. Social events, such as parties, are a source of energy and excitement for John. John's friends view him as outgoing, talkative, sociable, and confident.

No one's personality is completely introverted or extroverted. We can think of these concepts on a personality continuum where 'introvert' is on one end and 'extrovert' is on the other. We all have some degree of each characteristic, however we tend to lean more toward one end of the spectrum than the other.

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