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[Short] Introverted is not the same as Avoidant

A lot of introverts think that being introverted as some sort of social barrier, that you lack in some way socially.

But I think this is because being introverted is often conflated with being avoidant, which is actually an anti-social trait, and not a permanent one at that. I’ve heard many hundreds of people talking about shyness or distaste for social interaction as if those traits are indistinguishable from being introverted.

Being introverted is really just an internal locus of control, meaning that you recharge your energy while being alone, you listen to your mind more than you listen to others, and you prefer introspection.

Extroverts are the opposite: they recharge by socialising, and they are more interested in exploring the outside world than their own mind.

Both types can socialise comfortably and successfully, though usually with different preferences and different approaches. Introverts are generally quieter and more thoughtful, but this can be from a place of confidence rather than shyness.

So, if you find that you never want to go into crowded places, and you generally don’t like spending time with new people, and you want to be by yourself all the time, that’s not introversion. That’s avoidance.

You have an avoidant attachment style; being around people feels like a threat to you; you don’t want intimacy; you think people are mostly untrustworthy and malicious. These are psychological issues from childhood trauma.

So don’t just “accept” shyness and distaste for humans as a personality trait, and instead seek to treat it as symptoms of mental illness, which is more likely to be the case.


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