The term introversion is very ambiguous and is lacking a consistent and clear definition. It seems that this term is used to vaguely encompass many different personality traits. In search of a more meaningful and coherent description of introversion, researcher and personality psychologist Jonathan Cheek came up with four main types of introverts.
There is indeed more than one way to be an introvert, hence more than one way to write introverted characters. The typical understanding of what introversion is can be very limiting and does not effectively include the many different meanings of the concept of introversion.
- The Social Introvert
Contrary to what the name may suggest, this individual adheres to what the common interpretation of introversion is: someone who prefers spending time alone rather than socializing with large groups of people. It is important not to confuse this need for solitude as a manifestation of anxiety around people. Social introverts simply prefer not to engage in many social interactions, but they do not necessarily feel anxiety or awkwardness when they do. They would much rather spend the night reading a book or hanging out with a select few friends than partying it up with a bunch of strangers.
- Thinking Introvert
Unlike the social introvert, this type of introvert does not avoid large groups and social interactions as much. Instead, the thinking introvert is very self-reflective and thoughtful. This type of introvert is often “in the clouds” or “daydreaming”. Their mind tends to wander off frequently, but it shouldn’t be considered an unhealthy habit. Many people may think that thinking introverts are avoiding reality or need to come back down to earth but their introspectiveness is actually a good thing. It permits them to be very creative and imaginative individuals.
- Anxious Introvert
The anxious introvert is self-explanatory. This individual tends to feel more anxious and awkward around others and chooses to avoid socializing as a result. This anxiousness may result from a lack of social skills or a lack of confidence. Even when alone, they still tend to feel anxious and will most likely suffer from an anxiety disorder. Overthinking is also very characteristic of this type of introvert.
- Restrained Introvert
The restrained introvert tends to take more time to execute things. They cannot just jump into action straight away and they often prefer to think before they speak. This type of introvert may come across as reserved, cold or distant at first, but it just takes them a while to warm up to people.