The Extreme Introvert (A 5 point guide)

This article will explore what an ‘extreme introvert’ is and what types of introverts are more likely to lean towards this ‘tendency’. It will also touch upon aspects that are more dominant in extreme introverts compared to other types of introverts.

Who Is An Extreme Introvert?  

An extreme introvert is someone who works harder than other introverts in order to make the best use of the time they have to themselves. In contrast to ‘normal’ introverts, they are considered more distant, quiet and are perceived as individuals who strongly prefer being alone most of the time in order to be productive and work on their thoughts or ideas.

Let’s take a look at the different types of introverts and which ones are more likely to be categorized as an ‘extreme introvert’!

The STAR Model of Introverts.

This model describes four types of introversion namely social introversion, thinking introversion, anxious introversion and restrained introversion. This model was introduced by Jonathan Cheek in 2011 in order to describe the differences between introverts in terms of motivation, difficulties and ability to interact with individuals or groups.

This section of the article will describe each type of introvert and identify which category is likely to be termed an extreme introvert.

Social Introversion

This type of introversion is exhibited by those individuals who really appreciate their alone time and hence prioritize it or streamline their social interactions with others. It does not restrict or prohibit them from meeting with friends or family; they have no issues meeting up with others whom they consider intimate for a cup of coffee or an intimate discussion. However, they highly value alone time as it allows them to be productive and enjoy solitude.

Such types of people, although known for their preference of being alone, are unlikely to be labeled as an ‘extreme introvert’ due to their behaviour of meeting with others from time to time and having the ability to engage in meaningful discussion.

Thinking Introversion.

Yes. This type of introversion best describes people who are mesmerized by the thoughts they have; they are so tied up in their thoughts that they leave less and less time for other people and activities. They are often called ‘quiet geniuses’ due to their love of thinking of hypothetical situations, story telling, imagination and idea creation. They are indeed in a magical world when they are alone.

This habit of theirs can become a bit worrying. People who are thinking introverts do not have difficulty in interacting with others; it’s just that they are so caught up in their thoughts that that is what they prefer to do most of the time. For this reason, people may seem to note them more and consider them an extreme introvert due to their unrestricted behaviour of thinking.

Anxious Introversion.

Although these types are a strong thought power; they genuinely suffer from some social related anxiety that greatly prohibits them from interacting with others. Unlike the other types who do not mix with others due to their high preference of spending time alone so they can be more productive, anxious introverts have another factor that restricts them; the anxiety they face when interacting with others. 

These types are extremely helpful in creating sub groups in gatherings where others also prefer more intimate groups or discussions, however due to the anxiety they face when interacting with others, anxious introverts may likely be labeled as ‘extreme introverts’ by others as they may not only notice their distant behaviour but the uneasiness they experience when talking to most people or larger groups.

Restrained Introverts.

At first these introverts are mostly distant and do not immediately open up. They act as a grounding power that makes people think twice while with them and thus leads to better decision making. However, one they open up they get along with others just about fine.

Their quietness is usually perceived as something related to thoughtful thinking and wisdom hence these types of introverts are less likely to be labeled by others as an ‘extreme introvert’.

The section discussed what are the different types of introverts and concluded that ‘Thinking Introverts’ and ‘Anxious Introverts’ are more likely to be labeled as extreme introverts due to their behavior and aura they emit. 

The Extreme Aspects of Extreme Introverts.

What is it that makes an extreme introvert stand out? Why don’t people consider them normal introvert like others? This section will examine the aspects of extreme introverts that define them and what is it that is going on behind the scenes!

Interacting With Others – The Difficulties

Extreme introverts, in contrast to other ones, are more likely to either avoid group discussions maybe because they are too busy in their thoughts or experience too much anxiety while being around others. 

However sometimes, an extreme introvert is just overwhelmed more. It’s not that they are shy or uncomfortable but there’s too much going on for them to notice like bodily cues and facial expressions or the messages behind the sounds people articulate. It forces them to focus more on what people are doing and less on the thoughts they are experiencing. So fro extreme introverts, it can just get more overwhelming when in a conversation with others.

The Quietness.

Extreme introverts are more quiet than others. Why? A possible reason may be that they need more time to internalize and process the conversation going on and then think of a proper answer, process it and decide how to express it. It’s not to say they don’t have good answers but it usually takes them more time to sum it up and express it properly – complex things require time. That is why they are considered more quiet than normal introverts are!

They Don’t Like People!

Introverts who are considered extreme are commonly misperceived by others – they don’t like people! It is not true. They only prefer to have more intimate conversations or meetings with people. Because of this preference, they are considered more aloof and distant and yes sometimes a ‘people hater’!

Why Do They Prefer Small Gatherings?

A simple answer could be because they don’t like people very much. But that would be too easy right? From an extreme introvert’s perspective, it’s because the roles are way more clearer and defined. It is easy to know what is expected of you and how and when you should respond. Usually, introverts have difficulty in determining when it’s the right time for them to talk compared to extroverts who seem to speak at the perfect time as if someone is giving them the cue to talk.

Extreme Introverts Like To Live Alone.

Another aspect that is exaggerated is that not only do they like to spend time alone but also do they want to live alone. Yes, forever alone! Extreme introverts just need more space from others. They don’t mind living with others – obviously family is a popular candidate – it’s just that sometimes they even need space from their most loved and significant ones. 

So it would be immature to say they like to live alone but more mature to say they just require more time alone and so if you ever see an introvert spending more time in their room thinking or reflecting deep into space, just realize you have one the special ones! They are indeed the gems with much thinking power and creativity.

The Challenges They Face – Labeling

Normal introverts get along much better than extreme introverts. Unfortunately, extreme introverts face more backlash for their behaviours and are often labeled as ‘aloof’, ‘distant’ ‘having no personality’ and even as someone who dislikes people generally. 

Instead of realizing why they truly need to spend more time alone, people like to take the easy way out and make assumptions. They don’t realize that such people just have much more thought to process compared to other similar people!

Conclusion

This article looked at what an extreme introvert is and which types of introversion are more likely to be labeled as an extreme form of introversion. Furthermore, the article highlighted those aspects that are more exaggerated or frequent in extreme introverts as compared to normal introverts.

Frequently Asked Questions: The Extreme Introvert

What are the 4 types of introverts?

There are 4 types of introverts — social, thinking, anxious and restrained. The founder of the model STAR argues that introverts are made up of a combination of all four types.

What causes extreme introversion?

Introverts have more blood flow to the frontal lobe of their brain which is usually associated with thinking that solves problems, remembers things and helps you plan ahead. These types of people also react differently to dopamine.

Is being introverted a disorder?

No it is not a disorder and is one of the healthy personality types.

How do introverts flirt?

Rather than tell you, introverts have the habit of showing you they like you. They may not use the typical ways of how people flirt like using pickup lines or engaging in small talk.

References

https://www.thecut.com/article/apparently-there-are-four-kinds-of-introversion.html

I hold my bachelor's degree in Psychology with a particular interest in personality, emotions, organizational behaviour and the psychology of marketing. I am currently pursuing my Master's degree in Business Administration specializing in human resource management and marketing where my psychology background comes very much handy. I have worked with different institutes to raise awareness of the benefits of incorporating psychology in the workplace. Apart from that, I like to travel, cook and try new cuisines and love animals.

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