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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social      Home login  
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 Technoartisan
Joined: 3/12/2012
Msg: 1
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-socialPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Another thread on here sparked a question in my mind about how the general public views introverts. My assumption is that most extroverts consider introverts to be shy and/or anti-social. Note that I'm keeping this to the simple dichotomy of introvert and extrovert. I realize there's a spectrum but I was hoping to keep this in a general context.

As an introvert, I have my own views on this but I wanted to hear from others on the subject. Are introverts shy and anti-social? Or, is shyness separate from being an introvert?
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 2
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:22:32 PM

Are introverts shy and anti-social? Or, is shyness separate from being an introvert?

I think of introverts as people who think before they talk and are more interested in a in depth conversation with one person than in being a social butterfly who flits from topic to topic without saying anything. I might be thought of as introverted and anti-social, but the fact is, I'm just not that interested in talking to a lot of people unless what they say really interests me and isn't just bullshit about nothing.
 tallmanenters
Joined: 1/28/2012
Msg: 3
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:34:33 PM
I don't like these rather broad categories for such a fine thing as human mind and individuality. But if I accept them for a moment I would say that shyness is definitely different from being an introvert although an introvert may exhibit similar traits. An introvert just doesn't ACTIVELY seek companionship of strangers, but is not necessarily socially awkward or shy. They can pull of being social with the best of 'extroverts', but always seek the refuge of solitude for thoughts, being social just for the sake of being social is a waste of energy, not that they can't do it, etc... In fact I think some big entertainers were classified as introverts. But again, I dismiss these broad generalities. There are much finer gradations.
 coyotefeller
Joined: 11/12/2011
Msg: 4
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:38:01 PM
The short version.
Shy is shy, introvert has a dark side attached to it!
 MutedEnthusiasm
Joined: 7/8/2011
Msg: 5
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/23/2012 8:50:52 PM
Introverts aren’t anti-social. Anti-social behavior violates societal norms and disregards the rights of others.

Nor are they shy. Shy people feel awkward about approaching others, even when they want to connect, and feel anxious about social interaction.

They may be thought unsociable, but introverts are not that either. Introverts are energized by time spent alone and in small groups and find larger, noisier groups draining.

Famous introverts include Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Julia Roberts, Bill Gates, Eric Clapton, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Johnny Carson.
 edgedreality
Joined: 4/5/2012
Msg: 6
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/23/2012 9:09:52 PM
abelian wrote:


I think of introverts as people who think before they talk and are more interested in a in depth conversation with one person than in being a social butterfly who flits from topic to topic without saying anything.


and MutedEnthusiasm wrote:


They may be thought unsociable, but introverts are not that either. Introverts are energized by time spent alone and in small groups and find larger, noisier groups draining.


And both are right.
 motown_cowgirl
Joined: 12/22/2011
Msg: 7
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 7:40:01 AM
introverts aren't necessarily shy & antisocial...
they are two entirely different things.
introverts just primarily have "internal" references instead of "external" ones.
it's sorta like the difference between being right-handed, or a southpaw.
however, when you get an introvert who IS shy & antisocial, there's your basic nightmare.
life is a living hell for these people, and they don't make it fun for anyone else either.
 Arata_na_Yoake
Joined: 1/25/2012
Msg: 8
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 7:50:29 AM
I'm the same as Abelian in the sense that I hate making small talk. If a subject doesn't interest me then my responses are the bare minimum (out of courtesy if it's a one on one thing). More than once I've whipped out my iPod while in a social setting because the conversation held no value for me.

Oh, there's also only a handful of people whose opinion I'd give a second thought about so I don't really care about putting up a facade for anyone.
 114M3
Joined: 4/19/2011
Msg: 9
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 7:51:49 AM
Interesting. you actually just described me here! lol


I think of introverts as people who think before they talk and are more interested in a in depth conversation with one person than in being a social butterfly who flits from topic to topic without saying anything. I might be thought of as introverted and anti-social, but the fact is, I'm just not that interested in talking to a lot of people unless what they say really interests me and isn't just bullshit about nothing.


I don't really like to engage myself in conversations just for the sake of conversation. ...ppl and topics which don't interest me - I just don't have much interest to engage in... But if its something up my alley - I won't hesitate to give my two pennies worth!
 Ratsrule
Joined: 9/22/2011
Msg: 10
view profile
History
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:15:42 AM
I'm an extrovert and have some friends that are introverts. I don't perceive it as being shy though. shy people to me are the ones that want to be social/dance/life and soul of the party, but fear of the consequences doesn't allow them to. I don't *think* that introverts want those things so fear of the consequences of acting extrovert doesn't come into it. I find it much harder to understand shy people than people who just find their pleasure and happiness in a different way to mine because shy people *seem* to me to be missing out on what they actually want to do.
 OutofControlMan
Joined: 12/22/2011
Msg: 11
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 8:35:26 AM

I've found that "shy" people are self-absorbed: constantly thinking about themselves.
How do others see me? What do people think of me? Do people like me? Are people looking at me? etc. They don't seem to have much to give when it's all about their insecurities.


AND..I've found that loud, obnoxious, "outgoing" people are self-absorbed: constantly thinking about themselves.
How do others see me? What do people think of me? Do people like me? Are people looking at me? etc. "I better talk louder and say more things so I get noticed"..They don't seem to have much to give when it's all about their insecurities.

many "extroverts" are very self-absorbed as well, that's why they talk so much, try to dominate conversations, and get noticed.. They "need" people to notice them and to 'like' them
 wildsquirrels
Joined: 4/8/2012
Msg: 12
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 9:55:30 AM
I'm going to assume antisocial has different meaning to different people. Speaking for myself I'm an introvert with antisocial tendencies; I have no trouble walking up to someone and starting a conversation about anything, yet at the same time if i don't feel the need I can go weeks even months without ever saying more than 10 words to anyone.
 Capn_America
Joined: 10/6/2011
Msg: 13
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 10:48:10 AM
I think there's an important distinction between the two indeed. I don't consider myself an introvert, more like an extrovert. However, I AM an anti-social and closed person. I don't appreciate people I consider to be "unworthy" of me, so to speak, in the sense that I befriend few people that I like to think have special qualities. I don't necessarily need or crave human presence, and am perfectly content to spend weeks on end by myself if necessary. Doesn't mean I hate social contact, but I don't crave it.
I don't think someone who is intro-verted is like that. Introverts can be social butterflies; they just keep their thoughts and ideas to themselves most of the time unless there is grounds for them to release them. I usually think of intro-verts as more the intellectual type, or the "mad genius" cliché most of the time. They still need human contact, some of them can be extremely extroverted. They just arent as space-taking as other people, and are usually more profound.
I honestly appreciate someone like that more than someone who will babble and chat away for 50 minutes non-stop.
 prometheus76
Joined: 1/22/2012
Msg: 14
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 11:00:06 AM

Are introverts shy and anti-social? Or, is shyness separate from being an introvert?


Introverted people prefer deeper, more intimate conversations with just a few people as opposed to extroverts jumping around from convo to convo and only really engaging with surface level conversations with many people.

I'm definitely more introverted, but I'm not shy or anti-social at all. So to answer your question; yes, introversion is separate from shyness.
 Ren-Girl
Joined: 4/7/2012
Msg: 15
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 11:08:08 AM
in·tro·vert/ˈintrəˌvərt/Noun: 1.A shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person.
2.A person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.

shy 1 (sh)
adj. shi·er (shr) or shy·er, shi·est (shst) or shy·est
1. Easily startled; timid.
2.
a. Drawing back from contact or familiarity with others; retiring or reserved.
b. Marked by reserve or diffidence: a shy glance.
3. Distrustful; wary: shy of strangers.


ex·tro·vert/ˈekstrəˌvərt/Noun: An outgoing, overtly expressive person.

an·ti·so·cial (nt-sshl, nt-)
adj.
1. Shunning the society of others; not sociable.
2. Hostile to or disruptive of the established social order; marked by or engaging in behavior that violates accepted mores: gangs engaging in vandalism and other antisocial behavior.
3. Antagonistic toward or disrespectful of others; rude.

There is a BIG difference between being shy and being anti-social.


When reading the actual definitions of these words......I find I'm quite shy. I like the company of other people and don't mind going out to events etc. I'm just a little wary of new people, until I get to know you, and then look out....I won't shut up......LOL
 Capn_America
Joined: 10/6/2011
Msg: 16
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 11:40:49 AM

an·ti·so·cial (nt-sshl, nt-)
adj.
1. Shunning the society of others; not sociable.
2. Hostile to or disruptive of the established social order; marked by or engaging in behavior that violates accepted mores: gangs engaging in vandalism and other antisocial behavior.
3. Antagonistic toward or disrespectful of others; rude.



Thanks for the defs, lady lol. I find myself to still fit the above, however I feel I'm more on the shy side than the anti-social side.
That is, I'm not in a gang anymore LMAO. I'm still quite rude however, but only to those who are mean or rude to me or others I love first. So I'm what....a "Snake Plissken"? Rebel without a Cause?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 17
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History
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 2:55:16 PM
This is interesting. So far, I am seeing a fairly wide variety of definitions of each term. It's possible that something I suspected for a long time, has at least some validity: that there are at least two versions of each label being applied. There is the version that people use when they are labeling their own behavior, and the label they apply to others. That, or the label they apply when they like someone, versus the label they apply to the same behaviors in someone that they don't like.

I spent a large part of my own life being told that I was either an introvert or shy, or both. I haven't been accused of being anti-social to my face, by someone in their right mind. I have also looked at other people who were given the same labels by the folks who labeled me, and found that there was often a great difference between how I saw myself, and how those others appeared.

I'm seeing a lot of the same variation between the ways people here are applying the labels.

I've seen a lot of different shades of shyness. As Landra described, I've seen people who seemed to use shyness as a cover for extreme egotism. I've also seen people who genuinely so feared that they would mess up any human interaction, that they ran away from it all the time, and who had a near dearth of ego. I've known people who were labeled introverts, who were like Abelian describes, simply people who liked to ponder things before responding, but had no compunction or fear of expressing themselves once they did work out what they wanted to say. I've known others who actually preferred their own company to that of anyone else, and only interacted with others when they were forced to by circumstances. Amongst them too, I've seen variety, with some disliking people, some who liked people well enough, but had no interest in them, and some who isolated themselves more as a method to get things done in their lives, without entangling obligations.

Given the wide variety of definitions, even in the dictionaries, I really don't know if I would qualify for either of those labels any more. Not all the time, for certain.

I will continue to follow what others have to say, to expand my recognitions and undertsandings of what people mean by these words.
 Meems919
Joined: 2/16/2012
Msg: 18
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 3:13:59 PM
for myself....introverts are inner directed....taking counsel from their inner landscape...extroverts are the opposite...and interestingly enough, I've met shy extro's as well as intro's....for myself, again, shy equates to uncertainty about one's right to or placement in the world at large, whether with one or one thousand others.
 Technoartisan
Joined: 3/12/2012
Msg: 19
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 3:47:09 PM
Some of the comments having been made are pretty interesting, even if a couple seemed a bit hostile. :)

I think a source for the various subtleties in definition arise from my use of a simplistic binary notion of introvert/extrovert in the original question. Clearly, anytime one uses broad terms there are going to be exceptions. That, I think, is fine in this context because I was just trying to get some thoughtful responses as opposed to a hard definition. In reality, I suspect that when viewed as a whole, people exhibit a touch of all of these traits to some extent and that likely changes based on the situation.

My experience has been that there is a subset of extroverted people that view introverts as "broken" somehow and that they need to be "fixed". That, of course, just begets resentment on the part of the introvert. I think, though, that the comment about how some extroverts are self-absorbed helps to explain this.
 edgedreality
Joined: 4/5/2012
Msg: 20
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 4:03:28 PM

My computer is my only friend!


I wouldn't be so introverted if people would just leave me the hell alone. And women are similar to computers. You don't appreciate either of them till they go down on you.
 kmac6
Joined: 1/20/2008
Msg: 21
view profile
History
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 4:18:05 PM
Quite an interesting read. I have two daughters, the eldest is called the extrovert and the youngest introverted yet it is the eldest that has more anxiety about the things happening in her world, is analytical and likes to problem solve by looking at things from all angles whilst the younger one I would not say is shy, she just observes what goes on around her, gets on with the job and does not waste words. Mind you cross her and she has the death daggers look. lol. No words needed there. I asked her partner once if he had seen it and he said yes...and it scares me. ha ha ha ... She would be lucky to be 5 ft, very petite and he is a good ft taller than her.

I think prople are a mix of both depending on the situations they find themselves in.
 Broomhilda_the_Nun
Joined: 4/16/2012
Msg: 22
Introvert vs. Shy/Unsociable
Posted: 4/24/2012 7:08:07 PM

My experience has been that there is a subset of extroverted people that view introverts as "broken" somehow and that they need to be "fixed".


Yes, agree. I think I've detected another subset who've picked up an idea that "introverted" = intelligent; and since they'd dearly love to be intelligent too, they'll either try to imitate introverted behavior or take a short-cut straight to declaring themselves introverts.
 Archangel_07
Joined: 6/21/2010
Msg: 23
Introvert vs. Shy/Unsociable
Posted: 4/24/2012 7:19:39 PM
I have a split personality of both Extrovert and Introvert / unsociable. When I don't want to talk to people I become unsociable and distant ( this side of me mostly comes out in the winter time ). And when I when I do I'm outgoing and I want to go out with friends. ( Spring to fall time )
 Palejewel
Joined: 9/12/2006
Msg: 24
Introvert vs. Shy/Unsociable
Posted: 4/24/2012 7:20:04 PM
Ahhh, the life of labels.

^^^^
Could that not be associated with SAD?
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 25
Introvert vs. Shy/Anti-social
Posted: 4/24/2012 7:53:26 PM
The times I have gotten tested, I have scored almost evenly between introvert / extrovert, sensing / intuition, perception/judging. I have been asked if I were cheating.

It's probably correct, it's easy to be by myself for extended periods of time, but I also enjoy being in a group. I would miss not being able to do both of those things.

I have been told by people who were my managers it makes it more difficult to manage me, since it makes me more unpredictable for them. They are never quite sure how I will react.

Society tends to value extroverts more. Many introverts know this, and display extroverted behavior so they can advance more easily in the workplace.

Shy is different, and so is anti-social. I used to think I was shy, but so many people told me no way, I have to go with their perception.
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