7 Differences Between Being Shy and Being Introverted


differences between shy and normal people

More often than not, introversion and shyness are confused to be the same thing. But the actual truth is that there are some fundamental differences between being introverted and being shy, and should never be used synonymously. An introvert enjoys solitude and feels drained if there is too much interaction with others, whereas a shy person doesn’t really want to be alone, but feels intimidated when it comes to interacting and engaging with other people.

Take, for instance, two children in a classroom, one is an introvert and the other one is shy. The classroom teacher has organized an activity for all the children. The introverted child prefers to stay seated at their desk, and maybe read a book because they find it enormously stressful socializing with the other kids. The shy child, on the other hand, wants to engage with the other children but is too scared to do so.

Now that you know the underlying difference between an introverted person and a shy person, let’s take a deeper look into their differences.

Related: 3 Common Myths About Introversion And The Truth Behind Them

7 Differences Between An Introverted Person And A Shy Person

1. Alone Time Holds Different Meanings For Them.

Being Introverted Being Shy Not Same Thing alone time

Introverted: For introverts, there is almost nothing as good and exciting as alone time. Whenever they get to be alone, and by themselves, they feel happy, energized, and rejuvenated. The solitude and alone time recharges their batteries and makes them feel at peace with themselves and their surroundings. Simply reading a book, watching their favorite movie, or just lazing around makes them feel oh-so-amazing!

Shy: Shy people on the other hand don’t always like to spend time alone. Deep down inside they want to go out with other people, socialize with them and have fun, but their inherent shyness stops them from doing so. The deep-seated fear of interacting with other people, most of the time stops them from doing what they truly want. So, alone time for them is not as amazing as it is for an introvert.

2. Their Approach To Social Interactions Are Not The Same.

Being Introverted Being Shy Not Same social

Introverted: When it comes to social engagements and social interactions, it’s nothing short of a nightmare for introverts. Small talk, surrounded by too many people, loud noises, and the constant need to talk to people, makes them feel emotionally, mentally and even physically drained. An introverted person would any day prefer to socialize in a small group that consists of people they know and trust and are close to.

Shy: Shy people don’t necessarily have a problem with social interactions, or with a lot of people around them. The problem is they get very frustrated because they want to mingle with people and interact with them, but find it very hard to break out of their shells to do so. The thought of going up to someone and initiating a conversation makes them anxious and jittery.

Related: 24 Signs That Show You’re An Introvert And Not Just Shy

3. They Have Different Reasons For Being Quiet.

Being Introverted Being Shy Not Same quiet

Introverted: Introverts don’t feel comfortable in large groups, and don’t like talking amongst a ton of people. But whenever they get to be in small groups, and with people they know and trust they thrive and open up. They feel way more comfortable in smaller settings, and that is why they tend to talk more. But when it comes to big crowds, they stay quiet.

Shy: Shy people have a lot going on in their minds, and they think about many things and have many strong opinions, but their shyness forces them to stay quiet most of the time. No matter how much they might want to express their views and opinions, they feel intimidated to do so.

4. Starting Conversations Is Not Always The Same Ballgame.

Being Introverted Being Shy Not Same conversations

Introverted: An interesting thing about introverts is that they are perfectly capable of initiating conversations, but they rarely ever do so. Initiating a conversation means the limelight and everyone’s eyes will be on them, and that is something they don’t really feel comfortable with. It is only in rare situations would you find an introverted person starting conversations all by themselves.

Shy: The thing with shy people is that they like interacting with other people, even strangers, but they want the other person to approach them and initiate a conversation. This does not stem from arrogance or a high-handed attitude, it’s just that they feel a bit intimidated with the prospect of going up to someone and just start talking.

5. They Have Different Ways Of Having Conversations.

Being Introverted Being Shy Not Same conversations having

Introverted: Introverts are famous for hating small talk, and it is truly something they run from. They would any day choose to have deep conversations, and conversations that will help them know a person inside out. Talking about the weather is not really their cup of tea, but talking about dreams, goals, mindsets, and how a person truly is on the inside – now that’s something an introvert always looks forward to.

Shy: Shy people, on the other hand, don’t find it particularly pleasing to express themselves by speaking their minds. Even if they have something major to say, they would much rather be quiet, than verbally express what is on their mind. Speaking their mind openly is a bit of a challenge for them.

Related: 19 Signs You’re an Introvert in a Loud World

6. Public Speaking Brings Out Different Reactions In Them.

Being Introverted Being Shy Not Same conversations public speaking

Introverted: Now, introverted people might not talk much in bigger settings nor do they always look to express their opinions everywhere they go. But interestingly, when it comes to public speaking they are sometimes the best people to go for. Introverts are sometimes even better speakers than extroverts and ambiverts, and that is because they are skilled at structuring their speeches and words in such a way, that it draws energy from their audience.

Shy: Shy people on the other hand don’t do so well with public speaking. The moment they are put on a stage and are expected to speak in front of hundreds of people, they start sweating profusely, get tensed up a lot, and have flushed faces. The whole prospect of standing up there and talking in front of that many people is enough to make them panic.

7. Their Party Personalities Are Different.

Being Introverted Being Shy Not Same conversations public party

Introverted: Introverts are often mistaken as shy people at parties because they don’t exhibit many facial expressions. You will normally find them in the corner of the room, quietly observing and analyzing everyone with a poker face. They are not the most animated and expressive people when they are at a party.

Shy: Whenever you put a shy person in an unfamiliar situation, they will feel enormously uncomfortable. Being surrounded by people they don’t know scares them and makes them feel out of place. Being in a party where they hardly know anyone is a sure-shot way of feeling awkward and uneasy.

Related: This Test Can Reveal Whether You’re Shy, Introverted, Antisocial, Or Just Hate People

So, now you know the differences between an introverted person and a shy person, and why it’s totally unfair to consider them to be the same. Which one are you – the introverted one, or the shy one? Let us know in the comments down below!

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