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.
7 Differences Between An Introverted Person And A Shy Person
1. Alone Time Holds Different Meanings For Them.
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.
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.
3. They Have Different Reasons For Being 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.