Introverts are often more comfortable in the company of an animal than with another human. Introverts and pets share a deep connection with each other, whether they are a dog lover or a cat lover.
But what is it that makes introverts and their pets so perfect for each other? It is because animals don’t judge us? They don’t make small talk? They are never fake with us? Or is there a deeper, more emotional reason for this?
The human-animal bond
Humans and animals have a profound emotional and spiritual connection that cannot be explained. Introverts and pets share, perhaps, the most sincere and honest relationship a human being can ever experience in their life. Spiritual teacher and best-selling author Eckhart Tolle believes dogs are “the Guardians of Being” and they give us the opportunity to connect with another being without any judgement and with an open heart.
Tolle himself shares a special bond with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maya. In an interview with Modern Dog Magazine, Tolle explains “To simply watch a dog without any kind of mental commentary, just tune in…there’s a link. Something else that’s very important for many people is they realize, consciously or unconsciously, that their dog is not judging them. For some people, it’s the only relationship that they have where there’s no fear and where they realize they are being accepted and not judged.”
He adds “I believe that dogs are keeping millions of people sane who would otherwise become deeply neurotic in our alienated world.” This is especially true for introverts. And it’s not just about dogs. Around one-third of cat owners tend to live alone according to a study. It was found that mostly single and unmarried women owned only cats. Perhaps this is why most people believe that introverts tend to be cat lovers. Although that may be true, the connection between an introvert and animals is not limited to dogs or cats.
A divine connection
Eckhart Tolle says “There are teachings that say every being is a spark of the divine of God. You can see it sometimes more clearly [in dogs] than in a human being because the human being has the veil of mind, negative emotions, and ego, and plays a role. I believe that dogs fill a vital function in the collective consciousness of humanity. I would call them “the Guardians of Being.”
Being an introvert myself and both a dog person and a cat person, I feel emotionally drawn to every animal I see or meet. I feel like there’s an instant connection and that we’ve known each other for a long time. If you are an introvert, then I am pretty sure you know what I mean. Michaela Chung, author and founder of Introvert Spring explains “Animals offer a kind of companionship that feeds an introvert’s gentle soul like nothing else. While people drain our energy by expecting constant conversation, animals replenish us by offering comfort beyond words.”
Introverts and pets are a perfect fit because animals instinctively know how to care and show affection to an introvert in the most genuine way. When an introvert gets exhausted after dealing with people throughout the day, their pets can help them feel replenished and recharged. “Our animal friends are just what the doctor ordered,” adds Michaela.
Real unconditional love
One of the primary reasons why introverts feel so connected with pets is because they allow us to experience unconditional love. Love that is free from judgement and based on unconditional acceptance of who we are. Our pets love have zero expectations from us, they are always happy to see us (even when we avoid them at times) and they love us for who we are deep down. They give us that unconditional love we so desperately seek and which is nearly impossible to find with another human being.
Introverts and pets have that special bond. A bond that you know will never break, even when you or your pet is not here anymore. A bond that truly lasts for all eternity. Mental health writer and researcher Amy Gardner explains “Your dog or cat doesn’t care whether you’re skinny, rich, athletic, or popular. He or she just wants you: your presence, your affection, your voice, and your touch… This unconditional love is so important to us that it can change our brain chemistry.”
Pets heal the introvert’s soul
Had a bad day at work? Had an ugly fight with your partner? Everything went wrong in the day? Struggling with self-love? Let your beloved pet soothe your soul. Every time I felt emotionally exhausted or just had a hard long day, my Labrador Buzo (RIP brother) would start wagging his tail the moment I entered my apartment and jump up on me, looking at me with his adorable eyes. As I sat down beside him and started talking to him about my day, I felt a relief I cannot explain. He was the friend and therapist I needed on a daily basis. All my pain and exhaustion would disappear within minutes and I would feel immediately energized. That is the connection between introverts and pets.
Michaela writes “You see, animals simply don’t do small talk. Otis the dog will never ask you how your day was, or what you did on the weekend. But his eyes will light up when you walk in a room. And he will stay by your side through good times and bad. Should you ever feel like opening up, he’ll perk his ears in your direction, and listen intently without ever interrupting you.”
The same thing goes with cats. When you really talk to them, they listen. In fact, it is the same with every other animal you can have as a pet – a rabbit, a hamster, a tortoise, a parakeet or even fish. “Their expectations are blissfully low. This is such a relief in the demanding, extrovert biased world we live in,” Michaela adds.
Read also: Can Pets Cure Us Of Our Illnesses?
Health, introverts and pets
Pet-owning introverts tend to be mentally and physically healthier than introverts who don’t have any pets. Amy Gardner writes “Spending time with a pet has been found to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and release chemicals that trigger relaxation.” According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), owning a pet can lead to a lot of health benefits. Not only do our pets increase our chances for exercising, they also help us to manage our stress and anxiety levels, depression and loneliness by offering us companionship.
“Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners,” explains the CDC. Here’s how having a pet can be beneficial for an introvert, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Increased opportunities for outdoor activities/exercise
- Increased opportunities for socialization
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased cholesterol levels
- Decreased triglyceride levels
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Decreased feelings of loneliness
“Many research studies show that animals really do help reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression in humans,” adds Michaela. In fact, research shows that animal interactions can help to reduce levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol. It has also been observed that pets can also “increase feelings of social support and boost your mood.”
A 2018 study has revealed that “exposure to pet therapy (PT) can reduce physiological and subjective stress and anxiety levels.” Another 2018 study by Helen Louise Brooks and colleagues found that “pets provide benefits to those with mental health conditions.” In fact, one 2019 study showed that interacting with a dog can significantly reduce anxiety and improve mood over time. The researcher concluded “the results of this study indicate that interacting with a pet dog considerably reduces anxiety and feelings of sadness and improves happiness scores.”
Read also: How Your Pet Provides Stress Relief
Why introverts and pets belong together
Now you already know that there are plenty of good reasons why introverts and pets seem to be the best of friends and companions. However, that’s not all. Here are some other simpler reasons why introverts share such an amazing connection with animals:
- Pets don’t like small talk just like introverts. Unlike most people, your furry friend will sit with you in silence without making it feel awkward for even one second. There is never any pressure to talk or fill the silence.
- Introverts and pets are great together because animals allow us to be who we are. They have no expectations from us and only want us to love them, give them lots of food and take them out for a walk.
- Your pet will never judge or criticize you. They will never tell you how you screwed up a certain thing or make you feel bad for being yourself. Even when you are at your worst, they will still love you.
- A pet is a great source for companionship and emotional comfort for an introvert. They don’t force us to go out and socialize nor do they surprise us with sudden gatherings. In fact, they offer us comfort and companionship when we are lonely, when we need it the most.
- Our pets are the best reason for us to go home. What more can you want other than knowing that your best friend is waiting for you to get back home and welcome you with all the love you deserve?
What pet should you get?
Introverts and pets are a great match. But not all introverts want a dog or a cat. If you are an introvert and want to bring home an animal friend to make your life more satisfying and fulfilling, then here are a few options that you can consider:
Yes, a dog is a man’s best friend. However, there are many breeds of dogs that an introvert can choose from. As an introvert, you want to pick a dog that is calm, cute, wants to play and will love you a lot. Here are a few suggestions for the best dogs for introverts from Elite Daily:
- 1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- 2. Great Dane
- 3. Alaskan Malamute
- 4. German Shepherd
- 5. Beagle
- 6. Poodle
- 7. Newfoundland Dog
- 8. Cairn Terrier
- 9. Basenji
- 10. Chihuahua
Introverts and cats are a bit of a cliché but that’s for good reason. Cats are independent, affectionate and loyal, just like introverts. However, they can also be mean and moody. “As there are so many cat breeds in existence, it’s tough to recommend anyone breed over the other. Plus, if you’re going to a shelter, chances are that the right cat will choose you – not the other way around,” explains an article in The Things.
Although they are not the most exciting pets to have around the house, they are rather laid-back and seek minimal attention. Turtles are great fun to watch and easy to have in the house. However, you do need to give special attention to their environment, especially when water is required.
Having an aquarium can be one of the most soothing experiences for an introvert. Although you can’t cuddle or play with your fish, they can be great fun to watch. All you need to do is feed them and keep the tank clean.
When it comes to introverts and pets, no list can be complete without birds. Birds can be excellent animal companions and are perhaps the only animals who can have an actual conversation with you. Senegal parrots can vocalize and speak like humans. They are also very friendly and form strong attachments with their humans. You can also opt for parakeets, finches, lovebirds, cockatiel, and canaries.
Apart from these, there are some other animals which an introvert can choose as their furry companions:
Every introvert needs an animal friend
Our unconditional love for animals is exactly what makes us more human. Introverts and pets are a match made by the Universe. “Animals touch the most intimate parts of our hearts: our need to nurture and protect, our need for companionship and love,” writes Amy Gardner. They inspire us to be better human beings and encourage us to reach deep within our hearts and souls.
However, Michaela suggests that “While our animal friends are essential, human connection is just as important for introverts.”
So go ahead and give your animal friend a hug. Both of you deserve it.
Read also: 7 Reasons It’s The Best Time To Adopt or Foster A Pet
Here is an interesting video that you may find helpful: