Unlike social introverts, anxious introverts may seek out solitude because they feel awkward and painfully self-conscious around other people, because they’re not very confident in their own social skills. But, often, their anxiety doesn’t fade when they’re all alone. This kind of introversion is defined by a tendency to ruminate, to turn over and over in their minds the things that might or could or already have gone terribly wrong.
Another word for this one is reserved. Restrained introverts sometimes seem to operate at a slightly slower pace, preferring to think before they speak or act. They also might take a while to get going — they can’t, for instance, wake up and immediately spring into action. Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running contains a passage that I think neatly illustrates the restrained introverts, when he discusses how it takes his muscles a while to warm up when he starts to run. “When I put on my jogging shoes in the morning and set out, my feet are so heavy it feels like I’ll never get them moving,” he writes. He says it’s the way his mind works, too: slow to get going. Murakami, I would bet, is a restrained introvert.
Originally appeared on IHeartIntelligence.com