Shyness or Introverted – Which Is It?


People often throw these terms around haphazardly as labels to either explain those around them that make them uncomfortable or to place on themselves when they have been labelled by others in the past.

But is there a difference between Shyness and being Introverted?

Shyness is a label that is most often associated with anxiety, phobias and fear associated with interpersonal relationships (strangers, superiors, friends or family)

Introversion is more often given to people who are not necessarily fearful or anxious about being around other people, they just tend to not have the same desire to be front and center or even interact as often.  They prefer their own time, like to think things through and enjoy different types of intellectual interaction more than joking or casual conversation.

I've had many people, after reading Attracting Greatness, write me and tell me they are very social 1-0n-1 with certain people in specific settings on limited topics.  For example, I've had young people tell me they are fine when talking to someone about a passion they have (music, education, a game, etc..) , but have no interest in talking to others about certain topics.

We are all the same in that way, we all would like to dominate the conversation, it just seems that those labelled extroverts tend to be more persistent and have generated the skills to dominate interactions more fully than introverts who's tendency is to walk away or avoid these situations altogether.

Why is it important to know the difference between shyness and being introverted?

1. It always helps if you understand what a certain label means so you can respond accordingly

2. If you do want to change an aspect of your life, dealing with a phobia, anxiety or fear happen differently than dealing with expanding your interests, communication skills or social skills

3. Understanding what makes those who assume they are not shy or are extroverted tick can help you understand how to communicate with the other half of the world…always a useful skill

If you are shy, are afraid to interact with certain people – you may want to read through this post "Stop Being So Shy…" to help manage that aspect of your life

If you are introverted, first know that you are not technically shy…that there can be advantages in expanding your interests and learn to direct interactions in the direction you would rather them go…but that you will not always get your way and so learning to work under those conditions can help you manage life that much better.


Do you consider yourself shy or introverted – or both?  What have you learned from this and other things you have read to help positively change your life?  Leave us a comment…keep the conversation going.

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Comments on Shyness or Introverted – Which Is It? Leave a Comment

January 6, 2013

Jamie @ 5:17 pm #

I think i'm half and half really, if I have to talk I can usually. I just feel intimidated by some people I guess, some people I have no problem talking to but others I just do not know what to say.

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