“I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert”
If you’re feeling like you’re not sure why “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert” you’ve come to the right place to get a better understanding of what’s happening and why. Also, what you can do next to feel potentially better.
Now, it’s important to distinguish between what introversion is and being shy or just needing practice. Introversion is a personality trait that allows a person to focus more on internal feelings and less on stimulating experiences.
According to research and popular opinion, introverts make up an estimated 25% to 40% of the world’s population. However, the world still has negative thoughts about who introverts are. For example, introverts come in many types, but many widely think they’re categorized into 4 types:
Social introverts: Prefers small vs. large groups of people, and a quiet night at home over a night out.
Thinking introverts: They spend a lot of time thinking, and are introspective and creative.
Anxious introverts: Feel unsettled or nervous around people during social interactions.
Inhibited introverts: They overthink and spends a large amount of time considering a decision.
The psychologist, Jonathan Cheek, who teaches personality psychology at Wellesley College, argues that some introverts are actually a combination of all of the 4 types — instead of identifying as just one.
If you feel you’re an introvert, it’s important for you to identify and accept who you are. Being an introvert is not a bad thing but being aware of who you are will help you manage your daily life as you can make your introversion a strength.
Now, let’s dive into some additional reasons you used to be an extrovert now you’re an introvert.
Reasons “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert”
Watch a quick video below
#1. You’ve always been an introvert, but just realizing it
First, ask yourself if you’ve always had introverted tendencies. If you really think about it, you might realize you’ve always been somewhat introverted, but you’re finally aware of that part of your personality. Also, now it’s stronger than it has been compared in the past. As we change so don’t our personalities. We’ll talk more about that below.
Or, a friend or family member might have said “You’re more quiet and introverted.” Now, you’re asking yourself, “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert”. Why?!
Sometimes we just label what we feel or how we act until someone tells us. For example, if you’ve never enjoyed small talk, or you get exhausted from specific social events, even if you enjoy many of those situations, you probably are an introvert. Or, you have some of the behaviors. Such as getting energy from spending time alone, enjoying close friendships, thinking deeply about decisions, and you’re somewhat shy.
While it happens often, we don’t always get to know ourselves until we’re mature adults. Many people grow up thinking there was something wrong with them when there really wasn’t.
We all have different personalities and people don’t need a reason to want to be alone and it’s still possible to be thoughtful and intelligent even if you don’t always want to talk.
#2. An introvert can also have extrovert characteristics
As you continue reading, you’ll understand that it’s very possible to have introvert and extrovert behaviors. According to Scienceofpeople.com, they define this as someone who is an ambivert.
“An ambivert is someone who has both introversion and extroversion qualities and can flip into either depending on their mood, context, and goals.”
Ambiverts have also been called:
- Outgoing introverts
- Antisocial extroverts
- Social introverts
Ambiverts can be flexible in how they socialize and react to people. Depending on the social situation, the mood, and who they’re around, someone who is an ambivert can flip a switch and turn their personality into an extrovert, or when tired, in difficult moments, and around toxic people, ambiverts can switch into introversion. This sounds like a superpower!
Many people don’t realize they have ambivert powers, which is why “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert”.
Keep in mind, that our personalities fall on a spectrum, especially introversion. Where do you think you fall? See below.
#3. Maybe you’re becoming more introverted with age
According to Susan Cain, in her a post she wrote on Quiet Revolution, Cain confirmed, “We act more introverted as we get older. Psychologists call this “intrinsic maturation.” It means our personalities become more balanced “like a kind of fine wine that mellows with age,” writes Cain.
Other research shows that our personalities do undoubtedly change over time, and it’s usually for the better.
For example, we become more emotionally stable, agreeable, and moral as we grow up, with the largest change in agreeableness happening during our thirties, and continuing to improve into our sixties. This can be a very possible reason you’re now realizing, “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert”. Research psychology backs this up!
“Agreeableness” is one of the traits measured by the Big Five personality scale, and people who are high in it are warm, friendly, and optimistic.
“High levels of extroversion probably help with mating, which is why most of us are at our most sociable during our teenage and young adult years. But when it comes to keeping marriages stable and raising children, having a restless desire to hit every party in town may be less useful than the urge to stay home and love the one you’re with.”
#4. You’re choosing who gets your energy more often
It’s very important as you mature as a person to think more thoughtfully which people deserve your social and mental energy. In the past it’s possible you’ve given a lot to people who’ve drained it but now, you’ve realized you’ve been giving away your mental health and happiness.
But now, you’re setting boundaries, and have moved on from emotionally draining people, and exhausting social situations. That’s OK!
Many introverts and people in general are more intentional about who and when they give away social energy. Also, introverts don’t need a a lot of friends to feel good, prefering one or two close friendships, but have many acquaintances.
Introverts are often criticized for not attempting to make more friends, and are often viewed as lacking social skills. However, this isn’t always true, they’re just more intentional with where they put their energy.
Be more intentional!
#5. Deep conversation is more satisfying than small talk
The changes you’re experiencing, “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert”, could be again, you’re preferences are changing. You might prefer to have deeper conversations or to talk about something more meaningful. In addition, many people believe deep conversations is actually good for humans, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert.
Also, maybe you’re not good at small talk. Or, at least not yet. There is a misconception about small talk and you can use it to get to “the good stuff.” The deeper conversations where you really connect with people. This is where you may thrive and prefer to direct conversations.
But, like we’ve said before, personalities change over time or you’re just a bit rusty when trying to socialize. That’s OK! We have a course for that if you’re interested. Check it out here.
#6. Traumatic or impactful events can change you
Yes, it’s true, many types of emotional trauma can cause a person to become more introverted. Even something as small as loud noise can change the way that someone acts.
Roland Bal says, the culture and the society you grow up in, and the character of your parents and siblings, certainly play a role. Particular traumatic experiences “cement” our pathway towards becoming an introvert vs extrovert.
In addition, if you grow up with introverted parents and you saw how they acted, set boundaries, and socialized, you’ll likely have similar patterns. Being introverted develops over time and can be greatly influenced by the environment.
If you feel you need to talk further about any traumatic events in your life seek help. Please review how you can find a therapist here.
#7. Depression can be holding you back socially
Some research seems to suggest a possible connection between introversion and depression. Research from 2001, Trusted Source suggests introversion may play a part in the development of depression in the presence of other factors, including:
- Greater sensitivity to feelings and emotions Neuroticism, a personality trait linked to a tendency toward negative or distressing feelings.
- Contrary to what some people might suggest, though, this link doesn’t mean you should try to change who you are. Introversion is a personality trait, not something you need to fix or improve.
A 2009 study Trusted Source, suggests people with major depression and lower levels of extroversion are more likely to also have social anxiety.
If you’re feeling depressed seek help. Please find a therapist or find one here.
The website Introverdear talks more about mental health below and how introverts can become depressed based on societal pressure.
#8. Recently, you’ve needed more time for yourself
For introverts, being alone is like food, sleep, or any other type of replenishment — you can’t go too long without it.
If you’ve been feeling anxious, tired, or the small things in life seem too big to complete, you might just be needing rest and alone time. This can cause you to retreat to a quiet place and not make social plans.
Remember, this is OK, and there isn’t anything wrong with you. Our personalities and lives change and our body and minds adapt.
Keep in mind that even if you’re having trouble feeling inspired at work or that upcoming lunch date has you feeling exhausted rather than anticipatory, these are signs just need some alone time. This is ok, ,and a reason “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert!” We change and also our energy can be depleted by oher daily activities.
When you’re mentally and emotionally drained, it’s common to lose interest in things you normally enjoy, even when they’re social events.
#9. You’re compatible with your friends anymore
If you’re feeling like you’re not an introvert, maybe it’s not that you’re less social, but it’s more about the friendships you’re involved in.
We all outgrow people and you need to meet new people who stimulate your mind, and who have more common interests. Here is a post that talks about how you might have outgrown your social circle and what to do next.
#10. It might be that you’re just shy and need practice
We all get a bit rusty if we don’t practice something consistently. Especially in today’s world, we can easily avoid socialing with people and can get hard to push yourself to go to a new social event. So, learning how to socialize is important.
But, you might be saying, “I don’t know where to start” or “I don’t know how to socialize” or “I don’t know how to act in social situations”, then you’ve come to the right place. Check out our post on how to socialize better, and you can use today or our course on taking conversations and socializing to the next level.
What you can do right now
Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, social blueprint, and more). Prepare more when you go out to socialize. We think if you join our community or read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “I used to be an extrovert now I’m an introvert!”
But you’ll feel more confident, and prepared and you’ll know what to do next, especially, when it comes to socializing.
Or, check out more resources below!