How does one become an introvert? Are you born this way or did something happen in your life that caused you to retreat into yourself? Were you always an introvert?
Always been quiet and introverted. My parents found it frustrating. Sending me to my room or grounding never did any good. It was a minor inconvenience at most, but usually it was what I wanted anyway. Now I had an excuse to not be out and about and sociable.
I was always an introvert. My mom told me as a child I would play by myself in my room for hours and be completely and utterly happy and content.
In school was where I first met the challenges of being an introvert in a social world. The school work itself I loved and excelled at, but the social/group aspects I hated, failed miserably, and became the target of bullies.
I remember in high school a new girl started in the middle of the year. She sat by me in a class and I reached out to her to get to know her. Surprising for me, but I'm also empathetic. She and I were friends for about a month until she found other friends and moved on. She passed on this info about me to her new friends, and it got circulated around school. I "...was boring and didn't talk much." I never reached out to the new person again.
I'm pretty sure introversion came naturally, although I didn't always know what it was. I was taught to keep quiet by my parents and I'm an only child, so I quickly learned to entertain myself. I had friends, but was made fun of a lot when I was growing up so I distanced myself from most people. The older I got the more I realized that the majority of people suck anyway. Then add in depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD on top of it all now and sometimes I'd REALLY rather not even look at people.
When I am home, I am very much an introvert, I prefer my contact to be one on one or not at all. I don't need a lot of human interaction. When I am in a crowd i can be very much the extrovert and work the crowd. I don't have to be fully engaged with other people and can be happy just having another person in the room or house.
Introversion is a natural state of being. Estimates vary, but it is thought that about 40% of the population are introverts. Reality is that there is a continuum between introvert and extrovert and most people are somewhere in the middle.
We don't need the attention and social stimulation that extroverts do. We are not shy and are not afraid of speaking in public. It just has to be something useful to talk about.
I believe there's probably a nature/nurture component to introversion. I was shy as a child, but social in familiar surroundings. I also grew up in a large group of extroverts where one often had to struggle to be heard. But they, too, required time (albeit less than me) to recharge. I'm probably more ambivert in that I'm very comfortable on my own, but I can function in social and business situations when necessary.
I think we're born that way. Even as a child, I recall being more comfortable alone. Nothing is more socially challenging to me than having to go to a party. I've never really captured the dynamics of "group speak". I'm fine talking with one person, but if another joins the conversation, I shut up and drift away. I find that other people constantly interrupt or talk over me, and I don't have a loud enough voice to outshout them, nor do I want to. At any rate, as far as I'm concerned, 3 is definitely a crowd. Often even two is, when one of them is me. (Is I?)
Introversion is a personality trait that people are born with. In our western culture where it's all about how much you do and how social you are, it's largely misunderstood and looked at as a defect or weakness, when in fact it's not: in some other cultures it's actually considered an asset. The main difference between introverts and extroverts is that extroverts tend to regenerate their energy around other people, while introverts regenerate it alone -- doesn't mean they're anti-social, just means they need more downtime to regroup. It's also something that can be worked on to better manage and learn how to utilize. Some introverts can manage to become ambiverts; I'm one. It also exists along a spectrum, from very introverted to moderate, and the same with extroversion. Hence the use of the word ambivert, which is someone in the middle.