We all get shy at times. It happens when we’re in a large group of people, or in the presence of a bunch of extroverts. We feel quiet, reluctant to be social, and like we’re speaking to a room full of people. However, being an introvert takes it to another level. The definition of an introvert is somebody who thrives off being alone, who has to take time to recharge after being in people’s company for too long, and often feels anxious about meeting new people. Being around people tends to sap the energy out of introverts, who are generally quiet people. It’s the complete opposite of being an extrovert, in other words. But how do introverts react with social contact when it’s in their personality to withdraw? Here’s how to know if you’re an introvert:

You don’t like making small talk

Conversation feels a little pointless if it’s not going anywhere. Small talk makes you feel as though you have nothing real to say to the other person. If someone is speaking for a long time about nothing, you find yourself switching off. You’d much rather have an in-depth conversation than a really meaningless one about the weather, which is classic of most introverts. You may even prefer a comfortable silence or a quiet moment to making chit-chat about nothing in particular – it just puts you on edge. When introverts talk to extroverts one on one, they tend to be happy because extroverts really bring them out of their shells in social situations.

You stick to your own crowd

You hate mingling at parties. You don’t want to get drunk with strangers you’ll never see again. You don’t work that way.  You would much rather talk to the friends you already have, and stick to them like glue. You’ve already got your crowd – why would you need anyone else? That’s how to know if you’re an introvert for real. Even when you’re with people you like, introverts feel like their energy has gone by the end of an interaction.

You’re uncomfortable with being around new people

You don’t know them well enough to discuss something on common ground, so you are forced to resort to small talk. You feel like you are constantly annoying the other person, when they’d rather be talking with one of their friends. You’ll never see this person again so what’s the point?

You find it hard to communicate if you have no common ground

You’ve finally talked to a person for a bit, and its bad news. You don’t have anything in common. You can’t think of anything to say to them because the topics you like are different to theirs. You feel like it’s hard work just being around them. The conversation seems pointless when you can’t seem to agree on anything. There’s no way you’d ever put yourself in this position voluntarily.

You’re happy to be alone for a while

You don’t have a problem with spending some quality me time with yourself. Unlike an extrovert, alone time isn’t bad. In fact, you like it. You’d happily go to lunch on your own, or spend a Friday evening alone in front of the TV. It’s not that you’re unsociable. You just take time to be sociable with just yourself.

You can address a crowd, but not mingle with them

You’d rather have a prepared speech and address a mass of strangers than have to speak to each of them individually. You’re more uncomfortable performing in front of people you’re already friends with in case you mess up. With a room of strangers, what does it matter?

You’re drawn to extroverts

When it comes to choosing your pals, you find you’re drawn to people who are more outgoing than you. They bring you out of your shell a little, and keep you on your toes. They also hold up conversation well, and are always there to pick it up if it falls flat. You find introverts too quiet to get along with them well, and it feels like more effort to get them to talk, so it’s easier to be with the extroverts.

You don’t enjoy phone calls

Phone calls and facetime make you vaguely uncomfortable. You’d much rather hang out in person than over a device. You don’t mind silences when you’re with someone in person, but over the phone, it makes you anxious and stressed. If you’re forced to contact someone via a phone call, you really want to end the experience as quickly as possible.

You plan your conversations ahead of time

It doesn’t tend to be a word by word script layout, but before meeting up with someone, you often consider what topics you can cover with them in conversation. You work out what topics are suitable so you don’t mess up, especially in the presence of someone more confident or an extrovert. It just makes you feel more prepared when you’re heading out.

You feel the need to cancel plans more than most – how to know if you’re an introvert for certain!

When me time calls, you just have to cancel plans and take some time alone. It’s the ultimate sign of an introvert! You want to really get in contact with the part of your personality that screams ‘leave me alone!’ so that you can get some peace and quiet!