How Many Types of Introverts Are There - and Which One are You?18 March 2022 / By Cianna Garrison Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on March 18, 2022
Introverts aren’t the mythical unicorns that exist in a world designed for Extraverts; they’re a varied group of people with a broad spectrum of traits and strengths. You may know you’re an Introvert already or have an inkling you’re an Introvert based on their commonly associated traits. Quiet, thoughtful, aloof, stuck-in-their-head types—these descriptors for introverted personality types can be an endless loop that fails to paint the whole picture because not all Introverts are identical.
Just like the unique traits present in the 16 personality types, there are different types of Introverts, with varying characteristics that set them apart. If you’re wondering how many Introvert types exist and which one you are, get ready to find out.
The 4 Types of Introverts
The idea of categorizing Introverts into types isn’t new. The first person to develop the terms “introvert” and “extravert” was Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung, who also developed the foundation for many personality type theories today through his foundations.
According to Scientific American, boxing all Introverts into the same mold became a pain-point with psychologist J.P. Guilford, who, in the 1930s, didn’t think Jung’s concept of introversion fit everyone since his attempts to measure introversion provided him with varying degrees and factors. His findings surmised that psychologists needed to put more work in to pinpoint the true nature of the Introvert. And the argument between psychologists was to continue. The main point Guilford and other psychologists made throughout the decades was simple: Introverts were too varied to lump into one category.
The leading hypothesis of these different types of Introverts came when Jonathan M.Cheek, a Professor of Personality Psychology at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and two others, Jennifer Grimes and professor Julie Norem, presented study findings during the 2011 Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference. The study took a look at 225 female students’ answers to four specific Introversion categories, which Grimes’ centered her Master’s thesis around. Their 2014 research manual included graduate student Courtney A. Brown.
These four Introvert types are Social, Thinking, Anxious, and Restrained, represented by the acronym “STAR.”
A Social Introvert isn’t outgoing but prefers to keep their close circles small and intimate, with a select few people. This type of Introvert also loves being alone, so often, they prefer to be by themselves and don’t go out very much.
If you’re a Social Introvert, your ideal night is to stay in with a favorite movie, a glass of wine or tea, and a pizza, and no one else is invited. When you do go out, you’ll have a good time but daydream about what you’re going to do when you’re alone again. Social Introverts don’t have a problem connecting with others. Still, they prefer their own company above the company of others, which can make them appear aloof and unusual to more extraverted people.
Thinking Introverts spend their time reflecting on themselves, life, and the universe. They love creative activities and imagination above all else and enjoy meditating on the mysteries of life. Because of their rich inner life, Thinking Introverts often get lost in their thoughts and choose to unwind through creative pursuits like painting, journaling, or something similar.
If you’re a Thinking Introvert, you don’t mind being around people, but you prefer to keep yourself involved in creative, inward-looking tasks that focus on intellectualism, self-evaluation, and abstract thoughts, so sometimes it’s easy to forget to socialize. When you go out, you always go back to your Thinking world to rest and recharge your batteries.
Unlike Social and Thinking Introverts, Anxious Introverts prefer to avoid social gatherings because they feel uncomfortable and self-conscious. This discomfort is something Anxious Introverts feel around others, so they’re usually found spending time on their own at home.
However, if you’re an Anxious Introvert, you may feel uneasy even when you’re alone, thanks to your habit of ruminating on awkward interactions or how to improve your social life. An inner-dialogue at social gatherings is a commonplace event for you, which can make you even more nervous about how you’re perceived.
Think of a Restrained Introvert as someone who needs some time to prepare for the day’s activities, whether those are social, professional, or otherwise. This type of Introvert doesn’t welcome a fast-paced job or social event, and they won’t get up with a fresh vigor for the new day. Instead, if you’re a Restrained Introvert, you need time to prepare for what the day has to offer.
You’ll appear aloof but will eventually come out of your shell after spending some time around strangers. You will likely also speak in a slow and deliberate manner instead of saying the first thing that comes to your mind. Everything a Restrained Introvert does is thought-out beforehand, and they don’t like to feel rushed.
Which Type of Introvert Are You?
You can figure out which type of Introvert you are by discerning which one of the STAR types sounds most like you. You can also take the STAR test developed by Grimes, Cheek, Brown, and Norem, which is available here near the end of their preliminary research manual. There’s also another version online from Scientific American here, which might be a bit simpler and compares to other, reportedly average scores from the general population.
The questionnaire consists of 10 questions per type, and you answer them on a 1 to 5 scale of how similar a particular scenario is to your behavior. For example, when I took the test, my highest score was for a Thinking Introvert, and although I scored lower by a few points on each of the four categories, I identified the most with the Thinking questions.
My test scores were among the high percentile of averages in every category. It’s also important to point out that although Thinking Introvert fits me well, my answers were so close in each category I could almost be a melting pot of all four types. As with any personality test, you’re going to have some similarities and differences, and no one label explains everything about you because everyone is unique.
When you discover which type of Introvert you are, you may have a defining moment where you feel “seen,” or you may think, “I knew that already.” Whatever your reaction is, it’s always nice to learn more about your traits through an outside perspective of personality theory. Since personality theory is an ever-developing science, you may find even more information about introverted types in the future.
Whether you’re a Social, Thinking, Anxious, or Restrained Introvert by nature, you’re always in control of how you move through life.
Sanchi Rautela (not verified) says...
My name is Rautela study in class 6th c I am a type of introvert who don't like to talk with their friends and even they don't have their best friend and I like to be a person who don't have any relative any neighbour any friend I want to be a simple and private . it is very difficult for me to think that I should join my hands to greet someone aur I I should touch their feet it is very difficult for me