What is the Most Introverted Personality Type?

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on September 15, 2022
Categories: Myers Briggs, INFP, INTP, ISTP

There are eight Myers and Briggs personality types who classify as Introverts and all share certain essential characteristics.

For example, all can become stressed and de-energized by excessive socializing (as they define it). If they are surrounded by people for too long, and especially if they’ve been active participants in the conversation, they will need to escape eventually to relax and renew their depleted emotional and psychological reserves.

Another shared trait is the Introvert’s universal need for contemplation. Introverts prefer to think things through and choose their words carefully before speaking, since they don’t like to share their ideas unless they’re well-developed.

But despite the overlap, there are shades of difference that separate the introverted personalities from each other. The other three functions in each type influence how the introverted function is expressed, leading to variations in levels of introversion that make it possible to ask a most intriguing question: what is the most introverted personality type?

While there are undoubtedly variations within each type, there are some types that seem to be a bit more engaged with or dedicated to their introversion than others. With this in mind, here are the top three candidates for the most introverted personality type.

Candidate #1: The INFP

Introversion comes naturally for the ultra-sensitive and relentlessly creative INFP. The introversion is finely-honed by their Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving functions, which give them an integrated package of personality traits that steer them toward a commitment to silent reflection and a deep inward focus.

A significant aspect of the INFPs’ introversion emerges from their creative nature. Whether through artwork, music, poetry, fiction and non-fiction writing, stage performance, or some combination of the above, the INFP enters into an inner dialogue with reality that sees them constantly trying to comprehend it, engage with it, and shape it in ways that are unique and insightful. They are disturbed by suffering, both their own and that of others, and they unleash their creative imaginations to understand its roots and articulate their most inspired solutions in relatable forms. This reliance on creative imagination for problem-solving inevitably takes them inward and to quiet locations where they can develop their ideas in peace and without distraction.

In addition to their immersion in their creative sides, another major factor that keeps INFPs in the “most introverted” conversation is how comfortable they are in their own skin.

INFPs value their own introversion. They don’t see it as a characteristic they wish they could change. They see their introversion as a desirable trait, one that others would do well to appreciate. They feel Introverts have a lot to offer in a world that is desperately in need of people who will listen rather than pontificate, empathize rather than judge, enjoy quiet spaces and places enough to want to preserve them, and will step back from the debate when things get too heated and personal conflict seems ready to break out.

None of this is to suggest that INFPs live without regret. There are times when they wish they’d stood up for themselves more forcefully, or hadn’t been so quick to keep silent about their opinions when they felt others might disagree. But in the end they believe the good of their introversion outweighs the bad.

Candidate #2: The INTP

It is often said that Introverts live inside their own heads. But this really isn’t true for Introverts in general. Introverts are classified that way because they frequently need to get away from people for a while, to refresh after a period of socializing or to unwind and relax if they’ve been overstimulated by loud, jubilant, or active environments.

With that being said, there is in fact one type of Introvert that does live inside their own heads to an extraordinary degree, and that is the INTP. For the INTP an inward focus isn’t just a preference, it is an absolute necessity if one wants to analyze events rationally, logically, and in a complex and multilayered manner. It is critical from their perspective that they devote themselves to this approach, which is the only one they trust to provide them with salient insights.

The INTP is always seeking answers to questions like: Why did this happen? Where is this all leading? Where do we go from here? They are among the most reflective and analytical types, and because they’re true Introverts, all the hard work goes on inside their own minds. They don’t work out problems through vigorous conversation, like extraverts, but will only enter those conversations if they feel like they’re ready to offer an effective solution or a trenchant analysis.

INTPs are aware that they spend a lot of time separated from others through their own choices. They may make an effort to break out of their self-imposed, intellectually motivated exile from time to time. But these introverted thinkers can’t be immersed in a social environment for long without experiencing an overwhelming urge to retreat for a while to think about what they’ve overheard or been told. Introversion is actually a convenient quality for INTPs, who can only flourish when they have plenty of time to analyze every angle of every problem or complex situation that might arise.

Candidate #3: ISTP

Suppose you’ve been told about an introverted person whose ultimate dream is to get off the grid, build a log cabin somewhere in the forest, and stay there for the rest of their days, enjoying the solitude while living off the land. If you guessed that individual was an ISTP, you’d have an excellent chance of being right.

It isn’t that ISTPs are reclusive. They just love a challenge because it tests their ability to come up with innovative plans and solutions all on their own. They are independent in both their actions and spirit, and they thrive in situations where they can manage their own lives and make their own decisions. ISTPs don’t feel separated from other people, but they do feel a need to carve out their own unique paths, which does create some distance that can affect their social relationships.

Known as the Craftsperson, the ISTP is very much grounded in the real world. Their focus is on the here-and-now and on what needs to be done today, and in many instances their concentration is so intense that they will inadvertently freeze other people out as they attempt to accomplish their chosen task.

The ISTP combines spontaneity with pragmatism, and as they gain experience in any field or gain expertise at any activity, they tend to become passionate about furthering their knowledge and honing their skills in that area. The Introvert in them comes out when they choose to go off to work on their latest hobby, project, pastime, or initiative instead of hanging around to socialize with friends or family members. Consequently, people who know an ISTP well may perceive them as someone who is frequently withdrawn, distracted, and ready to leave at a moment’s notice, as their priorities don’t often include time for a lot of conversation.

As Sensors, they are highly sensitive to the surrounding environment, and as Thinkers they need to step back and take time to evaluate, analyze, categorize, and conceptualize before they take action. Combined with their introversion, this mixture of traits can put the ISTP on a relatively isolated life path.

And the Winner Is …

So what is the most introverted personality type? In truth there is no definitive answer to this question, at least not one that will satisfy everyone.

One person’s social interactions might cause them to lean toward the INFP as the most introverted personality type, while someone else might know an INTP who they swear is the most introverted person they’ve ever known. And those who are self-evaluating may be convinced their personality type is the most introverted, even if they aren’t an INFP, INTP, or ISTP.

Probably the best that can be said is that it is easiest to make the case for the INFP, INTP, or ISTP as the most introverted personality type. Some may not be convinced, but in this type of discussion achieving 100 percent consensus is always going to be impossible. 

Nathan Falde

Nathan Falde has been working as a freelance writer for the past six years. His ghostwritten work and bylined articles have appeared in numerous online outlets, and in 2014-2015 he acted as co-creator for a series of eBooks on the personality types. An INFJ and a native of Wisconsin, Nathan currently lives in Bogota, Colombia with his wife Martha and their son Nicholas.

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

Comments

Joel Quintillà Pujolà (not verified) says...

I would like to say that I think that all the people would say that his personality type is the most introverted.

For them it wouldn't mean if it's on the top list, because they would say this is false.

Am I Wight or Wrong about what I think?

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