Contact us on 0131 215 1066
black suit

Search the website...



A recent article on the BBC Newsbeat highlights a designer's attempt to cater to the Introverts of our world with "Introjis".  These are Emojis for Introverts (if you are not sure what an Emoji is, think of the smiley faces people use on Facebook, Messenger or Emails to express an emotion).  You can see these emojis at the bottom of our article.  Here, we take a look at what it means to be Introverted...

It's not about being shy...

Many people use the word "introvert" to mean someone who is shy and reserved.  While it's true that some Introverts can be shy and/or reserved, when psychologists talk about Introversion, we are usually referring to how someone is energised. 

One of the most popular and influential measures of personality in the world is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®). This measure of personality is based on the theory that we each have natural personality preferences, and although we can operate in our non-preferred mode, it is usually draining to do so for a long period of time.  One of these domains is Introversion - Extraversion, which we'll explore below.

How we are Energised

According to this theory, Extraverts are energised by interaction with the outer world, and this tends to be where they prefer to focus their energy and attention.  Introversion is a preference to focus our attention on our inner world of thought, reflection and contemplation.  MBTI® theory suggests that there are 16 different personality types, and 8 of these will be Introvert preferences, 8 will be Extravert.  This means we need to be careful when making generalisations as there can be a lot of variation between types of Introvert.  However, there are some useful things to consider, particularly if you're an Introvert.

  1. Introverts are energised by time spent reflecting or processing.  This means that if they are engaged in activities that demand significant extraversion (e.g. being in an open plan office with many interruptions), they will soon find their energy levels plummet.  If your colleagues are Extraverts, don't beat yourself up for being different!
  2. Use this awareness to have strategies to recharge your batteries.  It might be a short walk (alone, or with another Introvert who is comfortable with silence!) at lunchtime is enough to refocus you and give you that boost you need.  Some like taking a book to a café or having a short walk around the block before going home, particularly if home life is busy or noisy.
  3. Introverts often go quiet when thinking.  This can be un-nerving for an extravert or can give the impression you are not interested in the conversation.  A useful phrase such as "I'm just mulling something over..." can be a real help.  
  4. Consider the balance of your day.  Before going into a meeting where you have to talk or network, try to recharge your batteries.  If you're with a goup of people and find it difficult to make space, then even going to the bathroom and taking a short break away from others can make a big difference.

It's not socially acceptable

A problem many Introverts will appreciate is that introversion is seen as less popular than extraversion.  Think of a typical job advert.  We expect to see something like "an enthusiastic, outgoing individual".  When was the last time you saw one that said "we are looking for a reflective, introverted person who likes to mull things over"?

Introversion can also appear selfish.  Even Introverts can feel guilty about taking the time they need to recharge their batteries.  Contrast this with the socially acceptable Extravert need to interact with others.  Yet as psychologists, we would not say that one is better than the other. Rather, they are just different, and we need to know when to use each one appropriately.  As the wise King Solomon once wrote,"There is a time for everything... A time to be silent and a time to speak."  Our challenge is discerning when to use our Extraversion and when to use our Introversion.  If we are not meeting our basic needs, we run the risk of burnout and will have less energy to give.

If you are interested in finding out more about Personality Types or would like coaching for yourself or your organisation, the Craigie Partnership can help.  Whether it is Personality Testing to help you choose a career path, or to play to your strengths at work or manage stress, we can help.  Visit our Occupational Testing page to see some sample psychometric reports:

You can get in touch with us by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling our reception team on 0131 215 1066.

 If you would like to listen to some our free talks on Personality, courtesy of our friends at Business Matters Edinburgh, you can do so here:

Here is the BBC article on "Introjis":

Email us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 0131 215 1066
Craigie Partnership, (Psychology & Coaching), Scott House, 10 South St Andrew Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AZ

Edinburgh Coaching Services
Careers & Coaching, Stress Management, Occupational and Psychometric Testing, Business Support & Employee Assistance.
Edinburgh Psychology Services
CBT, Therapy, Counselling & Private Psychology, Stress, Anxiety & Depression, Confidence Building & Self Esteem, Personal and Life Coaching
Copyright © 2015 - 2017 Craigie Partnership. All Rights Reserved.
 Website Designed and Created by Modern Website Design Hosted by CTECS Ltd

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site

EU Cookie Directive Plugin Information