Spirit > Becoming > How to Know If You’re an Introvert or an Extrovert

How to Know If You’re an Introvert or an Extrovert

Learning whether you have mostly introverted or extroverted personality traits will increase your self-understanding and improve your relationships. Here’s one thorough “introvert-extrovert test” and two shorter personality tests to help you see where you stand on the introverted-extroverted scale.

These “introvert or extrovert?” quizzes not only reveal your primary personality traits, they also describe the most common signs of introversion. Some of these introverted personality traits are quite surprising.

For example, did you know that introverts take a long time to process and sort out information, and they dread returning phone calls? Introverts also don’t consider their casual acquaintances to be friends. The second introvert-extrovert test below includes a bit more information about what it’s like to be extroverted, so you can see the difference between the two personality styles.

If you’re asking “am I an introvert or extrovert?”, I have a feeling you have more introverted than extroverted personality traits. Extroverts don’t spend as much time contemplating their personalities or reflecting on their inner motivations, traits, or psyches. Why? Because they’re too busy partying and interacting with other people and seeking external stimulation! By nature, introverts are more likely to seek introvert or extrovert quizzes and really think about the results of the personality tests they take.

It’s not better to be either type of personality – though there are more extroverts in North America than introverts. Life is easier for people with extroverted personality traits because the world rewards extroversion. This is why Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone is one of my most popular articles.

Introvert-Extrovert Test #1

This “introvert or extrovert test” is the quickest and easiest. It was recently developed by Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.

This introvert personality test is modeled on a standard set of questions social psychologists uses to measure the “Big Five Personality Traits” of extraversion: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Answer True or False to the following questions:

  1. I don’t like to draw attention to myself.
  2. I start conversations with people I don’t know.
  3. I enjoy spending time alone with my own thoughts.
  4. I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  5. I tend not to assert myself.
  6. I talk to a lot of different people at parties.
  7. I’m a good listener.
  8. When I am around people for a long time, my energy fades.
  9. I don’t mind being the center of attention.
  10. I tend to think before I speak.
  11. I am comfortable being alone and like things I can do alone.
  12. I am the life of the party.
  13. I get bored when I’m by myself.
  14. I always feel comfortable around people.
  15. I don’t talk a lot.
  16. I try to keep in the background.
  17. I am quiet around strangers.
  18. I tend to want others to pay attention to me.

If you answered “yes” to questions 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 18 on this introvert or extrovert quiz, then you are more extroverted than introverted. Introverts don’t like to draw attention to themselves, and enjoy spending time alone. They’re good listeners, and they think before they speak. Introverts tend to be more comfortable watching than participating, and they are quiet in groups of people.

Extroverts, on the other hand, like to be the center of attention! They gain energy from being with people – the more, the merrier. People with extroverted personality traits enjoy being the life of the party and get bored when they’re alone. Extroverts like attention, and easily make conversation with strangers. They like to talk.

What is an Introvert?

You know you’re introverted if you get energy from spending time alone, enjoy your own company, and don’t mind long periods of silence. You’d rather be alone than in a group, and your favorite memories are with one or two people (as opposed to big crowds or at large parties). You prefer to watch from the sidelines rather than be in the spotlight.

“Introverts enjoy time alone, consider only deep relationships as friends, and feel drained after outside activities – even if they were fun,” says Marti Olsen Laney, author of The Introvert & Extrovert in Love: Making It Work When Opposites Attract.

Laney also says these famous female actresses are introverts: Gwyneth Paltrow, Helen Hunt, Meg Ryan, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Julia Robert, Michelle Pfeiffer, Candice Bergen, and Glenn Close.

Introvert-Extrovert Test #2

This “am I an introvert or extrovert?” personality test is from The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney.

Answer true or false to the following questions:

1. I like to have long, uninterrupted periods to work on projects, rather than small chunks.

2. I sometimes rehearse things before speaking, occasionally writing notes to myself.

3. I like to listen more than talk.

4. People sometimes think I’m quiet, mysterious, aloof or calm.

5. I usually need to think before I respond or speak.

6. I like to share special occasions with just one or two people, rather than have a big celebration.

7. I tend to notice details many people don’t see.

8. If two people have just had an argument, I feel the tension in the air.

9. If I say I’ll do something, I almost always do it.

10. I feel anxious if I have a deadline or pressure.

11. I can zone out if too much is going on.

12. I like to watch an activity for awhile before joining in.

13. I form lasting relationships.

14. I don’t like to interrupt others; I don’t like to be interrupted.

15. When I take in lots of information, it takes me awhile to sort it out.

16. I don’t like overstimulating environments.

17. I sometimes have strong reactions to smells, tastes, foods, weather, and noise.

18. I am creative and/or imaginative.

19. I feel drained after social situations, even when I enjoy myself.

20. I prefer to be introduced rather than having to introduce others.

21. I often feel uncomfortable in new surroundings.

22. I can become grouchy if I’m around people or activities for too long.

23. I often dread returning phone calls.

24. I like people to come to my home, but I don’t like them to stay a long time.

25. I find my mind sometimes goes blank when I meet people or when I am asked to speak unexpectedly.

26. I talk slowly or have gaps in my words, especially if I’m tired or if I’m trying to think and speak at once.

27. I don’t think of acquaintances as close friends.

28. I feel as if I can’t show other people my ideas until they’re fully formulated.

29. Other people may surprise me by thinking I’m smarter than I am.

How to score your “introvert or extrovert?” test results

Simply add up your “true” responses. The more “trues” you have, the more introverted personality traits or introversion signs you possess…

20-29 “true” responses means you’re a true introvert

Only deep relationships measure up as friendships and you use them to relax. You need to mentally rest throughout the day, even after enjoyable activities. Because you will draw a blank under pressure, prepare for meetings, talks, and even parties beforehand. Accept your nature and learn to politely fend off energy-draining people.

10-19 “true” responses means you’re both introverted and extroverted

You sometimes feel torn between the desire to dance in the streets and walk alone on the beach. Notice this, so you can keep your energy consistent. You judge yourself through your thoughts and feelings, and through others, leaving you with a broad view that is sometimes difficult to straddle.

1-9 “true” responses means you’re an extrovert

You relish variety, have lots of ‘close, personal’ friends and will chat with complete strangers. Your stimulation is all external, so you talk, think, and act quickly. As you reach midlife, however, you may need to take a break from the high life to reflect, even though it goes against your nature.

Here’s what author Susan Cain says about people with introverted personality traits:

“Introverts may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

If your career doesn’t suit your introverted personality traits, read Best Jobs for Introverts and Quiet People.

The Power of Introverts in a World of Extroverts

Introvert Test for Introverted Personality Traits

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is a fascinating book about introverted personality traits. Once you learn that you’re introverted (and I suspect you are, else you wouldn’t be searching for introverted personality tests 🙂 ), you should learn all you can about introverts’ characteristics and habits. The more you know about your personality, the better equipped you’ll be to live happily in this world of extroverts.

“I prefer listening to talking, reading to socializing, and cozy chats to group settings,” says the introverted Susan Cain. “I like to think before I speak (softly). Until a few years ago, I was terrified of public speaking, and I am still amazed that such a giant fear is conquerable. During the last few years, I’ve given hundreds of talks, a fun fact that would have astonished my childhood—even my 40-year-old—self.”

Cain adds that she dreams big and has audacious goals, and she sees no contradiction between dreaming big and having introverted personality traits. In her online article Quiet Revolution, she describes how and why she came to “shake the world gently” and create her online community of introverts.

Introvert-Extrovert Test #3

If you want to take another introvert-extrovert quiz, go to Psychology Today and search for the “Introversion Extroversion Test.” The quiz takes about 25 minutes, and the full introvert personality report costs money. I don’t know how much it costs or how accurate it is.

Am I an Introvert Extrovert Quiz
Introvert or Extrovert?

I haven’t taken Psychology Today’s introvert extrovert quiz, but it is designed to more completely assess and evaluate your tendency towards the outer world (extroversion) or your inner world (introversion). Whether you fall in the extrovert or introvert category (or somewhere between), your personality traits can have a significant influence on your career choice, relationships and overall lifestyle.

This test for introverted personality traits is made up of two types of questions: scenarios and self-assessment. For each scenario, you need to answer according to how you would most likely behave in a similar situation. For the self-assessment questions, you should indicate the degree to which the given statements apply to you. It’s important to be as honest as possible if you want to receive the most accurate results and get the final answer to your “am I an introvert?” question.

After finishing Psychology Today’s online “introvert or extrovert” quiz, you will receive a Snapshot Report with an introduction, a graph and a personalized interpretation for one of your test scores. You will then have the option to purchase the full results from Psychology Today. I don’t know how much this personality test costs or if it’s worth it, but it might give you additional insight into your traits.

Tips for Introverts: What to Do Next

1. Take time to reflect on the results of the tests. Did either of these introvert extrovert personality quizzes reveal anything new about yourself? I welcome your comments below. I suspect you already answered Yes to the “Am I an introvert” question before you took the first personality test.

2. Think about how you spend your days. Are you in a job that suits your personality and brings joy to your life? Read How to Find a Career for Introverts if you need to look for work that fits who you are. Yes, it’s scary and difficult to change your job or career. Yes, it requires strength and courage. And yes, it’ll be worth it – even though there are no guarantees!

3. Scroll through the comments from introverted people below. What I love best about reading their comments is learning how many introverts weren’t aware of their personality traits until they took an introvert extrovert quiz. Sometimes we need to be shown who we are, because we’re too close to ourselves to see clearly. Also, we’re surrounded by extroverts, which makes us feel weird and different if we’re introverted.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, give yourself permission to be who you are! If you don’t, who will?


Need encouragement? Get my free weekly "Echoes of Joy"!

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

280 thoughts on “How to Know If You’re an Introvert or an Extrovert”

  1. yes, i am introvert and it sometimes gets very difficult to survive for us in this world of extroverts.(I left my job and looking for a change but i think it is getting difficult to face interviews). People often judge us and sometimes even make stupid comments without understanding. but i love myself as i am and i don’t mind being a introvert.

  2. I’ve always known I was an introvert from my painful childhood experiences. I am in a career that requires me to be more extroverted and I am miserable. I am a preschool teacher and I love teaching the littles one and I feel that I am great at this part. My problem is that I am required on a daily basis to communicate with parents and other team workers. Most people who meet me for the first time think I am a snob. This is not the case at all. I am painfully shy and assume that if you don’t talk to me then you must not like me. It’s very very painful and exhausting to be me!

    1. I totally relate to your comment. I am unemployed right now because I want to change my career but being introvert makes it hard to job hunt, because that requires selling yourself which I hate doing.

    1. I’ve always known I was different mentally/socially from the people around me but never knew there was a specific name for it until I heard a rapper say he’s an introvert but it comes off as aggression. For some reason that has been a mission to find out it’s meaning. I’ve never been a people person unless it’s family or the people I grew up with. Talkative people irritate me to the point that I get very sarcastic and tell them since they like talking so much they should work for AT&T customer service. I’ve even been called Bipolar just because I like things the way I like/want them and I can be a lil OCD but always felt like know one understood me or was even trying to. I couldn’t have said any of this because I’d rather communicate through a text any day because at any time I don’t have to respond back without any confrontation