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Introvert, or Socially Anxious? What’s the difference?

Is being an introvert the same as being socially anxious? Is there a difference between the two?

Are you an Introvert, or Socially Anxious? Are both these terms the same or different?

These two terms are often replaced by one another and most often used out of context. While initially social anxiety and introversion can seem very similar because they contain many of the same signs. However, these two experiences are not the same and have less in common than what people might assume.

Each of these terms is unique and have their own unique characteristics. They are not interchangeable and are something that can be ignored.

What does Introvert mean?

The word introvert traces its root back to Latin, where the word “intro-vertere” translates into “turning inward” in English.

Introverts get their power fuel from inside themselves.  As an introvert, one thrives in solitude. To them, it’s tempting to relax and unwind on their own, so in most cases, they often try to segregate their own selves at the expense of others.

They have a great relationship with their inner selves and have great conversations with themselves. But this is not to say that they will not talk to anyone else or won’t go out in public. It is just that they really feel comfortable and serene on their own.


What are the signs that you might be an Introvert?

  • It is draining to have certain social interactions

  • Want to work alone so it is easier and comfortable to focus on the task at hand

  • You want to spend time with a small group of close friends instead of hanging out with a crowd

  • Wanting to daydream the day away or wanting to spend a considerable amount of time with your thoughts

  • Comfortable with writing about your thoughts rather than speaking

  • Wanting things to have an emotional or sentimental value.

Social Anxiety

While being an introvert may sometimes have a little body chemistry involved, being socially anxious absolutely is related to the chemicals in the body. Social Anxiety is a mental health condition!

According to counsellor Laura Albers, who is the owner of Albers Mind and Body Wellness,

 “Social anxiety is driven by fear and gets in the way of living your life. You will avoid or leave social situations for fear of judgement by others or desire to avoid possible embarrassment or feeling awkward. With introversion, there is simply a preference to unwind in more solo, often quiet activities.”


Social Anxiety is the hesitancy, or fear of social situations, and rears its head in times like these:

  •    When it’s your turn at public speaking

  •   When you have to attend a meeting or class

  •    When you might have to meet new people

  •   Or when you have to Attend an event or social activity

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  •    When on a phone call with a stranger

  •    When you might be asked to express an opinion

   Social anxiety occurs when you feel like you might be judged, or perhaps scrutinised, or maybe rejected while in a social setting.


Here’s a quick wrap of the difference between being an introvert and being socially anxious!

  • While Introverts prefer staying in, it is a compulsion for Socially Anxious people

  • Introverts like having small groups of close friends and family, while it is a Herculean task for Socially Anxious people to make friends or have a chat with strangers.

  • While Introversion is a personality trait, social anxiety is a mental health condition (tratment with help

  • While Introverts only feel mildly nervous in a  social setting, socially anxious people might get actual physical symptoms in a social setting.

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