Introverts prefer quiet and solitude to a busy social life. Having an introverted personality can come with its challenges, but it also has its advantages, like creative problem-solving skills.

a woman spending time floating in a pool aloneShare on Pinterest
Gary John Norman/Getty Images

Your personality is more than just the behavioral choices you make.

Your genes are also involved and account for an estimated 50% of the factors that determine whether you’d prefer to be alone with your thoughts or out with a group of friends.

The dopamine system is one example. Introversion is linked to high dopamine, which means that social activities that increase dopamine can make you feel overwhelmed.

Gray matter volume is another way in which introverts differ from extroverts, specifically in the right amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus.

It may seem like the enthusiastic and action-oriented extroverts are the ones positioned for success. But both personality styles have important contributions to make, and there are benefits to being an introvert.

If you’re among the estimated 30-50% of people in the U.S. who are introverts, you may have already experienced some of the benefits.

Cognitive readiness

Introverts live with a higher level of cortical arousal, so it’s easier for an introvert to attain an optimal level of cognitive performance without much external prompting.

According to a study cited in a 2022 research review, some of the neurological differences between introverts and extroverts may be visible on an electroencephalogram (EEG).

One study found an association between weak and slow EEG readings and extroversion, with strong and fast EEG readings being characteristic of introversion.

Listening skills

An older study from 2012 compared the listening ability of introverts and extroverts.

The study found that the mean listening ability score for the introvert participants was 4.70, and for the extrovert cohort, it was 1.73.

Not only were introverted participants better listeners, but their listening ability increased along with their level of introversion.


A 2023 review examined the experience of introverts in the workplace. The review found that introverts had strengths over their extroverted peers in certain areas of self-regulation, including:

  • needing less social support to avoid burnout
  • experiencing less stress resulting from unexpected interpersonal interactions that interrupted their workflow
  • experiencing less disruption in auditory vigilance task performance in response to sudden workload changes


Creativity takes many forms and is more than just artistic expression. Sometimes, effective problem-solving results from a creative touch, and introversion can facilitate this process.

A small 2020 study assessed students’ creative thinking while solving mathematical problems. The study found that introverts scored at level 3 (creative), while their extroverted counterparts scored at level 1 (less creative).

Writing skill

Introverts may have an edge over extroverts when it comes to writing ability.

Possible reasons include:

  • a tendency to be careful with their work
  • the ability to concentrate more effectively while in solitude
  • an affinity for generating ideas

An Indonesian study from 2020 assessing writing ability in the context of English language learning found that students with introverted personalities had better scores in all tested writing aspects than those with extroverted personalities.

The following is a quick glance at the differences between introversion and extroversion.

avoidance behaviors, often connected to anxietyapproach behaviors, often associated with impulsivity
need to inhibit overstimulationa primary interest is one’s own mental self
inward turning of life energyoutward turning of life energy
prefers to learn independently or by reading, observing, or listeninginterested in other people
reflective and reservedresponsive
appreciates solitudesociable
prefers introspection and depthaction-oriented
less emotionally demonstrativelively and enthusiastic
less likely to share personal informationcarefree
prefers writing to talkingtalkative
prefers to learn independently, or by reading, observing, or listeningprefers to learn with peer interaction, or by engaging in learning activities
better reading comprehensionbetter speech comprehension
needs alone time to recover energy after social contactenergized by social contact
sensitive to punishment, and exhibits harm avoidance responsereward-seeking situations result in greater emotional response
may be prone to depressionprotective against suicidal ideation

While introversion comes with numerous benefits, there may be downsides, too.

People might see you as being aloof or even socially phobic.

The extroverts in your life may even wonder if you live with avoidant personality disorder (AVPD), which is not the same thing as introversion. People with AVPD avoid social contact because of low or injured self-esteem, whereas introverts seek solitude to recover from social exhaustion and recharge their social battery.

Introversion may also affect your cognition in certain situations.

Introverts may not have as much selective attention as extroverts in noisy environments. A 2019 study found that noise improves selective attention for extroverts, with more adverse reactions occurring for introverts.

An introvert’s memory and reading comprehension may also be adversely affected by noisy environments, according to a 2017 review.

In fact, the authors noted a linear relationship between a person’s degree of introversion and their ability to perform cognitive tasks through sounds. The more introversion a person experienced, the poorer their performance in a noisy or music-filled environment.

Personality may also impact mood. Research has found that introversion is more associated with depression and anxiety and that extroverted people tend to be happier.

Sometimes, it’s easier to recognize extrovert strengths due to their sociable and expressive nature, but there are pros and cons to both personality types.

As an introvert, you likely have good listening skills, problem-solving creativity, and a flair for writing. You may also experience some anxiety and difficulty concentrating in noisy environments.

You don’t have to force yourself to become extroverted in order to succeed. Instead, you can achieve your goals by leveraging the strengths that accompany introversion.