On the surface, introversion, shyness and the plain loathing of people all look quite similar. Individuals in all three categories are equally unlikely to show up at a house party or join the glee club. But once you start looking deeply at each category, you realize they’re essentially very different from one another.
The term ‘shyness’ describes awkwardness and uneasiness around people. Unlike introverts, shy people don’t want to be alone. In fact, more often than not they’d love to bond with people but can’t get over the anxiety that comes up when they try to do so.
Cynicism, on the other hand, is the distrust and hatred of humankind. Misanthropists are often genuinely afraid that persons are out to get them. Like introverts, they feel calm and energized when alone – but for a completely different reason; they feel being alone is the only way to be safe.
And then, of course, we have introversion – a trait regarded as by a preference for ‘me time.’
Which one best suits you? Try the quiz on the following page!