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Do you make decisions based on logic and reason? In other words, you let your head lead you instead of your heart. If so, then you might be experiencing introverted thinking.
Knowing how your brain processes information helps you understand yourself and the world around you better. In turn, this helps you be a better version of yourself.
In this post, we'll discuss what it means to be an introverted thinker, how it compares to extroverted thinking, and share 13 common traits of introverted thinking.
What is Introverted Thinking?
Introverted thinking is a judging and decision-making process. It relies heavily on reason and logic. Furthermore, it's very objective in its approach.
In other words, it's an internal framework of how the world works. An introverted thinker focuses inwardly and tries to classify what they have learned within the framework of things they already know. Thus, they place information into categories within the internal model that already exists in their head.
If the new knowledge doesn't fit within what they already know, an introverted thinker will have to re-evaluate their current system of knowledge to adjust to the new information.
Therefore, an introvert is constantly analyzing everything to see if it matches up with their understanding of how the world works.
Introverted Thinking vs. Extroverted Thinking
To better understand introverted thinking, it's helpful to compare it to its opposite- extroverted thinking. Extroverted thinking focuses outwardly. It looks for laws and rules within the world around them.
Therefore, an extroverted thinker looks for logic in the world around them. They seek consistency in the universe. Just like an introverted thinker, an extroverted thinker will process and categorize new information. The difference between the two lies in the point of reference.
Whereas the introverted thinker attempts to categorize information within their internal framework, an extroverted thinker attempts to categorize information within the systems that exist in the world.
Basically, one could say the major difference between introverted thinking and extroverted thinking revolves around the focus. Introverted thinkers will classify ideas and theories, while extroverted thinkers will focus on systems. As a result, introverted thinkers focus inwardly and extroverted thinkers focus outwardly.
How This Fits Into the 16 Personality Types
Introverted thinking was first outlined by Carl Jung in his 8 function types. For his model, Jung classified personality types as either introverted or extroverted. Then, he broke them down into sensing, feeling, thinking, or intuiting.
The 16 personality types, like the ones used in the Myers-Brigg Personality Test, keep the same four major types Jung used. Then, they took these and created 16 personality types and created an inventory.
The purpose of these types of personality tests is for you to know your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses. This information can help you in your career and relationships.
The purpose of such information is not to consider one type of personality better than the others. It's about knowing yourself and how you interact with the world.
13 Common Traits of Introverted Thinking
It's shocking how accurate personality tests can be. That's because each of the major functions, like introverted or extroverted thinking, has common traits associated with them.
To follow are 13 common traits associated with introverted thinking.
1. Making Decisions Internally
Some people might think that an introvert stays quiet on a subject, but this can't be further from the truth. When making decisions, they weigh the options internally. Remember, an introverted thinker processes information based on an internal framework, so they do their thinking inwardly.
They'll speak up once they determine the right decision to make. Until they've come to that conclusion, to them, there's nothing worth offering. Plus, they have to process the decision for themselves, and that takes inward focus.
2. Endless Curiosity
Introverted thinkers have to know how things work. They will take things apart just to figure it out. They enjoy learning new things for themselves, and they learn best by analyzing.
This works well for them when problem-solving and trouble-shooting. Because they want to constantly understand the world around them, they will attack a problem to fully understand what's going on.
3. Taking Time to Decide
Because they're analytical, an introverted thinker will want to consider all of the options before making a decision. They have to weigh all of the information involved before making a decision; Even then, they make still not be able to come to a decision. There's the uncertainty of whether or not they've considered every angle.
What if they make a decision, and they find out more information afterward?
An introverted thinker may often be accused of overthinking.
4. Using Precise Language
Because an introverted thinker strives to be objective, they will search out for the precise words to use. In fact, they may get agitated when people use terminology incorrectly.
Often, an introverted thinker will wait to say something until they've come up with the right words. It's been said of introverted thinkers that they don't say much, but when they say something it's important.
Also, an introverted thinker may appear to be argumentative because of this precise use of language. They will make fine distinctions that others may not pick up on, but to an introverted thinker it matters.
5. Sees the Interconnectivity of Things
For an introverted thinker, the universe is a web of knowledge. Therefore, they'll see connections that others won't see. Unfortunately, they may not always explain these connections so well to others.
This is because the introverted thinker's brain works like a grid. Everything is categorized and placed on the grid with accurate labels. In their mind, they see the connections between everything on the grid.
6. Everything is Relative to Their Experience
Since the introverted thinker focuses inwardly, they measure everything based upon their own experience. This leads to introverted thinkers thinking relativistically.
For an introverted thinker, there may be no “right way” to do something. Also, this leads to a rejection of universal truths. In other words, an introverted thinker won't accept something just because “that's the way it is”.
They have to discover the truth for themselves within their own experience. Therefore, they don't just accept something as fact. They have to experience it as fact.
7. Have an Inward Organization That's Not Always Apparent
All of this inward focus may make an introverted thinker seem disorganized outwardly. Because they are super-efficient, they may appear lazy when they are just efficient.
If an introverted thinker has already determined inwardly that doing something doesn't fit within their inner framework, they won't do it.
They know their reason for not doing something, yet they may not communicate that to others.
8. Removing Self from the Equation
Because introverted thinking is objective, an introverted thinker will remove themselves from the equation to be impartial. This can lead introverted thinkers to appear to not be speaking up for themselves when they're really being selfless.
9. Focus on Gaining Understanding
With the desire to learn, an introverted thinker will focus on gaining understanding. This desire may even override the need to get tasks accomplished.
Thus, while others may think that an introverted thinker may have not gotten much accomplished, the introverted thinker will feel accomplished because of what they learned from the experience.
Since an introverted thinker relies on an inner framework, they tend to be independent. They will need time and space to figure out something on their own. They're also independent in how they gather information.
This can be either strength or a weakness. As strength, introverted thinkers often come up with new theories because of their rich thought life and unique way of looking at things. On the other hand, this independence may keep them from asking for help when they really need it.
11. Abstract Thinking
Extroverted thinkers think more concretely. If it's a rule of law in the universe, then there's no way around it. For the introverted thinker, an existing rule or law presents something to explore in hopes of finding a loophole.
This can lead to abstract thinking. This type of thinking is very fluid. To the introverted thinker, another option can always exist.
Plus, the drive to learn more pushes the introverted thinker it deep thoughts on a subject.
12. Honesty to a Point
With so much emphasis on knowing the truth, it makes senses that an introverted thinker would tell the truth no matter what. Such blunt honesty can be refreshing, but it can also be hurtful when tact is required.
An introverted thinker doesn't waste time with softening the blow of a comment. The truth is the truth. Along with this, nothing is sacred. Everything is up for analysis.
13. Appreciation for Ideas
As stated earlier, introverted thinking focuses on ideas instead of rules. Therefore, an introverted thinker will show appreciation for ideas. They will listen to ideas, even ones that are contradictory. This provides an opportunity for discussion, which leads to learning.
Along with the idea that there's more than one right way, an introverted thinker also believes there's more than one side to a story. To an introverted thinker, these other perspectives need to be explored.
Final Thoughts on Introverted Thinking
As you can see, introverted thinking takes a holistic approach into processing information. An introverted thinker wants to take it all in, and then act.
Along with all of the different personality traits, there are strengths and weaknesses to introverted thinking. Knowing these helps you be a better version of yourself. Then, you can highlight the positives and work on the negatives.
Remember that in the end, there's no right or wrong way of thinking… it's just how your brain works. For more information on the life of an introvert, check out our 7 Signs Your Experiencing Introvert Burnout
Finally, if you want to identify YOUR personality type, then take one of these 11 personality tests to better understand what makes you tick.