Difference Between Introversion and Social Anxiety

For most it is easy to label people who are different or do not fit popular ideas and expectations of how to act. When people are tagged, categories are formed between which some fit and others do not. For example, those who are not calm and do not interact much with others are usually considered shy or introverted; although it is also possible that they suffer from social anxiety. Difference Between Introversion and Social Anxiety

Shyness, introversion, and social anxiety are three different things that many often believe to be the same. While it is true that there are those who can be all three at the same time, it is important to keep in mind that this is not always the case.

If you have doubts about the difference between social anxiety and introversion or are simply looking for a little more information to complement what you already know, keep reading, since below we explain everything you need to know in around this interesting topic.


It is a characteristic within what makes up the personality of an individual. Almost everyone falls into one of two categories: introverts or extroverts (although there is also talk of the so-called ambivert). Those who score high in introversion are characterized by enjoying spending time alone and because they need to recharge once they have maintained social contact.

Introverts feel that social activities drain them of energy. They are not necessarily shy in front of people, although that is a common idea about them. Similarly, they are not scared by having to speak in front of a group or interact with others; But doing those things consumes a lot of energy and drains them physically.

Introverts tend to prefer to draw, read, paint, and write in their spare time; because all these things allow them to reflect and look within themselves instead of focusing on the outside and those around them.

Introverts generally tend to hang out or meet small groups of people and don’t necessarily like to be alone all the time. They prefer to hang out with friends they already know rather than large groups where there may be a few strangers.


On the other hand, social anxiety is a medical disorder that can affect anyone, regardless of whether they are introverted or extroverted. Although certainly this condition is more common in the first group.

Those who suffer from social anxiety are afraid of being judged for what they say or for their behavior . This fear makes them hesitate when speaking in front of other people or doing certain things. It manifests itself with symptoms such as sweating, tremors, and noticeable nervousness. The person may even become paralyzed for a moment due to fear.

Finally, it is good to clarify that social anxiety is a learned fear, while introversion is something you are born with. One of the roots of social anxiety could be the belief that you are not good enough and that if you talk or draw attention to yourself, all your flaws will be revealed.

As a behavior disorder, social anxiety can be treated with medication and behavior therapy. On the other hand, introversion has no “cure” because it is not a disease or condition that can or should be repaired; it is part of the personality.

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