Introversion and social phobia are often confused into one concept. The manifestations seem similar: a person avoids communication with people and social events and prefers solitude to the crowd. Well, if you also like to spend time alone at home, then you can play blackjack online and have a good time without the stress of the crowd.
But in fact, introverts and social phobias have several fundamental differences at once. In this article, we will understand these differences!
Introversion is the norm, one of the main personality types. This is a stable trait that accompanies a person all his life (most often from birth) and accompanies all his life. And most importantly, introversion does not cause inconvenience to a person and does not interfere with his development and socialization.
And social phobia is a mental disorder from the group of anxiety disorders. This is not a personality trait, but a disease that causes discomfort in a person, interferes with a full life, and needs treatment.
When an introvert finds himself alone and is busy with something, he feels comfortable. Solitude gives him pleasure, fills him with energy, and helps him to relax.
A sociophobe strives for loneliness not because he craves it, but because he feels a painful desire to protect himself from people, dictated by anxiety, fears, and complexes. Therefore, a sociophobe often does not enjoy solitude, moreover, it causes discomfort. A person may have obsessive thoughts about his social inadequacy and inadequacy in his head.
An introvert refuses to attend parties and other events when he wants to be alone. He could go, but he doesn’t need to.
And the reason for the refusal of a sociophobe is fear. A person is afraid to feel close attention to himself, to get into an awkward or funny situation.
If an introvert refuses to communicate or go to an event, he stops thinking about it after a while, switching his attention to other things.
The sociophobe continues to keep the rejection situation in mind. He is visited by obsessive thoughts about a person or a company of people, and about what would have happened if he had not refused.
Despite jokes and stereotypes, an introvert is usually successful in social adaptation. If he needs to get something from society, he acts: freely communicates with people, goes to meetings, and participates in organizing and holding events.
The sociophobe is forced to refuse to communicate, even if his interests suffer at the same time.
Introverts usually have a narrow social circle. But these are stable social ties, with an open, trusting, and comfortable level of communication. With his friends, an introvert can relax, have fun, talk, get and give support and attention in return.
Sociophobes can also have a close environment. But an anxiety disorder prevents you from fully enjoying communication: a person experiences constant internal tension, he is haunted by obsessive thoughts.
Another interesting difference between an introvert and a sociophobe is the attitude toward public recognition.
An introvert does not feel the need for it. He is self-sufficient and satisfied with himself. He does not need recognition, increased attention, compliments, and ovations for self-affirmation, because he has a healthy self-esteem.
The sociophobe, paradoxically, craves recognition. It seems to him that a positive assessment of society will dispel his fears and anxieties, increase his self-esteem, and solve all problems. Therefore, despite the refusal of socialization, he may secretly dream of fame.
If an introvert realizes that his social skills are not good enough, he simply tries to develop them.
A sociophobe differs from an introvert by a painful craving for self-blame. He turns constructive criticism into reproaches and complaints.
At the same time, it is difficult for a sociophobe to overcome himself and start fighting the problem. Moreover, he tends to show “safe behavior”: hides his eyes, speaks softly, smiles ingratiatingly, etc.
It is important to understand that social phobia is not weakness, cowardice, or lack of willpower. This is a serious mental disorder, and a person with it needs support and competent treatment.