6 Things You Didn’t Know About Introversion for World Introvert Day

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Introversion for World Introvert Day


We sifted through decades worth of data on MBTI type to find some of the most interesting and surprising facts, statistics and tips about the Introversion preference. Just in time for World Introvert Day today! And now that you’ve already made plans to celebrate World Introvert Day, it’s time to learn something new. Here are six things you didn’t know about Introversion.

When we asked our director of research for The Myers-Briggs company why World Introvert Day is a big deal, he told us “although roughly half of us prefer Introversion, Western society is just getting to know what this dimension of personality actually means, partly because it’s more difficult to observe. The most developed parts of the Extraverted personality type are outwardly observable. For Introverted personality types, those aspects aren’t externally exhibited.”

While many parts of Introversion align with common perceptions, others are surprising. But the biggest takeaway is that Introversion is actually pretty complicated. And is manifest in all kinds of different ways.


Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about Introversion:


“Introversion” is made up of several distinct facets of personality

You may think of it as a single dimension, but there are actually many sub-dimensions that describe the complex nature of Introversion. Here are five*:

  • Initiating or Receiving
  • Expressive or Contained
  • Gregarious or Intimate
  • Active or Reflective
  • Enthusiastic or Quiet


Introversion in the workplace: slower to hit “send”, tougher to please

You’ve probably noticed that people who prefer Introversion take more time to respond in meetings. But did you know that this applies to written communication too? People with this preference usually take more time composing an email than those preferring Extraversion.

If you prefer Introversion and someone is expecting an email from you, experts recommend sending a ‘holding email’ to manage expectations while you gather your thoughts.

Furthermore, those with a preference for Introversion are 12 percent less likely to be satisfied in their job. And 20 percent less likely to be happy at work than those preferring Extraversion. While we don’t know exactly why this is, one reason may be that they’re less likely to have their voices heard and often quiet time to themselves is hard to find.


Some kinds of Introversion are common, some are rare

Men preferring Introversion make up 54% of the (male) population, but that’s only part of the story.

ISTJ preferences are the most common Introverted type for men, making up 16.4%, while INFJ preferences are only 1.3%, making them the least common.

What’s the difference?

Among other things, people with ISTJ preferences are usually practical, sensible, realistic and systematic, and others often see them as calm, reserved and serious. Those with INTJ preferences, on the other hand, are creative, visionary and idealistic, and are often seen by others as mysterious, intense and individualistic.

Making up 47% of the female population, Introverted personality types are slightly less common than with men, but every bit as varied.

INTJ preferences, the least common Introverted MBTI type among women at 0.8%, are typically rational, detached, critical thinkers with a penchant for conceptual, long-range thinking. They’re often seen by others as private, reserved and aloof. On the other hand women with ISFJ preferences are the most common Introverted MBTI type in the female population at 19.4%. They’re typically practical, realistic, cooperative and thoughtful, and often seen by others as quiet, serious, considerate and conscientious.**  

Pretty interesting, huh? Here are three more things you didn’t know about Introversion.


Views on spirituality vary by Introverted type

Those preferring Introversion also show significant variance when it comes to spirituality, depending on their type.

When asked if they believe in a higher spiritual power, of all those who prefer Introversion those with INTJ preferences are most likely to answer ‘no’ (23%) while those who prefer ISFJ are the least likely to answer ‘no’ (11%).***

To put it in perspective, a 2016 U.S. Gallup poll shows between 79 and 89 percent of Americans having a belief in God or a universal spirit.****


Introversion in relationships–is there an “obliviousness” index?

When it comes to love, we’ve all felt clueless at some time. However, the data on personality type shows that some Introverted types are less in-tune with their romantic partners than others. Oblivious could be a harsh term for it, but really we’re talking about combined awareness and empathy here.

Women who prefer INTJ are most likely to be satisfied in their relationship where the man is not satisfied (11%), while women who prefer ISTP, INFJ, INFP and INTP are least likely to be oblivious [0%].

Men who prefer INTP are the most likely to be satisfied in their relationships when the woman is not satisfied (33%), while men who prefer ISTP and INTJ are least likely to be oblivious to their female partner’s dissatisfaction [0%].***

Does it surprise you that the most “oblivious” group of men are 22 percent more likely to be clueless than their female counterparts? Don’t answer that. 🙂


Many incorrectly GUESS their own personality type

Curious about what Introverted type is most likely to guess their type correctly, and what type is most likely to guess wrong? Of the eight types of personalities with preferences for Introversion, those preferring ISTJ are mostly likely to estimate their type correctly compared to their official MBTI results (and do so 55% of the time).

Conversely, when taking the official MBTI assessment,  those with preferences for ISFP are least likely to be able to estimate their actual MBTI type (estimating correctly only 25% of the time).

So what do those who prefer ISFP often think their type is? They often mistake their type for ISTP (7.5% of the time) or INFP (7.1% of the time).

What’s the cause of getting the wrong MBTI type? There are many reasons, including not being in the right mindset, answering questions specifically to a given environment like work when that’s not your “shoes-off self”, or maybe you didn’t know about Introversion or Extraversion or Myers-Briggs theory at all.

But one of the most common reasons for getting the wrong MBTI type is taking a fake assessment.

Unfortunately these abound on the web (some using the Myers-Briggs name and some sneakily alluding that they are the Myers-Briggs assessment). They usually don’t have any links to their research or validity or reliability statistics on their website. And a lot of the time, people don’t even know they’re not taking the real, validated Myers-Briggs assessment. 

The authentic, scientifically-validated MBTI assessment is only offered through an MBTI certified practitioner (online through the Elevate or SkillsOne platforms or via paper & pencil) or at www.mbtionline.com