Why Are Introverts Observant? (5 Obvious Reasons)
Oct 14, 2021
Introverts are people who prefer a calm, less stimulating environment.
They often feel drained after social interaction and need to recharge afterwards by being alone.
Since, I'm an introvert too, I can really attest to this notion.
Introspection is a way for them to regain clarity. In my article Why Are Introverts Good Listeners? (5 Comforting Reasons), we dove into different aspects which make introverts good listeners.
In that article, being observant was one of the traits closely related to great listening skills, but what makes introverts observant? Let’s inspect 5 reasons why!
5 Obvious Reasons Why Introverts Are Observant
1. Introverts tend to be observant, because they want to avoid being overwhelmed
It’s a known fact that the majority of introverts really struggle with maintaining the right balance of stimulation on a daily basis.
They can easily become overstimulated by external factors.
Loud noises, bright lights, human interaction or a chaotic environment. These are just a few examples of external stressors.
Then there’s the introvert’s inner world, with all the thoughts about the future regarding chores that need to be done, plans that need to be made and of course the accompanying emotions.
Since both the external and internal world can have a huge impact on the amount of stimulation that comes the introvert’s way, overstimulation or being overwhelmed always are lurking just around the corner.
Being overwhelmed is obviously very stressful and wouldn’t allow anyone to function properly.
Perhaps, not that visible to the naked eye, but introverts are very much actively avoiding the agonizing state of overwhelm on a daily basis.
One way they are successful in staying away from that stressful overstimulation is by being very observant.
Introverts tend to carefully watch how certain scenarios unfold before they immerse themselves in them, act or make a decision.
Making sure to consider many aspects and details so that their decisions are informed and accurate.
For example, attentively observing the company culture and working conditions at the beginning of a new job position to determine if it will be a healthy position for the introvert.
Or watching the underlying dynamics within a group of people at a social event.
Trying to determine the social rules and which people will be comfortable to talk to.
The introvert’s observation skills help create a sense of control in the ever overstimulating world.
Read my article Why Do Introverts Ignore You? (9 Shocking Truths) to get more insight in how introverts prevent being overwhelmed.
2. Introverts tend to be observant, because of their introspective nature
Introspection is the examination of one’s own mental and emotional processes (source).
Introverts are in varying degrees aware of the many intricacies that make up their inner world and personality.
They relish being caught in a daydream, where they imagine interesting possibilities, conjure up theories and play with creative ideas.
Contemplating one’s own thoughts and emotions, however, are in many cases not for the faint-hearted.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels
For instance, noticing negative emotions like sadness, depression, shame or guilt can be a very stressful thing.
Untangling these twisted different negative emotions and discovering their causes could be a painful process.
Discovering what existential life changes, perhaps need to be done to resolve these structural feelings could be a daunting task to say the least.
Yet, the introvert needs to frequently introspect to process the full spectrum of inner emotions to return to a state of inner equilibrium or homeostasis.
Because they engage on a daily basis in this meticulous act of soul searching, they have the potential to become very sharp observers of their inner state and to detect their causes of mood alterations pretty accurately.
3. Introverts tend to be observant, because they want to understand things
With curious inquisitive minds focussed on deeper layers of meaning and understanding, a lot of introverts truly seek to understand worldly phenomena on a fundamental level.
But to truly come close to a profound understanding of whatever it is the introvert is interested in, one needs to take in information via many different avenues.
Introverts tend to be observant, because they seek to capture the essence of a certain topic, concept, or phenomenon.
By thoroughly observing the many different aspects of the object or subject of interest they cultivate their understanding.
By implementing as many of the different possible senses like sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste, they seek to cultivate a deep understanding.
What does it look like? What does it sound like? Are there any patterns in behavior or patterns in exterior characteristics to be discovered?
How do these patterns translate to other arising scenarios?
The more different sensory channels that are involved in observing something, the higher the resolution of their understanding becomes.
It goes without saying that all of these different observations of something do not happen all in one session.
There’s no magical shortcut to a profound understanding.
These observations happen frequently over time in many different situations and the introvert keeps track of everything that has been observed thus far, regarding the subject of interest.
4. Introverts tend to be observant, because they spend most of their time alone
My article Why Do Introverts Ignore You? (9 Shocking Truths) covers the need for introverts to be alone as one of the reasons to ignore others.
Introverts spend the majority of their time alone to recharge, introspect or simply because they absolutely enjoy it.
Sometimes, this might come off as rude or arrogant, but being alone is an essential need of the introvert.
Others might also think the introvert is lonely, which isn’t always the case either.
However, since the introvert is alone a lot of the time, their experience may be similar to being alone inside a car while driving.
When you are alone behind the steering wheel of your car, you observe the outside world as it passes by in the form of landscapes, buildings, traffic and people.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels
It is its own tiny moving universe. A temporary bubble of potential for silence and attentiveness.
While driving you don’t have to interact with anyone.
You can just observe your surroundings and the road ahead in stillness.
Introverts tend to be observant, because many times when they are out in public by themselves, it feels to them like they are driving their metaphorical car with their own introverted universe somewhere.
Similar to being inside the car, they don’t necessarily feel the need to engage or interact with others out there in the world.
Introverts can enjoy observing the world by themselves as it passes them by, just wondering about what’s being observed like the passing landscapes next to the highway.
5. Introverts tend to be observant, because they are often highly sensitive
Highly sensitive people are individuals born with a more fine-tuned nervous system that picks up subtleties in the surrounding environment.
Due to this heightened sensory sensitivity, they are very easily aroused and overwhelmed (read more in my article The Highly Sensitive Person: The DOES Acronym Explained By A Highly Sensitive Man).
According to Aron (1999), around 20% of all people fall into the highly sensitive category.
Some say the highly sensitive person traits manifest more in introverts, but the exact numbers are unclear.
At least we know that a significant amount of highly sensitive people are introverts.
As such introverts tend to be especially observant in the cases of heightened sensitivity, where they have a greater capacity to notice subtleties in their surroundings through their senses.
Often it is reported for highly sensitive people to be the first to notice when the background music stopped playing at a social gathering, or being able to “read minds” of others based on body language and emotional energy.
With a nervous system that is especially attuned for subtleties and nuances, observation skills are a natural gift.
Therefore introverted people tend to be observant, because a significant amount of them are highly sensitive. Check out Elaine N Aron's book on high sensitivity: The Highly Sensitive Person: How To Thrive In a World That Overwhelms You (1999), for useful daily practices that help manage your high sensitivity.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the reasons why introverts tend to be observant, I’m curious as to what you’ve observed in your own life with regards to the observation skills of introverts.
Are there more reasons you can think of?
What do you think of the reasons discussed in this article?
Remember that these reasons probably don’t apply to all introverts. Let’s keep our minds open to every possibility and stay observant!
Aron, E. N. (1999). The Highly Sensitive Person: How to thrive when the world overwhelms you. London, England: Element. Book
ALSO ON INFJ MALE PSYCHOLOGY