Differences Between Introversion & Social Anxiety

The Psych Talk

The terms ‘introversion’ and ‘social anxiety‘ often get conflated and are used interchangeably by the general public. Some people that may feel they identify with the concepts may not be able to tell whether they are in fact introverts, have social anxiety, or both. Are the two the same thing or is there something that distinguishes them from one another?

The main difference between the two is that in introversion, decisions are made by choice whereas in social anxiety they are formed due to fear. For example, an introvert may leave a party early because they are feeling overstimulated and would prefer to spend their time alone but someone with social anxiety may leave a party early because they are afraid that people are judging them harshly. The introvert would genuinely rather be alone. The socially anxious individual may wish to stay at the party, but their fear…

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