Confessions of a Polyglot: Introversion

Students with different personalities have one thing in common, whether learning a language alone or in a classroom: shame/fear of speaking. The reason for this is always the same: shyness and/or introversion.

Well, I have a confession to make; I am shy and introverted. But, what these words mean and what is the difference between them?



Introversion is closely related to energy. An extrovert feels energized around other people, an introvert feels drained, so often he/she prefers to be alone. Introverts are more sensitive to external stimuli, so when he gets too much of it, he needs to be alone to recover.


Shyness is the fear of being judged negatively, it is a kind of social anxiety. In the head of a shy person, everything is going to be bad. This fear happens not only around strangers; a shy may become anxious even with friends or relatives. Many shy people like to socialize (probably more than introverts), but fear prevents them from doing it. In cases of extreme shyness, treatment for anxiety is necessary, since extreme shyness can have catastrophic consequences in personal and professional relationships.

Everyone has moments of shyness and introversion. Even the most friendly, outgoing and confident people are afraid of being judged and need occasionally a quiet time to recover. Continue reading