Introversion vs. Social Anxiety

It is easy to confuse personality and psychology. When it comes to treatment and recovery from drug and alcohol addiction it is important to learn to differentiate the two. Getting a deeper understanding of how your brain works can help you understand who you are. The more you know, the more you have to work with. Learning helps us embrace who we are and live more fulfilling lives.

Introversion vs. Social Anxiety


Introversion is a personality trait that is developed as early as being in utero. Like the many unique quirks and characteristics that make us who we are, being introverted is one of them. Introverts do not need to be alone but prefer to be alone. They are not socially anxious, but less socially inclined. After being socially engaged for some time, introverts need to take time for themselves in order to process, rest, and recharge.

For many, introversion is just a way of life. Social media “meme” culture has started celebrating the different through relatable posts and images. Full of the comical characteristics that define introversion, people who prefer to keep to themselves everywhere are less of out of the norm. Being introverted is not a diagnosable disorder or a psychiatric issue that requires treatment. Social anxiety, on the other hand, necessitates the use of prescription medication, therapeutic treatment, and a lot of management.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a genetic predisposition as much as it is a learned behavior, and a coping mechanism for defense. Learning how to be socially anxious is rooted in the lessons one might learn when they are younger. Different from arithmetic and spelling, the lessons upon which social anxiety are founded have to do with self-worth, social acceptance, and judgment. The socially anxious are afraid of how they will be weighed and measured by others. Mostly, this is because they have learned that they will not measure up. People with social anxiety feel out of place and less than others. They also feel as though any social interaction might cause them harm. Aggressively avoiding social engagements is a defining characteristic of social anxiety.

Dealing with social anxiety is living in a mental state of failure and success. For people with social anxiety, there is no in between to be rationalized.


Defining the Difference

Introversion is a choice while social anxiety is something that feels out of one’s control. Until someone with social anxiety can develop the tools and techniques they need for managing anxiety, they will continue to avoid. Introversion is void of the nagging feelings of self-doubt, crushing lack of self-esteem, and even paranoid thinking that courses through the brain. Introverts see nothing wrong with themselves while socially anxious people are convinced there is something wrong with themselves.


Coping with social anxiety and living as an introvert can often be accompanied by addiction and alcoholism. Aurora Recovery Center welcomes dual-diagnosis patients who are in need of treatment for both substance abuse and mental health disorders. For more information call us today at 1-844-515-STOP.