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Introversion Tropes

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An Introverted character is one who, while not necessarily being shy, is still far from the most social person you will ever meet. They prefer working alone, or, if they have to work with others, prefer small groups, and probably will not be the leader. They're often portrayed as more intellectual than their more extroverted counterparts, though this isn't always the case. Also, while they're less likely to actually show their emotions, they probably feel just as much as said extroverted counterparts (which can result in some very withering rants if they're pushed too far).

The short version: An introvert gains energy by being alone, and expends it by being in large groups of people. In Myers-Briggs parlance, they are I's. They tend to be either melancholic or phlegmatic and the Blue Oni.

From a psychological standpoint, there exist four flavors of introversion: social introvert, thinking introvert, anxious introvert, and restrained introvert. The first three are defined by why they don't fancy socializing with big groups of people (respectively it drains their emotional energy too quickly, it forces them to get out of their rich inner lives, and causes them too much anxiety) whereas the last is more about their preference of going through things more thoroughly which burns them out. This classification takes into account sets of traits scientists often use under the umbrella term of "introvert" and stems from this study (see here for a summary in layman terms).

Compare Solitary Tropes and Shyness Tropes. Contrast Extraversion Tropes. For the Trope Maker and Trope Codifier, consult Carl Jung.

Tropes associated with Introverts:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: He's brilliant yet he pays little thought to the world around him, including his people skills.
  • Aloof Ally: That person who's on your team, but does not seem too keen on working with or getting attached to anybody on the team.
  • Aloof Big Brother: He's social towards everyone except his younger sibling.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's tall, beautiful, dark-haired, and admired by many but is distant and doesn't associate with people much.
  • Badass Bookworm: Geniuses can kick ass.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Probably not a good idea to treat this person as an easy target, they may be more dangerous than you think.
  • Bookworm: One of the most common types of introverts in media is the kind who spends more time reading than socializing.
  • Broken Bird: Sometimes, a person can become withdrawn from great trauma.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: The Byronic Hero and The Heart.
  • City in a Bottle: This place is so isolated from the world that the residents don't even realize that there's an outside world.
  • Creepy Loner Girl: A socially-awkward girl with a disheveled appearance and gloomy disposition.
  • Cute Bookworm: Genius with a very cute demeanor.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: When an aloof introverted character warms up over time.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Even the most asocial of people still have feelings.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: When by choice.
  • Emotionless Girl: That girl who rarely if ever emotes, which hampers her ability to form attachments with others.
  • First Friend: A loner manages to make one friend.
  • Friendless Background: When by choice.
  • Hates Small Talk: This person isn't too keen on casual conversation.
  • The Hermit: Character chooses to be alone, often to the point of isolating from society.
  • Hermit Guru: Wise old man lives in an isolated land.
  • Hidden Elf Village: An entire community of people who decided to isolate themselves from the rest of the world.
  • Hikikomori: This person shuts themselves away from the world due to anxiety or lack of social skills.
  • Hot Librarian: Librarians are depicted as sexy.
  • Ice Queen: Female characters with a cold disposition tend to be introverted.
  • I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Introverts are more concerned about winning a game than socializing.
  • Incriminating Indifference: Showing little emotion makes you a prime suspect.
  • Individuality Index: An index of tropes related to individualism or individualistic behaviors and traits.
  • Ineffectual Loner: When introversion gets you nowhere in life.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Being smart prevents you from relating to other people from your peer group, which in turn makes it very hard to make friends.
  • Introverted Cat Person: Introverts tend to enjoy the company of pet cats.
  • I Work Alone: Introverts prefer working by themselves over being a part of a group.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Asking someone to leave you alone so you can solve your own problems.
  • Loners Are Freaks: When being an introvert earns you suspicion and criticism.
  • Loners Will Stay Alone: Someone who's stuck in a lonely and asocial cycle and is likely to stay that way.
  • Mad Mathematician: Mathematicians are completely insane.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Since Loners Are Freaks, he's assumed to be evil because he has no friends but he's actually quite harmless once you get to know him.
  • Mr. Imagination: They tend to get so caught up in their imaginary world that they neglect the real world and real people.
  • No Social Skills: Since introverts get less social contact, they are less practiced at it.
  • Not So Stoic: When a normally serious or stoic character displays obvious emotions.
  • The Quiet One: They don't say much, often tend to not get involved in conversations with others.
  • Reclusive Artist: Keeps to themselves despite being a renowned artist.
  • Rich Recluse's Realm: A private domain bought and/or built by a super-rich recluse.
  • Scary Librarian: Librarians are downright intimidating.
  • Seriously Scruffy: When a character doesn't go out and interact with people enough to warrant being clean-shaven.
  • Shrinking Violet: This person is severely lacking in both social skills and confidence.
  • The Shut-In: The character almost never leaves their house for any number of reasons, many being involuntary.
  • Shy Shelled Animal: Animals who have shells are depicted as timid or introverted.
  • Small, Secluded World: Character who's sheltered from the world and limited contact with the outsiders.
  • The Snark Knight: The snarkiest characters tend to keep to themselves more often than not.
  • The Spock: The logical intellectual.
  • The Stoic: Introverts tend to show little to no emotion.
  • Stoic Woobie: Stoic character suffers a fate that makes them sympathetic to the audience.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Appearing cold in personality when actually being a sweetheart tends to alienate people from you.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Character suffers a breakdown that causes them to sit in a troubled position with no regard for reality.
  • Used to Be More Social: The character was once a social butterfly, but is now less sociable.
  • The Wonka: An authority figure who's usually impressive due to their eccentricity.
  • Zen Survivor: Character gains wisdom through suffering.