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World Introvert Day

Founded by psychologist and author Felicitas Heyne, and first held in 2011, World Introvert Day aims to deepen understanding of and appreciation for introverts. January 2 was chosen as the date because it is a day when introverts likely breathe a sigh of relief because the long holiday season is now over and they can recede from social engagements. (Although, with the extra attention paid to them on account of World Introvert Day, one may question how much relief they actually feel.)

Carl Jung came up with the terms introversion and extraversion (now usually spelled as extroversion) and said introverts prefer environments with minimal stimulation and need time alone to recharge, while extroverts refuel from being with others. These two traits are on a spectrum, with most people falling somewhere between the two. They may lean in one direction and self-identify as such, and some introverts have characteristics of extroverts and vice versa. Genetics play a large role as to if someone is more of an extrovert or introvert, but life experiences can be an influence as well.

Introverts like solitude and time alone, for resting or doing activities. They also use this time to be introspective and let their curiosity lead them to research and self-reflection. They prefer working alone instead of in a group, which allows them to focus and work at a high level, instead of being distracted by social aspects. Similarly, they prefer writing over talking, so they are better able to weigh out options and craft a well-thought-out message. They have a close circle of friends and maintain high-quality relationships, but they find social interactions to be draining and need time to refuel from them.

Known for their creativity and ability to concentrate and reflect, introverts make up a minority of the population but make up a large portion of scientists, writers, artists, thinkers, and philosophers. But they also face numerous challenges. They face health risks—both physical and psychological—like depression and affective disorders, they find it harder to deal with stress, and they encounter job and relationship problems at a higher rate than others. On account of this, they are more prone to drug addiction, and there is some indication they have higher rates of suicide. Today, on World Introvert Day, we deepen our understanding of introverts—about the uniqueness of their minds and the challenges they often face—as well as our appreciation for them.

How to Observe World Introvert Day

Here are a few ways you could spend the day:

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