“I don’t have friends because I’m an introvert.”

Labels limit. We categorise for efficiency and convenience – in order to convey the gist of what we mean without needing to go into greater nuanced detail that would just take more time and more effort. Unfortunately sometimes those categorisations or labels don’t really work for us.


I often hear clients tell me their an “introvert”. The Merriam-Webster definition of an introvert describes it as ‘a person whose personality is characterized by introversion a typically reserved or quiet person who tends to be introspective and enjoys spending time alone’. So in general it seems to describe someone who is perhaps quieter, prefers a smaller crowd and likes their alone-time. The other option is extrovert, isn’t it? Gregarious, unreserved and loves to be with lots of people.

Though someone may feel the label of introvert or extrovert fits them better in general, doesn’t mean to say that an extrovert doesn’t love a bit of alone-time or an introvert doesn’t crave a bit of social interaction now and again! There is nothing wrong with being an introvert and nothing wrong with being an extrovert! One is not better than the other.

It can also be more helpful to think of those terms as having a sliding scale within those terms rather than as just a slap-bang label. Using the term ‘introvert’ as the reason why you apparently can’t make friends or don’t have much of a social life, isn’t really that correct if you get into the finer details. Maybe you haven’t had much practise at conversation, maybe you have low self-esteem, maybe you judge yourself too harshly and don’t think you’ll fit in? Those are separate issues that can be looked at in therapy – but notice how those issues aren’t part of the ‘introvert’ label! People can have a strong sense of self, be confident, have lots of friends and still be an introvert.

Are you one of these people who uses terms like ‘introvert’ as an excuse rather than looking at the real reasons why you aren’t leading the life you want? Maybe it’s time to face the truth and take responsibility for the choices you’re making. Changes can be scary and anxiety-provoking but they can also be exciting and rewarding too. It’s up to you to decide on the life you want to live and if you’re really willing to put in the work to make things happen. It’s time to lift off those labels and live!