Introversion with high-functioning anxiety is much more common than you think. It often hides “a secret anxiety”. Here then is that the person who suffers from it, despite always seeming to have an enviable serenity, accumulates inside himself, like an impossible puzzle, excessive worry, the need for escape, perfectionism …
Much has been written about introversion. For many years, we have witnessed this “silent” awakening in which introverts are able to gradually find their place. Let’s not forget that our society and, especially, the business world, school or university is oriented towards the most open, sociable and, essentially, extrovert profiles.
Some books, such as The Power of Introverts
by Susan Cain, the qualities usually attributed to this psychological profile stand out. Factors such as creativity, empathy, reflection or the ability to resolve conflicts are dimensions that can move introverts into positions of strong leadership. Features that enhance and strengthen them to feel more valid.
Just as it is necessary to underline their strengths and abilities, it is also essential to know their more complex and often debilitating side. Everyone, regardless of our personality, is more or less likely to suffer from any anxiety disorder. However, introversion usually involves a particular pattern that is camouflaged under a specific form of anxiety.
High-functioning anxiety introversion: what is it?
It is said that the most precious treasures are found in the abyss. We all know that in those worlds, abysmal and deep, there is darkness and some threatening presence. Living in those strata has its advantages, but also dangers and threats.
Before defining introversion with high functioning anxiety, it is good to reflect on this idea. Introversion-extroversion are a continuum, meaning that we are all in it, somewhere in between, a little higher or a little lower. However, those who are at the most extreme points usually have some pathological traits, such as extreme difficulty in enjoying a good quality of life, being productive or taking care of their social relationships.
People with high-functioning anxiety introversion only briefly are not in this extreme. In general they lead a normal life, with their own responsibilities, work and relationships (hence, “high functioning”). However, within them resides a rather tangled ball, a well-hidden complex emotional labyrinth, where fear seeks a way out, insecurity stumbles with constant contradiction and permanent worry continually slams against the wall.
Let’s look at the characteristics of people with introversion with high functioning anxiety.
Constant need to defend against something
Introversion with high-functioning anxiety is characterized by a vigilant and defensive attitude. The subject always finds something that worries, threatens or disturbs him. His mind is never calm. An appointment, an interview, a project … events that force him out of his comfort zone, generating high levels of anxiety.
Inside they are afraid, but on the outside they want to look safe
The most interesting aspect of introverted people with high-functioning anxiety is that they rarely lose their temper. Balance, calm and apparent self-control define them. These are all signs that are perceived by others without knowing that, in reality, the opposite is happening inside them; they struggle between fear and insecurity.
That constant effort to show temperance and determination can come to be destructive. It means falling into contradiction, hiding fear every day to put on an armor that, day after day, becomes heavier.
They see the world differently and feel alone
Introverts need more relaxed scenarios to feel good, to fulfill themselves, to work, to find themselves. Some feel good in their private and exclusive corners, others experience loneliness in a different way. They feel frustrated because nobody understands them, angry because others don’t understand their needs, their way of dealing with life …
Everything must be perfect
Introversion with high-functioning anxiety is characterized by extreme perfectionism. They are demanding and self-demanding. Because perfectionism gives them a feeling of control and when something is under control it brings positive rewards. This reasoning is an infinite source of suffering.
Pain, tics, fatigue, nervousness …
This “secret” anxiety of introverted people manifests itself in different ways. It is common for them to suffer from psychosomatic diseases such as skin problems, digestive disorders, headaches, muscle aches, nervous tics … They are channels in their body through which to express that inner anxiety, that constant worry, that need to defend oneself from the world and from what is not they can control.
Here then is that a common trait of this profile is also the way of expressing oneself. They often speak in a nervous and hasty way, to the point that they can even be mistaken for extroverted people. However, it is another symptom of anxiety, of that very complex inner ball of yarn.
If you see yourself with this profile again, the best thing to do is to seek the help of a good professional. Introversion with high-functioning anxiety in most cases becomes chronic. We normalize it until we live with it for years, until the consequences arise, such as psychosomatic illnesses or other more serious psychological disorders.
Let’s step forward to get out of the maze of anxiety and live with greater balance.