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I consider myself "introverted". So, in Japanese I've always said:

私の人柄は引っ込み思案、というか保守的です。

In my opinion, the nuance of "introverted" is neutral (while "shy" is a negative). So, I don't want any negative connotation in my Japanese.

So, how does that sound?
Are "引っ込み思案" and "保守的" even comparable?

Also, are "人柄" and "性格" comparable? Both mean "personality"? Should I have said "性格"?

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  • Are you sure you meant 「保守的」 and not 「内向的」?
    – binom
    Aug 17 '17 at 5:12
  • @binom yep. That is what I've always said. Never been corrected.
    – rather
    Aug 17 '17 at 5:16
  • That's interesting then. Do they understand that you mean you are introverted? Because my J-E dictionary says "conservative," which is not necessarily identical to "introverted," I believe. (However, my dictionary could be wrong and failing to capture the nuances of Japanese)
    – binom
    Aug 17 '17 at 5:20
  • @binom I've absolutely no idea if people understand my Japanese... I just say whatever comes to my mind. I mean, they act like they understand me, but who really knows?
    – rather
    Aug 17 '17 at 5:35
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人柄 tends to have a positive connotation (it can mean "a good and friendly personality" on its own). Using 人柄 was not wrong, but if you want to describe your character objectively, 性格 is the safer choice.

保守的 is more like conservative. 内向的 is the word closer to "shy without negative connotation." 引っ込み思案 is a negative word, although it's not impossible to introduce yourself as 私は引っ込み思案です.

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  • I might need to ask a follow-up about "保守的" because I'm not even sure what "conservative" means in English these days... Most Americans consider "conservative" to be a political statement. But, I think about "conservative" in terms of a personality trait such as "dressing conservatively" or "spending money conservatively", etc. Let me do some thinking. thanks!
    – rather
    Aug 17 '17 at 20:11
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I think you're referring to 性格(seikaku, personality) in this context.

To answer your question, I think it's safe to go with 内向的(naikou-teki, adj.), which is introverted or inward-looking.

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