Do you get joy from spending time alone? Are you quiet and reserved? Do you find that large parties or long social interactions leave you feeling tired or uneasy? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be an introvert—and you’re not alone. Bill Gates, Zig Zigler, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg have proclaimed to have an introversion personality type. As we approach National Introverts Week, we invite you to learn more about what makes you tick and hope you’ll join us in celebrating YOU! (Don’t worry, we’ll keep the invite list to a minimum.)
Introversion: A Superpower?
Like any great superhero, introverts offer more than meets the eye, often silently taking in an environment or conversation, thoughtfully contemplating their next move. We’d argue that these are superpowers extroverts may wish they had. Here are some benefits of your personality type:
- Improved listening skills. Extroverted people are more likely to jump into a conversation before fully processing what the other person just said. Introverts, on the other hand, tend to be better active listeners. As such, when they do respond with advice, it is very carefully considered. This makes them less likely than extroverts to offer knee-jerk reactions or inadvertently hurt others’ feelings by blurting something out.
- Loyalty. Because introverts recharge during time spent alone, when they do choose to interact with others, it is because they truly care about them. This makes them attentive and loyal friends to those they choose to have in their circle.
- Empowerment. Introverts don’t feel the need to step into the spotlight. Instead, they are more likely to highlight the strengths of their team, sharing in overall success rather than taking sole credit. This makes their employees feel seen, heard and valued.
Embrace Who You Are
If introverts embrace and nurture their strengths, they can become happier and more effective individuals, friends or leaders. Here are ways to grow your strengths to be your best, introverted self:
- Focus on the positives. Extroverts may receive more outward praise, so reflecting on and making conscious notes of your strengths—for instance, being a good listener or being detail-oriented—will help to build confidence.
- Take charge of communication. It may be difficult to get a word in edgewise when communicating with someone more extroverted than you. Take back some power and meaningfully contribute to conversations by speaking first in meetings or social gatherings rather than finding a pause in a conversation long enough to jump in.
- Choose friends wisely. Building a social circle of like-minded individuals—those who, like you, are happy to sit in silence or leave a party early—will likely lower your anxiety level and bring you happiness. Take an inventory of your relationships and limit or eliminate those that do not allow you to be your best self. It’s also important to find a couple of people who will gently push you out of your comfort zone.
Interested in diving deeper into your personality or hoping to hone some skills? We can help! Contact us today to learn how our Performance Dynamics® assessment can identify the 17 different traits that drive your personality and behavior (or to say “Happy National Introverts Week” to our resident extrovert, Ross).