Not everyone can be the life of the party, or even wants to be. There are many advantages to being introverted. If you’ve ever wished you were more outgoing and naturally sociable, you may wish to rethink that.
While most people consider introversion to be a disadvantage, introverts have a unique set of skills that make them invaluable to the world, employers, friends, and family.
“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.” ― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
An introvert is often more interested with his thoughts than he is with his surroundings. Those chatty extroverts engage more actively with their environment at the expense of self-awareness. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, depending on the situation.
Consider these advantages that Introverts have over Extroverts:
1. Introverts can charge their own batteries. How does an introvert recharge and reenergize? By spending a little quiet time alone. Those unlucky extroverts require the presence of others to regain their energy. An introvert can recharge while sitting home alone on the couch. How convenient.
2. Introverts notice things. Being a little on the outside of the hustle and bustle provides a unique perspective and the opportunity to make valuable observations. This is especially helpful for creative tasks and solving challenges. The majority of the great scientists, inventors, musicians, artists, and writers have been introverted.
3. Introverts are powerful. Consider a few of these famous introverts: Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, Warren Buffett, Mahatma Gandhi, and Albert Einstein. Some of the most influential people to walk the Earth have been very introverted. You could be part of this group.
4. Introverts make great friends. It’s common for introverts to have fewer friends, but their friendships are closer and more meaningful. While extroverts might appear to have 100 friends, how many of those relationships are close?
Introverts have other things on their minds besides casual relationships. Having a few good friends is sufficient.
5. When an introvert speaks, it’s important. An extrovert might say everything that pops into his mind. Some of it’s important. Some of it’s not. An introvert won’t open his mouth unless he thinks he has something relevant to say. An introvert won’t waste anyone’s time with idle chitchat.
6. The future favors introverts. The evolution of technology, the greater reliance on technology, and the increasing occurrence of remote employment favor introverts. The world is constantly moving in a direction that caters to those that can operate in an intellectual and quiet space. Your future is bright.
“Many introverts don’t feel as if they know enough about a subject until they know almost everything.”
― Marti Olsen Laney
7. Introverts are excellent listeners. The average person believes this, and it’s true. If you’re introverted, people will share their thoughts with you. They know you’ll listen.
8. Introverts are excellent at seeing risk. The typical extrovert might charge ahead without seeing all of the potential pitfalls. An introvert is naturally cautious which proves to be valuable in many parts of life and business.
9. Introverts know how to work behind the scenes. Introverts are able to accomplish their objectives by quietly and discretely influencing others. Every extrovert would do well to have an introvert by his side.
10. Introverts are more independent. An introvert can get things done on her own. She doesn’t need help or an audience. Introverts are excellent at working independently and thrive in that setting. Introverts find work teams and group projects to be slow, inefficient, and cumbersome.
If you’re introverted, congratulations! Being an introvert has many advantages over extroversion.
“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people. We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.” ― Laurie A. Helgoe, Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength
Rather than wishing you were more outgoing, embrace the power that introversion provides. You can be successful in many ways that are much more challenging for the average extrovert.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
Broadway Books (January 29, 2013)
Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength
by Laurie A. Helgoe
Sourcebooks (February 1, 2013)
The Introvert Advantage: Making the Most of Your Inner Strengths
by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D
Workman Publishing Company (February 1, 2002)