Introverts make up an estimated 25% — 40% of the population. However, there are still many misconceptions about this fascinating personality type. Yet why is there little guidance for all of us?
And for context, it is important to note, being an introvert does not mean that you are socially anxious or shy.
How do we navigate in a society that typically rewards extroverts?
The truth is: You can build the life you want as an introvert.
However, you’ll need these three strategies to succeed:
First, a quick note about introverts versus extroverts.
Biology and genetics shape our temperaments and our behavior.
Introverts’ brains have a stronger response to external stimuli. What I mean by that is…
General rules of thumb:
- Extroverts get energy from socializing with others
- Introverts can get drained of energy from socializing with others
What’s the challenge that introverts face?
Society as a whole often rewards (monetarily) extroverted behavior.
As Jay-Z once said, “A closed mouth don’t get fed.”
So therefore it’s helpful for introverts to have some practical strategies to implement.
And here we go…
1. Play to your strengths
Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson & Warren Buffett are all examples of famous introverts.
- Ability to practice their crafts
- Hone in on their skillsets in solitude
- A deep love and interest in reading & writing
- A sickening work ethic around sports, film, acting, investing & learning
- More time given for self care
- Thoughtful and extremely self-aware
These are your superpowers (among others) as introverts so use them!
Yes, if you didn’t already notice, I am an introvert.
- I’m not too shy. I was as a child.
- I’m a noticer. I am very aware of people & my surroundings.
- I’m a thinker.
- I am stoic.
- I am an observer.
- I’m not stuck up.
- I love people very much.
- I’m not anti-social or part of the anti-social social club haha
- I am very social with those who are close to me.
- I treasure my solitude & alone time.
- I’m not a fan of small talk.
- I prefer a few close friends.
- I am very family oriented & miss a lot of them.
- I am reserved and can be, until I’m not.
- I appreciate true deep connections
- I love to read, write, journal & to create long form content/blogs.
Okay that’s enough about me. Back to the goods!
2. Be socially courageous in certain key moments
Trust me, introverts can learn to switch gears to ‘Extrovert Mode’ when they need to.
And when we speak people truly listen to our words and wisdom.
Whether this is in a business meeting, networking events, work presentations, or meeting your partners family, these are a few key examples.
These are all crucial moments where you’ll benefit from being more social and outgoing. I.E. showing your true colors.
Turning this gear on comes with a lot of practice. Practice in private what you preach in public is something I thankfully learned years ago at a young age in business. (Realize introverts are capable of doing so very well!)
Beforehand, define what the finite and short duration of this ‘Extrovert Mode’ looks like for you.
You’ll feel less stress and more psychological safety from it. Afterward, you can recharge your batteries (see the third and final tip).
3. Build in time to recharge your batteries
When our iPhones are about to die, or run out of juice, we immediately rush for the charger, right? It’s necessary at times to do the same thing with our bodies & physical health as introverts.
If you recently socialized with others or are planning time to do so on the weekends, then you must build in buffer time to recharge.
Personally, what I like to do is enjoy time alone, read a book, work out, or go for a long walk, bike ride out in nature. Those always fill me back up.
Ignore the extroverted societal norms; rebalance yourself and your energy.
A related and helpful tip from personal experience.
- Always take off work the following day your return from a vacation or trip. You’ll thank me later for that!
Those were 3 strategies and then some to thrive as an introvert.
I hope you found them all helpful! As an introvert myself, they took me years to learn and I am still mastering them.
You have to keep learning if you want to become great in anything. When the world changes, you must change.
My Very Best,