There’s little that hasn’t been said about introverts. Especially since this (marvelous, if I may add) book:
I read it recently and goodness, did I like it! Partly, of course, because I am introvert. Partly, because it is brilliant. A must-read even for extroverts who, whether they realise it or not, have to deal with us introverts all the time. So read on, both introverts AND extroverts!
Quiet is a book I can talk about for hours – feel free to ask me, if we meet – but in this post I will only tell you one thing, and it is this:
Dear introverts, our perceived weaknesses can become our greatest strengths.
Seriously. Here’s a few examples.
Sensitive / Compassionate
We are sensitive – yes, but because us of this we are also compassionate. We’re empathetic to a fault, but we never shy away from deep conversations on subjects like personal problems, which others would consider too heavy. We’re keen to carry the burdens of others although not always feeling capable of carrying our own. We’re Mother Theresa’s in the making, all of us.
Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments – both physical and emotional – unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss – another person’s shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly.
Solitary / Creative
Despite the group-think and team brainstorming that’s been so popular everywhere from big corporations to small kindergarten classrooms, more and more studies show that most creative ideas come from a place of solitude. As introverts, we find our own company perfectly agreeable, and we also don’t mind spending hours (even days or years) on a single pursuit.
Some of the great ideas, art, and inventions – from the theory of evolution to Van Gogh’s sunflowers to the personal computer – came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune in to their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there.
Reserved / Loyal
As introverts, we tend to chanel our energy at a limited (and carefully chosen!) number of people. Although I know plenty of introverts who are very socially active and have tons of friends, they are usually only close to a select few. But these select few can truly count on an affectionate, loyal and caring introverted friend. I know I’d rather have a meaningful conversation with one person, than weather-talks with ten.
Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meeting, but after a while wish they were home in their pyjamas. 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.
These are only a few. I am hoping that you will take a hard look at yourself, at both your strength and weaknesses, and see how you can actually make a one-of-a-kind contribution to this world. I’m preaching to myself here, too.
Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it.
One last thought. We might not be naturally outspoken and gregarious, but when we’re passionate about something, there is very little than can stop us from pursuing it and even talking about it.
When an introvert has something important to say, they’ll overcome all fear and speak boldly, whether driven by creativity, conscience or empathy.
There is no one more courageous than the person who speaks with the courage of his convictions. In other words, introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly.
For those of you who don’t have the time to read the book, you might want to take a look at this TED talk:
TED Talk : Quiet, Susan Cain
See how much I can write if it’s something so close to my heart?
Are you an introvert? Feel free to share if this was encouraging at all.
An extrovert? Does any of this help you make better sense of someone from your family or friends?