Introvert characteristics can become your greatest asset if you learn to use their power.
It often feels like this is an extrovert’s world. After all, you’re expected to market yourself, create a personal brand to sell yourself, and do a thousand other things in order to wrench the spotlight in your direction. So what if you’re not that good at that? What if you’re one of those people who’d rather sit quietly in the back and observe? Does that mean you don’t have a chance in this world?
Thankfully, it isn’t that bad.
Sure, we all notice the extroverts more. That’s what it means to be an extrovert. But that doesn’t mean the deck is entirely stacked against us. We just need to learn how to use our introvert characteristics to the best effect.
The big question, of course, is: How do you do that? What introvert characteristics can you use to make it so that you can get ahead without pretending to be something that you’re not?
You prefer deep conversation
Introverts aren’t necessarily loners. Instead, they simply prefer smaller groups of people who like discussing meaningful stuff, rather than just making small talk.
And that is far more useful than you might think it is. After all, those conversations might spark interesting ideas for the next project, impress somebody who you’re talking to, or give you a new insight.
All of this can be incredibly useful. That project, for example, might give you the next breakthrough, that impressed person the next job, and that insight a solution to a tenacious problem that you’ve been struggling with.
All the things that you wouldn’t have had if you had engaged in small talk about the weather or your neighbor’s plants.
Use your thought process
Introverts are, on average, deeper thinkers than extroverts. Now, your extroverted mates might have made you think that you were a loser for being unable to make a quick decision. But in the long run, your capacity for deep thought is an incredibly valuable resource.
As it means that – rather than making snap decisions – you’re far more capable of exploring the different angles and ideas of the problem, which will mean you’re far more likely to make the right decision.
So, embrace your ability to think deeply. Don’t let people push you into making a decision too fast. Weigh the pros and cons until you feel that you’ve got the right answer. In that way, you’ll end up far ahead.
Use the fact that you can be alone
Sure, extroverts might be much better at schmoozing and getting on with people, but what they often struggle with is being alone for long periods of time. You don’t have that problem and that means you’re in a much better position to actually sit down, put in some headphones and work away at whatever project you’ve got to do.
In the process, you can do an outstanding job, which other people will be able to recognize – no matter if they’re introverted or extroverted.
And you know what? If you do an outstanding job on a project, that will stand as a testament to your ability for months, possibly even years to come. Now extroverts won’t have that. So that’s another great advantage you’ve got.
Sometimes it’s better to stay quiet
I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, “It’s better to stay quiet and have people think you’re an idiot than open your mouth and prove it.” Now there’s an element of truth in that. There’s another way to look at it as well. When you don’t talk all the time, it means you’re not hanging your opinions out in the open, for everybody to deal with.
Instead, you keep them to yourself, which means people are far more likely to think that you agree with them. And that can be a great place to start.
Silence has another advantage. When you’re silent, other people will talk. They’ll think you’re a good listener (and there is no better conversational partner than somebody that listens well). What’s more, in the process of letting them talk, they might tell you things that you didn’t know – while you keep what you know to yourself, which might give you a competitive edge in the times to come.
You’re more likely to know when you’re making a mistake
Introverts often have a much better understanding of who they are. This self-knowledge means that they’re far more likely to know when they’re on the wrong path or heading in the wrong direction. And as you can’t fix a mistake until you’re aware of it, that’s incredibly valuable skill to have.
After all, that means you’re going to spend less time running the wrong way and doing the wrong thing, which means you’ll spend less time spinning your wheels in the air and actually get on with what matters.
Now, I don’t have to tell you how advantageous that can be!
Sure, introverts are more likely to stay in the background than extroverts. Don’t take that to mean that they matter less. For, would you rather be the figurehead on the throne, or the person pulling the strings behind it?
Remember, fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – something that’s aptly demonstrated by how many famous people end up taking their own lives. So don’t believe the extrovert’s media blitz. You’ve got plenty of strengths and though they might not put you in the spotlight, that’s not where you really want to be anyway.
Instead, focus on doing that which completes you – be it your work, your family or your inner world, for those are the things that will make you happy and complete you. But then, you probably already knew all about that, didn’t you? After all, you’re an introvert and rather than simply trusting your gut, you went ahead and tried to understand the world.
And that’s yet another advantage that you’ve got over the extrovert.
We hope these tips will help you use your introvert characteristics to your advantage. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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