The introvert world is still a misunderstood and mysterious place.

  • What makes an introvert thrive?
  • Does social media really empower introverts?
  • How do introverts see the workplace?
  • Are we just shy, aloof and stuck up?
  • Do you know any introvert qualities?

Introverts thrive in a quieter world

It is true that introverts thrive more in a quieter environment but that does not mean we don’t enjoy the company of others or don’t wish to express ourselves.

We have plenty of great ideas and opinions but we prefer to share them in a more intimate setting. We don’t receive any emotional benefit from being the centre of attention or in a large group.

The world is a noisy place, where everyone spends way too much time talking, shouting and competing. It exhausts us, drains our energy and leaves us often feeling flat. This is why we crave time to ourselves.

We thrive in deep, intimate conversations rather than small talk that often bores us. We thrive with conversations with a point rather than talking for talking’s sake.

Social media doesn’t empower introverts that much

Social media isn’t really an opportunity for introverts to finally share our thoughts, feelings and ideas because those websites are no different to the offline world. We still get drowned out by too much noise.

Experience showed me that social media can be worse because users can really let rip with their belittling words and attention-seeking mania.

It’s rare for deep, meaningful conversations to take place on social media, which is what introverts prefer. Introverts aren’t really into sharing every second of their day or sharing photographs of their world from what they eat to what they are wearing that evening.

Many people are far more confident on social media to behave in a confrontational or abusive manner. This is something an introvert would do anything to avoid.

To share, express or interact online exposes us to a large amount of people. This is not something an introvert would naturally gravitate toward. For this reason we often share much less than others.

So when some say social media empowers introverts with the ability to express our views, I disagree. Being online doesn’t change the way an introvert behaves. We aren’t more likely to express our views because we can hide behind a fake lifestyle or persona.

We still experience fear of confrontation and drama if we dare to express a controversial view or opinion. Social media does not remove the essence of what makes us introverts.

The workplace can be a challenge for an introvert

The work environment can be a nightmare for introverts because so many are designed in a loud and competitive way.

It is quite often in the workplace where we get accused of being shy, stuck up, standoffish and so on. Of course, this is rarely true. The truth is we just function differently to the majority.

Most introverts will happily engage in conversation with colleagues on a one-to-one basis or in a small group, but where many employers make a mistake is expecting everyone to thrive in large groups or meetings.

Team building exercises make me feel sick because I find them stressful and pointless. I’m yet to meet an introvert who receives any benefit from these events.

Stats, targets and speed can also have a negative impact on introverts because we perform better with time to reflect and think. Many find this slow and frustrating but taking your time can lead to much better decisions being made. (Politicians take note!)

Most introverts prefer to work in silence. We enjoy to chat occasionally but trying to work and talk often drives us crazy because we can’t focus as much as we prefer.

A quiet office is sheer heaven for me because I get so much more done.

We’re not shy & stuck up…all the time

Being an introvert does not mean we are shy, stuck up, aloof or standoffish anymore than being extrovert means being self-important, arrogant, obnoxious, insensitive or an attention-seeker.

In crowded places we will be quieter but not necessarily because we are shy or stuck up. We don’t enjoy crowds. We don’t receive anything from them.

When I’m accused of being aloof or stuck up, I’m actually listening to what’s being said or reading the room. Introverts are often more sensitive to the environment around them, and to the people nearby.

Some of us are shy, aloof, standoffish and stuck up, but being introvert doesn’t make you any more so than being extrovert.

The qualities of an introvert

Introverts are more likely to speak from their own perspective rather than claim to speak for everyone. It would be rare to hear an introvert say all men are [FILL BLANK] or all whites are [FILL BLANK] and so on.

Introverts usually make much better listeners because we seem to possess a greater amount of empathy and sympathy.

Introverts are more likely to give you a more thoughtful answer to your question because we take our time to process information before we reach a decision.

Introverts hate confrontation, so you’ll have a much pleasanter experience in our company if you wish to express your views and opinions.

Introverts are not keen on being the centre of attention, so we won’t compete for it. That will be  beneficial for those who thrive at the centre. This also means our decisions are not driven by a desire for recognition.

So now you know

So there is a glimpse inside the private world of an introvert. If you are an introvert, then you’ll probably recognise some of yourself in this.

If you are an extrovert, I hope you’ve learned more about that introvert friend, relative or colleague of yours. Try to get to know their world a bit better; you won’t regret it.

We’re not these stuck up, aloof, awkward creatures from the planet Shy. We just do things differently, and preferably in a much quieter setting too.

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