Whenever you’re feeling overlooked as an introvert, leaning into your introvert strengths can work wonders.
Oftentimes, it can be a challenge to be an introvert in an extrovert-centric world — but the more you utilize your introvert strengths, the easier it is.
I have nothing against extroverts. It’s just that, in this extrovert-favored world, we introverts sometimes feel overlooked. Like if we’re the “quiet one” in a work meeting or not talking much at a party, it’s easy to get self-conscious. Is everyone staring at us? Are they wondering why we’re not talking? And then these thoughts can cause us to go catch some alone time (i.e., sneaking off to the bathroom or going outside for “some air”). And then we really may feel overlooked since we’re no longer even physically present.
So for the days you’re feeling not good enough or less-than, I find it helpful to think about all the pluses that come with being an introvert. Here are some of the things I think we do better than others.
6 Things Introverts Do Better Than Others
1. When they give someone their time and attention, they’re all-in.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who can’t stop staring at their phone? Or they’re talking to you, but keep looking around or chatting with others while they are mid-conversation with you, too?
Chances are, they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. People (like extroverts) are known for moving from person-to-person instead of committing completely to one interaction. They seem to invest smaller amounts of energy in several conversations.
This is one of the reasons I think extroverts enjoy small talk more than introverts — their conversations are often quick and upbeat. After all, when you are having multiple conversations at once, it is quite difficult to dive into anything deeper than “How are you?” and “What’s new?”
Introverts, on the other hand, specialize in being focused — which means once they commit to a conversation, they don’t go anywhere else or seek out more people to interact with. They prefer to invest all their energy into one thing, which means a meaningful conversation with one person (or a small group they know). And if that can’t happen, they’d prefer to avoid talking altogether.
2. They’re creative, which is the result of plenty of alone time.
While extroverts tend to be great at speaking off the cuff, we introverts need to think things through more. To that end, much of introverts’ renowned creativity stems from their independence, whether it’s spending time alone or working on a hobby.
In the words of Serbian inventor, Nikola Tesla: “Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone — that is the secret of invention.”
Otherwise, if you are constantly absorbing the world around you, it can be difficult to separate individual and collective ideas. But originality requires you to do just that — to think of, discuss, or create something that hasn’t been done before. There is a reason geniuses like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs made their greatest discoveries in isolation. It’s because when you make the most of your solitude, you can have an easier time brainstorming and coming up with ideas and solutions.
3. They’re perceptive, which makes them great listeners.
Introverts frequently notice things that others don’t. I think this is because we “quiet ones” are more guarded and cautious — so we take more time to notice the world around us.
And by being more perceptive, we’re better, more active listeners. Instead of interrupting or talking over others, we take everything in — the content is the main reason that we are there.
Our goal isn’t to socialize just for the sake of socializing: We are searching for something meaningful and want the conversation to be worth our time. So that means we don’t just passively listen to someone’s words or settle for face-value. Instead, we read between the lines and acknowledge subtext, which helps make us more prepared when we do speak and give our input.
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4. They’re disciplined and excel at working alone.
I think it’s no coincidence that so many of the best jobs for introverts require an exceptional amount of self-discipline. Programmers, engineers, and artists — to name just a few — spend incredible amounts of time practicing their craft, failing, and rethinking. They continually process their thoughts and new ways of doing things.
Similarly, perseverance is a big factor when finding success in any of these fields. (You can even figure out your ideal career based on your Myers-Briggs type!)
5. They favor deep connections with others and are extremely selective when it comes to who they’ll let into their inner circle.
As you probably know, we introverts are very selective about the people we let into our inner world. While an extrovert may call everyone their friend, introverts prefer to get to know someone a while before giving them “friend” status.
But once we find people who “get” us, they’re a friend for life. We’ll have deep conversations, talking about our life passions and goals, as well as matters close to the heart. And both introverts and extroverts will feel they can confide in us about anything, since they know we have many traits that make introverts the best friend you’ll ever have. From being that friend you can count on to finding someone who can give you well-thought-out advice, there are many benefits that come from being friends with an introvert.
6. They think through things vs. saying the first thing that comes to mind.
We all know those people who talk all the time without really “saying” anything. But introverts are not like that — because we don’t just talk to talk, when we do, people notice (and are often impressed, I think). Oftentimes, introverts don’t feel the need to “prove” themselves — they share their opinion when they feel it’s relevant or important.
As a result, it seems to carry more weight because people know you don’t talk for no reason (so to speak). And, even though you may sometimes struggle with confidence as an introvert, others may think you’re confident since you leave a lasting impression when you do speak up. (All our overthinking comes in handy!)
Introverts, what would you add to the list? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Do you ever struggle to know what to say?
As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.
You might like:
- Why an Introvert May Be the Best Friend You Will Ever Have
- 7 Distinct Advantages Introverts Have Over Extroverts
- 8 Confessions of an Introvert Living in a World Made for Extroverts
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