Why Introverts Need to Pursue Hobbies Outside of Work

An introvert pursues a hobby

Hobbies are the perfect way for introverts to re-energize and soothe their overthinking minds.

Most introverts despise big crowds, prefer one-on-one conversations, and need alone time more than anything… but that doesn’t mean we are boring or uninteresting. Contrary to common misconceptions about introverts, we get excited about things that interest us. After all, our minds are a breeding ground for daydreaming and our imagination. Though we might not get overjoyed about the idea of attending a party or participating in small talk, when it comes to our hobbies and passion projects, it’s another story entirely.

If you have a job or young children, you may be thinking: How can I even muster enough energy to pursue my hobbies and passion projects? But let me tell you: Pursuing something you are passionate about is going to give you the energy you need.

I used to (falsely) believe that success in life meant professional achievements. Like many other people, I started having to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In my spare time, I explored blogging and started learning how to play the violin. And you know what? Life got a lot better. So even if you don’t think you have time to pursue personal interests outside work, I’m here to tell you that you do — and here’s why it’s important to do so.

7 Reasons Why Introverts Need to Pursue Hobbies Outside of Work

1. It’ll be fulfilling in a way your job may not be. 

If you find a job or career that coincides with your passion, consider yourself lucky. In most cases, our interests and hobbies do not intersect with what we do for a living or how we pay the bills. I wanted both, but didn’t have them. Soon, the monotony of my job hit me hard and I slowly realized it’s not always possible for your job — no matter how “perfect” it is — to completely satisfy you.

So the solution? Develop outside interests. Introverts are deep thinkers — and when we commit to something, we give it our all. See what you are drawn to outside your job and start small (like I did with my blogging). You never know.

2. It’ll help you feel more confident.

Sometimes we introverts are critical of ourselves and lack confidence — and this can negatively impact our lives. While doing well professionally can be a major confidence booster, we should look out for other opportunities to grow on an individual level.

When you indulge in a favorite hobby or passion project, it gives you a sense of achievement, which is the biggest (and only) reward you need. Pursuing different things can make you more creative. And, inadvertently, it’ll make you more confident in your abilities, which can give you more confidence in other areas of your life, too.   

3. It can help soothe your overthinking mind.

Introverts may not seem chaotic on the outside, but we usually have a chaotic mind buzzing with ideas — we’re expert overthinkers. Whether we’re (still) thinking about a book we read or what we said (or didn’t say) at a work meeting, we think, think, and think some more. But the thinking can turn into overanalyzing and get to be a bit much. This is where your hobby comes into the picture. 

Whenever I find myself struggling with overthinking, I write it all out. Other times, I’ll pick up my violin just so my mind focuses on something else. No matter what type of hobby you have, once you start expressing your thoughts and get busy doing something else (instead of overthinking), the reward is calm and peace of mind

4. It gives you dedicated alone time.

There is nothing more important for an introvert like some time off — and what better way than through your side project or hobby? After all, alone time is what helps us to get in touch with our thoughts and recharge. You might choose to read, write, watch a documentary, sew, dance, cook, paint… it can be anything. No matter what you do, you’ll create a deeper connection with your inner self. Writing has done this for me — it’s helped me to better understand my strengths and weaknesses. 

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5. It helps you express yourself (often in an easier way).

Introverts sometimes have a hard time expressing themselves, whether it’s in a work meeting or during a disagreement with a friend. We may not think of the right thing to say in the moment or may be too intimidated to voice our opinion. But once we’re alone, we think of all the things we could have said. 

So now, I communicate the unspoken through my hobbies — writing, music, you name it. They give me the freedom to unleash and explore my thoughts, as well as be creative. I can express myself without any inhibitions and fearlessly write everything that comes to my mind.

Even if writing is not your hobby, whatever it may be, it’ll help you as another way to express yourself. You’ll see.

6. It enables you to connect with like-minded people.

Introverts do not have a big friend circle like extroverts do, and this is by choice. Very often, our inner circle is restricted to a few close friends who “get” us, those we can have deep conversations with. While an extrovert may want to talk to everyone in the room, we introverts will hone in on one or two people (tops). 

When you start pursuing a hobby, you can connect with like-minded others — even just online. It’ll help you build a social circle with people who will be able to relate to you, and you to them.

7. It gives you something to look forward to.

When you think about your job, it may not bring a smile to your face. But the idea of a dance lesson or a game or some quiet time for writing gives you something to look forward to after work or certain days of the week. And, in turn, this can make you feel more positive about your day job, as your hobby can put you in a more positive mindset

Plus, you never know if your hobby will end up being your life’s purpose. You’ll never know unless you try…

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I am an INFJ and a finance professional during weekdays. I accidentally took up blogging to jot down my thoughts and it has worked like magic. You can find me reading, playing violin, or binge-watching TV series during my free time. You can also check out my blog, Lifematterz.