Why You Should See Your Introversion as a Gift

A Christmas gift

In our noisy, extroverted world, introverts are thoughtful, empathetic, and brilliantly creative.

It isn’t easy being an introvert in our noisy, extroverted world, no matter what time of year it is. But when you add the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to the mix, it can feel like the volume is cranked up even more.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re rushing to get from one holiday celebration to the next, with no time in between to recharge. In years past, I’ve found myself feeling frazzled and wishing I was better able to keep up with all of the obligations around this time of year. If only I were different, I thought, maybe I could enjoy the festivities more.

But at the end of the day, being an introvert is actually an amazing gift — not just to you, but also to the people around you. And if you really want to enjoy this season, embracing your introversion, and working with it instead of against it, is the best present you can give yourself.

Here are just a few reasons being an introvert is the gift that keeps on giving — year-round — and how you can use these gifts to enjoy a happier, quieter, more peaceful holiday.  

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5 Reasons You Should See Your Introversion as a Gift

1. You’re thoughtful and empathetic.

Many introverts tend to be incredibly thoughtful in their decisions, words, and actions. In fact, it’s one of the greatest strengths of introverts — because of the way our brains work, we are hard-wired to process information deeply, to be introspective, and to think before we speak or act.

This extends to our relationships, too. Because introverts are generally observant and good listeners, we may be particularly thoughtful in our relationships with others. (Remember that thing you said you wanted six months ago? Your introverted loved one was probably paying attention, so don’t be surprised when you unwrap it on Christmas morning.)

Highly sensitive introverts, especially, have a knack for picking up on other people’s needs and feelings, making us deeply empathetic and considerate of those around us. We value our time and space, which may make us more aware and respectful of the time and space of others.

This comes in handy during the holidays, when we are trying to coordinate busy schedules and want to be mindful of everyone’s feelings. While it can be exhausting for us to try to negotiate conflicting holiday plans with various friends and family members, we do our best to make sure the people around us feel cared for. Whether we’re spending quality time with loved ones, writing heartfelt messages in our holiday greeting cards, or shopping for the perfect, thoughtful gift, we’re doing it from the heart.

2. Because you spend time alone, you can be brilliantly creative.

Many introverts are also incredibly creative. Because we spend more quiet time alone, we have more opportunities to tap into our minds, dive deep into our vivid imaginations, and explore our original ideas. Whether we express those ideas through writing, art, or some other creative medium — or we use them to solve complex problems at work or at home — our creativity is one of our most valuable superpowers.

So, for introverts, the holidays are a wonderful time to tap into all of that creative energy. Whether it’s building gingerbread houses, decorating your home, or putting together the perfect present for someone you care about, there are so many ways to express your creative gifts during this time of year.

You can also use your natural talents to spread holiday cheer — for example, by knitting hats and scarves to donate to a local charity or baking holiday treats to share with your neighbors and coworkers — or to simply unwind and relieve some of the stress of the holidays.

However you choose to get in touch with your creative side, it’s worth making time in your busy holiday schedule to prioritize those activities that help you find flow and recharge.

3. You’re content with the simple things in life.

Because of the way introverts’ brains process dopamine, it doesn’t take as much stimulation to make us happy. In fact, too much dopamine — the “happiness chemical” that’s released when we seek out novelty or take risks — can actually overstimulate introverts, leading to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. (This helps explain why we get plenty of joy from curling up with a mug of hot cocoa and watching Elf or Home Alone while our extroverted friends are out singing karaoke at the holiday pop-up bar.)

That’s not to say that introverts never want or need to shake up our routines (trust me, we can get stir-crazy during the long winter months), but a little goes a long way. At the end of the day, we often prefer calm, quiet environments, and we’re able to appreciate the simple pleasures that our extroverted counterparts may overlook or dismiss as “boring.”

Personally, I see this quiet contentment as an incredible gift, and it’s one that I’m particularly grateful for — especially during the holidays. One of my absolute favorite things about this time of year is the excuse to stay in and cozy up in front of the Christmas tree, light a fire, and just listen to holiday music with my nearest and dearest. (I do not envy my extroverted friends and family members, who likely would not get the same level of satisfaction from this type of quiet night in.)

If you’re an introvert, lean into this gift. There’s nothing wrong with focusing on the “true meaning” of the season (whatever that is to you). Maybe that means foregoing the big holiday party and staying in to bake cookies with your nieces and nephews, or spending a quiet evening meandering through town, admiring the holiday lights and reflecting on the past year. Take time to savor all the simple pleasures of the season.

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.

4. You value deep relationships versus casual, surface-level ones.

Socializing takes a lot of energy for introverts — which is why we tend to be selective with the people we choose to let into our lives. We would prefer to have a few deep, meaningful relationships versus dozens of casual, surface-level friendships.

When we allow someone into our inner circle, it’s because they genuinely “get us.” These are the people we can truly be ourselves around, have deep conversations with, and consider lifelong friends (even if we sometimes go long periods without talking to each other). We recognize that these types of loyal friendships are exceedingly rare and special, and we sincerely cherish them. These relationships are some of the greatest gifts in our lives, and we wouldn’t trade them for anything.

So, when the holidays roll around and we get in the spirit of the season, many of us are genuinely happy to spend meaningful time with those closest to us — whether that’s by continuing cherished family traditions, reconnecting with close friends over a holiday cocktail and good conversation, or simply curling up with our partner on the couch and reflecting on the year behind us. The holidays have a way of bringing people together, and that can be incredibly rewarding for introverts who prefer close, intimate connections.

5. You have a unique ability to find beauty and meaning in almost anything.

Introverts tend to be observant and reflective — which means that, when we can remember to get out of our heads and notice our surroundings, we often excel at seeing the beauty in the world. (This is one reason why so many of us cultivate deep relationships with nature; we often find a lot of peace and solace in the beauty of the natural world.)

Because of our deeply reflective and introspective nature, many introverts, especially sensitive and intuitive ones, are also always seeking meaning. We crave depth in our work, our relationships, and our lives, which may make us nostalgic and sentimental — and, in my opinion, there’s no better time of year to be a nostalgic, sentimental, sensitive introvert than during the holidays.

When I can remember to take a step back and breathe amidst the chaos of the season, I am often mesmerized by how beautiful — and how fleeting — it all really is. Each of us has a limited number of holidays to spend on this earth, and as hectic as they might be, it’s worth slowing down and trying to enjoy them.

So, take time this season to use your introverted gifts to take in every little detail. Marvel at the snow, if you can. Bask in the glow of the lights. Savor that mug of apple cider, mulled wine, or eggnog. Take time to reflect on your values, your priorities, and your relationships — and what the season truly means to you.

It can be easy to get swept up in all of the noise of the holidays, but when you take a deep breath and tap into the many gifts of introversion, it really can be the most wonderful time of the year.

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