Hey there fellow introvert! Today I wanted to have a heart to heart with you and all my introvert brothers and sisters. Do you know the one thing I hate about introvert publications? Almost always they have a “woe is me,” victim-like tone. We introverts have this bad habit of looking at introversion as a weakness. We tell people “I’m an introvert”, almost like it’s a disease.
While I’ll agree that in this extrovert-centric world, we introverts can be handicapped . But… only if we let ourselves be. If you learn to shift your focus Introversion can be a huge strength for you. Introverts have many natural strengths that you might not even consider to be a strength. Here are 5 strengths you can start to embrace and leverage today.
You may not think it, but listening is a valuable skillset in this fast paced world. My favorite to tell people is listen with the intent to understand and not the intent to respond. So many people listen and look for opportunities to inject their opinion. This is where introverts excel.
In group settings the introvert is the person listening the most and speaking the least. We tend to spend so much time listening because we process information differently than our extrovert cousins. We listen for cues, for tone, for the subtext that isn’t always spoken. Because of that we seem to be better at paying attention to and internalizing the words of speakers.
If you’re anything like me this has translated into being terrible at taking notes in school. Most of my school career has been highlighted by half-assed notes usually with doodles drawn all over the page. Yet I’ve always done well in subjects like English and History or any other subject that can be mostly listened to.
Another reason we don’t always speak as much is that we’re thinking about how to respond. We’re constantly thinking about the best way to handle every situation. Offer people observe this and label us as “shy” but it’s not shyness it’s just being considerate of others. The last thing most of us want to do is offend another person due to saying the wrong thing.
As introverts, we focus all our energy inward. Because we spend so much time thinking all the time we can be quick and efficient problem solvers. When given the opportunity to be. This can lead to innovation. Some of the most influential people of the business world are introverts. Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, all introverts and all leaders in their respective sectors.
It’s said that all great things are created twice, once in the mind and once in reality. Don’t be discouraged if you spend a lot of time in your head.
Introverts tend to have smaller groups of friends. Some see this as a red flag. I remember a girl once told me that I need to put myself out and make friends or else I might die alone! Sounds harsh, I know, but she meant well.
What should couldn’t wrap her head around is that friendship to me is sacred. My friends are akin to my family so I don’t let just anyone carry that title. Still I love people as many introverts will say, “in small doses.”
Its funny we may not talk to a lot of people but we’re great at connecting and building relationship. Many of our friends come to us for advice because of this as well as ability to listen and think.
We also tend to be more empathetic. Empathy gives us the ability to truly understand people on a deeper level. When you can more or less feel what someone is feeling you can create a stronger lasting bond. This all takes energy of course and is another reason we don’t have tons and tons of friends. We have to be careful where we dedicate this kind of energy towards.
As I‘ve grown over the years I‘ve noticed my ability to write. Many introverts also possess this gift. I didn’t always like writing, especially in school. What I realized upon further inspection was that I loved writing on my own terms. Often I would write thoughtful notes on birthday and thank you cards. And I default to written or typed communication whenever possible.
I don’t know about you but I’m super thankful that texting is slowly becoming the preferred form of communication. It’s no wonder that blogging found me. Boy am I glad it did because writing these blogs and my emails for those of you subscribed as a VIP Readers. Plus it’s always great receiving texts and emails about how my blog has helped people. If you want some tips to take your writing to the NEXT LEVEL check this out.
One of my biggest strengths as an introvert is my ability to be self sufficient. It’s also one of the thing that scares me the most about myself. Most days, I crave solitude, it helps me recharge my batteries and focus on what’s important. Family, friends, comfort all have little influence on my happiness. For this reason, I’m perfectly fine with moving across country or even the world. Because being alone doesn’t scare me.
It’s a gift and maybe a curse as well. The good thing about it all is that introverts don’t need companionship in order to be successful. We can work solo and with great results. Yet another reason why I blog, I can do it on my own without having to involve anyone else if I don’t want to.
It took a while to get to the point where I was truly comfortable being alone because society makes it out to be weird. But it’s not weird it’s just an environment in which we thrive.
The tip of the iceberg
I like those 5 strengths because they all complaint and build on each other. They are the strengths I‘ve relied on the most in recent years. But they aren’t static, these strengths or qualities don’t define what it is to be an introvert . In fact you could be an introvert and be weak in all 5 areas and strong in others.
The point is for you to think about yourself. Who are you? What are YOU good at? What are you constantly doing? My favorite entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk often says to punt your weaknesses and double down on your strengths. Identify your strengths and embrace them because they’re what will ultimately propel you forward.
Need help finding your strengths?
I wrote this post to help you find your strengths AND put them to work for YOU here! Its an oldie but a goodie 😉
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