We all have natural tendencies and human characteristics that serve us and work for us in life. In my practice I have seen people riding their good traits and succeed in their endeavour while acknowledging (even befriending) their personality traits that are not serving them. One of the most fascinating experiences I have had with many of my clients is the world of introverts. Consequently, one of the most insightful learning I had with them is that they are generally and consistently more successful in life than extroverts.
I have learnt that more people are introverts than we assume. In fact, most people have introvert tendencies but they are being made to believe that in order to succeed they need to be extraverts. So here comes a mask (one of the many masks) and people act not from their natural, authentic power but from the expectations of the world, where they look successful when they are “out there”, loud and present, constantly reiterating opinions or driving debates forward. They become louder, more noticeable, more opinionated than what comes naturally to them in the belief that this way they would fit in the office environment.
So how do we know whether we are truly introverts? Here are some pointers (for more detailed study please refer to Susan Cain’s book- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking).
Introverts are happy to recharge by themselves. They do not need others to give them energy but they prefer to withdraw to the quiet of their own world. This allows them to be able to draw from the well of their own resources without wanting anyone else to reward them; therefore they can be more self-reliant than extroverts. (extraverts have a strong reward network in their brain).Introverts-naturally- operate on less intensity, therefore are more careful and deliberate in making decisions in life. They are known for making better investment decisions or taking financial risks.
Introverts show greater creativity and are very often academically astute. They love being engaged with ideas, theories and spend a great deal of time philosophizing over their life or life in general. They tend to spend a lot of time alone, which can lead them to be great innovators. They are much more persistent problem solvers than extroverts, who tend to give up quicker due to lack of stimulus form the outside world.
Introverts tend to be better leaders and deliver better outcomes because of their persistent nature and abilities to stay with a project or problem until they find a satisfying solution. They operate on intuition and can lead people from that place more efficiently. They tend to show more empathy with teams and get along with others easier than extroverts.
Emotionally introverts express happiness in a melancholic way, rather than in bubbles and fireworks! They are quiet even in their ways of expressing contentment and anger! Their negativity seethes underneath rather than erupts violently (but when they are probed, they CAN and WILL erupt in a harsh manner!).