Communication Skills

A Simple Guide To Introverts

Shyness | Introverts

1. Many extroverted people may be actually introverted.

Dr. Laurie Helgoe, author of the book 'Introvert Power' says '57% of Americans identify themselves as introverts, most of them pretend to be extroverts because the culture in the United States frowns on introverts.'


2. Introverted people are great achievers too.

Sadly, in our culture, extroverted behavior is rewarded, and introversion is viewed as some kind of deficiency.


But authors like Susan Cain and Dr. Laurie Helgoe have successfully broken the 'unsuccessful introvert' myth.


Dr. Helgoe says,'(Introverted people) are passionate observers, and for (them), solitude is rich and generative.'


3. Think of all that goes on in the playground of solitude: daydreaming, reading, composing, meditating - and just being, writing, calculating, fantasizing, thinking, praying, theorizing, imagining, drawing/painting/sculpting, inventing, researching, reflecting.


4. The only thing you need to know about personality types: Identifying a personality is an exercise in generalization, even if all the theories (Big five or what not) are considered.


Even the psychologists agree, understanding personalities helps in knowing about what motivates a person, but it is not a perfect solution. There are always other factors at play that motivate how we act and behave - e.g. Maslow's hierarchy of needs.


5. Extroversion and introversion are not about being outgoing or shy (Android or iOS): That is just marketing speak to sell personality tests. The secret is in how our brains function, but science hasn't fully figured it out yet what makes as an extrovert or an introvert.


The closest they have got in explaining extroversion and introversion is the difference in where we get our energy from: Extroverts seem to get their energy from social interactions (they feel validated and alive), while introverts feel drained by social interactions (they need to be alone to 'recharge').




6. There may also be various kinds of introversion: A preliminary research paper (Source: New York Magazine) says that the introversion we talk about is social introversion (like being in, or interacting with very small groups).


There are other kinds of introverts like thinking introverts (who are lost in their world), anxious introverts (the shy and awkward kind), and the restrained introvert (take time to think and come at a decision).


7. Caring for introverts: Respect their need for private/small-circle interactions (private reprimands, private coaching, private praise); respect their working style (introverts are very successful people too, just let them work at their pace, in their kind of quiet workplace), and let them know in advance of any changes etc.


Thank you for reading.
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