Often, introverts can feel that their way of being different is something they must correct, rather than something they can embrace.
We live in a highly extroverted world, where careers, politics, and how quickly we make friends largely depends on our ability to communicate well with others. Charismatic, extroverted people tend to have more friends because of this very reason, leaving their introverted counterparts feeling that they must change something about themselves to feel accepted and embraced in group settings.
This doesn’t speak for all introverted people but is rather an observation about society at large.
Introverts can often be mistaken for being too shy, uncaring, or uninterested in their surroundings, but the truth is, their minds are simply wired in a different way than the introverts’.
Extroverts gain energy from external sources, while introverts feel more energized in solitude.
The question is, how can introverts make it in an extroverted world?
Let’s look at 5 tips that could help you out:
1. Focus on your abilities
While it certainly sometimes feel like a disadvantage to be an introvert in a world full of extroverts, it’s all just a matter of playing to your strengths. As an introvert, it is highly likely that you are able to assimilate information quickly (because of your good listening skills), be observant when it comes to group meetings, and see things others often might miss.
Use these gifts to your advantage, whenever possible. Know the strengths that come with introversion, and focus on honing and developing these skills and traits even further.
2. Make time for yourself
Introverts tend to become drained quickly while socializing in big groups or other noisy settings, so you need to make sure you take the time you need to recharge your batteries. If your work involves interacting with lots of people, make your home a haven of peace and quiet where you can unwind and relax after a long day. Run a bath, light some candles, meditate, do some exercise, draw, or do whatever else that gets you in a “flow” state of mind after a long stressful day. Self-care is vital to your well-being, especially during hectic, chaotic times, so don’t feel selfish for carving out some time for yourself.
3. Choose a career path that fits your introverted nature
Most introverts don’t feel comfortable doing “normal” jobs that involve taking on a position of authority or management since this requires excessive interaction with people. Introverted people thrive doing more solitary work, so just pick a career that fits your needs and personality the most. You don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t enjoy common corporate work; you get the chance to create your destiny based on what feels best to you, so choose wisely.
4. Try stepping out of your comfort zone
Unfortunately, there will be instances when you will find yourself in a room full of extroverts. When in these situations, it’s important you don’t give in to your usual tendencies to just let everyone else do all the talking.
Forcing yourself to practice public speaking through a live or online course can be a great way for you to prepare yourself for times like these.
Off-the-cuff conversational skills can benefit you in all strands of life and will provide you with the needed confidence to step outside your comfort zone when the situation demands it.
5. Be honest with people
If you don’t feel like going to the party tonight, be upfront with people. If you feel mentally exhausted after every outing with someone, just let them know. Maybe you need to take extra time for yourself or choose a different group of friends that doesn’t tire you out. While extroverts and introverts can most definitely find common ground and enjoy a healthy, happy friendship or even relationship, introverts need to be able to express their boundaries clearly. Yes, you can leave the party early, or ask people to give you some space, or whatever else you need to do to avoid feeling worn out and overwhelmed.
Remember, life is too short to pretend to be someone else, so, for all you introverts out there, take pride in who you are. You offer important gifts and talents to the world, and it would not be as nearly as wonderful without you!