When people hear the word “introverted,” they often think about a shy person who avoids social contact. And while that may be true for some introverts, it’s not actually the defining trait of introversion.
Introverts tend to be behind the scenes and not the loudest person in the room, but there are distinct benefits (and drawbacks) of this personality type. Let’s take a look at seven things to know about being an introvert…
1. They Aren’t Always Loners
One of the ways introverts are portrayed in movies is that they are withdrawn, tend to wander by themselves, and can come off as a bit strange to the more extroverted population. While all of this can be true, an introvert often likes the company of others – at least for short periods of time.
The truth is that introverts recharge their batteries by being alone with their own thoughts, as opposed to extroverts that get energy from socializing. “They don’t hate people or social gatherings but, once in a while, they need some alone time to charge up again,” notes AllWomensTalk.com.
2. Introspection is Key
Introverts tend to spend a lot of time in their own heads, which can be good and bad. But it allows for a lot of space for self-reflection and looking at situations from a healthy point of view in the absence of others.
“While many people avoid looking at their problems, letting them fester and become toxic for them, an introvert can take the time to listen to themselves and perhaps find solutions,” explains Learning-Mind.com.
3. Introverts Excel at Some Jobs
While we tend to base job success on being the loudest in the room (which often holds true, even when that person isn’t the wisest person in the room), introverts have a distinct advantage for some occupations, according to Forbes magazine.
What are some of these jobs? Some may surprise you. There’s astronomer (which carries a $96,000 median salary according to the source), geoscientist, video media editor, court reporter, archivist, animal care worker, and ironically – social media manager. Of course, introverts can do most any job, but may face more challenges or be more exhausted by them (like being a reporter, for example).
4. They Follow Their Own Thoughts
If you’re doing a group project and think you need to stack your team with only those who are loud and persuasive, then think again. While introverts can be quiet, they often bring unique ideas to the table.
“Introverts generally prefer to be valued for what they can bring to the table as an individual rather than how well they fit in with a group,” offers TipsyWriter.com. They don’t always follow the most popular ideas, it adds.
5. Silence Can Be Golden
Introverts often get criticized for being too quiet (as if that’s a problem). However, just because an introvert isn’t saying words, doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to say. Most people don’t like silence because it makes them uncomfortable, not so much with introverts.
However, if an introvert senses the other person isn’t truly listening, they often won’t bother speaking to them – especially if that other person comments how quiet they are, explains IntovertSpring.com. “It’s no coincidence that the people who make this statement most are the same people who rarely listen or ask thoughtful questions,” it adds.
6. Alone Time is Needed – Even From Partners
Psychology Today explains that even when the introverted individual is happy with their present company – in this case a romantic partner – they need some downtime with themselves as they would following any social interaction.
This allows the introvert to recharge and also “reflect on the progress of the relationship,” it notes. Speaking of relationships, the same source explains that introverts “prefer to take it slow” when dating to allow time to see where the relationship is headed. “For some introverts, a fast and intense romance – like loud noise and bright lights – can feel overwhelming,” it adds.
7. Introverts May Be More Observant
Huffington Post explains that introverts may notice details that others don’t, which can be helpful in life situations as well as jobs. “The upside of being overwhelmed by too much stimuli is that introverts often have a keen eye for detail, noticing things that may escape others around them,” it explains.
The source also points to research that has shown introverts have more brain activity when processing visual activity (compared to extroverts). This could change how introverts and extroverts respond to their environments.