Many people often assume that introverted characters are shy, quiet, and don’t like to be socialize. It is easier to see it socially than to truly understand introverted characteristics, but the truth is that they are more than just a quiet person. What are introverts? Do you know the meaning of an introvert? In short, introverts are people with personalities who are energized and calm when on their own.
The general assumption about introverts is that they are socially awkward or antisocial, but this assumption is incorrect. Introverts enjoy spending time with friends and people they know and are close to. After all, they are not like Extroverts, Introverts prefer to spend time with other people in small groups. They also need time alone to recharge after social interactions with friends or groups. Here are some of the advantages of introverts that you may not realize;
- Great listener
Often we are required to be good at communicating and speaking in public. However, we forget that the art of listening is also necessary and difficult to do, our egos as humans often make us unable to listen to other people. This is where the introvert excels, Nancy Ancowitz, a career coach who wrote the book Self Promotion for Introverts states
“As an introvert, your listening ratio is higher than speaking”. “You tend to process things silently in your head, not out loud, which adds to the noise to the conversation.”
Then, according to Laurie Helgoe, clinical psychologist and author of Introvert Power, a good listener is someone who remains neutral and trying to understand the speaker. This means, introverts can refrain from judging and based on their personal information, opinions, or experiences, and most importantly they don’t interrupt your conversation but listen to the whole story then find a solution. “Introverts will listen to what you say, think about it, and then respond to it, while extroverts want to be involved in the conversation.”
2. A Good Strategist
Another lesser-known trait of the Introverted personality is their sensitivity to external stimuli. Introverts are generally more sensitive to noisy, sunny, or crowded environments than their extroverted partners. Even though they are sometimes can be very sensitive to their surroundings, introverts tend to be aware of the changes that occur around them, making them reliable in reading situations.
Harvard Business Review research shows that introverts are more effective leaders in complex, unpredictable environments. Introverts can control situations that extroverts cannot, sometimes calm leadership is often essential to long-term success. With an approach that tends to be calculating and careful, introverts often give other people the opportunity first, this will make the other person feel appreciated, and from there, an introvert will take control of the situation.
Besides, with the ability to listen carefully, an introvert will absorb knowledge and develop his insight. This helps them to solve problems and make good decisions. Introverts will absorb a wide spectrum of information before making the right decision.
3. Natural Writers
Many writers claimed themselves as introverts, because of their ability to imagine and construct imaginary worlds, writing in solitude, and choose the right words so that the narrative told has deep meaning. Introverts spend more time observing human nature than interacting with other people, when they start writing, they incorporate the details they get from their observations into their stories and articles.
A study shows that introverted people have more gray areas in the cerebral cortex. This results in introverts spending more of their energy and resources on abstract thinking than extroverts who tend to “enjoy the moment,” abstract thinking can be a weakness for some, but it can also be a strength.
Introverted writers tend to create more insights and have a much broader perspective
For some introverts, writing is an easier and more natural thing to do than talking. When they write, they have time to process their thoughts and understand what’s on their mind. Also, writing takes a slower pace than speaking, and this slowness is what introverts usually need. Many will be surprised at the wisdom, creativity, and talent that introverts have that is often not conveyed in person. But it manifests itself in fine writing. And that’s, ultimately, why introverts are often great writers.
4. A Thinker
According to a German psychologist, Hans Eysenck, introverts have a greater capacity to process information because they naturally have high cortical stimulation. An introvert can process more information than the average extrovert per second on average. In the book the introvert advantage, it is explained that an introvert has a longer neural pathway to process stimuli. In the introvert’s brain, activity is centered in the front cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for remembering, planning, making decisions, and solving problems. Thus, introverts will process interactions and events with greater complexity. As they process information, introverts carefully pay attention to their thoughts and feelings at the same time.
The most amazing human nature is to be open to new ideas and opinions regardless of moral, ethical, and legal standards. Introverts, no matter how challenging or tempted they are, are likely to accept any idea around them. With such a complex way of thinking, an introvert tends not to overlook any facts. They will consider all the possibilities that exist before making a decision. Even though they have limited resources or information they will make the most of it. Besides, an introvert is always looking for new information and criticizing the information they get before making a decision, which is why they use the information and resources they have to get the best results.
5. Effective leader
Our culture reveres and craves charismatic leaders who are extroverted. A person who is in the middle of the spotlight has charisma, good at socializing, good at talking and giving speeches. Call it leaders like Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, and Bill Clinton. Even though it has become a stereotype, introverted leaders are no less successful.
Introverts can connect with other individuals in very meaningful ways. This relationship provides them with tremendous insight and enables them to lead wisely. According to Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of The Introverted Leader in her interview with Forbes, introverted leaders have a tendency not to dominate conversations with other people, they can analyze and evaluate information from various sources, then make connections between the information found, and connect new information that is obtained with pre-existing knowledge to create something new. Also, they have careful preparation, the ability to focus and calm under pressure, being humble, and the ability to convince others in difficult times.
According to the journal written by Grant, Gino, and Hofmann (2011), it shows that there is a relationship between the type of leadership style needed with employee personality and behavior. They found that introverted leaders in pizza franchises made 20% more profit. The research shows that introverted leaders are also leaders who are no less good than extroverts, even though our culture has praised extrovert leaders so extraordinarily, it’s time we appreciate introverted traits and encourage them to become leaders.
There are still many advantages of introverts that we often don’t realize, so I encourage you to hang out with them often, if you can get into their closest circle you will find things that are contrary to the stereotypes that have been pinned on introverts. Also, reading research journals, articles, and books can also help you deepen your understanding of the characteristics of introverts. By understanding the characteristics of introverts we can appreciate them more, lastly, the strengths they have can complement our weaknesses.