Introverts are running a race they’re destined to lose. And yet, they thrive.
The world we live in favours extraversion. The simple fact is that life is easier for extroverts. Think about it. How many times have you heard you need to “step out of your comfort zone” or “try to be more social”?
Now think if you’ve ever heard someone say “maybe try to be less social.” Our society is geared towards extroverts.
It is seen as a desirable trait – something people mention on their CVs and highlight in their job interviews. To sell themselves people go on and on about how outgoing and social they are. These key terms do not match introverts.
While introverts aren’t all shy, the constant extraversion will drain them. It’s like introverts are running a race they’re destined to lose.
Because of this, people assume that it is an introvert’s goal to become an extrovert. That’s what all the nudges to “be more social” are hinting at. People are telling you to be more extroverted, and they think it’s what you want for yourself too.
While every individual, introvert or extrovert, should be setting goals to constantly improve themselves, the main goal of introverts is not to be an extrovert. We are perfectly happy being an introvert, and here are 10 reasons why.
1. Introverts know themselves
Introverts spend a lot of time alone, during which time they get to actually know each other. This may seem obvious because who knows you better than you know yourself?
But introverts really, really know themselves. They know who they are when no one is watching, and they know who they are when they’re around people.
They know what motivates them, and what upsets them.
Extroverts tend to be high self-monitors, which means they change how they act depending on the situation. The fact that they adapt well may mean they have more opportunities and can be seen as a strength, but is it genuine?
Introverts know themselves genuinely, in all their authenticity. Why would they give that up to have more surface-level conversations with people they barely know?
2. Introverts enjoy their own company
Extroverts get their energy from being around people. This could lead to extroverts feeling tense or uneasy when they are alone for long periods of time, and sometimes you can’t control your social group at a given time. Introverts, on the other hand, thrive in their alone time.
Introverts are completely comfortable with their own company, which is something a lot of people struggle with.
If all their friends or family members are busy, an introvert will have no problem spending that time alone.
In fact, an introvert would prefer this. The ability to be okay alone is one that not everyone possesses but everyone would be better off with it.
3. Introverts are self-driven
Extroverts get a lot of their motivation and drive from external factors: they enjoy being cheered on, they enjoy validation and they enjoy completing goals in group settings.
Introverts, after spending so much time alone, get their motivation from within themselves.
This means that they are their own biggest supporters and cheerleaders, so they never have to worry about their friends disappearing or not giving them the validation, because they feel more comfortable giving that to themselves.
Therefore, introverts will still manage to complete goals while not having external factors supporting them, which is another valuable life skill to have.
4. Introverts have time to practice new skills
They say that 10,000 hours of practice make you an expert at something. While this may or may not be completely true, practice definitely at least leads to improvement.
Although some skills are performed in a group, most skills are individual and require focus and no distractions to perfect it.
Extraverts spend most of their time with people, so have less time dedicated to practising new skills alone.
Introverts are more often in situations of peace and solitude, ideal for practising new skills and constantly improving.
This circles back to the main idea that the world caters towards extroverts. That may be true, but introverts have spent more time broadening their skillset so will also have opportunities in this world.
5. Introverts are in touch with their emotions
Going along with knowing themselves well, introverts are also forced to face their emotions. Extroverts commonly suppress their emotions when in crowds or groups, and can get distracted, while introverts are forced to face them.
Of course, the counter-argument can be made. Extroverts may be more comfortable talking about their emotions with their support systems as not all extroverts will suppress them,
However, introverts are forced to face them alone. This makes them stronger and more capable of handling them in the future.
They are equipped with strategies that work and things that may act as triggers for certain emotions.
6. Introverts have deep bonds with people
Extroverts will talk to anyone about anything. They thrive off communication and in the presence of others. While this can be a desirable trait to feel comfortable with different types of people, it also often leads to a lot of surface level, sometimes inauthentic, conversations.
Introverts are picky about who they choose to talk to. If they state a conversation with someone, you can bet that it’s going to be a deep conversation about things that actually matter.
Due to this, introverts are more likely to form strong, deep connections with the people they talk to. Each conversation will reap a reward in the form of a connection or a friendship, which makes the draining of the social battery worth it.
7. Introverts are better listeners
Introverts observe more. In a conversation between an extrovert and an introvert, the majority of the words being spoken will come from the extrovert.
This has nothing to do with the likeliness of the other, but to do with the fact that introverts prefer to listen over talk. Once people realize that this isn’t introverts being rude, people will love introverts.
Because what extravert doesn’t love to talk about themselves?
Introverts and extroverts actually make good friends, and that balance in the relationship is one of the reasons that introverts are just as necessary to this world as extroverts, and neither type should try to form into the other.
8. Introverts aren’t intrusive
While introverts might be thought of as being cold and antisocial at first because of their more quiet nature, no one will ever think of an introvert as being intrusive or obnoxious.
Introverts are good listeners, so they listen to what you tell them. They won’t pry, and they will not judge you for what you tell them.
The fact that introverts talk less means that each word they speak carries a greater weight, so they truly think carefully about what they say before they say it.
9. Introverts are original
Introverts enjoy solitary activities. They are also often creative. These activities include things such as writing, playing an instrument, drawing, or gardening.
Introverts are at their best when they’re working alone, and this shows in the uniqueness of each idea they come up with.
Introverts do these activities alone, which boosts their originality and uniqueness. They come up with these ideas on their own and it hones in on their creativity skill.
10. Introverts can be the best leaders
Leadership is often a quality commonly associated with extroverts. People think of introverts as followers, however, some introverts make the best leaders.
Good leaders are compassionate, bring out the team’s strengths, and don’t take all the credit for themselves. That also describes an introvert.
Everything listed before culminates into an introvert being a good leader: they are good listeners, they form deep bonds, they are self-driven, they practice their skills, and they know their own strengths and weaknesses.
This might be an extrovert’s world, but introverts are living in it and thriving! I don’t need to tell any of you introverts to embrace yourself as you are, because you already do, and you’re killing it!
Hi everyone! I’m Iman, a dramatic writing student at New York University, currently studying abroad in Berlin. I’m an INFJ-T and a storyteller. I love traveling and exploring, and finding out other people’s stories. I also have a passion for psychology because I’m super interested in how people think and what makes them tick.