Although success is something we all hope to achieve, it can be a real struggle. You might think the extroverts of the world have the best shot at achieving their life goals, but science disagrees. A tendency to enjoy your alone time over socializing can actually help you achieve ultimate success. Here’s why.
1. No Approval Needed
When you enjoy your alone time, you tend to be your own best friend. This tendency can serve you well for a variety of reasons. One of the keys to success is making choices you can be confident in. When you are not focused on remaining a member of a group, you can focus in on whatever options you think are in your best interest. Another way this can help is by simply reducing the amount of stress surrounding your work. No longer do you need to dedicate brain power to worrying about what others think. Instead, you get to focus on perfecting your work by your own standards.
One of the reasons introverts don’t seek the approval of others is explained by Jonathan Cheek, a psychologist at Wellesley College: “Some people simply have a low need for affiliation.” Cheek suggests that this may be connected to genetics, stating that “those who choose the living room over the ballroom may have inherited their temperament.”
2. Less Impulsive Choices
Those who love to spend time alone tend to think more carefully about their choices. When it comes to making big decisions, this can significantly increase the likelihood of selecting the best possible option. Dr. Maryam Jahdi, a physician at Ohio State University, explains that for those who prefer time alone, “behavior is guided more by consequences and less by rewards.”
This tendency to favor consequences over rewards has been linked to brain chemistry. In 2013, a study conducted by Cornell University’s Richard Depue showed a difference in the release of dopamine levels. For extroverts, dopamine was released at a greater rate upon receiving a reward. Introverts who prefer to spend some time alone experience less dopamine releases, thus they do not seek rewards in the same way as extroverts.
Being less impulsive can help with all sorts of challenges — everything from wasting money on those last-minute treats at the grocery store to holding out for that bigger, but more elusive, promotion. Holding back, thinking it through, and contemplating precisely what move is the best option will help you get ahead.
3. Money Wise
For those who know consequences matter more than rewards, it can be much easier to spend money wisely. Those who love to spend time alone know how to think through decisions. This is perfect for making financial decisions which require, “avoiding bad decisions, negative consequences and missed opportunities,” according to Dr. Jahdi.
You need look no further than Warren Buffet to see this is a key to success. In a US News interview, Buffet is described as “a classic example of an introvert taking careful, well-calibrated risks.” If there is one thing that can help someone achieve success, it’s being smart with money.
So, embrace your alone time and use it wisely — it may be your key to a successful life.
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