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12 Details to Thoroughly Understand Introverts

12 Details to Thoroughly Understand Introverts

Once again, we come back to the topic of introversion versus extroversion, which has been popularized by author Susan Cain in her book: Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. In her work, Cain conducts a large amount of qualitative research, mostly in interview form, of successful people who consider themselves introverts. Combine this with growing thought chains on where people draw their energy (as in the E versus I section of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), and there is more to know about introverts than ever before. For that reason, we’ve compiled some the findings to help you understand us introverts.

1. We don’t dislike people — we dislike group-think.

The first thing to know about introverts is that we actually love people. Small group or one-to-one conversations with an introvert will make this clear very quickly. We truly do enjoy the company of others. The difference is that we have to be in the proper circumstances to appreciate each person’s uniqueness, and when people get into groups they act differently and tend to purposefully blend together in group-think. That’s where introverts struggle.

2. We focus on single-person tasks easily, and aren’t doing it to hide from people.

Introverts typically have very strong hobbies, and what separates them from hobbied extroverts is that we do not give any thought to others before we engage in the hobby. We actually just like reading, painting, writing, video games, computer coding, HAM radios, Magic the Gathering, or whatever else. The fact that other people might like our hobby too never occurs to us.

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3.  We think about mundane entertainment much more than others.

If you ever ask an introvert about their favorite movie, their eyes are likely to light up. We adore certain movies, while commonly thinking that most of pop culture is generally terrible. For example, I hardly ever go to see new movies in theaters, but if you ask me to explain the philosophy of determinism via The Matrix, the historical accuracy of Gangs of New York, or any single line in Fight Club, you should buckle in, because I’ll be talking for way too long.

4. We often misunderstand body language.

For years, and even into present, I have not understood other people’s body language. For me, this manifested most obviously with girls–a hand on my bicep never registered as a suggestive gesture; if the girl never said anything about enjoying my company, I would always miss the signal. When talking to introverts, be sure to be direct, because, for us, the value is often in words and not other signals.

5. We question authority.

Introverts, even when sitting compliantly in the back of class or in a meeting, are always thinking rationally through problems,and, so, when a problem is solved through emotion, we love to pick through the solution logically, often missing the greater good of the group in the process.

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6. We have to rationalize shopping in stores, or else we hate it.

Some people love the arrangements of clothes or the deals to be had in stores, but introverts have to find a way to think about the benefits of actually going to a store for “deals.” Most stores are built to purposefully overwhelm, so introverts would rather shop for everything from cars to underwear on the web.

7. We are the ones who engage in single-player sports.

Tennis, rowing, fishing, biking, golf, and especially competitive running are often populated by introverts. When we don’t have to worry about others, our minds can focus for very long times, so it’s natural that we use that focus to excel in sports where no other people can break our concentration.

8. We mechanize our day.

People are creatures of habit, but introverts even more so. For me, several days a week go exactly the same, down to the same time showering and the same lunch eaten. This simply creates less tangible obstacles to thinking more, so we fall into routines easily.

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9. We are certainly fine being the center of attention — but not for too long.

At parties, I find myself the center of attention often, and I love it, and then, all at once, I don’t. I legitimately have a breaking point, past which I cannot stand being the center of attention, and I can tell when I’m going to reach it, and I adjust accordingly. Similarly, famous actors such as Russell Crowe and Jim Carey — larger than life, charismatic figures — are the same way. They put on the face on camera, but, once they’re done, do not bother them. They can’t stand it.

10. We know ourselves better than others.

As I said above, I know exactly when my “people overload point” is coming, and I know how to deal with that. Further, introverts often spend lots of time in their heads, and therefore have a strong sense of self and the needs that come with that. Extroverts wouldn’t dare think about themselves so much.

11. We are concerned with ideals and like to work to create them.

Introverts love helping people, not because we love people, but because they love the idea of compassion and sympathy. We love when the court system works properly, because we love the idea of justice. We love cheesy movies, not because we like poor dialogue or hastily contrived plots, but because we love the idea of true love. There’s a difference between enjoying the people and enjoying the idea the people represent, and introverts love the latter.

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12. We think more than EXTROVERTS could ever dream of.

Introverts cannot turn of their brains. It doesn’t work like that. Still, could anyone who has read this far imagine an extrovert writing something similar. Further, how many of you still reading considers themselves an extrovert? Not many? That’s what I thought.

Featured photo credit: I Live Inside My Head/Jacqueline Murray via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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