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12 Everyday Situations That Introverts Are Especially Good At Handling

12 Everyday Situations That Introverts Are Especially Good At Handling

Despite the growing conversation surrounding introverts, the group is still commonly misunderstood. As a fellow introvert, I understand the misconceptions that we have to constantly battle. I’m not shy because I’m introverted and I do enjoy socializing, just in a different setting than the standard societal norm.

It can be hard for society to understand things an introvert might naturally be good at, simply because they are introverted. Clearly, most of our societal constructs cater to the outgoing extrovert – our educational system, open-concept office spaces and loud bars for example, are built for them.

While it’s true that introverts can have a vast skill set like anyone else, there are a few everyday situations where we bring key strengths that extroverts will most likely lack.

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1. Just because we’re not talking doesn’t mean we’re not engaged.

We like to listen and observe more than anything else, so that usually means we are acutely aware of our environment. Because of this, we are almost always in tune with our surroundings, regardless of how little we interact with them. As a result, we can also synthesize the information that we are constantly taking in, making connections that extroverts may otherwise miss.

2. We don’t like small talk because we prefer deeper conversations.

I can speak from experience on this one – I’m just not good at small talk. It’s forced, flat, and often more painful than anything else. I prefer to say something when there is something important to say. But sometimes, small talk cannot be avoided. As a result, I’ve learned over the years that asking questions to steer the conversation to a deeper level. This direction can help unleash a more emotional connection and lead to some really great conversations.

3. We may not network with everyone at the office mixer but that’s only because we crave authenticity in all of our interactions, business or personal.

Networking can be stressful for introverts, after all, isn’t it just small talk with the end goal of advancing your career? While an extrovert may prioritize knowing everyone on a superficial level by the end of the night, introverts will be happy to have had a few conversations with others based on a more solid, meaningful connection.

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4. Even though we tend to avoid confrontation with friends or family, we are actually the best ones to execute it.

Introverts are good listeners, and oftentimes, someone who needs to be confronted is acting out for a reason. Since introverts are skilled at listening and observing, we can understand why the situation is happening and use this insight to help craft a plan that will satisfy everyone involved.

5. While we sometimes screen calls from relatives, we often thrive at the actual family get together.

Introverts tend to avoid chatting on the phone because it distracts us from our current thought or project and we really prefer to catch up in person. Small, intimate groups are the ideal social situations for us, so naturally at family gatherings introverts are at their best.

6. We might dread an invitation to a big party, but we’ll happily accept an invite to dinner with a few, close friends.

Again, since introverts prefer small gatherings, we often excel in this setting and have the ability to draw everyone who’s present in.

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7. Even though we don’t do well with chit-chat, we do have great presentation skills.

Introverts have been known to be great public speakers, whether it’s on stage to a crowd of five hundred, a corporate board meeting, or pitching to a potential investor. We play to our strengths and prepare extensively. While we might not look forward to the meet and greet afterwards, we don’t shy away from the spotlight and know how to present ourselves when it counts, and to a crowd of any size.

8. We may be reserved at the office but only because we are quietly trying to think about how the business works and see connections that spark new ideas.

Introverts have the tendency to keep to themselves at the office but that doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking of the entire organization. It’s actually quite the opposite since introverts are led by a different internal compass when it comes to careers: they try to build beyond themselves.

9. Our silent pauses in conversations mean we are taking the time to think before we speak.

This habit alone is the reason introverts have earned their reputation as great listeners. We reflect internally first before speaking, instead of thinking out loud like our extrovert counterparts. So while this may add to the perception of introverts being shy or quiet, it just means that when we do speak, our words can have more thought, and sometimes more impact, behind them.

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10. Since we crave solitude and enjoy alone time to recharge, it often means we don’t succumb to the mood of our environment.

We have a lower sensitivity to external rewards than extroverts do, which means we’re pretty comfortable with our own thoughts and maintaining our own moods. This quiet energy is also good for business – if your office is noisy and chaotic, your calming presence can radiate to others in the workplace and ultimately, be a boost to low office morale for example.

11. Just because we aren’t overly assertive, doesn’t mean we don’t have good negotiation skills.

We’ve been conditioned to think that in order to be a great negotiator, we need to be good at intimidation. But our ability to asking probing questions, listen and observe people’s reactions to suggestions makes our negotiation skills great. We tend to empathize a little better than our peers, so we can see both sides well which inevitably helps the process go smoother.

12. While we can be distracted by too much stimuli in our environment, we notice details that may escape others.

Research has shown that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, which gives us an edge in our eye for detail. This is also the reason that many introverts gravitate towards more detail-oriented career choices like financial clerks, video editors and writers.

As an introvert, may not feel like you have a lot of advantages in life but you really do. You are just as well-suited as your extrovert counterparts to handle what life throws at you, but you possess a few more enviable qualities that really help you ace everyday situations.

Featured photo credit: RyanMcGuire via pixabay.com

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Jennee Rasavong

Freelance Content Marketer

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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