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12 Confessions That Show What It Exactly Feels Like To Be An Introvert

12 Confessions That Show What It Exactly Feels Like To Be An Introvert

Being an introvert in today’s world can often lead us to feel like we’re somehow social outcasts, but this isn’t the case. We are all complex and unique, meaning we can no longer label people as simply an introvert or an extrovert. 

Most people actually carry both qualities — sometimes in equal measure. However, there is an entire spectrum of introversion which shows that not all introverts are the same. As a true introvert, you are more likely to enjoy spending less time interacting with others and genuinely enjoying your own company.

A recent Quora thread united different introverts in a discussion describing their own “struggles” with living in a world where introversion is often seen as a negative trait. They discuss how it really feels to be a person who loves spending time in their own company. Here is a highlighted list containing different points of view through the eyes of those who live in the spectrum of introversion.

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1. We Have A Low Tolerance For Unfulfilling Social Interactions

We choose quality over quantity when it comes to our social interactions. While some people get a lot out of each interaction they have, we have a low tolerance for conversations that we don’t gain anything from. We would rather have a deep and meaningful conversation than a quick chat or small talk that doesn’t lead anywhere.

2. It Takes Effort For Us To Withdraw From Our Internal World

As we are quite analytical and have great imaginations, we often have a lot of creative and interesting ideas swirling around our brains. Our time alone fuels these ideas, which usually means we need to make more of a conscious effort to shift from our internal world to the external world. We can find this quite a struggle at times, which is why we sometimes retreat quickly from a social interaction or avoid social interaction in the first place.

3. Our Alone Time Is Longer Than That Of Non-Introverts

While most people like to have a bit of time by themselves, as introverts, we need longer than most. We use our alone time to re-energize ourselves — to gather our thoughts and recharge our mental batteries. We can easily spend a whole day happily entertaining ourselves with little interaction with others, which many extroverts find strange and withdrawn. However, we find it perfectly normal and definitely needed.

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4. We Can Have An Extroverted Side Too

People can be surprised when we show a less introverted side to ourselves, but in essence no one is 100% introverted. As humans, we are all unique and most of us have a mix of introversion and extroversion within us. Sometimes, our extroversion comes through when the mood takes us, so we should never be labelled as just an “introvert.” Most people are around half and half, with true introverts being around 60-70%. This leaves a small space for our extrovert tendencies to shine through from time to time.

5. We Are Intensely Passionate

Extroverts tend to have an interest in a wide variety of topics, but as introverts, we are intensely passionate about a select few things. This can usually come across in our varying conversations — we are more likely to take part in conversations that really spike our interest and retreat from those that don’t. When we’re passionate about something, we won’t hold back and will happily chat about it, but we don’t have much energy for anything that doesn’t interest us.

6. Being Alone Doesn’t Mean We Feel Lonely

Society tends to assume that being alone means a person is lonely, and while this can be the case, introverts can enjoy being by themselves with minimal social interaction. People who are more extroverted feed off interaction from others and so find it difficult to understand that we just don’t need it as much. This is why loneliness rarely crosses our mind, because we’re busy connecting with ourselves.

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7. We Make Good Friends Through Listening

We may not be great talkers but we’re excellent listeners, and this is an innate quality that means people trust us with their problems. Listening is a skill that a lot of people don’t have or find difficult to do — sociability and connecting with people is not all about how much we speak but also how attentive we are to what others say.

8. Speaking Is All About Quality Not Quantity

The amount someone speaks and what they speak about depends on their objective. Many people speak as a way to connect with others or find it genuinely relaxing, but as introverts we usually speak mostly when we discuss things on a deeper level, like life aspirations or something that we are passionate about. We use speaking more as a way of learning and gaining insights, opinions, and knowledge rather than a stream of consciousness to relieve our minds of our daily thoughts.

9. Our Alone Time Is Proactive

When we do spend time by ourselves, we are seldom bored. Since our alone time is significantly greater than that of an extrovert, we realize the need to be constructive with our time and we are good at filling up our day with activities — whether for relaxation or important matters. This is our optimum time to get stuff done, when our mindset is most relaxed and in tune with our inner being.

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10. Social Status Doesn’t Impress Us

As introverts, we are more impressed with the depth of people’s personalities, views, and thinking rather than social or career status. We find it harder to identify with an outward appearance and connect better with a person’s inner thoughts, feelings, and drive.

11. Small Talk Is Meaningless To Us

We love to get to know people on a deeper level and therefore small talk always seems unnecessary and fake. Small talk is seen to us as more of an obstacle placed in the way of getting to know someone better. We find it awkward and would much rather explore the minds of the people we know or try to connect with them on a much deeper level.

12. Social Interaction Is Exhausting

We do like to interact with people but, after a certain point, we need to retreat because it can be quite mentally tiring for us. This doesn’t mean we don’t like the people around us, but taking a break is necessary for us to recuperate so we’re ready for our much-needed next social interaction.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

More Tips About Making Influence

Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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