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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

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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