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All Things About Introverts: The Seemingly Mysterious Personality That Often Gets Misunderstood!

All Things About Introverts: The Seemingly Mysterious Personality That Often Gets Misunderstood!

A Sneak Peek To “What is an introvert?

Introverts – shy and withdrawn, mysterious people that don’t particularly need human interaction, or do they? With all of the buzz about introverts, extroverts and ambiverts going on lately, are we sure we are not jumping to conclusions regarding someone’s personality, and more importantly, how much of the information we have is accurate and not leading to generalizing and misconceptions?

There’s no doubt that extroverts are easy to spot and recognize since they are outgoing and tend to be the center of the attention. On the other hand,introverts tend to keep everything to themselves and don’t talk too much. They tend to be misunderstood as shy, not friendly and socially disconnected.

Finally, ambiverts are perceived as being in the middle with having some of the traits that belong to introverted, and some of the extroverted personality with neither personality being the dominant one.

Carl Jung defined introversion [1] and introverted people as being completely opposite from extroversion and extroverts. He explained that while extroverts are more prone to focusing their energy outwards, introverted people are more focused on their inner life, their subjective thoughts and feelings. With no single definitive definition of introversion being constructed to this point, it is no wonder that we are prone to misconceptions and generalizing.

However, there are a great number of works and research that have managed to analyze the introverted personality type and draw insightful conclusions.

Some Obvious signs of an introvert

Since they are more focused inwardly, introverts enjoy alone time. They thrive and find inspiration from taking the time for their favorite hobby. In those moments best of their ideas are born. As opposed to popular belief, introverts are a beneficial part of the team at work. Even though they would restrain from giving their opinion, and talk only when asked, their ability to think more independently provides valuable different perspective on the matter being discussed.

As far as daily social interactions are concerned, introverted people would most often choose not to get involved in discussions that involve people who show signs of anger. According to the research [2] by psychologist Marta Ponari and collaborators of University College London, this trait of introverts may come as a result of their sensitivity to potentially negative evaluations.

Most often introverts are wrongly judged as people who don’t enjoy social interactions that much. People can sometimes perceive them as rude or uninterested. This misconception comes from the introverts’ tendency to avoid being evaluated by others, so they would always choose not to engage in small talk with strangers, or people they don’t feel truly close with.

It is also a common misconception that introverts aren’t able to withstand leader positions. Actually, introverts have the potential of being great leaders and drawing the most potential out of the team, given that the team is comprised of people who don’t need extra stimulus to perform well. [3]

How Different Types Of Introvert Act Differently? 

With the more thorough research done on introversion, it has become clear that introversion is a far more complex term that has four subcategories. As the psychologist and academic Jonathan Cheek’s research done on 500 adults suggests, there are four types of introverts. Cheek has developed the STAR model [4] in order to explain the four main types of introverts: Social, Thinking, Anxious and Restrained.

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1. Social introverts

Social introverts tend to rely more on their alone time for regaining energy. As Cheek explains “The idea that introverts need to alternate sociality and their recharging time, that’s very important in social introversion”.

2. Thinking introverts

People who don’t necessarily shy away from social interactions, but tend to be more introspective and inward oriented are described as thinking introverts.

3. Anxious introverts

Most anxious introverts get described as shy, due to their anxiety when around other people. Anxious introverts tend to feel anxious about how they will be perceived by others and, unlike social introverts, the anxiety doesn’t stop when they are alone. Even though they like to be in social situations, they tend to over-analyze their words and behavior and worry about how they will be interpreted by their peers.

4. Restrained introverts

Inhibited, reserved, or restrained introverts most often think before taking any actions and lack spontaneity. They will most certainly decline a last-minute call to a party, because they like to make plans and sudden events make them uncomfortable.

How are introverts Different From Extroverts?

While Carl Jung was the first to coin the terms “introvert” and “extrovert” and provided theory explaining the main differences between the two types, later research showed the differences in the brain structure of the two types of personalities as well as the different ways in which they react to stimulations and recharge their energy.

Namely, extroverts possess lower levels of arousal, therefore they are always on the lookout for new exciting adventure, while introverts, possessing higher levels of arousal, will look for activities and situations that require lower levels of arousal. [5]

Additionally, extroverts are much more adventurous than introverts due to the difference in their brain structure. The pathway of stimuli of extroverts is shorter than the pathway of introverts, therefore the stimulation process of extroverts is shorter, making them “hungry” for more excitement.

Moreover, introverts would always choose a more relaxing activity for recharging, while extroverts are more likely to choose rewards through excitement. This has to do with the fact that brain of extroverts feeds on dopamine, making them feel pleasant only through challenges and excitement, while introverts’ brain prefers acetylcholine, which creates pleasure through introspection and more self-focused activities.

Extroverts are more aggressive. Does that mean they are more successful?

With introverts getting more positive press, it is refreshing to see the negative stigma surrounding them being erased. For so long, it seems our society has been praising extroverts as go-getters and great leaders and achievers, while introverts were considered awkward and underachieving.

Although at first sight introverts may seem like their performance career-wise may seem poor, their natural abilities to listen, stay focused and calm, provide them with great benefits and make them perfectly able to achieve great success.

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If we take a look at the lives and careers of some of the most successful introverts in a number of different areas, we will notice that introversion doesn’t in any way prevent people from being great at what they do. Some of the most famous and successful introverts of our time include

Albert Einstein

Bill Gates [6]

Steven Spielberg [7]

Sir Isaac Newton [8]

Mark Zuckerberg [9]

JK Rowling [10]

Meryl Streep [11]

Introverts: Core strengths and weaknesses

Focused and devoted in every situation, thoughtful to others, insightful and visionary at work, those are some of the common denominators for people with introverted personality type. These are, at the same time, their greatest strengths that make them irreplaceable and beneficial workers, partners, friends, parents…

On the other hand, being introverted usually means being perceived as slightly snobbish, or even rude to others. Also, the more inner focused nature of introverts makes them less likely to get noticed, make more friends or business contacts.

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What Are The Ideal Occupations For Different Introverts? 

There are plenty of great positions for introverts to thrive in depending on their natural abilities, education and preferences. As mentioned before, not all introverts are the same, therefore not every person with introverted personality will be happy in the same work position. However, certain occupations have been shown to better suit introverts as they require some of the natural strengths that introverts possess.

According to the four types of introverts, there is a list of potential jobs that would perfectly suit each type’s needs.

Ideal jobs for social introvert

  • Database administrator
  • Private chef
  • Electrical or electronic engineering technician
  • Commercial diver
  • Animal trainer

Ideal jobs for thinking introvert

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Computer programmer
  • Web developer
  • Video game artist
  • Fashion designer
  • Interior designer
  • Graphic designer

Ideal jobs for anxious introvert

  • Statistician
  • Commercial pilot
  • Technical writer
  • Accountant
  • Medical lab technician or technologist
  • Aircraft mechanic
  • Audio engineering technician

Ideal jobs for restrained introvert

  • Physicist
  • Biochemist or biophysicist
  • Management analyst
  • Market research analyst or marketing specialist
  • Anthropologist or archaeologist
  • Creative or non-fiction writer or author
  • Wildlife biologist
  • Career or education counselor
  • Mental health counselor

How introverts can improve themselves?

Introverts can face many challenges, especially at work and in social situations. Since most introverts won’t speak first at meetings, or sound convincing on job interviews, their careers can suffer as those around them don’t always see their true potential.

There is a way for introverts to how their greatest skills at work while still staying true to themselves. At meetings, they can show their great ability to focus and show their insightful and creative side, and contribute to new ideas.

They can start by asking questions to get the pressure off, and then follow the impulse and speak on the idea. Furthermore, they don’t need to become social butterflies all of a sudden, yet they can use their natural abilities to create meaningful relationships, and use it to make a few genuine connections or allies at work that would help them shine. When it comes to nailing job interviews, introverts can be truly successful if they rely on their natural abilities to prepare well, think before they speak and listen to the person they are talking to.

Since introverts prefer one-on-one conversations to group meetings, they can use their ability to connect in these situations. Moreover, as introverts don’t enjoy talking about themselves, they can show their skills in a manner they are more comfortable with – they can imagine it as sharing instead of bragging.

How To Build Better Relationships With Introvert?

Here are some guidelines on how to understand and respect your introverted friend, partner, or a kid.

If you have an introverted friend

Introverts possess some of the best qualities that make true and genuine friends. In order to keep them around, make sure not to pressure them to hang out in crowded places, as they prefer more intimate atmosphere. Also, give them time to be by themselves to recharge, and time to think before making decisions. Keep surprise adventures at a minimum.

If you are in love with an introvert

Introverts are great partners as they can provide genuine love, support and thoughtfulness to their love interest. Since they don’t act before they think things through, their partners can be assured that they are the only center of their attention. If you are in love with an introvert, make sure to respect their need for private time, don’t interrupt them, and don’t force them to make quick decisions about your lives together.

If you have an introverted kid

If you are raising and introverted child, again, make sure to respect their ways of doing things. Don’t pressure them into making a lot of new friends, having a few, genuine friends is what introverts prefer. Help them cultivate their own skills and talents instead of pressuring them to take part in activities they don’t enjoy. Be aware that they won’t always ask for help, so make sure to be observant and present in order to offer your assistance when needed.

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Books you can read if you want to get in-depth knowledge of introvert

If you are interested in learning more about introverts, here are some great reading suggestions.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

    “The book that started the Quiet Revolution” is an ultimate guide on what it means to be introvert, how to care for one, and how introverts help the world go round, all filled with real life stories.

    The Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World by Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D.

      As the title says, The Introvert Advantage helps introverts overcome their weaknesses, realize their strengths in order to achieve success in every aspect of their lives. The book also debunks most common myths about introverts and provides better understanding of introverted personality type.

      The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World by Sophia Dembling

        Another great piece of writing that empowers introverts to stay true to their nature and realize their unique potential.

        Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe Ph.D.

          In this truly powerful book, Helgoe inspires introverts to turn their natural strengths into their unique supremacy and show their invaluable geniuses to the world.

          The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms by Beth L. Buelow

            Insightful and actionable tips on how to become a super successful introvert entrepreneur without getting too overwhelmed by extroverted ways of doing business.

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            Last Updated on April 23, 2019

            13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

            13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently

            Let me begin by being 100% frank with you – everyone is capable of happiness.

            Happiness is first a choice but it also takes persistence to maintain. Happiness is our birth right and my mission is to help as many people as I can live their happiest life.

            My mission is to spread the message that everyone deserves happiness.

            To live a happy life; however, you must do the work, gain the necessary knowledge, and increase your awareness.

            You must fully embody this state and begin to think and feel happiness on every level of your being.

            Often times, excuses present themselves and our mind gives us the reasons why we can’t be happy:

            “I am too busy right now to focus on happiness”

            “I will be happy when I finish school, when I have the money, when I am in the right relationship, when I have kids, when my children are older….”

            “I would have had a happy life if this traumatic event had never happened”

            “I don’t deserve happiness”

            EVERYONE deserves happiness. The reason that you are here right now is because you have a purpose and you are on the earth to enjoy your journey.

            Think BIGGER than your excuses. Push FARTHER than your complaints.

            Don’t be pulled away from greatness. Get uncomfortable. At least these are what happy and successful people do on a daily basis.

            This article highlights the top 13 tips and tricks of how happy people think and feel.

            If you would like to begin embodying this life-changing state, then… Here are the 13 ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently:

            1. Happy People Put Happiness First

            Happy people have made the decision that their end goal is happiness.

            Every situation, event, bad day ultimately ends with happiness.

            To them, happiness is equivalent to sleep and water – it is a necessity to their life. To live an unhappy life is to have never lived at all.

            The happy person asks,

            “What would be the point of living if every day and moment were filled with negativity?”

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            “Why would I deplete my energy on negativity when I expend less to be positive?”

            They make happy-based decisions which means in EVERY MOMENT they choose happiness.

            If their circumstances can’t change then they instead change their perspective, they look for the silver lining in the negative.

            Happy people don’t let negativity steal their moments away – a positive mindset always prevails.

            If you ask a happy person how their day was, they will always answer your question with a highlight or a lesson learned.

            2. Happy People Embrace Pain

            I know what you are thinking –

            “No one is ALWAYS happy”

            or …

            “Even happy people get in bad moods”

            and …

            These statements are absolutely accurate.

            Happy people aren’t always happy and they DO get into bad moods. They get overwhelmed, they feel defeated, and their feelings get hurt.

            Happy people aren’t invincible and they feel pain just like everyone else. The only difference between happy people and people who let negativity run their lives is that…

            Happy people quickly acknowledge their pain and they make a decision to find a way to transform their pain into something greater. They also use these 13 simple ways to shake off the sadness.

            Happy people admit the negativity they feel and they do what it takes to get back into their natural state: happiness.

            When your end goal is happiness, then you will find a way to achieve it no matter how much strength you have to muster.

            3. Happy People Have a Happy Self-Image

            We all have an image in our minds that we subconsciously live up to.

            The reason that change is so hard is because our subconscious mind is programmed to live by how we define ourselves.

            How are you currently defining yourself?

            For happy people, they see themselves with a smile, positive outlook, and/or a bounce in their step. When an event or situation arises that brings in a negative emotion, they quickly change their state to resemble their natural self-image.

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            When happy people are in a bad mood, it feels unusual to them because feeling negative isn’t aligned with how they see themselves.

            When they feel upset, they acknowledge the negativity and look for a solution to bring their emotions to the level of how they perceive themselves.

            Look at how you define yourself today – your mind and body are always trying to live up to the definition it is taught to believe.

            Your body’s job is to keep you in a “normal” state because this is where it feels most comfortable.

            If your self-image is happy, then your mind and body will naturally be brought back to where it feels at home. Your actions will be a clue to how you define yourself.

            4. Happy People Have a Strong Support System

            The happiest people know that it takes a village and they lean on others for support.

            Happy people feel comfortable reaching out for help when they feel that their resistances are overpowering them. They quickly sense their negativity and they tell somebody.

            Happy people ask for assistance when they can’t figure out a problem. Seeking help takes strength and it never gets in the way of their self-worth. Happy people appreciate the wisdom that their support system provides.

            They have strong connections with the people who are close to them. They never trudge through tough times alone because jeopardizing their happiness for too long would be detrimental to their well-being.

            5. Happy People Safeguard Their Minds from Negative Triggers

            Warding off negativity is almost impossible when we live in a society that lives by what went wrong and feeds off of what could go wrong. News travels instantaneously so it would be unrealistic to shut this out of your life completely.

            However, one strategy that happy people use to safeguard their minds is regulating their environment.

            We have a lot of control on how we allow our environments to affect us. We can control our social media feed, the television shows and movies we watch, the books that we read, the people that we spend our time with, and the places that we hang out.

            If happiness is your end goal, then take a good look at what is bringing you down. What triggers your unhappiness? See if there is anything in your environment that can be changed……

            What we listen to, read, and who we hang out with influence our mind, what we think about, what we worry about, our reactions, and behaviors.

            Happy people know what triggers a feeling of negativity and it feels out of alignment for them so they do what it takes to avoid it.

            They might regulate their social media news feed to reflect the information that brings them positive energy. They might regulate the people that they spend their time with. It is important to hang out with like-minded people.

            What are you triggers? How can you avoid the negativity in your environment?

            These are ways that happy people regulate their environment and safeguard their minds.

            6. Happy People Know When to Say “No”

            Happy people know when to sit one out and say “no.” They do this to protect their happiness and well-being.

            Life gets overwhelming – a lot of people need our attention and the to do list can seem never ending.

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            Happy people give themselves permission to take the day off and they feel comfortable with saying “no” when their stress levels begin to climb. They understand that those around them aren’t benefiting from someone who is frazzled, overwhelmed, and tired.

            A happy person identifies their negative emotion and then they quickly treat it to bring themselves back to their “normal” state, so that they can be at their best for not only themselves but for those around them, too.

            A simple “no” can ultimately mean many more “yes’s” in the future because happiness has a long battery life. You can take a look at Leo Babauta’s article The Gentle Art of Saying No and learn to say no.

            7. Happy People Are Good Evaluators

            Happy people can quickly sense when something is off with themselves or others. They are very intuitive to happiness levels. When someone isn’t quite right, they are the first ones to notice.

            Being able to evaluate happiness means that you can identify when negativity is lingering around for too long.

            We all have bad days; however, the happy person evaluates often and quickly intervenes.

            In other words, happy people frequently evaluate their state and immediately change when their pessimism is overshadowing their joy.

            8. Happy People Bring Other People Up

            What goes on inside of us is mirrored into our physical world.

            What we think about literally consumes our life and is displayed in our work, relationships, and attitude.

            Happy people naturally feel good inside and about themselves so they treat others the way that they treat themselves. It never feels forced to give a compliment or to help out a stranger.

            When we are truly happy with ourselves, everyone around us has a better experience. Happy people are kind to themselves and because of this, it feels natural to them to want to make others’ happy, too.

            9. Happy People Go After Their Dreams

            Happy people are always following the joyful path. They make happy-based decisions and because of this, they always end up where they want to be.

            It’s absolutely impossible to be happy by following an undesirable path, which is quite opposite for unhappy people.

            Most people journey through life on a path they think they are “supposed” to be own. Warning signs (negativity) are often ignored because they truly believe that these feelings are a normal part of life.

            Negativity is NOT normal.

            The happiest people investigate the negativity in their life and quickly analyze the results. This process allows them to get back on the joyful path which ends in a desirable outcome.

            Follow your happiness and your dreams will come true (If that isn’t motivation then I don’t know what is!)

            In addition to happiness, here are 14 amazing things that happen when you live your passion.

            10. Happy People Never Sweat the Small Stuff

            The only expectation that the happy person has is that they remain in a joyful state.

            They rarely have expectations for the events and people in their lives because they know that this is a sure way to get let down.

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            The happiest people take life as it comes – you could say that they roll with the punches. When you don’t have expectations, thenyoue can just sit back and watch how beautifully life unfolds.

            Happy people understand that bad things are inevitable, they are a part of life – The car will break, the kids will make mistakes, people will be late, and dinner will burn.

            If it’s not anything seriously affecting their lives, then they don’t give their energy to it.

            11. Happy People Rarely Have to Prove That They Are Right

            Happy people remember that it’s more important to live up to what they believe. When you live your life aligned with your belief system, then there is no need to explain or prove yourself to others.

            Differences in opinions are inevitable, but the happiest of people know it’s wasted energy to defend their position.

            It is more effective to simply show people, through actions, how you think, feel, and what you believe.

            Energy is saved, arguments are diminished, and credibility/respect are gained when we live by what we believe.

            12. Happy People Smile (Even When They Don’t Want To)

            Smiling is one of the healthiest things we can do; and happy people use this simple trick quite often.

            It has been proven that smiling has the ability to boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, and can even make you look younger. The benefits of smiling have even been backed up by science.[1]

            Better yet, smiling is contagious. When you engage in a quick smile, you are likely to brighten someone else’s day along with your own. It is no wonder why happy people smile often!

            13. Happy People Live Life in the Present Moment.

            When we are genuinely happy, we are living for the moment.

            Happy people let go of the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. They take the moments for what they are worth – they only invest their energy in what feels right to them.

            Everyone is capable of living a happy-centered life. You deserve a life that you desire – your dream life. All you have to start doing is make happy-based decisions TODAY.

            In every moment, decide on what makes you happy – decide on what gets you excited. Stop doing what you don’t love, don’t listen to the people that you dislike.

            If you are engaging in something that isn’t bringing you joy, then quit doing it. Listen to your heart, stop ignoring the warning signs (negativity) because they are there for a reason.

            I have observed, studied, and interviewed some of the happiest and most successful people along with some of the most miserable and self-loathing.

            It starts with one decision – happiness.

            The happiest, most successful people choose happiness with EACH and EVERY decision. And you can start doing this today.

            Featured photo credit: Autumn Goodman via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Harvard Business Review: The Science Behind the Smile

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