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20 Things To Remember If You Love An Introvert

20 Things To Remember If You Love An Introvert

I used to be ashamed of being an introvert. I wanted to be someone else. You see, sometimes it’s hard to explain to other people how it actually feels to be an introvert. It’s even harder to accept that it’s a part of who you are and especially difficult to communicate this to someone who is not an introvert.

Questions like, “Why don’t you want to go to this party?” or “Why do you look so unhappy around big groups of people?” are sometimes difficult to answer.

After all, it’s not like we don’t enjoy having fun, acting silly, or being around other people. We just want to do it around the right people and more importantly, we need the time to be quiet.

If you’re an extrovert, don’t take it personally when we don’t jump at the chance to be in large groups of people and remember these 20 things if you truly love an introvert.

1.  They enjoy quietly being alone

Yes, we actually enjoy spending time alone. In fact, we thrive off of it. It gives us a chance to gather our thoughts and recharge. It gives us time to do more things that we really like to do such as read, write, or reflect on our day. Extroverts may enjoy alone time too, but our time typically needs to be in a quiet place and for longer periods of time.

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2.  They can be overwhelmed by large crowds

We don’t typically enjoy spending long periods of time in large crowds. While we may endure it for a concert, parade, or special event, we don’t look forward to being around masses of people. After a while, it can be really overwhelming and although we may not cover our ears, scream and freak out in large crowds, we secretly wish we could.

3.  They really do like other people

Introverts aren’t necessarily anti-social. We just don’t get energized by people and sometimes it just takes us a little longer to warm up to someone. Be patient with us. Often, we want to get to know you better before we actually show you that we enjoy your company. We do like you, even if we don’t show it!

4.  They are highly introspective

We seek to find the deeper meaning in life, sometimes to a fault. We tend to analyze situations that really don’t need to be analyzed. If it takes us longer to understand something, it’s not because we don’t get it, it’s because we are thinking about the deeper meaning. In general, we seek to understand the deeper meaning of life.

5.  They prefer to get know fewer people on a deeper level

Many introverts are perfectly happy with a close, small group of friends. It can be overwhelming to keep up with a lot of friends because introverts feel like they need to really know all of them. So, they may prefer to have a select group of really close friends they can get to know on a deeper level.

6.  They are great listeners

In fact, we love to listen. It gives us a chance to really get to know someone and understand them better. Introverts are typically highly engaged with someone they want to get to know. They are easily distracted by outside stimuli that may interfere with listening, because they want to devote all of their attention to the other person.

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7.  They have a lot of fun!

Introverts are not boring people. They just like to save their best stuff for the right people in the right situation. They can act silly, crazy, be loud, and even sing karaoke! However, even reading a book can be considered fun for an introvert. Reading a book in a crowded room full of people? Not so fun.

8. They sometimes wish they were extroverts

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to walk into a large group of people and to instantly become energized by the people around me. I always thought it has to be cool to have that infectious energy that draws people to you. As a guy, I used to think this was the only way to get the ladies (it’s not). I love myself as an introvert, but sometimes I wish I could live it up as an extrovert.

9.  They enjoy a quiet night in

I actually prefer to stay home on a Friday night. I may go out with friends, a party, or out to dinner, but I actually prefer to stay in and avoid the large crowds. I live in a city so it’s difficult to truly get away and spend time alone. The best place I can do this at is sitting in my living room watching a movie or reading a book.

10.  They don’t enjoy being the center of attention

Most introverts don’t like all eyes to be on them. It can be difficult to speak up at a work meeting, deliver a speech, or answer a question in front of other people. We typically like to listen to other people’s perspective and hear what they have to say. It doesn’t mean we don’t have an opinion, but sometimes it’s hard to articulate what we’re thinking.

11.  They don’t necessarily have fun at parties

Even if everyone is having a great time, it doesn’t necessarily mean that an introvert will. A party with a lot of people just isn’t always fun. We know it’s supposed to be fun bu, large numbers of people in small spaces actually make us feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t mean we aren’t fun people or don’t enjoy people, it’s just hard to be ourselves in large groups.

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12.  They don’t like to talk about themselves

Introverts typically don’t like to brag about themselves. They are more interested in getting to know the other person first. They often have a lot to offer to a conversation but sometimes wonder if they add any value to a conversation. Also, they just don’t want to come across as a too much of a know-it-all. In other words, we might not say out loud how “stoked” we are about something.

13.  They want to really get to know you

We like to build honest, authentic, “real” relationships. Sometimes it doesn’t come across that way initially because we can be guarded. However, we are interested in you and what you have to say. It just takes us a little more time to open up. We secretly revel in the excitement of getting to know someone better.

14.  They work better in small groups

Employers should know that we prefer to work in small groups because it’s just easier for us to do it and we actually perform better. It’s also easier to speak up with fewer eyes watching you. We also like to get to know each individual in these small groups, because it’s less overwhelming when we don’t feel as if we have to know everyone in a large group.

15.  They notice things other people might miss

Introverts are valued assets in the workplace because they often notice details that others might miss. Because they are deeply introspective, introverts might be able to come up with a potential solution to a problem that may have been overlooked. They may not speak up about it but doesn’t mean that they aren’t thinking about it. In fact, studies confirm that introverts can be great leaders, too.

16.  They easily see other people’s point of view

They are typically empathetic to other people and what they have to say  Even if they don’t agree with the other person, they make a good effort to see things from their perspective. They strive to get to know other people in all situations before judging or making the other person feel inadequate.

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17.  They aren’t necessarily shy

Shyness and introversion get lumped together because many of the traits between the two overlap. Sometimes an introvert isn’t afraid to meet other people, but they just prefer to do it in their own way. In fact, extroverts can be shy! A well-known Stanford researcher points out that many public figures are both extroverted and shy.

18.  They are drained by high energy people

High energy people can be exhausting for introverts. They often feel like they have to match that level of intensity and may feel uncomfortable when they don’t. Introverts may need breaks from these high energy situations because unlike extroverts, they don’t become energized by these people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

19.  They like to take things slow

Sometimes it just takes us introverts a little longer to move forward. We like to weigh all of our options and look at all possible outcomes before making a final decision. This can also be detrimental to us because we tend to analyze things too much. So, don’t take it personally if we just aren’t quite ready to take that next step.

20.  They are not just introverts

Being labeled as an introvert can immediately put someone in a category. Although it is a useful term that people can relate to, it doesn’t define who they are. There are many types of introverts and many variations within those types. More than anything, introverts are people first. Being an introvert is just one aspect of who a person is. Many people fall into a continuum of traits and exhibit extroverted traits AND introverted traits.

One definition certainly doesn’t define who I am, yet it’s helpful to understand that I am not the only one who experiences these personality traits. We aren’t crazy, we aren’t boring, and we aren’t anti-social. We may be some of these at times, but who isn’t?!

In general, introverts are just people who prefer to slow it down a little and re-energize themselves from a quiet place of peace and tranquility.

Featured photo credit: Marco Bond via flickr.com

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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