Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The 7 Greatest Strengths of an Introvert

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If you’re an introvert, it can seem like the world just isn’t built for you. From the very beginning, others have tried to change you, telling you to “come out of your shell” so that you can get the most out of life.

But, as an introvert, you know that some of the greatest pleasures of life come from within. What others take for shyness, you know to be thoughtfulness.
This is also the source of your greatest strengths. As an introvert, you don’t have to rely on others for your energy and inspiration. You have a calm and steady power that comes from within, and your quiet mind picks up on every subtlety. This makes you incredibly valuable as both an employee and as a friend, and with only about a quarter of the population being introverts, both are lucky to have you and your unique talents.
But if you’re like many introverts, you’ve internalized a lifetime of advice that tells you that many of your natural traits are weaknesses, that you should strive to be more outgoing, and that your restrained nature is a hindrance to your personal growth.
That’s just not true, and to help you be proud of who you are, let’s take a look at the 7 greatest strengths of an introvert.

They Listen to You
Active listening is one of the most valuable skills in any situation. It’s also quite natural for many introverts.
Laurie Helgoe, clinical psychologist and author of “Introvert Power,” says that the best kind of listener is one that doesn’t hijack the conversation while still remaining engaged with what he speaker has to say.
The very best listeners strive to hear what the speaker has to say without obsessing over what to say next. Introverts are great at this. According to Helgoe, “Introverts want to take in what you’re saying, think about it and then respond, while extroverts want to engage in a back-and-forth.”
This skill makes introverts invaluable in the workplace, especially in those areas like sales, where you might never expect to find reserved workers. The ability to listen to the needs of a client, to process those needs, and to respond accordingly, is what solves problems and closes deals.
On the social scene, listening is what makes for strong connections, which is why introverts enjoy satisfyingly deep relationships with a smaller number of people. To be an introvert’s friend, is to always have a ready ear.
If you’re an introvert, you have a lot to give to the world through your listening skills, so never mistake your quiet attentiveness for a weakness.

They're Great at Written Communication
Extroverts get all the press for being the verbal communicators of the world, but introverts have some serious skills when it comes to conveying their thoughts through the written word.
Remember how rare listening skills are? Well, writing skills are just as rare, and equally as valuable.
Often, writing comes naturally to introverts—they prefer being able to mull over their words rather than enduring the spontaneous give-and-take of verbal conversation, and so a lifetime of this produces some pretty sharp writing skills.
But it’s not only practice that makes introverts great writers, but the very way their brains function. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that introverts have more gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that processes abstract thought. Rather than living in the moment, as extroverts tend to do, introverts have more neurons devoted to reflection.
Abstract thought and reflection are the heart and soul of good writing—an introvert’s written words will often come from a place of thoughtful understanding of the issue at hand, and will be organized and clear.
If you’re an introvert, remember that whatever you may lack in fast-paced verbal communication, you can make up for in your writing skills.

They're Independent
If you’re an introvert, you value interpersonal connections as much as anyone, but there’s one thing that sets you apart: you’re not afraid to be independent.
Introverts enjoy taking me-time. This solitude, in fact, is how they regain their energy after a hard day’s socializing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like to socialize—it simply means that they generate their own energy rather than drawing it from interaction with others.
This means that, as an introvert, you work great on your own, and are capable of placing a great amount of concentration into one task for long periods of time.
In the workplace, this can make you the joy of a boss who doesn’t want to have to micromanage employees—they’ll have confidence that they can give you a task and set you free.
This can also be great for your social relationships. You’ll be able to give your friends, family, and romantic interests the space they might need to grow as people.
The independence of an introvert is a huge asset—never discount the power of alone time.

They're Loyal Friends
Introverts are careful. They think before they act, reflecting deeply on the consequences of a choice before they make it.
Because of that, if an introvert chooses you as a friend, it’s a big deal. They’ve considered you, weighed you, and found that they want you in their lives. Because introverts don’t arbitrarily pick friends, they’re extremely loyal to those they do choose.
Connections, for the introvert, run deep. They don’t like to talk about nothing, and are very good at drawing out what’s really inside a person through active listening and thoughtful questions. That means that your introverted friend doesn’t just like you for your public face, but likes you for who you really are.
If you’re an introvert, don’t let tell you that there’s anything wrong with having a small, close group of friends. Whether you know it or not, you’re probably the light of those friends’ lives.

They Think Things Through
Western culture places greater value on people who can act quickly than on those who take their time. People who can make split-second decisions, react instantly to threats and problems, and provide on-the-spot, witty verbal retorts are revered.
Eastern cultures, though, may be on to something with their emphasis on serenity, quiet, and contemplative behaviour. Do you remember the way the introverted brain works, with its long, winding pathway that thoughts must take before being translated into action? This helps introverts to be excellent decision makers, carefully considering all aspects of an issue before arriving at a conclusion.
With their lack of impulsive behaviour, ability to independently develop ideas, and a calm, measured approach toward problem-solving, introverts more than make up for their lack of speed with an abundance of quality.
This means that introverts perform wonderfully in roles which require the making of big decisions—often, they’re the very best managers, executives, and CEOs.
If you’re an introvert, learn to see your thoughtful mind as an asset, not a liability, and place yourself in positions where you can make the best use of it.

They Exude Calm

In stressful situations, introverts are often the ones who remain calm, collected, and thoughtful, speaking in measured tones even when things are going wrong.
This is because introverts place more value on their own, stable inner world than on the outer world of things and people. No matter what storm is going on outside, they can usually stay safely nestled within their mind-home.
Another reason why introverts are able to remain so calm is because they’re great at preparation. Because many introverts don’t like having to act spontaneously, or simply feel as if they can’t, they’ll often over-prepare, and use mental tools that help them stay calm and in control.
For example, because of their rich imaginations, introverts will often take a moment to imagine that they are someone wildly successful, powerful, or important before entering a stressful situation, which gives them a boost of confidence that helps them glide through any difficulties.
Never mistake an introvert’s calmness for weakness. Instead, realize that they are the boulder that diverts the river.

They Notice Everything

Finally, introverts are, above all, noticers. They’re masters of subtlety, understatement, and nuance, and probably know a good deal about you after just a moment’s conversation.
Sometimes, this can be painful. There’s a lot of bad in this world, and the ability to see so much more of it can seem intolerable. It’s often glaringly obvious to an introvert when they’re being betrayed, when someone doesn’t like them, and when things just aren’t right in the world.
But this is also a massive strength, because when an introvert sees these things, they can be rid of them. They can leave that two-faced friend or unpleasant co-worker behind, and they can work to set things right in the world around them.
If you’re an introvert, take pride in your ability to see and notice life’s small details. It is a gift that will help you make the world a better place.
Embrace the Real You
If you’re an introvert, it’s time to embrace who you are and stop letting the world tell you who you should be. Just like extroverts have their own set of unique strengths that the world needs, so do you.
So, don’t be afraid to be your introverted self—you might just find some of your greatest strengths.

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