Hey! Introverts. How would you feel if I told you, your introversion is your strength? You may have heard the terms Introversion and Extroversion in passing. It comes up many a time in recruitment briefings, or throw away comments when discussing confidence. It can be used as a shield to avoid trying new things or to explain away behaviour. Either way, most people misunderstand what these terms actually mean.
When asked, many people will place themselves into the “Introversion Box”, and many of those will assume this a negative thing. That an “extrovert” is the person spilling over with confidence, who seem to float through networking or meetings, pressing palms and talking effortlessly. You don’t realise that they are likely to have spent years honing that skill. They may have ways to deal with their shaking hands and nervous, dry mouth. They made find the level of social interaction tiring, and wish they could spend time just talking to one or two people.
They may, in fact, be an Introvert.
The origin of these phrases are from Carl Jung, whose work on Personality Types has not only influenced a scientific movement but influenced our day to day psyche so much, that these words are part of our day to day vocab. Research over the years has broken down these types into multiple combinations and applied to everything from career profiling to marketing.
However, over the same time, the definitions have become muddled, and many people are left feeling “less than” because of this misunderstood label.
So, I am here to tell you this. Introversion (in simple terms) is where you get your energy from. As Jung put it:
“Each person seems to be energized more by either the external world (extraversion) or the internal world (introversion).”
“Am I an Introvert?”
Introversion is a valuable thing. Introverts have great self-discipline, have meaningful conversations, solid social connections and deep thoughts.
You may shy away from big occasions, need time alone to recharge and hate small talk, but you are likely to be super focused, detail orientated and extremely passionate about what you do, who you care for and what you know.
Putting it bluntly, when you talk, you have something VERY IMPORTANT TO SAY!
When you are going into situations that may you feel uncomfortable, then work out what works for you using the three R’s.
- Get Ready: What do you need to know to feel more comfortable?
- Recharge: Plan to have some time to re-energise from a draining situation
- Re-connect: With the people of feelings that worked for you during that time!
Finally, don’t assume that everyone is at one end of the range or another. As an obvious Extrovert, I have times where I need to be alone or have a wobble in a room full of strangers. Don’t limit yourself; understand yourself.
You don’t need to shout to shine.
What works for you? Join The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox and share what energises you!