Being an introvert can be viewed as a negative characteristic. Introverts often prefer not to be the centre of attention, would rather listen than talk, and like to spend time alone.
But why is this often seen as secondary or inferior to those of a more extroverted nature?
Well the answer is found in the above. They are often not driven by being singled out or in the limelight. But do not mistake this to mean they are not driven.
Although introverts are not natural leaders, celebrities or public figures, their qualities are plenty and if required they are more than capable of fulfilling the above roles.
Introverts work well alone and often deliver better work as they spend less time socialising or becoming distracted by others.They are less interested in small talk, but will be very engaged when they are interested and will take things very seriously when it matters.
They are often very emotionally intelligent, will look to avoid conflict and they make amazing friends as they are good listeners, self sacrificing and very loyal.
Introverts can be more vulnerable to over thinking. A pattern that if not kept in check can become very problematic. This can include over analysing what others think of them and being aware of all possible outcomes, with an emphasis on risk. What can happen over time is that rather than considering these hypothetical, thoughts and facts become unclear and perspective becomes skewed.
This can lead to behavioural changes; avoiding new situations as they feel uncomfortable or anxious with new people, not trusting their judgement so avoiding decisions, and even developing a very self critical internal voice "I can't", "I'm boring", "It's too risky".
So how can you overcome the challenges of being shy by nature and embrace it?
- Challenge the unhelpful beliefs. If you can identify the negative judgements you are making about yourself, you can start to challenge them. Look for evidence to support them, and if you can't find any, let them go. Remember your thoughts are not evidence.
- Talk to those who care about you. By getting feedback you will start to realise what you thought others thought, may not always be correct.
- Step out of your comfort zone. Often our worst fears are not realised, but until we try, we never recognise this. Avoidance maintains the fear, action removes it.
- Use mindfulness. Mindfulness is a great way to get control of your thoughts and get out of your own head. There are now endless resources and ways to easily access mindfulness techniques, you never know until you try.
You can do it my fellow introverts!
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About Judith Williams
Judith Williams - Director of Complete Life Coaching
I am a qualified Mental Health Nurse, Personal & Performance Coach & NLP Practitioner.
I specialise in cognitive and behaviour change to achieve improved mental wellbeing for my clients.