Why it's okay to be an introvert
Society today celebrates loud, bold and sociable behaviour, so it can feel uncomfortable to admit to others that you're an introvert. If you think about social media, reality TV shows or corporate environments, the focus and approval often seems to be on those people with extrovert behaviour.
Researchers estimate that 16 to 50% of the population (not a very precise figure) are introverts and these include Oprah and Barack Obama. Despite the stigma that introverts are shy, don't like people and lack confidence; the truth is that they are warm and likeable and have a confidence level unrelated to their introvert nature.
How do you know if you are an introvert or not?
Well here are some common signs you're an introvert:
- You work better on you own rather than in a team - it doesn't mean you can't be a team player just that others can be distracting for you.
- You enjoy having time to yourself.
- You're less likely to volunteer your opinion in a group situation.
- You like time to reflect and work a problem out for yourself.
- You're happy to listen and observe in a social situation.
- You form friendships with only a few people but in a deep and close way.
If you think you have an introvert somewhere inside you then be proud of it and ignore the pressure by society to be more outgoing. There are some great advantages to being an introvert:
- You're less likely to be bored as you're stimulated by your own company.
- As you are introspective, you are more likely to think through and deal with your problems.
- Being an observer of behaviour you may have a greater understanding of people and good rapport skills, therefore being very likeable.
- Being happy in your own company means you are comfortable to do things alone, such as travelling.
- At work you don't need constant reassurance from your boss and are a self-starter.
Next time you wish you had the extrovert, confident and outgoing style of a friend or colleague remember that your style of confidence is just as effective and what you bring to a group just as important.
Good luck in building your confidence.