Is it harder to be an introvert?
Most people I've met describe me as "strange" "shy" and "anti-social" and I just don't mind because it's true but it doesn't really define me perfectly.
In fact, 99% of people misunderstand me because I'm one of those more reserved introverts and I have a hard time fitting in, especially at social gatherings.
When I'm online, I feel like a different person and I enjoy interacting with clients, bloggers, and other people, even on social media.
Introverts are more likely than others to struggle in social situations. They're also more likely to be shy and reserved. They can have varying degrees of social anxiety. However, not all introverts are the same. Some are amazing public speakers or compelling leaders.
In this post, I'm exploring if it's really harder to live life as an introvert or not.
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Why are introverts misunderstood?
The most obvious answer is that we're different. Some people don't understand why someone would want to spend a lot of time alone or doesn't want to go to crazy parties. It's perceived as being "boring." In fact, many times leading an introverted life is seen as boring, uneventful, and meaningless when it can be very enriching for the person living it.
There are certain advantages to being an introvert, such as being self-reliant and having excellent communication skills. However, introverts might sometimes be thought of as "reserved" or "unsociable." This is true to a certain extent because our society places so much value on being sociable.
However, it's important to note that being an introvert doesn't necessarily mean being shy. Introverts can be just as social as extroverts - it depends on many factors though.
If you're interested in understanding introverts, I highly recommend Susan Cain's book The Power of Introverts.
What it comes down to is how introverted people process social situations. Introverts sometimes prefer to spend time alone and can be very sensitive to social cues. There are times when you feel overwhelmed as an introvert because you are very sensitive to the things around you or other people's reactions. However, introverts can also be very socially adept and can quickly develop strong relationships.
Being an introvert can be challenging for you career-wise. This is because sometimes, you don't know where you should put yourself in certain situations. It is hard to stand up to bosses or colleagues because you tend to avoid conflictual situations. Therefore, you have to learn how to communicate your thoughts clearly so that your boss can understand them without being misunderstood.
Since you don't like showing off, you can appear to be less passionate or even less skilled than outgoing colleagues but you know this isn't the case.
Why does it make sense for someone to be introverted in some settings and not others?
Introverts may find that some settings provide the right amount of stimulation. However, they may only feel comfortable in certain environments.
For example, they may thrive in a small office where they know everyone but may feel uncomfortable in a large office where they don't know anyone. Another example is when you feel nervous going on a Zoom call where people can see you on video.
But, communicating via e-mail can be much more comfortable and easy for you. Therefore, it's possible that many introverts are excellent communicators via writing.
In what ways is introversion similar to shyness?
Introverts feel nervous and uncomfortable in social situations. They like to reflect on their thoughts and prefer to be alone than in a crowd.
They tend to be interested in topics such as art, writing, science, science fiction, or psychology. Introverts enjoy doing things at their own pace and do not like to be pressured.
Because we introverts don't like to be the center of attention, our shyness is often mistaken for weirdness or even stupidity.
Many people believe that introverts are antisocial because they prefer to take a minute to think before answering a question.
The truth is that introverts need time to think before speaking, and this causes them to sometimes sound uninterested or rude. However, once you let the introvert speak, you'll notice the intelligence.
In what ways can you help a person who has trouble connecting with others?
Take the time to listen and wait for them to open up to you - don't force a relationship. Sometimes, it will take a long time before you get to a close friendship. If you give an introvert time, they may surprise you. They might even change you.
If you're struggling with your confidence and people skills as an introvert, there are a lot of great courses you can take.
Confidence Tools - Confidence & Self-Esteem is a Udemy course focused on teaching you how to become social while eliminating all that anxiety you probably have. It even teaches you how to start feeling good in your skin and how to practice confidence. Companies Nasdaq are even offering this course to their employees who struggle to "come out of their shell."
Sometimes, it's easier to be a social butterfly than an introvert. Why is this?
Introverts need solitude to recharge, extroverts need to be around people. Introverts may not like small talk, but they actually love deep, meaningful conversation. Introverts are very observant. Introverts focus more on their inner thoughts and feelings instead of the world around them.
When you're out and about as an extrovert, you easily respond to the world around you and publicly display your extroverted personality. This is an excellent trait because you can get ahead in life and live a full, social, and meaningful life.
But as an introvert you look around, observe, and then process before you act. This can hold you back sometimes so it can be hard to fully immerse yourself in what's happening.
So, when you feel overwhelmed, you need to take steps to relax and clear your mind. This helps you assess situations properly and you won't retreat back into your little shell.
Why is it important to understand how introverts process social situations?
Introverts often feel like they don't fit in because they prefer to focus inward instead of the outside world. Introverts strive for inner awareness, which is one of the primary reasons that they take time each day to listen to their inner voice. Introverts often feel misunderstood because of their quiet demeanor.
Here's the thing - once you understand introverts have many amazing qualities and they are highly sensitive and intelligent people, you'll learn how to interact and better understand them. It's all about realizing we, as people, are all different and this is a GOOD THING!