The Glorious Mystery of Introverts

We are thinkers. We are observers. Yes, we lean to the quiet side, but we can sport a sassy personality just as much as our counterparts, the extroverts.

Although only a handful of close friends may get to witness that “sassy” side of an introvert—those friends consider themselves immensely blessed!

Long misrepresented as aloof—and slightly misunderstood—introverts aren’t necessarily overly shy, and they certainly aren’t anti-social! They do, however, know their own limitations, and learn early on in life that strength can sometimes be best gathered when they spend time alone. Being introverted has nothing to do with a lack of confidence, and many people find “the thinkers” difficult to get to know and tricky to figure out. But all it takes is recognizing what may be a different life-coping strategy than your own.

Psychologist Carl Jung began using the terms introvert and extrovert around the 1920s, and what he discovered sums up the difference: Introverts rely on their own minds to recharge their batteries, while extroverts seek out other people to give them much-needed energy and enthusiasm. Think about meeting new people at a party and the time you spend with initial small talk to get better acquainted. For an introvert, that small talk can be absolutely exhausting!

For the outgoing extroverts, face-to-face communication is the only way to go, but for introverts, bring on the e-mails and text messages! For the “thinkers” there’s nothing better than skipping over the often draining experience of conversation, and relaying their feelings and opinions via the beautiful written word. And for any introvert who works in retail or a fast-paced corporate environment, it is definitely possible to be “peopled out.”

Top 5 reminders about your own beloved introvert:

*Being in a relationship with an introvert means respecting their quiet moments, and realizing they emerge even better than before after a little alone-time—a win-win for both of you! Quiet time is essential for them to concentrate.

*Introverts make the absolute best friends and are known to be excellent listeners, but they rely on a smaller “inner circle” to complete their social network.

* Savvy introverts spend a little extra time processing a situation, and even in social gatherings, they are more likely to notice and “read” the facial expressions and body language of others.

* Self-awareness is one of their top strengths, but that does not make your introvert friends self-centered. They simply know what situations suit them best.

*Rather than diving headfirst into a chaotic situation around them, the introvert needs a few minutes to process and think through the chaos.  So, indulge them! They bring order to the outside world by first bringing order to their “inner” world—which gives them strength to tackle what’s happening around them.

With my own tendencies toward being an introvert, I’m still perfectly able to thrive in a work or social setting, but I admittedly need that “inner circle” of friend support and quiet time to recharge. Remember, introverts are simply giving life an extra glance before they jump right in!

 

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