Dorie Clark explains the difference between introversion and shyness, with which it’s often confused. Dorie also sets the record straight about other myths about introverts, including that they lack confidence or don't like to be around others.
- You hear a lot of things about introverts. They're painfully shy, they don't have any confidence, they don't like to be around other people. In fact, they just don't like people. Of course, none of that is true. Sure, some people have those traits. But they may or may not be introverts. Introversion is something completely different. And here's what it is according to Psychology Today. Introverts, they say, are drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, often creative, pursuits.
Their disposition is frequently misconstrued as shyness, social phobia, or even avoidant personality disorder. But many introverts socialize easily, they just strongly prefer not to. Some people may not believe you when you say you're an introvert because you relate well to people. But they are misunderstanding the point. You simply need time alone, or at least quiet time to recharge. In a lot of ways, it's like someone who needs a little more sleep than other people. Societally, it's not always convenient, but you need to be aware of what your body is telling you.
Because if you don't get enough sleep, you're not going to function optimally. And the same is true of introverts who don't get enough downtime. And it turns out that along with the sometimes obvious disadvantages of being an introvert, there are also some real benefits. As Psychology Today hastened to add, in fact, the self-styled introvert can be more empathic and inter-personally connected than his or her out-going counterparts. There's a power in listening instead of speaking all the time and spending time in quiet thought.
In fact, it can sometimes lead to real breakthroughs for you and your company. As an introvert, you can be just as successful, if not more so, compared to extroverts at your company. What's necessary is claiming, rather than running away from, your introversion and optimizing to make your introversion an asset. That's what we'll be discussing here.