A little bit about me
I’ve been an introvert for as far back as I can remember. I’ve always prefered spending time with just one or two people rather than in large groups or crowds and even though I love socialising, I would often need ‘me time’ to ‘recharge’ after attending a party. I’ve learnt that unlike extroverts who gain energy from social interaction, introverts have to expend energy in social situations.
I’m sure I speak for a lot of introverts when I say, at times, it can seem like a disadvantage to be an introvert. Extroverts appear to have all the fun and their outgoing personalities often allow them to acquire promotions, popularity, and recognition. Introverts, on the other hand, may go unnoticed.
Despite this, what sometimes makes life difficult or painful can ultimately become strengths. As such, us introverts can learn to embrace our unique set of abilities and even have a leg up on extroverts. After all, some of the most amazingly successful people in history are introverts, such as Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg and Charles Darwin.
The importance of understanding personality types
Understanding the traits of an extrovert vs an introvert is something that has always interested me, although it’s not something I actively looked into until later on in life. Learning more about personality types at a younger age could benefit so many people and help them recognise how to lead, influence, communicate, collaborate, and manage stress into adulthood.
By understanding your personality, you also understand what your personality is not, which allows you to see differences in those around you in a deeper way. Having this sort of self-awareness gives you the opportunity and freedom to to think and talk about differences in what energizes you, how you make decisions and how you take in information. Self-awareness allows us to understand things from multiple perspectives and it frees us from our assumptions and biases. It helps us build better relationships.
There’s a great little book called Surrounded by Idiots that I keep meaning to get my hands on. The author Thomas Erikson explores four types of human behaviour by using a color scheme of red, yellow, green and blue as a base to describe different personalities. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, you should check it out. I’d love to know what your thoughts are.
Extroversion vs introversion
The terms extraversion and introversion are central to human personality theories and were introduced into psychology by Carl Jung. Extraversion tends to be indicative in outgoing, talkative, energetic behaviour, whereas introversion is manifested in more reflective and reserved behaviour. Typically, extraversion and introversion are viewed as a single continuum; however, the thing to understand is they are not all-or-nothing traits. Alike to anything else, we should think of these two temperaments as being on a spectrum.
The human personality is a complex and colorful thing - some people are at the extreme ends of the scale and others fall somewhere in the middle. I recently discovered this blog called Introvert Dear which is an online community and publication for introverts. It has loads of insightful articles, help and inspiration, and even has an interactive quiz that can help you understand your personality. For the best results don’t answer how you think you’re supposed to. Choose the answer that is most true for you, most of the time.
The superpowers of introverts
They are self-reflective
Introverts are naturally wired to pause and contemplate. Speaking from personal experience, this can sometimes lead to overthinking, but it can also lead to clarity. Having self-awareness is important because it allows us to assess our growth and effectiveness and make changes in our life if we feel we need to. Looking inward can help clarify your values, thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and overtime help you become more comfortable with who you are. As Introvert Dear blogger B.B. LaFave writes, ‘We each carry our own introverted shields, capes, and armor unique to each of us.’
They often have creative minds
‘We do our thinking, dreaming, and creating in our rich inner world.’ - Andre Sólo, Introvert Dear
For a lot of introverts, being alone is how we get our energy and is also when we do our best work. Not all introverts are creative of course, but some of the best writers and artists have thrived on alone time. Georgia O’Keefe allegedly lived a solitary lifestyle to suit her introverted nature. ‘I get on pretty well with my own company,’ she once told Andy Warhol.
Introverts are usually great listeners
Listening to others and respecting opinions is a great superpower of an introvert. We tend to think things through before having our say. We are good at understanding others which can help build good rapport with people. We tend to be the friend you can call on when you’re upset or have good news to share.
Introverts have meaningful relationships with others
In their day-to-day lives, introverts deal with misconceptions about their personalities - shy, cold and unfriendly to name a few. However, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve found I only need a few people in my life to be happy. I have a small circle of friends but they are deep meaningful friendships I have had for years. I know that as long as I can recharge my battery with some alone time, I can then go out into the world and connect really well with others.
So, the truth is, a lot of introverts can often worry there is something wrong with them, especially in a world that is made for extroverts. You may be an introvert but it doesn’t mean you fit a stereotype. I find talking to other introverts can help with confidence and help give you the confidence that it’s okay to be who you are.
‘So let’s celebrate all the different forms and shapes we come in. Let’s encourage everyone to participate in ways that are comfortable, let’s be creative, think out of the box, be kind to the unknown and ourselves.’ - Heidi, Moray Wellbeing Hub
WHO WROTE THIS?
A communications and online marketing expert, Kayleigh users her knowledge of organic and paid media advertising to target audiences, strengthen brands and increase conversions. She is also our email marketing guru and is driven to deliver engaging, impactful and personalised campaigns. Last but not least, Kayleigh is the owner of our cheeky office pooch, Snoopy.
Who wrote this?
She/her. Kayleigh is part of the online marketing guild and has a passion for social media and email marketing. She is the proud owner of our cheeky office pooch, Snoopy. Kayleigh’s fave things to do are visiting photography exhibitions, listening to psychology podcasts and cooking, (sometimes burning), yummy Thai food. She is a keen traveller and has a bucket list to visit as many countries as possible. Over the years she has learnt to embrace her own unique set of introverted superpowers.