Being an Introvert is not a Weakness to Fix
Have you ever heard of extroverts having to develop to become quieter? Probably not too often. But if you are an introvert, there are tons of feedback for you to come out of your desk, mingle with people, and overcome the fears of public speaking, you name it!
Now here is some good news for you (and me). In the article, The Upside of being an Introvert (and why the extroverts are being overrated); It says,
“It takes both introvert and extrovert to make history. Introverts have less number of friends but those relationships tend to be deep and rewarding. Introverts tend to think more thoroughly and that is a pre-requisite for smarter decisions, innovation or developing transcendent skill. Believe it or not introverts make great business leaders as they are better listeners, they empower others to act on their own.”
A quick way to define Introverts and extroverts is: introverts are exhausted by large parties and social gatherings, while extroverts draw energy by being with people. However, introversion or extroversion is not binary, it is more of a personality spectrum, and many people fall in between.
Even though about 50% of working adults in the US identify themselves as introverts, our workplaces are biased toward extroverts, who seem to be more successful in leadership roles. As a result, most introverts learn to fake those extrovert skills to fulfill the workplace or societal norms. Deb Liu, the CEO of Ancestory.com, calls herself distinctly introverted. Early in her career, she devised a self-prescribed plan to help herself become more comfortable and confident in engaging with others. Her strategy included,
1. Setting aside practice time and
2. Working towards tiny goals.
Some may find it disappointing that introversion or extroversion are inherited and fairly inborn. Hence psychologists advise parents not to push their introverted kids too much as it would do more harm than good. However, there is a better way. As Brian Little, a research psychologist and superstar academic lecturer (who happens to be an introvert) at Harvard, said,
if something matters to them, an introvert would have enough intrinsic motivation to push that discomfort of being in public.
Many introverted people have made their names in world history. If public figures like Moses (yes, the prophet), Mahatma Gandhi, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama are introverts, then I see no reason to be shy about our introverted traits!
Susan Cain’s TED Talk: The Power of Introverts,