There are many misconceptions about introverts – and, of course, we’re not all the same. This list is based on my own preferences and on observations of introverted friends.
- Introverts re-charge their batteries by spending time alone. When they don’t get enough “alone time”, they can become exhausted and cranky.
- Not all introverts are shy. Some are shy, while others are happy to perform on stage, as long as they’re not required to mingle with the audience afterwards.
- Introverts live in their heads a lot and can spend hours staring into space, apparently doing nothing. In fact, they might be working on the next “big thing” to revolutionise society.
- Introverts are quietly spoken, but when they’re talking about a topic they’re passionate about, they can become quite animated – which is sometimes mistaken for extroversion.
- Introverts often don’t contribute to group discussions because they prefer to reflect before offering an opinion and can become overwhelmed when lots of people are talking at once.
- Introverts are good problem solvers. They are analytical and enjoy thinking things through but are not very good at coming up with an inspired guess when put on the spot.
- Introverts prefer to work alone or in a small team, and to socialise with one or two close friends at a time, so they can have more in-depth conversations.
- Introverts can enjoy a party as much as extroverts – although not at the end of a busy day or week. They can be found in the kitchen, putting the world to rights.
- Introverts favour on-line interaction because they can quietly log out when they start to feel overwhelmed, without appearing rude.
- Introverts make loyal friends and co-workers when treated with respect and not expected to behave like bubbly extroverts.
About the author Julia Barnickle is a film maker, photographer, artist and writer, and the founder of The Quiet Entrepreneur community for introverts in business. She offers visibility coaching to raise your online profile, and helps you create videos to promote and deliver your services.