The Surprising Hidden Powers of Introverts (that nobody talks about)

The Surprising Hidden Powers of Introverts
This guest post is by Charo Pinilla.
Charo is based in Madrid, and she is yet another valued contact who I ‘met’ on-line, through a Screw Work Let’s Play 30 Day Challenge. I asked Charo to write this article for the blog, following a conversation in the Facebook group about Myers Briggs personality types. I hope you find it as fascinating as I do!
~ Julia Barnickle

Let me ask you something: what do you know about yourself?

Yes, I know you are an introvert, or you wouldn’t be reading this blog, but what else is hidden in your personality type? Do you know your strengths? And have you ever been mistaken for an extrovert, even though at your core your know you are an introvert?

Myers Briggs Personality types

When it comes to Myers Briggs personality types, there is much more depth in that apparently simple 4 letter code than we usually realize.

The reality is that being an introvert doesn’t just mean that, in order to recharge your batteries, you need alone time. That’s not even a small part of the story.

What being an introvert really means is that your preferred mental activity, that mental process you do better than anything else, has an introverted orientation.

However, knowing you are an introvert only tells you “how” you do certain things in life, but it doesn’t tell you “what” it is you do in an introverted way.

For example, these are some common activities you may well do yourself:

  • You see the traffic lights turn red and you stop your car.
  • You empathize with your closest friend when she tells you about her problems.
  • You get an insight about what is going on with a client of yours, even though you’re not sure how you know it.
  • Or you choose the best website hosting based on the features of the service and their price.

Each one of those things involves a different mental activity, or as Jungian psychologists call it, “Cognitive Function.”

To make all this clearer, I’m briefly going to explain a bit about personality.

The 30 second version of Jungian Personality Theory

There are only two ways in which people can gather information about what’s going on in the world.

Some of us do it by paying attention to what our 5 senses are perceiving: what we hear, see, smell, etc. And some of us are more intuitive about what is going on around us, so when we need that information our unconscious will give it to us, like an idea coming from nowhere.

Those two cognitive functions are called Sensing and Intuition. (Letters S and N in Myers Briggs).

And even though all of us can do both things, only one is our preferred way of getting information about the world, much like how it feels when we write with our dominant hand.

Once we know what is going on around us, we’ll decide what to do about it. And again, there are two possible ways in which we make that decision:

Either your decision making process is based on your personal values, on how your decision will influence other people, and your feelings about it; or you’ll set your own feelings aside and base your decisions on logic, hard facts and rationality.

These two cognitive functions are called Feeling and Thinking (F and T in Myers Briggs).

What does personality theory say about you as an introvert?

The thing is that, all those four cognitive abilities come with a specific “flavor”, what psychologists call “orientation”. The orientation can be introverted or extroverted, making a total of 8 different combinations:

  • Introverted Sensing – Extroverted Sensing
  • Introverted Intuition – Extroverted Intuition
  • Introverted Feeling – Extroverted Feeling
  • Introverted Thinking – Extroverted Thinking

And guess what?

You are extremely good at using one of those 8 cognitive abilities: your dominant function. And you are pretty good at using a secondary one: your auxiliary function. Those are what I call your personality “Superpowers”.

The surprising side of introverts

And here is where, surprise, surprise… things get very interesting:

Since you are an introvert, your dominant cognitive function is focused on your inner world: on your ideas, thoughts, feelings, memories…. That means your strongest superpower is introverted.

But your secondary superpower is focused on the outside, on the world around you and on others. That means your secondary superpower is extroverted!

It makes sense, right? Each one of us has to deal with things and people in the outside world, and with things that are going on inside of us. That’s why your dominant and secondary function work in tandem, helping you understand your world and live in the most efficient way you can.

And what’s more, since you are an introvert, and you naturally hide your main superpower, what people will see in you most easily is your auxiliary function. As a result, what others will notice first in you is your extroverted side.

I’ll use myself as an example. I’m an INFP. People first see my secondary function Ne (extroverted intuition) – my ability to teach, speak and talk about the topics that I’m passionate about. And they are very surprised to find out that I am an introvert at heart.

On the other side, what they don’t see is my more private introverted side Fi (introverted feeling) – my dominant function. They have no clue about how much I feel things inside, how sensitive I’ve always been to criticism or how difficult it is for me to do anything that goes against my own values.

My tip for you

Please, do what you can to discover and understand your own superpowers (see below for a gift that will help you do it). And use them in your business as much as you can. Your sense of fulfillment will increase dramatically!


About the author Charo PinillaCharo Pinilla helps conscious professionals (coaches, holistic practitioners, teachers, healers) to clarify what is the contribution they are meant to bring into the world and how to package it into products, programs and services their ideal clients really want to buy.

If you want to find out more about your own “superpowers” visit: www.TappingYourPurpose.com/Julia to get a complimentary copy of “Discover your superpowers as an introvert” that Charo has created especially for readers of The Quiet Entrepreneur.
Follow Charo on Facebook | the Tapping Your Purpose podcast

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