Top 3 Things To Understand About Introverts in Your Life
By the time I knew I was an introvert, it was later in life. A successful career in a sales position took me to sales management before I was 40 years old. Can you imagine finding out you’re an introvert and that selling was not your predetermined path?
Now all of a sudden what people were telling me about myself, what annoys them, or confuses them, has sound reasoning behind it.
Before you start misjudging someone in your life who’s an introvert, here are some truths about many introverts that might be of interest to you.
Our Brains Hum Along For Hours On End
In my first year as an independent corporate trainer, I was rolling out a yearlong program for a group of engineers who were learning about sales and marketing. The first group I worked with was one of the friendliest all year long and thank goodness! They easily helped me to adapt better to their needs, and that went a long way with the rest of the 150 people.
We were into the program for two hours when someone raised his hand to speak. “Patricia,” he asked. “Do you ever have to take a bathroom break?” Everyone laughed hysterically – including me. Of course, we took a break.
Many introverts can go for long periods of working, to the degree of forgetting something as a primary calling. Can you relate to this? I mean, have you ever had the level of concentration in planning or doing an activity that you lost track of time?
The focus is beneficial to a degree.
When you focus your thinking, you can bring more clarity on any issue. Many spiritual practices talk about the benefits of focus or concentration.
“Concentration practice refines the skills and qualities of perseverance, wise effort, and patience, and lays the foundation for pure serenity. The body begins to calm down, and a deep physical ease emerges. The agitation of the mind too begins to calm, and our mind begins to rest in a deeper well-being and ease. The obscurations of dullness, agitation, aversion, craving, and doubt begin to loosen.” Excerpted from a program offered by Christina at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in September of 1999
I particularly like the “deeper well-being and ease.” This power of focus we have may influence then how we are content with being with ourselves.
The thing is, our mind, and body, need a break at least 90 to 120 minutes when working. This is actually anyone. Breaks help to recharge and refocus us. For introverts, this purposeful recharging means we can bring more energy and more of ourselves to the task at hand.
Good Read: Embracing The Introvert Life!
Introverts Shine with Time and Space
My husband once had a boss of his tell him, “Your wife doesn’t seem to like people. She really should spend more time with the women.” At the time my thought was how chauvinistic. Keep in mind; I didn’t yet know my personality preference.
Both introverts and extroverts can listen, converse, remember someone’s name, and give feedback, all of which show they are attentive. We develop our social side by developing interpersonal skills and techniques in many situations in life.
If the introvert in your life is declining an invitation to happy hour fun after hours, or not seeming to like a group of people, it is more likely that they need to charge up their personal energy than it is they are anti-social.
That introvert you know and might be wondering about being unfriendly, or quiet, is not antisocial. Unless the introvert you know is at the end of the extrovert and introvert spectrum of behavior, they aren’t even loners. It’s just that we are not social butterflies. You can read more about the communication preferences for introverts and extroverts at no charge on my publisher’s website. Click on their Preview button.
We lose energy in business and social events because we prefer one to one communications.
There are many little tricks you can practice when in a setting that requires hours of being in a group.
- One thing, excuse yourself to get a drink – even if it is just water. Actually, water is refreshing and on its own can give you the energy you need. So, you excuse yourself to get some water. The key to this is you take your time to make your way to wherever they serve drinks.
- Something else, and you can even make this a side trip on your way for that water. Excuse yourself without reason – people do this often – and make your way to the restroom. Take some time in there just to touch base with the solitude. Really, most people are not going to miss you! Really, they are busy talking about themselves so don’t fret. Take just 5 minutes to yourself to replenish your reserves. Then head out to the crowd refreshed.
In general, most people are more concerned about themselves; what they look like, what they want to do. Others will not notice any of these breaks you take without comment.
We Listen More
While there is no proof introverts listen better, we do listen more than a stereotype extrovert. Here’s what happens one to one.
We bring in all our strengths such as listening, eye contact and focus on actually thinking about what someone is saying.
Does this sound like you?
Because if it does, then are you seeing and hearing that the very traits we may have considered a detriment are being overshadowed by the traits that in the end help in the one to one relationship.
Besides our listening skills, our consistent eye contact and our planning skills, we have traits that people crave. In a 2000 study, listening was the main reason that caused a customer to trust their salesperson. When listening was absent, trust went down.
For the most part, consistent eye contact communicates positive feelings – I care about you, I’m listening to you. Of course, there are some cultures that do not weigh it all positive but in general; the fact that as introverts we find eye contact easier than many is a plus.
By looking at what is right in front of us preserves our energy. If we have to take in everything coming across our radar screen in a social or business event we will zap our reserves. This trait is a plus for us quite naturally.
And why so many darting eyes when you are mingling at an event?
Business or otherwise, most people are extroverting at events. Extroverting is a verb and all of us extrovert and introvert with various actions and behaviors.
Why the darting eyes then? Because extroverts get their energy from outside of them. Sure, it might be because some people haven’t learned the skill of eye contact. Honestly, though, I think it’s because most people who enjoy the meet and mingle venue are extroverts.
Here are the pluses from all that time we spend focused on listening to the person we’re face to face with:
- We are learning more about them than we could otherwise with our attention on something else.
- Since very few people feel listened to most of the day long, the person you are in conversation with is feeling so appreciated simply because of listening.
- By focusing on the one in conversation with us, we’re doing both our self and the other person a favor
The main thing to kind in mind about introverts, we are people just like the more extroverted. We manage our energy differently in similar situations.
It’s best only to use labels like introvert and extrovert to understand our behaviors so we can clarify misunderstandings, and avoid judgements.
How have these examples of the Top 3 Things to Understand About Introverts in your Life helped you?
Good Read: 10 INTJ Struggles