Introvert Pride? Introversion Demystified
Posted on March 23, 2011 by Victoria Raphael, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
Introversion is a personality type and a STRENGTH. Intoverts have unique gifts needed to balance out our over-extroverted world.
I am a true introvert. Many people would never believe this as I am friendly, outgoing, and usually outspoken. Most people think of introverts as shy, retiring, timid, sometimes nerdy beings who are not adept at social situations. This is only because the real difference between introversion and extroversion is generally misunderstood.
An introvert draws energy from within himself while an extrovert energizes from being with others. This has nothing to do with your social skills or how friendly you are. When an introvert needs to recharge his battery he withdraws into solitude and will later emerge rejuvenated. The extrovert is just the opposite. If he withdrew he would further deplete himself. Aloneness brings him down.
I have a great need for solitude. It is like a tonic to me. Without it I wither. I become irritible, exhausted, and then I become unfriendly and silent. My alone time is my time to think and plan. As long I get enough quiet I can then go out among others and be my jovial self. Introverts do not do well when overstimulated. That is why I am such a bad multi-tasker. Overstimulation or doing too many things at once will make me stop dead in my tracks. My thinking processes shut down and I need to retreat. So this is where people tend to get the wrong impression of us.
As we tend to be thinkers, we usually reflect on something carefully before speaking up. As we shun noise, crowds and general overstimulation, we can come across as reserved or retiring. This is another reason why we tend to avoid large groups and prefer the company of just a few people that we really like. As nearly three-quarters of humanity is extroverted we are easily a misunderstood minority. America is a very extroverted culture and we tend to value those who are outgoing rather than “ingoing.” The self-promoter may be full of “hot air” but he is the one who is noticed while the thinkers sit in the background weaving their intense thoughts into something profound. Somehow the extrovert is the one that stands out even if he has made a lot of noise but has done nothing noteworthy.
So after all of this let’s consider the specialization of "diversity "coaching with relation to introverts. Diversity deals with any individuals who do not fit into the “mainstream.” Since we are only a quarter of the population, that means us. We often have trouble functioning in the world of extroversion and we need a little extra care. Remember we need to charge our batteries when too much stimulation (and that usually means too many people) are coming at us.
Because we live in world of extroverts we often feel displaced and off-kilter, as though something is wrong with us. Does being an introvert mean we are flawed? No. It actually means we have some very UNIQUE gifts. We have excellent concentration skills, are highly intuitive, are extremely loyal friends, are deep thinkers, and are very creative. (I am just getting started.) Introverts tend to be calm, self reliant, empathic, and spiritual. Many times the extroverted sphere does not value these traits as well as it should and that is a pity. The world needs introverts even though introverts function quite well without depending on “the world.”
This same world often drains us, depleting precious energy. That is why it is up to us to care for ourselves by being aware of energy ebbs and flows and doing something about them. We are responsible for conserving and protecting our energy resources and marshalling them toward tasks and projects which do the greatest good. Because we are hard wired to be who we are, that is just how it is. Even our brain chemistry is different from that of extroverts, so you introverts out there, don’t just get used to it, embrace it and love who you are! I see a huge place in diversity coaching for catering to the needs of introverts, for making them cherish themselves and their unique gifts to mankind, for helping them to work and thrive in a world that values continuous stimulation, speaking before thinking, where louder is better, and everything is “me” centered.
I finally made friends with my Inner Introvert. I was created this way and I enjoy celebrating who I am. I have a lot to offer and I will never allow myself to feel “weird” (even though I have to admit I once thought something was intrinsically wrong with me.)
Now if you will excuse me I am going to withdraw and go into my office,by myself. I have a lot of things to think about.