“I’m not really a funny person. So I’m afraid I might get left out.”
There are people who have always, since the day they were born, been anxious and nervous to meet new people. Commonly called ‘introverts’, they get nervous because they don’t know what to say to a person they meet for the first time. Introverts may seem extremely calm on the surface, but they often struggle internally under the pressure of thinking ‘I should say something.’
“I laugh easily, but I’m quiet and reserved. I’m calm and tend to listen more.”
“It’s stressful when it’s quiet and I am with only one other person. I don’t know what to say.”
Nowadays, businesses tend to favor extroverts. People who can liven up a business party attract more attention. Maybe it is because of this societal trend that being introverted has become an inferiority complex that people want to hide, leading to more people who pretend to be lively and sociable.
Introverts Somehow Attract
There are many people who are inborn introverts. It is said that introverts make up about half of the entire world’s population. Introverts are people whose energy is most often pointed inward. So they are often thought to be quiet and reserved. Then are introverts at a disadvantage?
The answer? Not always. Rather, they are more attractive. With the standard of whether a person is ‘extroverted or not’, it is difficult to see the benefits of introverts. But in terms of ‘how one treats people’, introverts have many merits. And are quite attractive, too. So much so that one would definitely want an introvert as a friend.
For introverts who do not know their own merits, here are ‘4 handpicked benefits of being an introvert’.
Benefit 1. The Power of Listening – They actively listen to what others say
It is widely accepted that ‘listening’ is the most important skill when communicating with others. Listening is very important. Yet ‘active listening’ seems to be a difficult task. There are very few conversations in which I’ve felt that the other person was truly listening to me. You might wonder, ‘What is so difficult about just listening?’ But think about this: when a friend opened up to you and explained, ‘Something happened and it was really hard for me,’ have you ever just tossed back, ‘Yeah, but it seems like you started off in the wrong place,’ or ‘How about doing it this way?’ Or were there times that people complained, ‘Can’t you just listen?’ That is how few people truly relate as they listen. Introverts are strong active listeners. Being a strong listener rather than finding enjoyment in talking is a typical characteristic of introverts. It is noticeable in their personal relationships, too. They don’t say much, but they find comfort just being in each others’ presence. And it is easy to open up to such people. Of course, how well you listen will depend on your efforts. However, if you can bring out an innate tendency and develop the ability to sincerely relate, that can be a huge benefit.
Benefit 2. They are reliable and trustworthy
Introverts are careful when getting to know a person. Since they may not always respond easily to what others say, people might be taken aback by the lack of response. But the amount of thought and caution they invest when developing a personal relationship also makes the bond that much harder to break. Once a bond with another person develops, it only gets stronger and rarely breaks. This brings to mind a television program from an education broadcasting system that analyzed the manner in which introverted students and extroverted students at a high school treat people around them. How the students described the typical ‘characteristic of introverts’ was most interesting.
“There are times when it feels like they put me before themselves.”
“It’s hard to get close to them at first, but once we get friendly, we connect at a very deep level.”
“Introverted kids seem more trustworthy.”
“I find myself opening up about any worries on my mind to these kids. They seem likely to keep it secret.”
“Even if I don’t contact introverted friends often, there’s still something there.”
The level of trust and their reputation are quite positive, aren’t they? Actual research has also shown that introverted students have high scores in ‘trustworthiness’. When searching ‘personal relationships’ on the Q&A section of a famous search engine, there are many questions along the lines of ‘I’m afraid people won’t like me because I’m introverted.’ But people have a soft spot for introverts. Even if introverts might fluster people at first, they have the huge benefit of being as trustworthy as a simple, honest tree.
Benefit 3. They focus on you
They have great ability to concentrate; likewise, they are able to focus on people as well. Introverts tend to think before speaking or taking action. Their consideration for others originates from this tendency. They have the ability to think about and consider ‘How is that person feeling? What would s/he want?’ For example, they would take some time consider their friends’ feelings and interests before doing anything. As a team leader, an introvert would be able to catch details like what the team members’ interests, their thoughts, and what they don’t like to hear, and lead them accordingly. Such ability shines even brighter when dealing with someone important, such as a significant other. They might not hear things like ‘It’s fun to be around you’, but they probably would hear ‘It’s comfortable to be around you, so I want to be with you more often.’ There is a CEO who avoids standing in public, almost like an anthrophobic. He finds it so difficult to be in front of people that he cannot even give a typical New Year’s address. One may wonder, ‘How can such a CEO manage a company and its many employees?’ But you’d understand if you see how attentively he cares for each individual employee. The CEO has profound affection for his employees and sincerity that are apparent when he remembers the names, faces, and even hobbies of the newly hired employees and presents them with appropriate gifts. Eloquent speech is not necessary for good leadership and even less so for personal relationships. Bill Gates and Facebook’s Marc Zuckerburg say they are introverted. In the end, people do not build relationships based only on what shows outwardly. People give their hearts to those who take interest in them or understand them well. Introverts have the power to approach one step closer to others and focus on them.
Benefit 4. They are honest
Introverts often worry and feel frustrated because they ‘don’t express themselves well.’ What they want to say lingers in their heads, but does not easily come out of their mouths. But talking a lot does not correlate with speaking well. It does not always mean one is honest either. Whether you say a lot or a little, if you can convey your point well, then your authenticity will eventually come through. I know a person of very few words. He doesn’t have a very lively personality and doesn’t laugh easily either. Some people even think he is ‘particular’. But I think he is very admirable. Especially when he speaks at meetings, he conveys his point exactly. He doesn’t say much, but his few words often get nailed into my ears. And since he normally doesn’t laugh much, when he does smile brightly, it feels like ‘he really doesn’t put up a false front.’ He has become an icon of ‘honesty’ amongst the people around him. If you are worried about how you speak, rather than concerning yourself over speech style or technique, how about developing the power to speak with ‘sincerity’? People will intuitively feel the sincerity in your words. How much or little you speak is not important. The point is how honest you are.
Though we looked into the benefits of introverts today, it is actually not possible to determine which personality is most appropriate for personal relationships. So rather than trying to change your personality to be like others’, wouldn’t examining how you treat people and whether you are really making effort to treat people with sincerity be more important?