According to a 1998 National Representative Sample by the Myers-Briggs organization, 50% of the population identifies as an introvert. That means you have likely met an introvert at some point in your life, and though they make up a considerable portion of the population, we live in a highly extroverted world. In business, politics, or just social gatherings, extroverts tend to take center stage, while the introverts prefer to work from behind the scenes.
Introverts are highly misunderstood; in our society, they might come across as rude, stand-offish, aloof, or just unfriendly. However, introverts simply draw their energy from within rather than from other people. They require a lot of time alone to recharge, and most people just take that as a sign that they don’t want to be bothered and aren’t interested in connecting with others. Introverts do love people, but they can get easily drained from all the excitement, and simply feel more comfortable in their own company.
Introverts may not be the life of the party, but there are certain things they simply do better than their extroverted counterparts. We don’t wish to stereotype or rank a whole group of people higher than another, but to simply showcase the strengths of introverts, and what we can learn from them.
Here are 15 things introverts do best:
1. Listening intently during a conversation.
Introverts care about what other people say (at least, when they talk about highly intelligent, interesting topics), so they tune into the conversation with every ounce of their being. They don’t just hear what you say – they ask questions to gain understanding, look you in the eye, and make sure you’ve finished what you have to say before responding. They talk less than they listen, but this is why they make such great people to have deep conversations with.
2. Being highly in touch with their own feelings.
Introverts are very intuitive people, and have a knack for being highly aware of their emotions. They might cancel plans if they feel too tired or not up for socializing, and to them, that just means they are listening to their inner voice. They don’t apologize for how they feel; they just go along with it.
3. Easily picking up on the emotions of others.
In addition to knowing exactly how they feel at all times, introverts can read anyone like an open book. They have an uncanny ability to feel what others feel, and to empathize with them.
4. Taking time for themselves.
Introverts take a day or two out of each week to just recharge, pamper themselves, and truly make themselves feel like the king or queen they are. They don’t apologize for prioritizing self-care and self-love, because they know this is essential for thriving in today’s hectic world.
5. Learning to cultivate a healthy relationship with themselves.
Introverts gain their energy from being alone, obviously, which gives them plenty of time to know themselves inside and out. They might struggle at times with self-esteem, but at the end of the day, they know that their relationship with themselves is of utmost importance, and try to have a healthy one.
6. Making friends with any sort of animal.
Introverts naturally gravitate towards non-human animals, most likely for two reasons: 1) They don’t talk, which gets rid of the hardest component of a relationship with humans. 2) They are cuddly and fuzzy (well, most of them that humans would interact with, anyway), so introverts see this as comforting and healing.
7. Engaging in deep conversation.
If you want small talk, you’d better just forget about connecting with an introvert. While introverts can fake the small talk, this isn’t their area of expertise. These people thrive on connecting with people in a much deeper way, which means you will never get bored around an introvert.
8. Thinking before they speak.
Introverts mull over what they want to say before speaking, and listen to the other person in entirety before they even begin to formulate a response. This is why some people think introverts are not as good at talking compared to extroverts, since it takes them much longer to gather their thoughts. However, this just means they are making sure they say the right thing before letting the words leave their lips.
9. Realizing the power of spending time in nature.
Introverts love nature – it provides time for quiet reflection, away from the noise and chaos of modern living. They don’t have to think about talking to people, going to a crowded party, or anything else that asks them to step outside their comfort zone. They can just be for a while, and they realize the importance of this.
10. Not being afraid to get creative.
Introverts are naturally creative people. They connect with the arts, reading, innovation, and anything else that requires the imagination. While some lean more toward the scientific side of life, they also play an important role in society.
11. Going within for answers.
Introverts don’t look outside themselves for answers to life’s questions, because they know the only place they can truly find what they need is inside their own heart.
12. Knowing when they do and don’t want to socialize.
Since introverts are highly connected to themselves and their emotions, they have gotten used to the cues their mind and body give them when it’s time to leave a party early or when they just don’t feel like going out at all.
13. Leaving a party early if they feel like it.
Like we said, introverts are experts at politely excusing themselves from social events. After a few hours of socializing, it’s about time for some Netflix and ice cream, right?
14. Using the weekend to actually recharge.
Unlike extroverts, who probably pack their weekends full of social activities, introverts use this time to recharge themselves for the week ahead. This way, they can feel rejuvenated for the work or school week.
15. Knowing how to pace themselves.
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If introverts go out for something one day, they will probably give themselves a couple days to recharge before going out again. This doesn’t mean they’re antisocial – it just means they require more time alone than they do with others.