Yale Study Explains Why Introverts Are the Most Understanding People

Yale Study Explains Why Introverts Are the Most Understanding People

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If you have an introvert in your life, you’ve probably noticed they are understanding to a fault. No matter the situation, they always consider the other person’s perspective and avoid making judgments. It’s easy to see why people love introverts so much – they’re intuitive, level-headed, and empathetic. What’s not to love?!

Of course, introverts have also been misunderstood because of their quiet, observant nature. They’re not the life of the party, but extroverts make up for that ten-fold. Introverts’ strengths lie in their ability to see the bigger picture in any circumstance.

They have an uncanny ability to look at a situation from every angle and take their time making decisions. Some might get annoyed at their methodical, slower approach, but that’s what makes them shine.

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Why Introverts Might Be the Most Understanding Personality Type

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They think before they act, which means they don’t make snap decisions. Introverts take their time to ensure they consider every possibility and understand the situation completely.

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Some say that introverts make great leaders because of their pragmatic nature. They’re more likely to sit back and listen to others’ viewpoints at a business meeting before offering their opinion.

A good listener will always let others fully express themselves, showing them respect and understanding. Have you ever noticed that people tend to consult the quiet person in the room for advice?That’s because they’re natural psychologists, able to diagnose problems and quickly find a solution.

Many people associate leaders with extroversion, but introverts can also take charge when necessary. Showing empathy and having a thoughtful disposition puts people at ease, making them more likely to listen.

Since introverts show respect to everyone, whether it’s the CEO or the janitor, people naturally gravitate to them. They don’t need to bark orders or instill fear in their team to accomplish things. People follow the introvert’s lead because they want to, not because they’re afraid of consequences.

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Yale Study Explains Why Introverts Are the Most Understanding People

A 2018 Yale study confirms that introverts may have the upper hand when it comes to leadership. That’s because their understanding nature allows them to connect with people on a deeper level. Extroverts may have more charisma, but introverts prefer to observe people from afar. This trait serves as an advantage, the study found.

The shy, reserved introvert tends to have a better understanding of the human condition. This statement seems counterintuitive, as you’d think people who spend more time socializing were the experts. However, because introverts love to “study” people, they’re actually in a better position to understand them.

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Extroverts excel in drawing people in with their personalities and easily command attention. Their ability to work the room and speak on important matters makes them leadership material. However, extroverts usually can’t “see” people the same way introverts can.

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Introverts spend more time getting to know people on a personal level. On the other hand, Extroverts tend to have more friends and acquaintances because of their gregarious personalities.

Going back to the Yale study, the research shows that introverts’ understanding personality makes them better social psychologists. They don’t need years of schooling to assess people since they have a natural talent for it accurately. This compassion doesn’t mean they can replace licensed psychologists, of course, but their abilities could come in handy in real-world situations.

The Quiet, Humble Power of Introverts

For the Yale study, the team asked over a thousand volunteers questions about how people feel, think and act in social situations. These phenomena have been investigated substantially by social psychologists for decades. The questionnaire included questions such as the following:

  • Do people work harder in groups or as individuals?
  • Do people feel more responsible for their behavior in groups or as individuals?
  • Does catharsis work: If I am angry, will taking out my hostilities on a stuffed doll makes me feel better?

The researchers also provided the correct answers. Research shows that people tend to work harder individually than in groups. So, this means that they will feel less responsible for their behavior in a group since it’s a collective effort. Finally, studies have found that taking out anger on a pillow or doll doesn’t relieve tension.

Following the questionnaire, the psychologists performed experiments to pinpoint shared traits of those who gave accurate answers. Of course, people with high intelligence and the desire to solve complicated problems performed better. However, the researchers found that introverts, including those who felt lonely or unconfident, outshined extroverts.

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Understanding the Reason Behind This Outcome

”It could be that the melancholic, introverted people are spending more time observing human nature than those who are busy interacting with others, or they are more accurate at introspection because they have fewer motivational biases,” Yale psychologist and study co-author Anton Gollwitzer theorized. “Either way, though, this demonstrates an unappreciated strength of introverts.”

This natural strength could help introverts in leadership positions perform more effectively. Of course, many introverts shy away from such roles, perhaps because they don’t like being in the spotlight. However, this study should inspire confidence in quieter types who feel called to leadership in any form.

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Another study found that introverts handle crises better than extroverts. This finding means they’re more understanding of human behavior and can smooth out conflict before it escalates. Being calm in a chaotic situation gives introverts a considerable advantage in leadership.

“These ‘natural’ social psychologists, because they better understand social phenomena, may be able to interpret and even predict social changes in our society — maybe they are exactly what is missing from our current governance and positions of power,” Gollwitzer said.

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Final Thoughts on the Strengths of Introverts

People continually underestimate introverts until they muster the courage to show their true colors. Quieter people tend to be humble, showing their strengths in less obvious ways. In challenging situations, introverts always seem to know exactly how to handle things.

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They spend a lot of time observing the world, but they’re not absently daydreaming. They’re simply taking it all in and figuring out their next move.

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