Introversion Isn’t a Weakness – It’s a Strength if You Handle It Right. Here Are 15 Skills to Sharpen.
Aluxers, we’re not suggesting that being an introvert is a bad thing, as you could probably tell from our video, 15 Signs that you’re an introvert, but being an introvert can have some drawbacks.
People often see you as being rude, stoic, expressionless or even uncaring, yet – those characteristics couldn’t be further from the truth.
Depending on how close to a pure introvert you are, there are some skills that will greatly impact your life, if learned.
This isn’t a list of things to do to stop being an introvert but a list of things to learn to be a highly efficient introvert.
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Most introverts are usually in the middle of finishing a book they like. If you’re out of today’s reading stamina you can switch to a fun YouTube upload:
With that provided, let’s fall back to the article
Learn the Importance of Social Interaction
Aluxers, we begin here because we believe this is one area that is often neglected.
True, introverts like to be in their own company, but there is a lot of merit to social interactions. It’s critical to our mental and physical health to have these interactions, because humans are social beings – we need that interaction to function properly.
Like entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker, Margaret Heffernan, said, “For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.
As an introvert you probably spend a lot of time alone, with distractions at every corner and no one to hold you accountable for wasting time.
We know it’s difficult – we’re in the same boat.
You might look at your pile of growing dishes and think, I’ll just wash these and carry on with work. Next minute your kitchen is sparkling, and your work remains untouched. It’s not easy, but self-discipline is a valuable skill that every introvert needs to learn.
Be sure to watch our video 10 Ways to Stop Procrastinating to help you with self-discipline.
Generic sounding, we know – but here’s an example. The introvert will decide to read a few chapters before bed. Next thing it’s 2am and you’re still reading. The next morning you wake up tired, because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before.
It’s so easy to get lost inside your own bubble, and the concept of time is blurry. One minute it’s 3pm and the next it’s 6pm and you have no idea where the time went to.
So, Aluxers, time management and self-discipline are the 2 key components to enable you to function properly.
The first step in managing your time is to know what wastes it. Check out 15 Biggest Time Wasters in Life.
Fake It Till You Make It
This is super controversial and recently a lot of people started to debunk this saying.
However, we tend to support it, with some special caveats.
This strategy fails big time in macro situations but works wonders in micro situations.
Ok, what does that mean and why it is important especially for introverts.
If you fake who you are and what you stand for, you obviously are not going to move forward in life in a meaningful way. That’s the macro situation.
If you, however, fake a bit of confidence in a call, a meeting, an email or a conversation, you’ll quickly find that you are actually confident and your opinion matters. Because that’s what’s holding introverts back.
But what we’ll share next will help you in both micro and macro situations.
Envision Yourself in a Certain Situation
If you’re an introvert and you know you have a big corporate event you need to attend, or a social gathering that’s on your calendar, then spend some time envisioning yourself in the situation.
Play out the role in your head, like you’re an actor. Then when it comes to the real-life situation, you’ve practiced your part and know it well.
Same goes for micro-situations, like making that phone-call or having a one on one meeting with someone. If you need to, draw in the help of a close friend, and do a few practise rounds on them first.
Knowing Yourself the Best Way You Can
The best thing about being an introvert is that you have time with yourself to think about sh*t.
And you should take some of that time to think about yourself, what makes you happy, what makes you angry, why it makes you angry and so on.
The better you know yourself, the easier it would be to find your way in life and be happy.
And that’s the ultimate goal, right?
As you know, we spend a lot of time researching this topic, from the perspective of meditation.
We highly recommend our Mind Mastery course. Here you’ll learn to control your emotions, deal with stress and anxiety and get clarity in your life. This is all the investment you need for 2021.
Learn to Optimize Your Introversion
So, you’re an introvert. That’s great. Now, what is it about being an introvert that you can use to your advantage? How can you make the most out of being an introvert?
Introverts are much more sensitive to their surroundings. A test was done whereby a drop of lemon juice was dropped on the tongues of introverts and extroverts. The introverts salivated so much more than the extroverts, because they are said to have higher levels of arousal. Which is why parties and big crowds is complete overload for the ultra-sensitive introvert. Nice to know, isn’t it?
People also tend to listen more to introverts, because they know that whatever is being said has been thought through carefully, and it wasn’t just word vomited out at the last minute.
Work on Using the Right Body Language
Without realizing it, you could be pushing people away from you with just your body language. Nobody minds someone who is quiet, but when your arms are folded across your chest, your lips are facing downwards, and your body is turned away from people, why the heck would anyone want to talk to you?
Smile, shift your body in the direction of the person speaking, lean in at the right times, keep your posture open and yes introverts, make eye contact.
Take to heart what Ricky Gervais said, “Body language is more powerful than words.”
Learn That if You Focus on the Other Person, It’s Easy to Shift Focus From Yourself
And truthfully, Aluxers, people love speaking about themselves. An easy skill to learn and it will see you being invited to many more events after that.
We highly recommend taking a listen to “The Social Anxiety and Shyness Solution” by Dean J. Arquette, narrated by Hugh Elmaleh. The publisher says this book, “is about the simple yet effective methods to help you interact with others and build lasting relationships.”
Remember Aluxers, you can get “The Social Anxiety and Shyness Solution” for free, thanks to our partnership with Audible if this is your first time.
Don’t Feel Guilty When You Say No
Easier said than done, right Aluxers? Because it goes either way. You either regret the hell out of saying yes, when you’re doing something you really didn’t want to do. Or you regret the hell out of saying no, because you are filled with guilt.
In the first point we spoke about the importance of social interactions, and in turn, saying yes to things.
We are not trained psychologists, but one thing everyone agrees on, is that introverts are drained of energy from social events.
And it’s important to recharge, when you feel you maxed out.
That means to sometimes say no to social gatherings, or family dinners or hanging out with your friends and being ok with that decision.
It does take practice, and the sooner you get used to saying no, the easier it will become.
Value Your Opinion – It Counts
Many introverts believe they don’t have anything of value to add to a conversation, like their opinions don’t matter, or that their peers will think they’re unintelligent for thinking a certain way.
Be patient with yourself – remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
And maybe you’ve had a few embarrassing moments, like trying to strike up a conversation with a stranger and the person brushed you off or you just couldn’t muster a proper sentence. Instead of saying “How are you?” you said, “I love you,” and you’re going to never go out again…
Nah, it’s time to try again. Maybe this time you’ll only say, “How are you, love?” and then 3rd time lucky, you’ll manage “How are you?”
And you know what? These awkward situations happen to extroverts too! They’re not introvert exclusive.
Learn to Forgive Yourself
And this doesn’t just apply to introverts, but how it differs with introverts is that they’re still beating themselves up about awkward comments they made at a dinner party 8 years ago.
Everyone else has moved on, it’s time you do too!
Take a Public Speaking Course or Join a Club
There will always be a situation that you’ll need to speak in front of others. An introvert battles to even introduce themselves in a classroom setting, surrounded by peers. So, spend a little and invest in yourself, so when the lecturer asks you to tell your peers who you are, and what you do for fun… you can address them with confidence.
You could also join a club. Sounds obvious, but we don’t just mean any club. Have you ever wondered why having tough conversations with someone is always easier in a car?
That’s because you don’t need to make direct eye contact with the other person.
So, to get more comfortable speaking with others, join a running club, where you’re side by side with someone and not awkwardly staring at them across a coffee cup or beer.
Talk to Yourself Out Loud
Aluxers, if you think we pushed the introvert in you too far with our previous suggestion, then start here. Talk to yourself… yes, introverts, we know you do that all the time, but we mean out loud. Do it in front of the mirror, and yes, you’re going to feel and sound ridiculous, but when you can master that skill, you’ll find it a lot easier to approach others.
It sounds nuts, but many introverts struggle with the sound of their own voice out loud. The more comfortable you get with listening to yourself, the more comfortable you’ll be talking to others.
Diarize Your Alone Time So You Don’t Disappoint Others
Just because you’re an introvert, doesn’t mean you don’t have friends…. But you of course know that. But what can happen occasionally is that you’ve got plans in place, and you get overwhelmed and back out. This leaves your friends hurt and disappointed.
Schedule your alone time for that day. Learn to make the time and create the space that you need to break away from the noise, so that by the time it’s your scheduled outing with your friends, you’ve had the space to prepare for the evenings festivities.
And remember to tell others how you feel.
This sounds like the scariest thing of all, but just telling someone that you struggle socially, will be a huge game-changer.
You’ll be surprised, as often they will tell you, so are they and that they’ve walked a journey similar to yours.
People love honesty, and when you can admit your fears and anxieties, you draw people in, and they feel they can relate to you and trust you.
Aluxers, what skill do you believe will do well for an introvert to master? We’d love to hear from you.