It’s not always easy out there for introverts. The world just isn’t made for us. The good thing is there are several things introverts can do to make life easier and better.
Learn how to talk about your strengths.
Knowing how to communicate your strengths in interviews, on your resume, or elsewhere is essential. It’s much easier for extroverts to talk about their related strengths because they are recognized and valued. It’s not always so simple for introverts. That’s why it’s so important for introverts to recognize the skills they possess and learn how to show them off. Being able to use your strengths to your advantage will help you stand out in this extroverted world.
Figure out what environments work for you.
This can include environments at work, in a classroom, or at home. Maybe this means you need a job that allows you to work independently, or maybe this means you can’t live in a rowdy house of people who won’t let you spend time alone in your room. Whatever it means for you, don’t try to fight it, and figure out how to put yourselves in the appropriate environments that will allow you to be who you are.
Learn how to turn on your extrovert switch.
Unfortunately, introversion isn’t valued nearly as much as extroversion. Even more unfortunately, the world is built for extroverts to shine while introverts get left behind. It can be tremendously helpful as an introvert to learn how to flip the extrovert switch on when you need to. Learning how to function as both an introvert and an extrovert will open up more opportunities for you and make you even more valuable as an employee or intern. It will also help you stay sane when faced with the task of networking or striking up a conversation of small talk with strangers, things that probably don’t come as naturally to you as remaining silent.
Take care of yourself.
While you need to learn how to turn on that extrovert switch, you also need to know when you can’t do it anymore. I know from experience that you can reach a point when you just need to step away and do your own thing. If you go through a day that requires a lot of people-ing, go home and sit in silence. If you just want to be inside your head instead of talk, take the time to read or journal or watch Netflix. If you’ve been busy all day or all week, just do nothing on the weekend. It’s so easy to become drained and not allow yourself the time to recharge, so make sure to set your boundaries and protect your mind.
Know when to say no.
This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give to introverts, although I am admittedly awful at it. I’ve actually had to rely on friends to tell me to resist the urge to immediately accept any opportunity or responsibility that comes along. Knowing when to turn down an opportunity or responsibility is difficult enough already, but actually following through and declining is even worse. However, knowing when to say know and actually doing it can prevent you from becoming drained and overextended. There’s nothing wrong with saying no when you can’t do or don’t want to do something.
Don’t feel guilty about being an introvert.
In a world that believes extroversion is superior and introversion can be considered a flaw, it’s easy to feel like being an introvert isn’t okay. You might end up feeling like you need to hide your introverted qualities or fight against them. When you inevitably lose this battle, you might feel like you’re letting others down or that you’ve failed. It’s important to not feel guilty about needing downtime or alone time, and to not feel the need to justify it. For you, it’s not boring or wasting time, it’s productive. You need to recharge so you can be at your best, which benefits you and everyone around you. There’s nothing wrong with resting your mind and yourself.
So signals the end of the Confessions of an Introvert series – this introvert has confessed just about all she can. Don’t forget to stay awesome, introverts!
Read the rest of the Confessions of an Introvert series