A wonderful thing about humans is that each of us is unique. We may have similarities, but our personalities are so complex, that no two people are really the same.
That being said, psychologists do have labels and categories to work with in order to understand the human psyche better. One of the personality traits that is in the limelight these days is introversion. Ironically, introverts are now under the spotlight.
What defines introverts?
Introversion was originally defined by Carl G. Jung, and the main characteristic of introverts is the fact that they prefer to interact with the world by first looking inward. Additionally, introverts rely on energy that comes from within, as opposed to energy coming from external sources.
As such, introverts are more likely to need to spend time alone to recharge. They may be averse to too much socializing.
Introverts are often perceived – sometimes incorrectly – as shy, but it is important to note that there is a difference between being introverted and being shy. The former is a natural trait, while the latter stems from a fear of social situations. The two are not mutually exclusive, as introverts can also suffer from shyness.
How widespread is introversion?
It used to be that the estimate was that 25% of Americans were introverted. More recent studies have shown a drastic change in that number, though, with almost 50% of Americans being considered introverts.
How can introverts expand their horizons?
If you are an introvert, you already know just how difficult it can be to relate to other people if they do not understand introversion. As becoming of your natural trait, you probably avoid social situations if you can. While that is totally understandable, there is also the saying that “no man is an island”, and as introverted as you are, there is a certain degree of horizon expansion that you need to embark on. How can you do this?
Taking baby steps
By baby steps, I mean taking things slowly in terms of going out to interact with people face to face. It doesn’t have to be partying or clubbing. An occasional lunch, dinner, or even coffee with friends (and maybe even friends of friends) will do you good.
Social media as a form of expression
The Internet is God’s gift to introverts who do not deal well with face-to-face interaction. Marketers and networkers take advantage of the Internet to further their reach, we all know that; but did it ever occur to you that introverts can harness the power of social media, too?
Aidan J. Cassidy, a City Councilman in North Carolina and social media expert, knows full well the benefits of social media for introverts. First, he highlights the fact that there is less pressure in non-face-to-face interaction. He says, “The pressure of meeting people online is much less than meeting people face to face. Introverts are definitely more extroverted online for the most part.”
Indeed, the idea of not having to be in control of one’s facial expressions and body language while engaging in conversation takes pressure off of introverts. Additionally, there is the fact that introverts are usually better in expressing themselves through writing.
“Introverts usually need more time to collect their thoughts and are better with writing. Thus, online commentary is perfectly suited for them,” says Aidan J. Cassidy.
Whatever social media platform you use, the fact is that you have all the time you need – or want – to write what you think/feel; and that makes social media such an appealing form of interaction for introverts, sometimes even making them come across as extroverts.
As I mentioned earlier, introverts get their energy from within. That is why being alone is of prime importance. This can also be considered recharge time, especially if you have spent some time in a face-to-face social situation or activity.
Social media and going beyond self-expression
Aidan J. Cassidy also says that “introverts thrive on solitude and it is when we are alone and not performing for others that we are our truest selves. Thus, introverts can be quite objective, dependable, and trustworthy social media figures.”
With that in mind, do you see that there is a huge potential for introverts to establish themselves via social media? Social media professionals are in demand these days, and if you can learn the trade, you can build a career with your introversion being a solid foundation!
Being introverted is not good or bad per se. It is what you make out of it and how you see the opportunities around you. Whether you’ve been using social media only recently or you’ve been using it for a while now, but you haven’t thought of how good a fit it is for your introverted nature, then take this as a wake up call. There is a whole world full of possibilities for you!