• Sarah Connell

An Ode to Introverts

So many of my clients, family members and friends are introverts and often see it as a bad thing.

It can be sad hearing how introverts feel because they are often extremely self-depreciating and can lack confidence because they don’t think they appear as effective as extroverts.

The world is very much geared towards extroverts and it is challenging. Introverts often feel frustrated that they aren’t as vocal, they find it exhausting having to work in environments where they feel uncomfortable. They worry that not being as vociferous makes them appear less effective in their jobs.

If only they could focus on some of their brilliant qualities, their thoughtfulness, their excellent listening skills the fact that they give people space to talk, their in-depth understanding of different topics and interests or their ability to really think problems through.

My sister has a clear preference for introversion. When we asked her to go with us to a concert she said she didn’t want to come because it was ‘too peopley’. I thought this was brilliant. It really sums up how she and a lot of people with a preference for introversion feel. For people who are energised by quiet contemplation, being in big crowds can be exhausting.

It would be fantastic if introverts could see and realise how great they are. What I have seen in the people I work with is the immense value they can and do add. I see how much they have to contribute to the world and I would love it if they could see that too. Some famous and very successful introverts such as JK Rowling, Bill Gates and Einstein show us that it should not be something that holds people back.

Introverts don’t blow their own trumpets, don’t like to draw attention to themselves and because of this people don’t always realise how skilled they are. My sister, who I am very close to, took a week to tell me she had obtained a first in her Masters. Clients I work with are often frustrated at being passed over for promotion because they don’t shout loud enough about their attributes.

Introverts really think things through and formulate opinions before they talk, and as a result worry that they don’t say enough or contribute enough in conversations or meetings.

They might seem quiet, distant or detached.

Sometimes they just need some quiet time to recharge their batteries.They are often happy to work alone and don’t always like to be interrupted when they are focussed on something. This gives them time and space to develop ideas.

So if you are an Introvert, hold your head high, remember your worthwhile contributions and all of the value you add. Nurture your quiet, thoughtful and contemplative approach. The world wouldn’t be the same and it definitely wouldn’t be as good without you!

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