Um, Dull and Boring? No Way! :: The Introvert
As introverts, we think before we speak. There is no disputing that fact — it’s the way we’re hardwired. Many of us will roll a myriad of words around in our heads wondering how they will sound coming out. We aren’t the first ones to jump into a conversation and state our opinions. Because we tend to be quieter than our extrovert counterparts, we often come across as hesitant…and perhaps not the most enthusiastic or sparkling conversationalists. We may even be perceived as (gasp!) dull and boring. Now, wait just a damn minute!
Some introverts might be a tad dull — there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone is unique and awesome in their own way. But, don’t immediately discount us based on a hasty, uninformed first impression. The majority of introverts are anything but dull. They are intellectuals, critical thinkers, writers, artists, philosophers, scientists, and they possess vivid imaginations that allow for a great deal of daydreaming, pondering and contemplation. You know why this is so cool? Because we think before we decide on a course of action. We imagine different outcomes and scenarios. For instance, “Hmm, if I accept this position knowing it doesn’t pay what I really want (and know I’m worth!) then I will probably regret it after the honeymoon phase wears off.” Or, “I would like to go the company party tonight, but my energy level is really tanking right now and I feel like it might just send me over the edge.” See what I mean? It’s all about contemplating actions, consequences, and outcomes. Not just a carefree, “Yeah, sure, why the hell not!?” (*shudders*) — that’s just not how we roll!
Introverts do some pretty damn amazing things. Classic examples include Bill Gates, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, and Rosa Parks. These individuals would never be classified as dull. Each is amazing in his or her own way. Their contributions to society are innumerable. They are quiet leaders who have made tremendous impacts. Oftentimes, people have to really get to know us before we treat them to the true depths of our personalities. It all goes back to being cautious, thinking before acting and speaking — and weighing the consequences. It’s not necessary to shout from the rooftops about what you’re doing that’s contributing to an enhanced world. Take Gandhi, for example. He was a small, emaciated man who was known for his quiet and incredibly influential leadership style. He made sweeping changes…implementing peaceful resistance and non-violent civil obedience. Was he dull? Not at all!
I was always fascinated by people who are considered completely normal, because
I find them the weirdest of all.
Introverts have a different outlook on life, therefore they have different ideas about how to have fun and enjoy themselves. It’s true; we’ll never be mistaken for party animals! To each his own, I say. An extrovert’s idea of a good time certainly looks different from that of an introvert’s. An extrovert might want to join a rowdy rock climbing group and do a group climb — all the while laughing, joking and carrying on. An introvert, on the other hand, would probably be more content to take a solitary nature walk, quietly observing each butterfly and their unique color patterns…as well as each beautiful sound. Deep thinking and taking the time to consider, wonder and ponder…is exciting for us. This may sound dull to an extrovert, but for us introverts, it’s energizing!
People may think we’re not intelligent because we don’t speak up in class or in business meetings. Introverts are quiet because we don’t find value in idle conversation…talking simply for the sake of talking. Blah, blah, blah! We may not raise our hands right away, but it doesn’t mean we’re not processing ideas in our own way. We have a whole lot to say about a variety of things because we are always thinking.
Another common misconception is that we need to get out and socialize more. However, going out more isn’t always the answer, especially when you can enjoy a quiet evening at home watching a movie, reading…or just chilling out. It’s not that we’re not social creatures, but we are picky and choosy about which events we decide to engage in. I know this is difficult for extroverts to understand, but that’s just how it is. Trust me on this.
The bane of an introvert’s existence is small talk. God, how we hate it! Example, when I am standing in line at Target with my basket, I am off in la-la land in my head. Inevitably, someone next to me will feel the need to strike up a chatty conversation — or worse yet, comment on the items in my cart. What? Why?!(Fellow introverts will totally understand and appreciate this sentiment.)
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
We are not dull and boring! Different people simply enjoy different kinds of stimulation. A really magical thing is when an introvert and extrovert can come together and make an incredible life together. Case in point, my husband and I. After 21 years together (and counting!), he understands me better than anyone else on this planet, even though he is an extrovert. Go figure! But…he gets me, and we truly complement each other. We teach each other a lot about our unique qualities and have come to embrace and appreciate our differences.
Takeaway message: introverts don’t have to morph into something they’re not, become loud and obnoxious, or shout from the rooftops to be heard. We prefer to indulge in something meaningful…explore and understand it…and then come up with creative ways to share it (like writing this article while listening to the gentle rain and the sultry, smoky voice of Nina Simone!) Embrace your introvert self. Own it! Enjoy it! Love it! — I certainly do!
This is fun…check out those who share your personality type!
Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleash your professional potential.
Guest Author: Eryn Loney, MLA, CDF
Eryn Loney is an enthusiastic master’s-level professional and certified Career Development Facilitator (CDF) with over 20 years of experience assisting clients with their career counseling and job-related transition needs. She’s certified in Veterans Behavioral Health Care and Mental Health First Aid. Eryn is passionate about helping others achieve their professional, personal, and educational objectives through positive psychology and targeted coaching.
Eryn is an individualist who prefers to approach life in a not so traditional manner. Her husband likes to refer to her as a free-spirited fairy flitting around with a wand in one hand and a feather in the other. Um, what? If you need a friend to listen, care and nurture you, call Eryn. She’s a lover, not a fighter.
If Eryn were a TV character, she would be a bewitching blend of Elaine Benes, Lisa Simpson and JD (John Dorian.) She is committed to drinking as much chai tea as humanly possible every day. Eryn doesn’t have a typical philosophy for dealing with life, other than sometimes it’s absolutely necessary
to spray whipped cream directly into your mouth (and repeat as needed.)