INTROVERTS – Do You Feel Inferior To Extroverts? Here’s How To Stop

As an introvert, you could be the smartest person in the room, but that usually won’t be recognized if you can’t show it off. It’s sad but true: western society gives more credit to those who shout, and less to those who reflect.

So, how do we adapt? Should we turn ourselves into life-of-the-party extroverts, and go against our gut? If you’ve tried doing that, you know how exhausting it is. It just doesn’t feel like “you”.

This article will give you some key pointers on how to stop that dilemma, so you can be the introvert you are, be able to socialize and make friends, and stop feeling any ischüchternnferiority to extroverts.

Learn To Make Fun Of Extroverts (in a way)

I’m not gonna be fair here and will make wild generalizations, but let’s not take ourselves too seriously, okay?

You need to realize that even if extroverts seem to have perfect social lives, there are are downsides that go with it.

For example, studies show that extroverts tend to crave short-term gain, even if waiting a little bit more would be better for them. The ability to delay gratification is crucial to success. Many extroverts haven’t developed that ability.

Extroverts also have a tendency to miss important feedback. When pursuing a goal (like investing in the stock market), extroverts tend to ignore the signs that say “You’re Losing Here! Try Something Else!”. Not only do they keep going, they also speed up!

Finally, as Susan Cain put it in her wonderful book, Quiet, extroverts simply know less than introverts. One study tested more than a hundred college students’ knowledge of twenty different subjects, from art to astronomy to statistics, and found that the extroverts just knew less than the introverts about every single subject.

(By the way : To my extroverted friends reading this: I’m sorry, but it’s true. I still love you, though! ;-) )

Now that we know what to tease extroverts about, let’s talk about the advantages of being the quieter person.

Know Your Strengths As An Introvert

Serious research (from Kellog School of Management) shows that introverts take about 28% less financial risks. In fact, they take better risks! They take less risks when the chance of winning is low, and more risks when it’s high. It’s in the hormones, they now when to hold back, and when to go for it.

Introverts tend to pay attention to important details. If they’re investing, for example, they spot dangerous pitfalls because they “p-a-u-s-e” to think. That pause gives them the power to see what others don’t.

Maybe you heard that “Persistence is everything. With it, anything is possible, without it, nothing is.” Well, introverts are known to be more persistent, according to studies. And they are that way, even when it comes to social tasks, like cold-calling and sales.

But, on the social skills side, as introverts, you can do better. We don’t have to keep that “shy” label.

Learn The Critical Social Skills That Happy Introverts Have

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you should give up on being socially successful.

When I started learning to socialize and make friends several years ago, I tried every social technique advised, and learned from some extremely skilled people: extroverts and introverts. I realized that making friends and being social is a skill, not a genetic feature.

As an introvert, you want to be able to speak up when you want to. You need to know how to feel comfortable in public, make conversations, and connect with those you want to know more.

Ultimately, you want to have the choice to socialize and make friends, whenever you feel like it.

Learn More

In my newsletter, I want to share with you techniques and strategies that will help you get there.

No matter how introverted you are, or how much social success you had in the past, I want to share with you the techniques that will allow you to be social and have the friends you want. You can get on it, here: Free Social Skills Newsletter

See you there,
-Paul Sanders

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About Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders's Get The Friends You Want teaches you how to:
Overcome Shyness & Loneliness ; Master Conversation & Social Skills ; Make Friends & Build a Social Circle.
Start here. >> Free Social Skills Newsletter

Comments

  1. Thanks for the post. Introverts rule. An introvert doesn’t mean you are bad at social interactions. It means you energize yourself through alone time rather than through other people. I am an introvert, but I am pretty decent with my people skills unless I am in a depressed mood. Introverts unite : D!

  2. Great blog and it rings true with me. I was born an introvert and choose to stay one. (As if I had a choice.) I do like people but in moderation. Thanks for pointing out the risk taking and attention to detail aspects.

  3. As an MBTI certified practitioner I know that one of the biggest misunderstandings client’s have about being introvert/extrovert is that introverts don’t have as much to offer as extroverts. In fact both groups have lots of strengths – and can compliment one another brilliantly
    Usually once introverts realize that being reflective, thoughtful and attuned to their interior world can have real benefits and that being quieter than their extrovert counterparts isn’t a weakness they begin to lose their self consciousness and ‘own’ their introversion as simply part of who they are instead of something they’d like to overcome.

  4. I think we should just be what we are since, as you said, there are advantages and disadvantages for both introverts and extroverts. As regards me being somehow an ex-introvert I think that we can always do something to improve, pushing myself to talk has made me more extroverts than I was. Not that I’m now a kind of social animal though. :)

    Very interesting article.

  5. Hey Paul, another great post for the introvert community. your so right we don’t have to keep that ‘shy’ label at all!

  6. I don’t feel inferior or superior to extroverts. I admire extroverts in many ways, but it’s not me. And I’m fine with that. I know many of my strengths come from being introverted. I wouldn’t change that.

    At the same time. Many of my weaknesses originate from my introversion as well. That’s just how life goes.

    But you’re right, society as a whole (western society, at least) places more value on extroverted qualities. Us introverts just need to learn to deal with it.

    Cheers!

    • I think that outlook will eventually turn in favor of recognizing the value of both personality types. In part, thanks to the work of Susan Cain.

      Many other experts say that we’re evolving toward a society that favors all personality types, with all the other nuances.

      Thanks for sharing, Trevor.

  7. This rings true for me in so many ways. For an introvert it is hardy to get started in life. It is harder for us to grab what we want and take it. I believe it is because of that pause where we stop to think whether or not something is a good idea. My problem was taking so long to figure it out, the opportunity wasn’t even there anymore. This is something I am very focused on changing within myself. I will always take a pause to examine choices, but I will be faster about it and not scared of the outcome. There is nothing to fear except failure.

    • Maybe if you would trust your instinct a little more, this would be solved gradually.

      Introverts see more details and nuances in a situation where extroverts see less details and broader categories and choices. That’s one reason why extroverts can make snap decisions faster.

      Now, if you tend to hesitate in social situation, you might want to consider this valuable lesson: the conscious mind is good at solving simple problems with few factors; the unconscious mind is better at solving complex problems with many factors.

      Social situations are very often complex with many factors at hand (people, desires, situations, perceptions, relationships, etc.) It can be confusing if you’re going to process it all at once.

      I suggest you make faster decisions and if you make a mistake, learn from it. As I wrote in my eBook, social faux-pas are much more tolerated than people think. You just need to be a little more adventurous and go for it.

      Good luck, Aaron

  8. Growing up I thought being introverted was a hindrance and that people saw it as an inadequacy. I agree society loves loud sociable people. Society thinks it is a sign of confidence. A friend of mine does the Maris Briggs and the only difference between introvert and extrovert is how they process information. The introvert will process internally while the extrovert processes out loud. So believe the first thing you hear an introvert say and believe the second or third thing an extrovert says. One is not better than the other. Thanks for your article.

  9. I will say, being an introvert, most of this rings true. But, I also know plenty of introverts who have pretended for so long, put on a false persona for so many years to get along and be accepted, that they don’t even know who they really are anymore. They act far more like extroverts than introverts and it makes it very hard to understand where they are coming from. They choose super extroverted friends and partners to help them “succeed” in that world. They go along with “think tanks” and “majority solutions” so as not to rock the boat. We’ve got some repair work ahead of us if we want introverts to feel truly good about who they are. I have always tended to buck the system, and in a way, it helped me to protect and defend myself. But, once I married one of the self-made introvert to extroverts, I stopped feeling good about myself. I second guessed myself constantly because I thought this person loved me and wanted the best for me. His suggestions were many and always about how I could improve myself. It did not encourage self-confidence in me, only self-loathing. One must be wary of people who have truly deep-rooted issues and are always trying to change the ones they are suppose to love. That, thankfully, is over and I’m beginning to remember how good it is to be me again.

    • Thanks for your comment, Betty.

      I, too, think that it’s a waste of energy to act like someone you’re not. You just don’t have to.

      At the same time, there is nothing wrong about learning social skills.

      Sometimes when I mention that I’m an introvert, some people can’t believe it. They always knew the social side of me, and never saw the rest: I love to spend hours doing research and writing alone. But when I’m out to talk to people, I’m fully there.

      Once you learn the social skills you need, you can have the best of both worlds. Being social and introverted is a great situation.

      Thanks again,
      – Paul

  10. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get
    three emails with the same comment. Is there any way
    you can remove people from that service? Cheers!

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