As I have more and more discussions about introversion, I am finding that many introverts don’t identify with the term introversion. After all, aren’t introverts shy, strange, or aloof? Of course, no matter the perception, these are not what makes one an introvert. Here are some of the defining characteristics of introversion that I have found helpful:
Introverts naturally spend more time in their inner world of ideas.
Extroverts naturally spend more time in the outer world around them.
Introverts think and then speak.
Extroverts speak to think.
Introverts may prefer to communicate in writing rather than speaking.
Extroverts may prefer to communicate by speaking rather than writing.
Introverts may be drained by social interaction.
Extroverts may be energized by social interaction.
You may not relate to the term “introvert,” but do you think before speaking? Do you find yourself wondering, “Why is that person talking so fast and why am I struggling to keep up or get a word in?” Rather than concerned with whether or not you are an introvert, if you understand yourself and how you operate, you can prepare for situations where you may be uncomfortable, and come up with strategies to better handle these situations. Sometimes, you need to know when to say “let me think about that.” Sometimes, you need some time alone. And as you come to understand yourself better, you can recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and learn to be strong.
As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”