Are you struggling to embrace your introverted nature? Join us as we explore the meaning behind the labels while we unpack the strengths, gifts, and superpowers that come with deep thinking, empathy, and introversion.
In this episode, David Hall explores the complexities and nuances of introversion, emphasizing the importance of understanding one’s unique strengths and needs rather than simply categorizing oneself as an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between to help you feel OK about yourself, and understand that you are OK just as you are, regardless of the label. David discusses the specifics of how individuals process information, communicate, recharge, and connect with others, he sheds light on the diverse characteristics that shape our personalities and interactions. Through his insightful commentary, listeners are encouraged to embrace their authentic selves and harness their innate potential, rather than limiting their self-perception to conventional labels.
In this enlightening episode, you will learn:
– The importance of understanding introversion and extroversion as natural gifts.
– How to recognize and honor your unique introverted strengths and needs.
– The power of deep thinking and how it contributes to productivity, relationships, and leadership.
Discover the truth about introversion, gain confidence in your authentic self, and learn how to leverage your natural introverted gifts. Tune in to explore the incredible strengths and superpowers that come with deep thinking and empathy. Embrace your introverted nature with pride and be strong.
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Books Mentioned In this Episode:
Introvert Power by Dr. Laurie Helgoe
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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:
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Quiet & Strong Merchandise
00:00 Introverts stay introverts, not ambiverts, despite outward behavior. Labels like introvert and extrovert are less important than understanding their utility and potential harm.
05:10 Introverts have creative and empathetic strengths, gain energy from solitude.
07:27 Introverts need alone time for thinking, work, and fun. Don’t conform to stereotypes.
10:35 Liking people doesn’t equal extroversion.
15:34 Introverts take time to think before speaking, may prefer writing over speaking. Extroverts speak to think, leading to communication challenges.
19:37 Introverts value deep conversation over small talk, but can engage in it when necessary. Extroverts enjoy most conversations.
24:21 Understanding introversion for productivity and success. Leadership and satisfaction for introverts.
25:47 Embrace your natural gifts, be proud of being an introvert, prepare but don’t be too hard on yourself.
David Hall [00:00:08]:
Hello, and welcome to episode 154 of the quiet and strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David hall and the creator of quiet and strong.com. It’s a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix but to be embraced. Normally, we’ll air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave me a review. That would mean a lot to me.
David Hall [00:00:33]:
Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. So recently, I heard someone say If they could act like an extrovert whenever they needed to. What do you think about this? My take is that I’m always an introvert. I could do whatever I need to and want to, but doing certain things like public speaking, networking, small talk, etcetera. Doesn’t make me an extrovert. It does bother me when people say, well, I could be an extrovert or pretend to be an extrovert whenever I need to. And, you know, again, I’m always an introvert.
David Hall [00:01:15]:
For example, if I’m making small talk, I’m not an extrovert. I’m an introvert making small talk, making small talk doesn’t ever make me an extrovert. Our displays don’t show Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, it doesn’t show the preferences you have inside for deep thinking or being more in touch with the outer world. Introverts are deep thinkers And we’ll always be deep thinkers no matter what outward things we’re doing. So today I want to unpack that a little bit. I think it’s harmful when we say things like we can pretend to be an extrovert or act like an extrovert or sometimes we’re an introvert and sometimes we’re extrovert or this is often called being an ambivert being somewhere in the middle. Or someone might say I’m going to fake it till I make it. And as I frequently talk about the labels of introverts and extroverts or even ambiverts, the labels aren’t as important as getting behind the label and understanding when they are useful and when they’re not or perhaps even harmful.
David Hall [00:02:35]:
So introverts are more tuned in with their inner world of ideas. We naturally spend more time in our heads or inner world They’re not. Extroverts are naturally more focused on the outer world around them. That is what is at the heart of all this. We bust a lot of myths on this show, such as the myth that introverts don’t like people or that introverts are all shy. Let’s take a good look why that is a deep thinker and being tuned into our inner world has different strengths and different needs than someone that is more frequently turned outward. One of my favorite books on introversion Is Introvert Power by Dr. Laurie Helgoe. I had a couple big takeaways from this book.
David Hall [00:03:26]:
One big takeaway was half of the population are introverts. So think about that for a minute. A lot of the stereotypes of introverts Do not take half the population into account. A lot of people say the number is much lower, like maybe 33%, but really Half of us are introverts, but we’re not all the same. We have a lot in common And, you know, what’s in common is our deep thinking ability. There’s many ways that we’re also different. I know some very outspoken Introverts that most people would probably think of as extroverts, but they’re deep thinkers and not shy. So don’t be surprised by the 50% number.
David Hall [00:04:20]:
Just remember that introverts are deep thinkers and may or may not be shy. And also remember that extroverts may or may not be shy as well. So people may not be taking all the non shy Introverts into the equation. It’s it’s half the population. And If you are shy, we’ll continue to talk about that on this show. We’ve talked about it in the past, dedicated episodes to it, That if you’re an introvert, you can overcome shyness. It’s very possible that shyness is caused by you not fully understanding your deep thinking nature as an introvert. The other great thing I got from introvert power is just in the title itself.
David Hall [00:05:10]:
Introvert power. There’s a great power or strength that comes from being an introvert. Just think what comes from a person with a rich imagination that spends a lot of time there in deep thought, So creativity, innovation, problem solving. I also wanna mention that along with being a deep thinker, You may also be a deep feeler and really in touch with the feelings of others. Great gifts come from being both a deep thinker and a deep feeler as well. I also hear a lot of people saying the main difference between introverts and extroverts It’s where they get their energy. Introverts get their energy from being alone, and extroverts get their energy from people. There’s a lot of truth in this definition, but for me, it’s also so lacking.
David Hall [00:06:05]:
As introverts, We do need time alone. We do need to recharge after some social interaction. But that’s not the only thing that makes us introverts. Being an introvert is so much more and so much great abilities and strengths come from it. So just to say, it’s where we get our energy at that, that doesn’t do it for me. You are so much more than where you get your energy. And I’m not drained by all people. I was I would say that I can be drained by some people in some situations.
David Hall [00:06:44]:
At the same time, there are people out there that I can be quite energized by. If I can have the right kind of deep conversation, I could be energized by this. And so saying that I’m drained by all people, it’s just not true. And sometimes there’s people that I really like, but I almost might need a break after. So just keep all that in mind. You do need to figure out what drains you and what energizes you and make a plan for your energy. There’s more to this definition. As I said, introverts have great strengths.
David Hall [00:07:27]:
However, we need some time and space to use our deep thinking abilities. So it’s not just a matter of needing some time alone to get away from people. It’s needing some time alone to do some thinking, to focus on work, to prepare, to dream, sometimes to have some fun in a solitary way. Of course, we all have people that we care deeply about in our lives and want to spend time with them. So let’s have a better definition and not play into the common stereotypes about introverts. Help me spread a better message that sometimes requires introverts because we’re thinking. And we can also be very strong by using our introverted gifts and understanding them. And with this conversation for me, it comes down to what do you want? Are you getting what you want out of life? You don’t get what you want out of life by pretending to be something that you’re not.
David Hall [00:08:29]:
I’m an introvert. I happen to love giving public speeches. That wasn’t always the case. I had to learn about myself, how I needed to prepare For a speech, that’s different from an extroverted friend or colleague. When I was younger, I was terrified of speaking publicly. My knees would shake and so would my voice. And that’s not the case anymore. I’m confident.
David Hall [00:08:55]:
I don’t get nervous, But it had to do with understanding that I was different from my extroverted friends, that I needed to prepare much more than they did in a different way. But I could give a great speech. And it was understanding that How I need to prepare, and it wasn’t because I was trying to act like an extrovert. I’m not pretending to be an extrovert. I just know what I need as an introvert. And after some speeches, I’m gonna wanna take a break. I may be very drained, so I’m going to try to plan for that. You know, this could depend on the situation I’m in.
David Hall [00:09:41]:
So after speech, my extroverted friends may be ready to meet all the people in the audience. That may or may not be the case for me, And I shouldn’t feel bad about that. However, I may need or want to meet all the people after my speech, And I can, but my approach is gonna be different. If I make small talk with the crowd after, I’m not acting like an extrovert. I’m doing things in my introverted way with my introverted approach. I am gonna prefer some deep conversations to small talk. But sometimes before you get to the deep conversations, You’re gonna need to make some small talk. It’s required it’s often required to get to those conversations that you want.
David Hall [00:10:35]:
But again, doesn’t make me an extrovert because I’m making small talk. I think it’s harming our cause When we say that we’re pretending to be an extrovert or we can act like an extrovert or we’re introverted extrovert or extroverted introverts. People, like I said, often say, oh, I’m a little bit of both. I have the best of both worlds. We all have different gifts, so it’s possible that someone has something that’s the best of both worlds, but what is it? I also hear that, well, I like people that I need my alone time after. And I say well it’s likely that you’re an introvert. Liking people doesn’t make you an extrovert. Again, sometimes this is called Ambiversion where person is in the middle.
David Hall [00:11:32]:
But when I’m hearing people say this to me that they’re in the middle or they’re an ambivert, what I’m often hearing They’re saying that I have the best of both worlds be in meaning that it means I’m okay. I’m one of the cool kids. You know, I’m not one of those strange people over there. I’m one of the cool kids. I can I can do it all? But, again, this isn’t the right approach as you’re okay no matter what. No. No matter what your gifts are, you are brilliant in your own way. Again, you may have lots of great gifts that give you some best of both worlds, But often that’s, you know, not really the case.
David Hall [00:12:18]:
I don’t use the term ambivert much. And as we’re gonna get into, I prefer to get beyond that and talk about the strengths and needs and gifts that you have. And, you know, just saying you’re in the middle, it doesn’t mean you’re okay. You are okay no matter what. And We need to get beyond those labels. The question is, are you getting what you want out of life? Not just I’m an introvert, Extrovert or somewhere in the middle. So again, ask yourself, what are my strengths? What are my needs? One of my biggest epiphanies around this as a deep thinker was that I think Before I speak in general, as an introvert, we are wired differently. It’s in our biology.
David Hall [00:13:14]:
We’re wired to think deeply, and it’s not something that we change. I don’t always need to think before I speak. If I’ve either prepared or maybe it’s just a topic that I talk about all the time or I thought about before, I make a joke that I could talk about introversion all day. So if I were to say I need some time alone, but I like people somewhere in the middle. None of this changes that I generally need to think before I speak. If you’re an introvert that’s something you must understand that it’s normal. Extroverts are gonna speak in order to think. They’re gonna think out loud much more than you are.
David Hall [00:14:04]:
Extroverts also need to understand that you’re generally not thinking out loud. So there’s some differences that are very normal, but you need to understand so that we can all get along and understand each other and have some Great conversations. And just because I like people and I’m able to give presentations and speeches, make small talk, That doesn’t make me an extrovert. And by not understanding that I need to think before I speak, I’m not gonna be my best. No matter if I’m calling myself an introvert or extrovert or ambivert. So again, the question, are you getting what you want? Understanding that you’re a deep thinker. And then by considering the following 5 major areas, you can use your strengths and honor your needs and And live the life you want The authentic life you want. No pretending.
David Hall [00:15:06]:
So like I’m saying introverts think And then speak. Extrovert speak to think. We just talked about this one. I was in a Myers Briggs training several years ago, And the facilitator said this. It was a major light bulb moment for me. This explained a lot about me and my personality. You asked me a question. The wheels in my mind will start turning.
David Hall [00:15:34]:
I’ll usually put some ideas together after a time, maybe a second, Maybe a few seconds, or I might say, give me a minute to think about that. Or maybe a day, but I’ll put what I think is most important together, and the answer will come out after a moment or maybe longer. Extroverts speak in order to think, and if that’s not understood we can really have some communication and challenges between introverts and extroverts. 1 person thinks and speaks, and the other person is speaking to think. Let’s understand that and we can solve a lot of communication problems. Do you more often Gather your thoughts before speaking as introverts do. This was critical for me to understand in order to gain confidence If this was a normal thing to do not strange maybe not like the person I’m talking to but very normal and a strength as a deep thinker. Alright so another thing introverts may prefer to communicate in writing rather than speaking.
David Hall [00:16:48]:
Extroverts may prefer to communicate by speaking rather than writing. Introverts may prefer to communicate in writing rather than speaking, and maybe the introvert wants to Take some time to compose that good email and think it through. Think about how you gather information. When you have a question, are you likely to email the company or maybe do some web research and then finally call you get frustrated. Or maybe the extrovert’s gonna pick up the phone right away. Of course, this one can be situational. You may prefer to email for most interactions, but realize that some situations Maybe better by phone or in person. Either way, introverts are very good at connecting 1 on 1.
David Hall [00:17:43]:
That’s another myth that we bust is a lot of times people say that we’re not good at connecting with people, but we really can’t shine in the 1 on 1, The 1 on 1 interaction. And that’s not to say that we can’t do well in large settings because we can. But just sometimes our strength is in that 1 on 1 meeting or that small group. Okay. And of course introverts may be drained by social interaction but energized by some time alone. Extroverts may be energized by social interaction but may feel restless when experiencing excessive isolation. So again the energy discussion is an important one. And sometimes I hear the introverts are drained by people and that’s true, But it’s oversimplified.
David Hall [00:18:34]:
I would rather say as an introvert, I may be drained by certain people and situations. And of course I can be energized by taking some time alone. Extroverts may be energized by social interactions or may feel restless with excessive isolation. But keep in mind we all need connections. We just may need some time alone to recharge or be alone with our thoughts, give our brain space and time to do some amazing things. Do you know what causes your energy drain? Do you know how you best recharge? By knowing what causes your drain and how you recharge, you can make a plan and and try to work that into your schedule as much as possible. And introverts prefer deep conversations over small talk. Extroverts in general enjoy most types of conversation.
David Hall [00:19:37]:
So introverts prefer deep conversation to small talk as we’re often drawn into our inner world of ideas, maybe thinking And so the weather might not be that interesting sometimes. Extroverts, on the other hand, enjoy most types of conversation. Remember, extroverts speak in order to think. But I have learned that I can do small talk when I need to and I want to, and sometimes it could actually be fun. Ultimately it’s probably needed to get to those conversations that I really want to have those deep conversations. At the same time, I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I honestly will avoid some small talk, But I have learned that I can prepare for some small talk, for example, for a networking event. Or even if I’m not prepared, I’ve learned to just relax.
David Hall [00:20:41]:
Pay attention to the other person. Pay attention to what’s going on around you and ask some good questions. And know at least on your end there could be some silence in the conversation and that’s okay. And I’ve always heard it said if there’s silence in the conversation, you’re not the only one. You may need to call it out sometimes and say, hey, let me think about that for a moment. And while I always like to say brilliant sometimes funny things, you know, don’t worry if everything that comes out of your mouth isn’t perfect. Give yourself a break. And also introverts prefer a close circle of friends.
David Hall [00:21:29]:
Extroverts enjoy having many friends and acquaintances. Introverts prefer a close circle of friends. They want that friend or 2 that you really can share everything with And you’re sharing, you know, private things with, you can go deep with. Whereas extroverts may have many friends and acquaintances And, you know, they’re gonna want some deep friends too, but for the introvert that is what we really value. And there’s not a right or wrong way here. What do you want? If you don’t feel like you have enough friends, there’s things that you can do, but the approach is going to be different. We as introverts can take a lot of time to get to know, So have some patience. As stated a bit ago, you can learn to be better at small talk and communication And get to those deeper conversations and connections that you want.
David Hall [00:22:32]:
This will be by being yourself and understanding your true self And not acting like something or someone that you’re not. And definitely not by pretending to be an extrovert. So do you understand yourself in all these areas? Keep in mind that we are all unique, and no person is exactly the same as another. And as we’re doing this journey of self discovery, it’s really important to not get hung up on these labels. So many times, you know, I give a presentation or someone’s read my book and I have the conversation And they say, David, I’m not sure if I’m an introvert or extrovert, maybe in the middle. And, you know, it seems like We’re talking that the goal is to decide on the label. Let’s not to take that deeper dive that we’re talking about and find out what that means. Again, the goal is to find out what your strengths are, what your needs are, not just to choose a label.
David Hall [00:23:35]:
Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert or somewhere in the middle, it’s important to understand what that means for you. Everyone is somewhere on the scale of introversion and extroversion. So if the label is all you know, it’s really not that helpful. You really need to take the time to figure out what works best for you. And I wanna be clear that neither introversion or extroversion is good or bad. The idea is that we all have natural gifts that come to us again, naturally. One isn’t better than the other. We’re not fixing introversion and we’re not trying to fix extroverts either.
David Hall [00:24:21]:
It’s really about understanding ourselves and those around us. What makes us unique and how we can help one another find success. By understanding introversion, you can be more productive, have better communication, Improve networking skills, have better relationships, be an amazing leader, and gain confidence in an overall sense of happiness and well-being. You can be wildly successful at what you set out to do, But you will likely succeed differently as an introvert versus an extrovert. For example, introverts can be great leaders But likely, as a great leader, you’re not gonna be the stereotypical loud and charismatic extrovert. You can use your gifts of strategic thinking or deep relationship building or many of the other gifts that introverts have. My first book, minding your time, time management, productivity, and success, especially for introverts. I wrote after realizing My introverted approach to productivity was best for me with quiet time to Focus, relax, recharge, plan and prepare, and give myself plenty of time for that deep thinking.
David Hall [00:25:47]:
There’s so many different gifts we each have. Hopefully you’re employing your unique gifts in your work and in your life. Because where the most happiness comes is when you’re using your natural gifts most of the time. We’re always gonna have to do things that are outside of our gifts and strengths, but if you can get to that place where you’re mostly using your gifts, that’s the ideal. Be proud of being an introvert. You can be very confident and successful by embracing who you are and not ever pretending to be An extrovert or something you’re not. Prepare for presentations, speeches, meetings, conversations. But don’t be too hard on yourself as we never can prepare for everything.
David Hall [00:26:30]:
Realize that you often think and speak, and great ideas can come from this. You prefer deep conversations and connections. And not only is this normal but it’s part of what makes you brilliant. Thanks so much for joining me today. I appreciate you. I hope you take the time to explore other episodes where we talk about all these topics And with some amazing guests. Remember, if you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s Now a free Typefinder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report, including the 4 letter Myers Briggs code.
David Hall [00:27:16]:
I’ll add a link to the show notes. I’d love to connect with you. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the quiet and strong .com website, which includes blog posts and links to social media. Send me topics or guests you would like to see on the show, and leave me a review. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, and so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs, and be strong.