World Introvert Day occurs on January 2 each year.  We have so much to celebrate about introversion!

Embrace your introversion

Embracing your introversion has been one of the main goals of my writing, speaking, and podcasting through Quiet and Strong. I want to make the needs of introverts normal, understood, and accepted.  I also want introverted strengths to be known and celebrated.

For myself, I know I am much happier and far more successful than I’ve ever been, simply by being true to myself and my strengths and honoring my needs. I have learned to be my best and not compare myself to others and their gifts. I understand what is best for me and what I like to do. Our personalities come to us very naturally. Introversion and extroversion are not good or bad but come to us inherently, like being right or left-handed. The important thing is not the label, but understanding what being introverted or extroverted means for you.

As introverts, we may have different desires, values, skills, and abilities, but we have in common a love of ideas and concepts. We are great thinkers and can use this skill to identify and hone our other gifts. So let’s review some possible introverted strengths to celebrate. You may relate to some and may have some to add that I didn’t mention.  

What are your introverted gifts?

As a deep thinker, you may be an amazing problem solver. Often with introversion, great ideas come as we let problems or situations roll around in our minds. We’re able to look at complex issues and see all the details and how all the pieces fit together and come up with a brilliant solution or next steps. You may be very analytical and ask “why did that happen?” or “what will happen in the future?” You may be able to anticipate future needs or ask what if? You may spot patterns in information and be able to work through some complex situations. You are likely thoughtful and you may be skilled at asking relevant questions or looking at exceptional situations and coming up with amazing insights.  You may come up with questions that no one else has asked. As a reflective thinker, maybe you get excited and challenged as you think through the mysteries of the universe.

As an introvert, you probably have a desire to feed your mind and do lots of reading, researching, and collecting information. This can make you extremely valuable as an expert in a particular area. It may help you think about how to solve problems. You may be curious and always reading up on the latest trends to explore, gather and synthesize the latest information. What is working? Or what is broken? What could life be like if…?  You may have many ideas. For some introverts, these ideas may come non-stop. You may have flashes of insight as you reflect on various aspects of life. You may be very creative. You may feel emotion deeply and use this gift to understand others.  Likely, you’re a dreamer and have very innovative ideas.

You may struggle with “winging” it, but often introverts are the masters of preparation. With a little work ahead of time you can put together a brilliant presentation or speech or prepare for that important meeting by considering all the necessary details.

You may have the ability to focus or concentrate for long periods of time, which allows you to work on complex problems or projects. You may be very methodical and relish working through statistics or data, or you may have a great talent for sifting through small details.

You may love to theorize and think about better ways of doing things as you gain insights on how to better your life or how to better the lives of others. You probably have a great imagination.

You might be a great observer of people, or have a deep understanding of the emotions and feelings of others. You may be a fantastic listener, or you may be intuitive to the needs of those around you. You may have a skill for seeing the strengths in others and helping them put those gifts to use.

You probably enjoy a good thought-provoking book or movie. You may enjoy some time alone or at least not mind being alone. You may want to spend time with a close friend or small group of friends. Maybe sometimes you DO want to go to a loud party. Or maybe you don’t.  And that’s OK too.

Knowing Yourself

The key to all of this is self-awareness, As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” That is what we want to explore, getting to know ourselves, and looking for strategies and tools for happiness and success. This is done by knowing ourselves and not trying to be something we are not. When you know your strengths and needs you can apply this knowledge to relationships, communication, leadership, productivity, and overall success and happiness. 

Don’t worry about the label

As we’re doing this journey of self-discovery it’s really important not to get hung up on the labels. So many times after I’ve given a presentation or someone’s read my book we have this conversation they’ll say, “David, I’m not sure if I’m an introvert or an extrovert. Maybe I’m in the middle.” And it seems as we are talking that the goal is to decide on the label, but it’s not to take that deeper dive and find out what that means. Again, the goal is to find out what are your strengths and what are your needs. If you are an introvert or extrovert, or maybe somewhere in the middle it’s important to know what that means for you. If all you have done is identify with a label it’s really not that helpful. If you haven’t already, I encourage you this coming year to take that deeper dive beyond the label and figure out what works best for you. This blog and the Quiet and Strong Podcast is a great place to learn more.

So how will you celebrate on World Introvert Day?  What makes you happy?  Going for a walk, hike, run, drive? Reading a book or watching a movie or several movies?  Spending time alone pondering the mysteries of the universe, or spending time with your favorite people engaged in deep conversation or just taking it easy?  Or a million other things? Do what makes you happy and remember what is great about being an introvert!

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