In today’s fast moving and continuously evolving world where expectations are high in every field, where quick results are expected, the quieter ones or the introverts are often mistaken for the slower ones. Be it a teacher, a programmer, a journalist or even a vegetable vendor, the extroverts are preferred over the quieter ones. The introvert is often thought to be slow or confused or even under confident.
Are You An INTROVERT?
It may be useful to take a test to know more about your personality type. Says Sampoorna, a psychologist from Chennai, “A lot of times, introverts pass as extroverts, unaware and surprised to discover they are introverts. The question to ask is whether they’re losing or gaining energy from being around others, even if they enjoy being with their friends.” One of the most popular and perceptive tests is the MBTI test (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), which determines types based on four parameters: introversion/extroversion, thinking/feeling, sensory/intuitive and finally, perceptive/judging.
Being always surrounded by too many people may drain your energy.
After a lot of external stimulation you require your own space and some quiet time.
You enjoy your solitude and derive happiness from being alone rather than expecting some one else to make you happy.
Your group of friends is way much smaller.Rather, you are not looking for new friends always.
People may find you quieter and more difficult to approach.
You learn well through observation.
The Conventional Thought
Often passed and looked as slow learners and doers. Being more thoughtful and observant ones,they take more time to finish a task or to explain themselves. Often regarded as more difficult to approach an introvert in spite of having the same IQ as an extrovert,may struggle to prove his intelligence. Due to social pressures and expectations parents may force their dreamy introvert child to become an extrovert. So much can be the pressure that many introverts wear a camouflage of extrovert so well that we can hardly make out their true nature.
Dale Carnegie,famous author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, was a shy boy brought up in a farming family in America. As he grew up he saw that people who could speak well, and charm others were more popular and successful. He decided to adopt this trait and coached himself to become one of the most articulate speakers, and charismatic personalities of America, and set off a trend favouring personality over character.
SHY=INTROVERT? not always.
Although being shy has become a synonym for introvert. Where as an introvert is an inward looking person who needs less external stimulation. Nor are introverts necessarily shy. Shyness is a fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not over stimulating. Shyness is inherently painful, whereas introversion is not. Although there is a permutation combination of shy-introverts and non-shy introverts, as well as calm extroverts and anxious extroverts…introverts may not necessarily be shy. Bill Gates, who by all accounts likes to keep to himself, is unfazed by any outside opinions.
What we don’t see easily
An introvert may have much more observation skills than an always talking extrovert who is busy chatting and socializing around. Introverts are considered to be less impulsive because they will think twice before speaking and much more before taking a decision. Rather the corporate world is slowly realising the importance of the introvert leader. They may not be smooth talking,quick decision makers but the more cautious leaders who will stop themselves if very excited and look for problems. Even if we consider a field like politics the greatest of all Mahatma Gandhi was an introvert but his skills and power extraordinary.
Even in the field of acting, a notoriously flamboyant profession, introverts like Naseeruddin Shah have set the gold standard for excellence. Observes Sheela Mendes, “Introverted actors don’t just act the role, they become the character because their boundaries are more elastic”. If we search the internet for most successful introverts we will come across the names of giants Albert Einstein, JK Rowling and Steven Spielberg etc.
Know yourself and Be Balanced
Once you find it that you are an introvert start using it for your personal growth rather than rectifying it. A bit of balancing may be required but you are unique and powerful in your own ways. Its the best to be comfortable in your skin. Although there is nothing like a complete extrovert and complete introvert ,we keep oscillating between the two. The best is to strike a balance and know your power and strengths. Knowledge of self is the most enlightening. Not to forget the words of C.G Jung, ” Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
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