Is being an introvert positive or negative? This may seem like a strange question, but it’s very common – specially after dismissing some of the myths about introversion. The simple answer is that it’s both/ neither. Its important to accept it and understand your skill set. The much better question is how does it facilitate/ blocks communication between different people.
Is being an introvert negative?
It sometimes seems as if there are many negative points about introverts and many introverts also see negative points about themselves. If you accept a negative label, then live down to it, you have certainly done something negative. If you take the same label, use it as part of a quick diagnosis and then move beyond it – it was positive. The following points are often discussed as being negative positions about being introverted. Introverts:
- are weird or stand offish. It’s no more true than saying extroverts are, but it hangs around. I believe it comes from the “people energy” thing, if you know you’re running low on energy you step back and that’s often taken as being stand offish.
- have a harder time standing out on social media. Although “people energy” can be diminished by social media as well as being in person many believe the social media to be a good area for introverts. In reality it’s about how you use the platform.
- can get overlooked. This can be a negative point if you let it. If so, it may lead you to being overlooked for promotion or for getting the next job; but it also happens to extroverts. The question is how are you using your network and letting others (including your boss) about what you’re looking for, without trying to show off and sound narcissistic? For networking tips click here, for ideas about communication with the boss click here.
- struggle to expand their networks. Size isn’t everything, it’s how you use it! Is it better to have a few great people in your network who you regularly keep in touch with, or many people that who barely know you?
- are shy: No, introversion is not about being shy. If you want tips to be less shy, click here.
- lack confidence: It’s all about context. Introverts can be very confident in the things they know they’re good at. They might not shout enough about those skills. Developing social confidence, as an introvert.
- don’t make good leaders: This one crops up because many of our models of good leaders are loud extroverts who enjoy basking in the limelight and making things up as they go. Is that really what a good leader does? Bill Gates, Richard Branson and many others have shown great leadership abilities, yet remain introverted. We need to think carefully what “good leader” means.
These are not negative points about introverts, unless you choose to allow them to become problems
Is being an introvert positive?
If you’re looking for some positives about being an introvert, these are most often cited. Some of the points are also true of some extroverts and some introverts don’t display all of these positive points. However on asking over 200 people what they think are the positives of introversion, they’re the most commonly cited. Introverts are:
- good listeners. We can all improve our listening skills, but more introverts are cited as a being good listeners that extroverts.
- think before they speak. Both introverts and extroverts can think clearly, although external processing can be harder to listen to, and being more reflective means introverts tend to think before speaking.
- thoughtful networkers: The general model of networking seems to be know many people and greet them loudly, successful networking involves more thought and focus.
- compassionate leaders: A leader focuses on vision, inspiring the team and is good at allowing the team to take credit. What else would you add to a definition of good leader?
Introverts, extroverts and communication.
Is introvert positive or negative? It’s both/ neither. More important is how we understand and communicate with each other, especially those with different communication preferences.