Introverted individuals as a whole may, at times, come to be viewed by society as a shy, weird, problematic, standoffish, reserved, and socially awkward bunch of people.
Some studies have pointed to introverts not having enough immune boosting properties to ward off infection and pathogens in the environment, primarily because they tend to avoid large gatherings and their perceived cesspool of germs. Other studies point to a link between introversion, depression, and anxiety.
While these studies may point to a correlational link and nothing directly causal, it is unfortunate that from a social and perhaps health viewpoint, introverts have come to be perceived this way. In reality, we can learn a lot from their behavior, and keen level of introspection and observation.
Let us examine the psychological health benefits of being an introvert, and why the unique traits they possess could serve them well throughout life — and maybe in every chosen endeavor.
- Introverts truly listen. Introverts can make good friends and confidants as they have mastered the art of truly listening, making others feel heard, understood, and acknowledged.
- More action, less talk. While introverts plan in terms of action, they engage in very little talk. They can be truly more action-oriented than their extroverted mates, who at times just talk. Introverted individuals also seem more likely to complete goals they are working on, simply because they actually get to it, and get into it.
- Cautious/prudent. While this can drive extroverts — or those in between — nuts, introverts think before acting. They analyze and ponder and usually end up executing decisions that they feel confident about. Their lack of impulsivity can be a good thing.
- Less obese. Introverts tend to be more health conscious but, again, there are plenty of exceptions to this generalization. The idea behind this theory is that they have more of a prudent personality in general, and as a result they are more conscious of what goes into their bodies.
- Creative. Introverts tend to be very creative, not just artistically, but also with regards to pursuing opportunities that others may pass over for a variety of reasons.
- Introspective and reflective. Introverts take the time to reflect, with many of them reflecting for a few minutes at the end of the day. This intuitively helps them to learn from their mistakes by trying to improve the next day and gives them the inner confidence to see what they did right.
- Great leaders. Introverts can make great leaders with their good listening skills and high emotional intelligence. This combination of traits can draw out the best qualities in their employees, keeping them motivated and engaged.
- They frown on people-pleasing. While polite, introverts generally don’t aim to please others at the expense of their own health, or resources, etc. They are able to naturally establish boundaries between work, social, and their personal lives. This helps them to not over-commit to certain obligations and then under-deliver. Usually they do the opposite.
- They de-stress in times of distress. Since introverts tend to reflect more than other types of personalities, they know what to do when they feel stress coming on. They listen to their bodies and minds, because they intuitively know that the two are inextricably linked.
- Enjoy solitude. Introverts enjoy spending time by themselves. Besides recharging when they feel drained, they truly enjoy their own company, because they know themselves quite well, aren’t afraid to be alone, and are at peace with that. They also keep a small, but close network of friends, whom they trust by their side.
- Dismiss noise. Introverts find ways to decrease all of the mental and internal noise that consumes most people daily. This usually happens when they retreat into themselves, which others might call, going into their shell. This is a purposeful move. Learn to emulate it.
- Not all that concerned with what others think. Even though everyone can fall prey to what others think — and it is perfectly normal — introverts have projected a quiet, inner confidence that prevents them from getting trapped in what other people may think of them.
I am sure there are many additional qualities to introverts than those stated above that truly set them apart from others in a very positive way. That being said, most people in this world are neither truly pure extroverts, nor truly pure introverts. Most people fall somewhere in the middle — at times exhibiting different characteristics depending on what is going on in their immediate environment.
Despite this notion, it should serve us well to learn from what makes this group so very special and, at times, very successful. Doing so can enable you to slow down and live life more fully in the present, with the added bonus of not being restrained by what others think of you. This way, you can live the life you actually want.