They are some of our favorite, mysterious characters like Sherlock Holmes, the Sundance Kid, or Wesley from The Princess Bride. They become the surprising heroes of some of our favorite books, like Severus Snape or Mr. Darcy. Sometimes, they even make the best vigilantes, like Batman. They are a vital part of many dynamic duos and stories, but in real life no one really knows what to make of them. They are introverts.
Introverts: A Definition
The dictionary describes an introvert as, “a shy, reticent, and typically self-centered person. A person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with the external things.”
Well, personally, I think that’s a little harsh. I believe that introverts are self-reflective rather than self-centered, or self-conscious rather than self-confident. It’s not that introverts don’t care what you think. Many of them, on the contrary, spend too much time thinking about your opinion of them.
Of course, there are many varieties of introverts, but the main difference between introverts and extroverts is this: Introverts don’t get their energy from others, and extroverts do. But all that means is that the relationships of introverts and extroverts look different. If you’re friends with an introvert, you probably know that they’re a pain to take to parties, but they are some of the best friends and greatest listeners that you know.
A Different Voice
“People will always doubt what you say, but they will always believe what you do.” I have always loved that saying. I’ve never been a woman of many words, but I believe in taking action, and I think that’s generally something that people can respond to and trust. Not that speaking for a cause is bad, but as an introvert, it probably won’t be your forte. Acting for a cause is an even greater course to take, however, and it’s one that introverts can be especially good at. Service is something that you, if you’re an introvert, can take leadership in. You don’t have to be the best speaker or the loudest voice, but you can still be a mover and a shaker.
People Will Listen
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but when you do feel moved enough to raise your voice, people listen. They listen well. There’s almost an air of shock and awe: “Wow, Charlotte finally said something in a meeting today, it must have been important.” If you’re an introvert, people know you’re not talking just to hear your own voice. They know you’re not going to say anything unless you really mean it, and that’s a great power to have. You can be a quiet voice of truth, and people respond well to that. You probably don’t say anything unless you’ve thought long and hard about it, which means it’s at least a thoughtful response, and probably a wise one too. You can be a voice of caring words, thoughtful attitudes, and mindful responses. Introverts are great role models for thoughtfulness.
So, if you’re an introvert, don’t fall into the lie of thinking you don’t have a vital voice. Introverts are some of the world’s best leaders, coordinators, ambassadors, and writers. You just have to know how to lead in a way that suits you. Maybe you’ll be involved with service. Maybe you’ll write for a cause. But whatever it is, I hope you know that your thoughtful words and actions make you a voice to be reckoned with.
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