Can introversion be a result of being shy?

Introvert? You are completely wrongly underestimated!

It is not easy for introverts. This is especially true in the job, where they repeatedly run into problems due to their personality. Many executives fail to recognize their talents, as these people are often reserved, quiet, conscientious, but without pushing themselves to the fore. Introverts are quickly outshone and overshadowed by their extroverted colleagues. Or misunderstood: They are shy of people, taciturn and don't understand jokes, it is said. Error! What it really means to be an introvert, what makes introverts so interesting and which myths are not true about them ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Introvert Definition: What sets introverts apart

Let's take a closer look at the matter: Extraversion is considered one of the so-called Big Five. So one of five defining characteristics in personality diagnostics.

It is often associated with high energy, with expressive expression of emotions, with openness and sociability, but also with the move to the stage. Such a person seeks the company and attention of other people, he or she wants to be heard and seen, to be in the spotlight. A right Rampensau just.

On the other side of the scale are the introverts. When you think of them, you prefer to think of you shy, scared, withdrawn people. But that's wrong, says Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, who wrote a book about introverted managers. It defines the so-called Intraversion for example like this:

  • An introvert thinks first and speaks later. He or she prefers to reflect carefully on what others are saying and thinking before speaking up.
  • Introverts focus on depth, less on glamor and glory. They love to analyze thoroughly or have in-depth conversations. Small talk, however, is not really her thing.
  • you radiate calm. Especially in times of crisis or problems, they do not tend to be proactive and make ad-hoc decisions, but remain thorough, prudent and conscientious in everything - another characteristic of the Big Five.
  • Introverts prefer the written word. They don't feel so comfortable with the spoken word. Writing something down helps them be more precise.
  • And you like the loneliness. Not permanently, but again and again. You need these withdrawn time-outs to create clarity for yourself, to recharge your batteries, to sort and process thoughts. The hype, on the other hand, obscures your senses.

Introverts tend to direct their gaze inward, drawing strength, energy and motivation from themselves and less from recognition from outside or great attention.

You can't really say that these properties are bad, or even one Handicap in the job or for a manager. On the contrary: someone who can listen, differentiate, analyze; depth is more important than effects and whose decisions are carefully considered cannot be a bad manager.

There are even some historical examples of successful and at the same time introverted leaders:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Bill Gates
  • Warren Buffett
  • Helmut Schmidt
  • Reinhold Würth

But admittedly: you have to look for them among the top managers. After all, introverts are more inward-looking. you interpret their environment through their thoughts. Only the speed of decision could sometimes suffer.

Especially since very few people can be clearly assigned to one of the two categories - introverted / extroverted. Everyone basically carries attachments and Characteristics of both directions in themselves. The only difference is the characteristics of the various facets.

Most people are mixed types, belong to the so-called ambiverted people and, depending on the context and situation, show stronger introverted or extroverted characteristics.

9 graphics that introverts understand only too well

The following (pointed) graphics, which introverts understand only too well, also serve for a better understanding ...

Introvert Test: Are You Introvert?

Introvert or extrovert? Which type do you tend to be more of? We have prepared a short self-test for you that can help you with the assessment.

However, this test elevates no scientific claim. It's just about giving you a better understanding of yourself and Sharpen your self-image.

We have put together a list of various statements for this purpose. Please read them through carefully and decide for yourself whether you want the Agree with the statement or not. Please remember that the aim is not to get as many points as possible, but to get a realistic picture of yourself. So be honest with the answers ...

  • Others often describe me as calm, reserved, or even shy.
  • I can concentrate on one thing for a long time.
  • I find it difficult to decide spontaneously. I would rather take the time for an extensive analysis.
  • I don't like to be the center of attention. I therefore prefer to stay in the background in discussions with several participants, even if I have an opinion on the topic.
  • I don't like being brought into unexpected situations. That is why I feel uncomfortable with surprises and short-term changes, both at work and in my private life.
  • I often wonder what others think of me and my actions.
  • I have a good instinct for recognizing when a conflict arises. I notice this in the way people meet each other, even if they don't speak.
  • If there really is a conflict, I stay out of it and tend to take an observing position.
  • I have a hard time reaching out to other people. That is why it is particularly difficult for me to make new contacts.
  • It takes a long time before I can really build trust in a person. Even if there is no specific reason for the distrust, it is difficult for me to overcome.
  • I like working on projects alone. So I can use my concentration and do things the way I imagine them.
  • The thought of having to give a speech in front of an audience scares me and I do everything I can to prevent it.
  • Sometimes I make excuses not to go to a party.
  • I prefer to write things down instead of putting them into words and saying them.
  • Even in stressful situations, I manage to stay calm and not let myself get carried away into a hectic pace.

The evaluation for the test

Now please add up how many answers you were able to agree with. Here is the evaluation:

Consented 0 to 5 times

You are anything but introverted. You are looking for the company of others, you have no problem drawing attention to yourself and you are looking for new contacts and experiences. Your openness can help you in many situations, but you should be careful about decisions that are too impulsive.

Approved 6 to 11 times

They combine the mediocrity between introversion and extroversion - classic ambiversion. Many people belong to this category and in principle have one advantage: They combine the positive properties of both extremes. You feel comfortable in the company of others, but you also have no problem with being alone occasionally and withdrawing.

Approved 12 to 15 times

Your answers speak for an introverted personality. They appear calm to others, feel uncomfortable in large crowds and in the center of attention, and place little value on superficiality. You shouldn't interpret your character traits as weaknesses just because extroverts tend to push themselves to the fore. Use your calm, concentration, comprehension and attention to detail as your strengths.

Qualities that make introverts interesting

There are many prejudices and myths against introverts (more on this below), most of them negative. But introverts aren't just shy, calm, or even boring. You are playing yourself less in the foreground, but that doesn't mean that the extroverted colleague is automatically the more interesting person. But on the contrary. Anyone who gives an introvert the chance to open up a little will quickly find that there can be a far more interesting personality behind the calm facade. 9 traits that make introverts interesting:

  • They are excellent listeners

    There are always two sides to a conversation, but it is not really difficult to find someone who likes to talk a lot about himself. Introverts are particularly good at taking on the role of listener. The big plus: You actually listen and don't just wait to have your say.

    Often they manage to really understand the person they are speaking to, even if they do not speak everything openly. Conversations with introverts therefore offer significantly more options than just nodding silently when an extroverted conversation partner starts a monologue.

  • They are particularly reliable

    An introvert does not make empty promises. You would feel uncomfortable if the other person's expectations could not be met. It is therefore not in their nature to promise something that they cannot then keep. This applies, for example, to the quality of their work, but also to punctuality.

    In order not to be surprised by a coincidence, introverts plan enough buffer in order to be on time in any case. So you can always rely on the word of an introvert.

  • They have confidential relationships

    Admittedly, building a close relationship with an introvert is not that easy. But it is definitely worth the effort! Because if you succeed, you belong to an exclusive group.

    As a rule, introverts do not have a huge circle of friends or acquaintances in every city in Germany. But when you let someone close, this relationship goes beyond a superficial friendship.

  • You know who you are

    Being an introvert also means knowing and understanding yourself. Introverts are therefore often very well aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. You know what you like, what is good for you or what you want to achieve.

    Associating introversion with a lack of self-esteem would be wrong. Introverts in particular know very well who they are and can act from this security.

  • You act very carefully

    Unprepared decisions or spontaneous actions do not correspond to the character of an introvert. They take enough time to rethink their decisions and thus prevent hasty decisions. So when they are commenting on a topic, you can be sure that the reasoning is well thought out.

    This trait is especially useful when seeking advice from an introvert. It will likely take a little longer, but it will be serious advice to rely on.

  • You have empathy

    Some people find it very difficult to empathize with their environment and understand their emotions. But introverts are not one of them. You often understand very well how someone else feels and what triggers the feelings.

    Often the empathy even goes so far that introverts take over the mood of their interlocutor. This applies to both joy and sadness. So if you want to share your feelings with someone, you will find the right person to talk to in an introvert.

  • You are excellent watchers

    Introverts are very attentive to their environment and have a strong power of observation. In this way, they perceive many things that might have remained hidden from a cursory glance.

    No detail goes unnoticed by an introverted observer - whether in the body language of a conversation partner or when completing a task that requires great concentration.

  • They pose a challenge

    What could make a person more interesting than a challenge? It may take a little patience to get through to an introvert and get to know them better, but that is what makes them interesting.

    If, after the first meeting, you have the feeling that you know everything about your interlocutor, you will quickly lose interest. However, if it is an introverted counterpart, you can be sure to discover some interesting sides.

  • You are extremely critical

    Simply accept and accept information? Not with an introvert. Changes or new impulses are first questioned and critically reconsidered.

    However, the purpose is not to stop the changes, but to improve them and uncover errors. In many cases, introverts offer a second perspective that should not be ignored.

Introverts are more likely to be grammar peddlers

The Voice police is on patrol all the time these days. There is hardly a comment with a spelling mistake for which you are not held accountable by the cocoa on Facebook. But what personalities are these grammar pedants? Researchers Julie E. Boland and Robin Queen from the University of Michigan addressed this question in a study.

The result of the experiment: the more sociable and amiable the test person was, the less he took grammatical errors wrong. Even more: Compatible people were the only ones who rated the authors of the MIT emails even more positively on the grammatical errors than the flawless and flawless ones. Those who were less friendly in dealing, on the other hand, reacted particularly sensitively to grammatical inadequacies. In summary: The Nice and helpful people do not care about wrong sentences, the grumpy and grumpy, however, all the more.

That was not all. Extroverts were more forgiving than introverts. It was noticeable that the introverts were the most pedantic overall - and much more picky about typing errors. In other words: Anyone who pins an incorrect comment to an introvert on the Facebook wall or sends an unsuccessful e-mail is more likely to jeopardize their image and may be perceived as less competent due to typing errors.

Myths About Introverts

Far too often one exists in the job and in their minds of colleagues and managers wrong image of introverts. Their quiet and withdrawn appearance therefore leads to prejudices that are usually simply wrong.

Time to dispel some of the myths about introverts:

  1. Introverts are shy.

    The reserved nature of introverts is mistakenly mistaken for shyness. Shy people are afraid of social contact. They fear being judged by those around them. Introverts, however, are only turned inward and think a lot about their environment. They are not afraid of social interaction, they just need a reason for it.

  2. Introverts don't like to talk.

    They often hold back in discussion groups. You don't rush ahead with your opinion, but rather keep it to yourself. That gives the impression that they have nothing to say. But that is not the case. They do not trumpet the first thought, but only speak up when their contributions are in full swing. Introverts only feel the urge to talk when the conversation has substance. You can talk for hours about a topic they are passionate about.

  3. Introverts are shy of people.

    Cancellations to parties are interpreted as disinterest. But introverts do not avoid such events because they are disinterested, but because they can quickly overwhelm large and noisy crowds. They like things to be more manageable. They have their strengths in one-to-one contact. They prefer to maintain close relationships with a few people instead of having many superficial contacts.

  4. Introverts are fun brakes.

    This prejudice arose because introverts have a different understanding of fun than extroverts. You need less action in life. They enjoy being alone and love quiet places. Reading a good book in the park is usually more fun for them than going to a loud concert.

  5. Introverts want to be left alone.

    It is correct: They don't mind being alone, they often even enjoy being to themselves and dealing with their own thoughts. But that doesn't mean they are not interested in human relationships.You value friendships and good relationships with colleagues. But mostly it takes longer to come about.

  6. Introverts are rude.

    They are often considered rude and unfriendly because they refrain from small talk and other polite phrases. Many introverts want authentic and honest interactions with others. Small talk about the weather or the event usually seems superfluous to them and they often find it difficult.

  7. Introverts are aloof.

    Her quiet and reserved manner often makes it difficult for people around her to assess her. Introverts aren't too quick to reveal what's on their mind. Because of this, they are quickly thought to be closed and rejecting. But basically it's just a matter of gaining their trust and luring them out of the reserve.

  8. Introverts are weird.

    Introverts reflect and question their environment. Often this means that they don't swim with the crowd, but rather go their own way. This is not always easy to understand for outsiders and therefore seems strange.

  9. Introverts are cold-hearted.

    They usually keep their feelings to themselves. There are never any emotional outbursts in public. At work, they would never openly show that something upset or hurt them. Your fellow human beings then consider this to be cold and calculating. But that's not the case, they just don't let everyone around them share their feelings, but only selected people, for example their favorite colleagues, whom they tell how hurtful the boss's comment was.

  10. Introverts are not able to work in a team.

    It is true that introverts prefer to work alone. But that doesn't mean that you can't work in a team per se. It is just more difficult for them to assert themselves in the team. If they are not actively involved by the team, they tend to withdraw. However, if their work is valued and their opinions are heard, they are a valuable part of the team. So here it depends a lot on how the team deals with introverted personalities.

  11. Introverts cannot speak in front of people.

    That cannot be said in general terms. It is true that very few introverted employees will be tempted to speak in front of a large group because they do not like to be the center of attention. However, if you are encouraged by the boss, for example, to present the results of a project to the workforce, you will take on this task.

  12. Introverts can become extroverts.

    It would be wrong to assume that an introverted personality can become an extroverted one. You can adapt, but the need to retreat and the lack of interest in being the focus remain, for example.

  13. Introverts cannot be leaders.

    Sylvia Löhken, author of the guidebook “Quiet People - Strong Effects” is of the opinion that introverted people are excellently suited to take on leadership positions. Employees value their strengths in relationships with individuals, reflective nature, and listening skills.

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October 25, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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