Are you an introvert? And a bit shy too? Shoo! Quick, read a self-help book, practice some dialogs in front of a mirror, enroll in a self-promotion course (yes they exist) and hopefully nobody will notice you’re actually a cowardly weirdo. Phew! Saved from social destruction, because coming across shy is something you wouldn’t even wish for your worst Zionist enemy.
Ok that may have been a little exaggerated, but the words of my sarcastic alter ego contain some truth. In this extravert worshipping society of ours introversion and shyness seem to be more like a curse than not very desirable traits. Success is on the opposite side, they think. And I don’t even completely disagree with that. Especially shyness is indeed inconvenient; I don’t have to explain that. What I can explain, though, is that introversion and even shyness certainly have good (and possibly unexposed) sides.
Introvert or shy?
First of all, I want to make clear that introversion and shyness are not the same thing. Introverts get energy from inside themselves, while extroverts get energy from social interaction. Shyness on the other hand is a mild fear in social situations. Introversion is not a matter of fear, but simply a matter of where energy is gained from. Introversion, or extroversion for that matter, is not something you can change, unlike shyness. You can see introversion and shyness are two separate things, but it’s true that introverts are often shy. I happen to be both too, although I’m not very shy (anymore).
This post is about my personal experience as a slightly shy introvert. According to short-sighted people that means I’m cursed. But I’m not and here are 12 reasons why.
1. Introverts are more reserved and that makes them come across humble.
2. It also means we come across innocent. People often think of me as a ‘good girl’ before they’ve even talked to me. Well that’s a nice perk, I must say.
3. And the good thing about that is that people think you’re trustworthy, which is really a good thing.
4. And it makes you very approachable. People don’t feel intimidated around you. Score again.
5. You come across thoughtful. When people see a quiet person they quickly link that to intelligence and take your words seriously.
6. Your calmness has a calming effect on others, especially on kids.
7. Your friendships are less often superficial, because you’re not really the type of casual contacts. You may have less friends, but you have better quality friendships.
8. You think before you speak, which means you don’t quickly blab things you hope others haven’t heard.
9. Since you are always reflecting, you’re bound to improve the quality of your work.
10. You attach a lot of value to positive feedback (this is a trait of shyness), which improves the quality of your work. Shyness stems from insecurity, so the fact that you attach a lot of value to positive feedback is a no-brainer. But there is more to it. Since you’re naturally a more scared person, you are very sensitive to stimuli. That is why intimidating situations are so intense to you, but it also means you experience awarding stimuli just as intensely, and that feels good.
11. You develop awesome observation skills. Observing is learning of course.
12. When you have such a rich inner world, you never have to feel bored.
Are you shy or an introvert? What strengths do you think introverts and shy people have?