Introvert Success

Introversion is not a bug, it's a feature.

You don’t have to have it all figured out in order to lead

One thing that bugged me for a long time was people that started to lead even though they weren’t experts yet.

They just became super enthusiastic about things, started talking about it a lot and all of a sudden people would take their opinions seriously.

And there I was, having a lot more experience in the subject but because I was aware of how little I knew I would not feel entitled to be a leader.

Now I know that there are always people who have less experience than you and that it’s ok to be a leader without being the absolute expert on the subject.

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The introvert ideal

I had a realisation recently about the extent to which I’ve been indoctrinated in to the ‘extrovert ideal’ paradigm.

I’ve been thinking about how to progress in my work.

The standard path is to move in to a management position.

Taking on a leadership position, managing people etc.

Which in practice means more meetings, more talking, more time and energy wasted on admin and busy work.

For a time I believed that was just part of being an adult and developing a career.

But then I thought about the achievements that I’m most proud of and that satisfy my authentic self.

All those things I achieved on my own. No meetings, no discussions, no team-work.

Just me in a room working on the projects from start to completion.

And the results made me immensely proud and brought me positive responses from around the world.

So why do I feel like I need to become a rounded personality and live up to an ideal when all that does is waste my precious time?

Time that I could be spending on producing more outstanding work.

I should be focusing my energy on becoming the best introvert I can be in stead of trying to be a poor extrovert.

Conversational minimalism

Sometimes I feel like I’ve said too much.

Not that I said something wrong.

Rather that too many words left my mouth and I could have gotten by with a lot less.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s ok the be a conversational minimalist.

Don’t feel the need to keep up with pop-culture

I sometimes hear people saying they feel like they need to keep up with pop-culture to avoid feeling left out.

There’s absolutely no need for this.

Your time is precious and should only spend it on activities you enjoy.

So what do you do when someone asks you if you watched X – episode of Y show, or Z – movie?

You say: “No, tell me about it”.

If you want go a step further you can also share what you are into.

But be careful not to come across as someone who is trying too hard to be different.

Just keep it low-key and nonchalant.

Balance your interests and activities

You only have a certain amount of hours in the week to dedicate to interests outside of your work.

So you need to take time to think about your hobbies and interests and how they affect the overall balance of energy you feel throughout the week.

Consider which activities drain your energy and which leave you recharged.

And also consider which activities give you both or complement each other in some way.

Over the years I’ve evaluated everything I do to get the maximum benefits.

I know I need to do activities that help increase my knowledge, feed my need for creativity, allow me to exercises and socialise while not completely draining me.

An example of set of activities that give me all of these could be:

1. Rock climbing: Exercise + alone time, but also the opportunity to meet and socialise with other rock climbers if you choose to.

2. Reading: Increasing knowledge + alone time to recharge.

3. Stand up comedy: Being creative, requires practice at home but also has an element where you need to go out and perform.

Learn to manage your energy and focus it on activities that help you cover all the areas of your life that you want to engage in.

Push Past Your Comfort Zone

Many people self-identify as being an introvert when they are in fact shy and scared of social interactions. Yes introverts can be shy and anxious. But those traits are independent of each other.

I used to be shy and introverted. Now I’m no longer shy but I’m still on the introverted end of the spectrum.

If you are new to improving your social skills you most likely don’t know yourself that well. Because you haven’t had a broad enough range of social experiences.

The best way to find out about yourself is to push past your comfort zone, develop your social skills and gain success in many different ways. Only then will you have enough self-knowledge to know whether you are an introvert or not.

Pretend It’s A Numbers Game

Just pretend that it’s a numbers game.

And that there’s nothing you can do to change that.

How would you feel?

You’d let go of all worrying about getting it right and just take as many shots as you could.

Guess what that mentality does for you?

Want to be relaxed in the moment and not stressed about achieving a particular outcome?

Pretend it’s a numbers game.

This is what Introvert Success looks like

Over on Reddit someone posted the following thread How do you react to womanizers? (Image of the thread in case it gets taken down)

The situation in the post is that a woman is wondering if the guy she hooked up with is disrespectful to women. Most people seem to agree that the guy is simply honest about his intentions and he is not at fault.

The reason I’m showing you this is because the description of the guy shows him to be a great example of someone who is a successful introvert. Whether you agree with his behaviour is beside the point. Take a look at how she describes him:

He’s actually pretty awesome with everyone…Very respectful nice, but i dunno. I guess i’m not that comfortable with him being “passively” seducing all the time.
He’s probably the geekiest person i’ve ever met, studying computer science and math, not much of a party animal, as far as he told me he was kind of the “soocially awkward nice guy” type, back in his youth but not really bitter about it.
But when i see him today i sometimes wonder if he’s not into some kind of “revenge”
Some of my friends suggested i might be jealous, not stricto sensu since i’m not considering anything with him other than friendship anymore and i truly love my boyfriend but more because of the “message” it sends on how he values his past love interests…
(A.k.a being one among so many others) I don’t know what to think about that, i never really felt that way, but i don’t really know either what is annoying me about this.
He basically is the one that teached me many things about feminism, told me about great women to read and instructed me about what feminism really is. (Mass medias aren’t really good at that…)

Well, looks like he’s more going for the hottest ones if i may say. ‘”
But very often he managed to make it look like they were going after him. Couldn’t really explain…But he is VERY secretive about himself while appearing extremely upfront at the same time.
Thought i said i was slightly annoyed at the fact romances weren’t “apparently” so special to him due to the numbers…I’m not bitter the least about our past Oo
I don’t know why you’re implying that, i didn’t feel like i looked hurt…But i’ve been quite fascinated by the fellow for a long time and i’m really proud to count among the few real friends he’s got, and the even fewer that know a lot about him…
I’ve been knowing him for 8 years now, and for 3 years i never knew anything else about him other than he was into manga stuff and video games, and quite interested in litterature and classical knowledge.
Then i randomly learned when bringin a foreign friend that he could speak russian…Fluently…And chinese…And arabic…
(The bastard just shrugged when i asked him why he never told anyone about this before. “)
My boyfriend has been bringing him to his chess club since he looked interested and was playing online, when they came back, the fucker had mercilessly crushed everyone there including the teachers…
Then after checking online we noticed he was a top 10 world ranker on chess.com…
He’s studying AI and such so it makes sense, but he also plays saxophone…And Piano…and after years absolutely refusing to dance with people at every party, he gave up one day with a friend’s mother…And made us an awesome public Tango demonstration…And also acrobatic breakdance on another occasion after an awful lot of drinks.

That very same night, after witnessing a girl being seriously harrassed at the club’s door, he intervened…And then we discovered he also knew how to fight because he managed to know unconscious 3 of the biggest shitlords i’ve ever seen… (You know what kind of guys i’m talking about if you like to go out on saturday night…)
I mean…The guy knows absolutely everything, who can do that except a novel-spy or a royal family member? Oo

I can’t figure how he could be upfront about his real thoughts when he’s holding all “this” from basically everyone…
But you’re right about one thing, i really should stop bothering and move on…It’s his business after all… =/
I feel like i kind of suck right now when i see what i just wrote…

Polarise Opinions

Something you have to do is polarise opinions. It’s not enough for everyone to feel indifferently towards you.

Some people need to hate you so that others can love you.

Even if you normally don’t have strong opinions, tastes or preferences either way it is better to choose one side to fully support (obviously I’m talking about inconsequential things in life).

This does not mean intentionally upsetting or offending people but not being afraid if this does happen as a byproduct of your opinions and actions.

Ask open ended questions

Although introverts can be very talkative at times, especially when talking about things we are passionate about, it can often be the case that we don’t really have anything to contribute in a conversation.

One of the best things you can do is encourage the other person to speak by asking open ended questions.

“What…?”
“Why…?”
“How…?”

Avoid asking questions that can be answered with yes or no answers.