An Introvert’s Value In An Extroverted World
F or most of my life, I’ve thought about my introverted wiring as limiting, and something I had to overcome. I’ve felt like there’s something wrong with me, and the only possible solution would be to become more extroverted because that’s the ideal—right?
I’ve finally realized the reason I grew up feeling this way: the unique value that introverts bring into the world is rarely acknowledged or validated.
The Extrovert Ideal
Beginning in elementary school, talking is praised and rewarded. Raising your hand in class, group participation—talking, talking, talking.
This continues in the corporate world, where it’s escalated to talking over each other in meetings just to be heard because the loudest voice in the room always seems to be the one everyone’s listening to.
It’s present in the social world, where the loudest ones are typically the life of the party.
But this simply isn’t how introverts are wired to operate. Instead, we like to sit back, learn by observing, and engage with our bosses and colleagues one on one.
We tend to be sponges, absorbing so much more than anyone may realize because we’re spending most of our time listening instead of talking. We’re perceptive and insightful for this same reason, picking up on things others don’t—because they’re too busy talking or looking for an opening to say what they want to say.
We have so much to offer and there is so much we could say but don’t, because unless we’re really passionate about something, we’re not going to fight to be heard. That’s simply not our approach.
How Our World Could Change
No one ever thanks an introvert for being so quietly engaged, or asks them to share the insight they’ve gained while intently listening and observing. And I wonder how our world would change if this began happening, because this alone would validate our vital place in this world.
I also wonder how the world would change if each one of us stepped into our power as an introvert, embracing the way we’re wired, operating unapologetically in the way that we thrive, and owning the unique value we bring to the world. To me, this seems to be the first extremely important step.
Read this blog next to learn why I believe you’re perfectly wired for your purpose.