Something that I really enjoy about my job is that I am able to work with a wide range of people with different personality types. But, why is it that those people of a quieter, less extrovert personality are led to believe that they ‘should be’ more outgoing? Why are we constantly being fed with the idea that extroverts are ‘happy’ and have few problems in life, and that if only we could be more extrovert, we would be happy too?
Many of the worlds, greatest and most successful people are actually, deep down, quiet and fairly introverted – they are the deeper thinking, milder mannered types, people who think first and then speak, people who have learned that displaying the contents of the brain is not always a good idea. The poet, Robert Frost said – “Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” … Ummm, often quite true I think?
The quieter you become, the more you can hear
Quiet people are content in spending time alone and are actually rather independent people. In being a quieter type, it is almost certain that you are very observant, you will be an exceptional listener and a truly good and trusted friend. In your work, you are likely to be deliberate and thorough, where possible you probably like to focus on one task at a time, have great powers of concentration and will be very loyal and conscientious. You will be immune to the lures of status and fame and you certainly have no interest in trying to impress others. You enjoy quiet time alone, in fact you need quiet time alone so as you can ‘recharge your batteries.’ Thinking before making a decision feels more comfortable for you, you are not a one for taking great risks, you don’t like to interrupt and you avoid conflict and confrontation. You will be very perceptive and have a deeply intuitive judge of who can be trusted and who cannot be trusted – you can sniff out a ‘fake’ from a mile away and you will certainly not pour out your thoughts, feelings and problems to people who you know deep down don’t really care.
Yes, you may well be quiet around many people – quiet in many situations, because you have learnt that the quieter you become, the more you can hear. As Stephen Hawking said ‘quiet people have the loudest minds’. Very often quiet people have lots to say – they are just being selective with who they open up to. And it is with those people whom you trust and want to get to know and feel comfortable with, that you will talk at a deeper more meaningful level. Quite rightly, you are not comfortable around everyone; so those people that you are comfortable around, really should take it as the highest compliment!
Your greatest strength?
Yes, your quietness, or even shyness, will make some areas of your life more difficult, and I work with quieter people every day to help them become more confident, more self-assured, to reduce anxiety and when necessary to be able to speak or present in a natural uninhibited way. But, to all of you quiet people of this world, I am just wondering.… could your supposed weakness actually be your greatest strength?