About one in three people are considered introverts. But there are a lot of misconceptions about what the term means. So here are the facts about introverts:
First, being introverted is not the same as being shy. A shy person tends to be uncomfortable and anxious in social situations. An introvert isn’t bothered by groups; he or she likes to decompress and recharge their batteries by spending time alone.
Another fact about introverts. They actually enjoy being around other people. They just prefer a smaller circle of close friends to a large network of acquaintances. And they tend to enjoy sitting on the sidelines and people-watching, instead of actually participating in activities.
Also: Introverts do make good leaders and public speakers. Roughly four in ten top executives, like Bill Gates, test as introverts. So do historical leaders, like Gandhi, and Abraham Lincoln. In fact, research shows that introverts may deal better with groups than extroverts do because they take the time to get to know how people think and behave. And since introverts think things through before they act, they can be excellent speakers.
Another fact: Introverts and extroverts can be equally as creative, intellectual and innovative. A lot of celebrated artists and thinkers were quiet, including Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin. But anybody can come up with great ideas when they’re in a more reflective, or introverted, mindset.
Finally: It’s not easy to tell if someone’s introverted or extroverted. Most introverts can act like extroverts – say, for example, going to a cocktail party and chatting with everyone. But while an extrovert loves the attention, an introvert still looks forward to the moment when they can be alone and restore their energy by reading in bed with a cup of tea.