In a world that seems made for extroverts, being an introvert can sometimes feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
The constant buzz of social interactions, the emphasis on being outgoing and the seemingly endless chatter – it’s a landscape in which introverts can often feel exhausted and out of place. But what if, as an introvert, you could not only survive this extroverted world, but also excel in it?
It’s a challenge, but possible.
I know this because, as an introvert, I have experienced the struggle firsthand and, more importantly, know introverts who have turned a seemingly inherent disadvantage into a profound strength.
Most, if not all, exhibit these seven behaviors. If you can check off most of them, you’re probably an introvert with well-above-average social skills.
Let’s dive in.
1) You can predict when you need time for yourself
“Introverts, on the other hand, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while they may wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to spend their social energy on close friends, colleagues and family.
This quote from Susan Cain, a prominent voice on introversion, compares introverts to extroverts. Sounds familiar, right?
It also lays the foundation for our first point: introverts’ ability to predict when they need time for themselves.
You probably know that your need for solitude isn’t just about seeking peace; it is a crucial skill for maintaining balance and well-being. As introverts, we often find ourselves in environments that can be overwhelming or exhausting. We find ourselves without social energy. But we struggle on as if it were a sign of pride.
Socially skilled introverts don’t do that; they take social breaks before they need to.
This does not mean that they have social interactions. Instead, it means they have learned to manage their energy. They understand that to be their best selves in social environments, they must respect their personal needs for rest and introspection.
It’s a powerful skill that allows them to interact with the world on their terms, fully charged and ready to connect in meaningful ways.
2) You can speak before you are completely ‘ready’
Picture this: you’re sitting in a conference room, surrounded by extroverts eagerly sharing their thoughts in rapid succession. As an introvert, you naturally take time to process your thoughts, ensuring clarity and precision in your response. But in this rapid exchange, you find your voice getting lost in the flow of immediate responses.
This scenario is all too common for us introverts.
Our natural tendency to think deeply before speaking can be a major disadvantage in group settings. In these moments, our considered ideas so often go unheard, overshadowed by the rapid pace of extroverted communication.
However, introverts with high-level social skills have learned to adapt. They have mastered the art of putting in at least some of their thoughts even before they feel completely ready.
This doesn’t mean they have to give up their preference for thoughtful communication; rather, it’s about finding a balance. This approach ensures that their voices are heard and their ideas are considered, even if they are not yet fully developed.
This next behavior is perhaps the most underrated and most crucial.
3) You take full advantage of using body language to communicate
We’ve all heard how powerful body language is.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with it too Albert Mehrabian’s research about body language, which suggests that the vast majority of the way we communicate has nothing to do with the words we say. And more importantly: our body language is responsible for 55% of our communication.
Body language is an important skill that everyone should learn, but especially for introverts, mastering the art of nonverbal communication is a subtle yet powerful way to effectively convey messages and emotions.
Consider the impact of maintaining regular eye contact to express genuine interest or a thoughtful nod to indicate agreement. These nuanced gestures improve communication and build a deeper connection without the need for constant verbal exchange.
Those who are socially skilled know this and take full advantage of it.
4) You can have a chat
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where small talk seemed like an insurmountable challenge? If you’re an introvert, that’s probably the case.
Although it may seem superficial, it is not just idle talk. Research has shown that it makes up a third of what we say and is more useful than most of us introverts would like to acknowledge. More importantly, it’s a bridge to deeper, more meaningful conversations (which we introverts excel at).
By learning to engage in light, informal conversations, we can open doors to new relationships and opportunities. It’s about finding common ground, showing genuine interest, and using our innate listening skills to connect with others on a personal level.
Socially skilled introverts know this.
They may not enjoy small talk, but by embracing it as a tool, they can turn conversations into more fulfilling interactions that suit our introverted nature.
5) You no longer allow people to talk over you
Looking back to my early twenties, when I first ventured into a competitive business environment, being persuaded during meetings and discussions was a major challenge.
I would have always done better one-on-one or in very small groups, but this was simply not an option. Some meetings could have as many as twenty people present, and everyone was expected to contribute.
My struggle wasn’t just about finding the courage to speak up, but about commanding the space to be fully heard. Navigating these dynamics has been a steep learning curve. But with time and experience, I learned the invaluable skill of assertively holding my own in conversations.
It doesn’t mean you have to resort to aggression; rather, it is about confidently asserting our right to contribute. It involves mastering non-verbal communication – a steady gaze, a confident posture – and using a clear, strong voice.
Very socially skilled introverts have mastered this. Are you one of them?
6) You tailor your communication to different target groups
This is one I’m still struggling with.
Another important skill of introverts with high-level social skills is the ability to adapt communication styles to different audiences.
Recognizing that not everyone communicates the same way, they can adapt their approach depending on who they are talking to. This may mean being more direct in a business meeting or more reflective in a personal conversation.
In this way they ensure that their message is not only heard, but also resonates with the listener. This skill of adaptive communication does not mean changing the core message; it’s about making sure it’s delivered in the most effective way.
7) You embrace your introversion in social settings
It took a long time for this to click for me, but when it did, it was a game-changer.
Introverts who are master communicators don’t pretend to be extroverts, as I once thought was necessary.
They realize that their natural introverted qualities – depth, thoughtfulness, and unique perspectives – are not weaknesses, but strengths in disguise. They confidently share these aspects of themselves and contribute valuable insights that are often overlooked in the usual flurry of extroverted conversations.
This change in mindset doesn’t just change the way they see themselves; it enriches the interactions and adds a much-needed introspective dimension to the group dynamics.
By truly embracing our introversion, we can all find our authentic voice in social settings.
Maybe you’ve already done that. If so, kudos to you.
it comes down to
So there you have it.
If you identify with the above behavior, well done. Developing these tendencies as an introvert isn’t easy, but if you have, you’re almost certainly more socially adept than the majority of us introspective people.
If you don’t see this one yourself, welcome to the club. We are all a work in progress. I hope this post serves as a guide or at least some inspiration.
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