In the extrovert world we live in, it appears difficult for an introvert to make a real mark and stand out from the crowd. Many large corporations utilize introverts for their knowledge and hard work ethic, whilst the extroverts swoop in, reap recognition and steal the glory. At least that’s my experience.
Being an introvert myself, I’ve often been overlooked, questioned (due to my quiet nature), and ignored. I must admit, it does hurt. Most of my career to date, I have been surrounded by overly confident extroverts who use their loud personality traits to further their career and win business. Obviously, I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I get it; they are using the tools that they have at their disposal to their advantage.
I have always felt that to measure up against an extrovert I have had to work later as oppose to louder and work harder rather than ‘winging it’.
“An introvert generally prefers solitary activities to interacting with large groups of people. If you would rather work through your feelings in your diary than have a conversation, then you are an introvert.” – Vocabulary.com
Through my professional career in sales and marketing, I firmly believe there are key steps all of us introverts can explore to command the respect and recognition we deserve.
Without even talking, you can show an extrovert that you are a force to be reckoned with. Stand with your shoulders stretched and your chest pushed out. This gives off a sense of confidence.
When speaking with an extroverted colleague, manager or friend, if you demonstrate a submissive body language whilst talking, you begin to show a sense of inferiority. Maintain eye contact. You have no reason to be nervous when ANYBODY is talking to you, and for these reasons, always look the other person in the eye.
People form an opinion of you in the first 30 seconds. Doesn’t it make sense to rehearse a small introduction? Use a mirror at home and practice introductions and small talk. Ensure a strong handshake whilst maintaining eye contact at the same time. Whilst extroverts don’t need as much practice, us introverts certainly do.
As introverts, we like to stay warm and wrapped up inside our comfort zone. This certainly has to change if we want to stand out as an introvert. Set yourself daily challenges that make you feel a little uncomfortable but designed to bring you out your shell. Not before long, these challenges will become significantly easier and you will have to keep pushing yourself just a little further.
Understand who you are
To be able to confidently engage with people, you must first find out who it is ‘YOU’ are. Most introverts know who they are on the surface, but deep down are not sure of their desires, beliefs, and motivations.
Shyness and Introversion
Shyness isn’t the same as introversion. Shyness is a learned experience and is categorized by self-consciousness and negative self-perception. Introverts are more prone to shyness and can experience it in a greater depth at a particular part of their lives e.g. adolescence. The good news for those who experience shyness is that it can be managed, controlled, and cured.
Don’t confuse yourself with being shy, and if you are, there is plenty of support and help guides available.