By: Susanne Birgersdotter
Were you the child who sat up front in class, raised your hand all the time, and loved to talk when called upon?
Or were you the child who sat in the back row, head down, praying that the teacher wouldn’t call on you?
If you’re much more comfortable being a behind-the-scenes person or if you’ve ever been stressed out and desperate for some alone time after a day of meetings, chances are you’re an introvert.
STOCKHOLM 2015-12-10. The Nobel Prize 2015. The Nobel Banquet after the Prize Ceremony, in the Blue Hall of the Stockholm City Hall. Picture shows: Princess Madeleine COPYRIGHT STELLA PICTURES
Being an introvert isn’t as socially crippling as it was once thought to be. Nowadays, there are several famous, wealthy, and powerful people who are successfully introverted.
Who is probably the most powerful introvert in the world right now? Barack Obama, President of the United States, as reported by CNN.
- K. Rowling is definitely the most famous, wealthy female introvert.
What makes for an introvert or an extrovert?
Extroverts gather energy from being with people and being stimulated by other people’s attention and interest. Introverts gain their energy from private, solitary moments when they can think things through.
Contrary to popular belief, you can be quite successful as an introvert. It’s all about capturing your strengths and building on those to create the best possible “you.”
Here are some tips for introverts to succeed in high-energy situations that tend to sap their strength:
- Develop relationships that are deep. Networking will never go away, so it’s good to learn how to use your own nature to develop deep one-on-one relationships with others. Networking isn’t, in fact, about making the most connections with others; it’s about making the right connections with the right people. So while an extrovert might have thousands of connections on LinkedIn, an introvert probably has better and closer relationships with their contacts that can pay off with bigger dividends.
- Manage your time. If you have too many meetings scheduled each day that drain your energy and leave you utterly spent, try to spread the meetings out over a week instead of all in one day. It’s also a good idea to schedule some time where you can shut your office door and do some uninterrupted thinking on your own during the day. If you work in an open-plan office space, even shutting yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes or taking a solitary walk around outside can help you recharge your batteries.
- Fake it till you make it. Sometimes you have to become an extrovert in certain situations to get what you want. For example, if you’re faced with giving a presentation in front of a large group of people, practice being an extrovert in front of a mirror or your spouse. Since introverts are likely more empathic because they listen deeply and understand what goes on in someone’s mind, you can strike a genuine cord with others. Some of the best actors in the world are introverts. They’ve learned how to fake it.
- Stand up and out for yourself. As uncomfortable as it may be, the world needs to hear your ideas. While you may prefer to sit quietly in meetings, absorbing the thoughts and ideas that fly around, you have a right and, dare I say, obligation to be heard. Don’t be shy about your thoughts or your talents. You have a natural leadership trait as an introvert because you are persistent, diligent, and focused. Let those characteristics be known, and watch your business flourish.
Shy actress Elizabeth Banks is spotted out shopping in Beverly Hills, California on February 29, 2016. Elizabeth tried to hide her face as she made her way to the store. Elizabeth was also showing off her new short hair cut. COPYRIGHT STELLA PICTURES
Introverts are hardly a bunch of shy, quiet wallflowers, however. If you’re an introvert, know that you’re in good company with other proven leaders. You’re in the same set as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Albert Eins.