There are many misconceptions about being an introvert. For one thing, introverts aren’t necessarily the shy, lonely, and socially anxious people they’re often made out to be. The truth is that “there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert”, according to Carl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst whose research popularised the personality traits.
Though for people on the introverted side – those who prefer smaller group settings, who consider their words carefully, who are energised by low-stimulation work environments, who take time to solve problems, who are conflict-averse, and who recharge their batteries by being alone – life can be tough. Because the simple fact is, whatever your personality type, we live in an extrovert’s world.
But introverts needn’t worry. According to Susan Cain, author of the bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, the world needs introverts. In fact, history is full of them: Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Mahatma Gandhi – to name a few.
Here, we look at some of the ways introverts can better navigate socialising, be it in the workplace, classroom, or social theatre.