“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside, awakens.” ~Carl Jung
We live in an extraverted world, one that is not always kind to introverts. You may be that introvert who was bullied because you were quiet, or who felt as though you never fit in. Maybe you used food, alcohol, or substances to numb the pain, which created its own set of problems.
First and foremost, know that you are perfect as you are.
Being introverted doesn’t make you weird, awkward, anti-social, or too sensitive. It doesn’t mean that you’re distant or fear being social. Many introverts crave connection and relationships, but they may be most comfortable in smaller settings or for shorter periods of time, allowing you needed downtime.
Carl Jung, who identified introversion as a personality style, talked about introversion in terms of how people derive energy. Introverts, he said, derive energy by connecting inwardly; they reflect first and act with clarity.
There are many myths about introverts and it’s hard sometimes to know what is true. It’s also easy to use these myths against yourself, and to create a story that there’s something wrong with you.
I get it—I’ve been there. It’s taken me half a decade or so to know that I’m okay as an introvert.
As I’ve moved into my okay-ness, embracing Buddhist concepts such as non-judgment, something strange and wonderful has happened. I’ve noticed that many introverts have amazing superpowers, and I’d like to share these with you.
Whether they all resonate, or just some, quieting that inner critic and amplifying your inner cheerleader can help you to accept and love who you are.
10 Introvert Superpowers That Make You Amazing
While it’s true that introverts may prefer being more on the sidelines, they are rarely disengaged. In fact, listening is an exceptional strength in a world where many people jostle to be the first to express an opinion.
Okay, at least in other’s eyes, introverts usually appear calm and unruffled. Internally they may be freaking out, or not. This calm presence helps in many situations.
Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story of the Vietnamese refugee boats, which were often approached by pirates. When even one person on the boat remained calm, it was enough, and showed everyone how to survive.
3. Written communication
Sitting back, reflecting, and writing out my thoughts is a great way to share. I prefer it at times, and maybe you do too. Being able to communicate well in writing is a definitely advantage in school or the business world.
While it may take a bit to lower barriers, when they let others in and allow themselves to be vulnerable, introverts are loyal friends and supports. When they do need to speak up on others’ behalves, natural reticence usually disappears. They are fierce allies.
5. Observation skills/eye for detail
Spend time with me, and I’ll remember your preferred beverage and whether you like your food spicy or mild. I’m also likely to make that guac you enjoyed next time we meet. Is that you too? Observation and an eye for detail rock.
Introverts rarely need to be entertained. We can easily curl up with a good book, our dog or cat, or binge on Netflix.
7. Deep thinking
While you may or may not consider yourself a deep thinker, most introverts are more reflective. It has to do with the natural pause we take, and the internal time thinking about the situation at hand.
8. The ability to think before talking.
This one is closely related. That pause allows many introverts time to formulate an answer rather than just responding. This may make interactions feel “honest but kind,” feedback I’m proud to have gotten myself. If you are not as likely to pause, it’s worth trying.
Sensitivity is one of those traits that can give introverts a bad rep, but why? Sensitivity is not the same as being prickly or overly reactive. In fact, it’s indicative of an attunement to others that supports empathy.
10. The capacity to engage people
When introverts speak, others listen. Since introverts do not jabber on, when they feel comfortable entering a conversation, or are invited to do so, others listen. What comes out can be profound.
And so, dear introvert friends, you can see why I love having you in my life. I hope you can learn to value yourself as much as I value you!
About Heidi Dalzell
Heidi J. Dalzell, PsyD, is a Clinical Psychologist, specializing in eating disorders and trauma. Dr. Dalzell has a busy private practice focusing on treating midlife eating disorders of all kinds, with a special interest in helping midlife women to stop binge eating so that they feel more confident, allowing them to live the life they want. Dr. Dalzell also offers courses/eating disorder online coaching and is a prolific author on topics related to eating disorders, body image and spirituality.