Originally it was believed that only a quarter of the population were introverts, whereas more recent studies and statistics show that actually this figure is closer to nearly one third to one half of the population!
There are many notable introverts and well respected figures famous for their contributions to society and who have helped shaped the world we live in.
Including famous physicist Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Steven Speilberg and World class author J.K Rowling to name a few.
Yet despite this, quiet people tend to be underestimated. Often perceived as unfriendly, unsociable and labelled as having bad people skills.
Just because someone is quiet does not make them any less competent or confident than someone who is loud. Many of the most outgoing people I have met are also the most quiet and reserved.
Just as people learn in different ways ie. the Kinesthetic learner, learns better through touch whereas the audio learner excels through listening and sound. It is the same principle for the way people think and act. Extroverts tend to be louder whereas introverts tend to be a lot quieter. It doesn’t mean one way is wrong or better than the other, it just means that everyone is different.
Contrary to popular belief there is a difference between being shy and being an introvert. In general introverts feel energised by time alone and generally prefer some alone time wheareas those who are shy want to connect with others but cant due to anxiety amongst other things.
The main difference between being shy and being an introvert, is that people who are introverted enjoy their time alone and can feel emotionally drained after spending a lot of time around others. Shy people do not necessarily want to be alone, but find it hard to interact with others.
Wrongly, personality is often linked to confidence, and as someone who identifies as being an introvert, one of the most common questions I get asked is, why I don’t talk much or if I’m quiet because i’m not confident.
Those who are seen as extroverted are usually labelled as confident and outgoing whereas those of us who are more introvent and quiet are seen as unconfident and unsure.
One of the main reasons for such a misconception stems from the working world, where many people mistakenly assume that confidence is about being loud or dominating, when actually true confidence goes beyond the external. For example take the door to door salesman. Even though they may be selling products you can find in the high street, the best door to door salesman knows how to use their personality to sell you their products rather than their knowledge or the actual product itself.
Many quiet people, observe more than they speak because they are assessing the situation.
Quiet people might think things through in a more thorough way than others before acting or speaking up. It might be their preferred mode of making decisions.
Introverts tend to be thoughtful thinkers, often with a reflective approach which can help us to make better dicisions and is a trait that should be valued in the workplace, rather than dismissed.
Those who shout the loudest don’t necessarily have the most to say.
“The introvert gets their energy from within, while the extrovert is charged up by people, places and stimuli outside of them,”
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler
Personality is not an indicator of intelligence nor capability.
Some may find it unnerving being around someone who is hard to read due to the uncertainty and not knowing what the other person is thinking.
But, the beauty of being human is the abilty to think and act differently to those around you.
For me, I’m not quiet because I lack confidence but rather I’m quiet because I’m confident enough to not need to change my personality in order to be the same as the people around me. I am quite but I’m also extremely proud.
If everyone was loud and extroverted the world was be a very noisy place!
Saying nothing does not mean you have nothing worthwhile to say it can either mean you are absorbing the situation or deep in thought, analysing the environment around you and reflecting on your thoughts.
Being quiet is often labelled as a weakness, whereas being outspoken or loud is associated with being strong.
This is no truer than saying that someone with a big head must be really clever, or someone with big muscles must be really strong. It just doesn’t work like that.
Just because someone is quiet, doesn’t mean they are incompetent, unconfident or unable to be social.
As a whole those who are quiet have many different reasons for the way they are. Regardless of reason, everybody deserves the right to be treated in an equal and indiscriminate way whilst being taken for face value.
Many truly confident people are actually fairly quiet and unassuming. Without the need to big themselves up or talk about themselves in order to gain approval, acceptance or validation. The people making the most noise are often the least confident and can often resort to bullying and intimidation in an effort to make themselves feel better.
So whilst quiet people are hard to read and easy to dismiss, don’t write them off just yet.
Just as you wouldn’t ask someone to change their laugh or the way they speak, people can’t and shouldn’t have to change their personality in order to conform to the status quo.
Whatever your personality type, be proud and be confident of the person you are and stand true to yourself and the person you are.
You should never have to change who you are in order to be someone you are not.