Confidence is a trait that is often hard to come by in introverts. We live in a pro-extroverted society that rewards extroverted personality traits and puts down those of introverts. Just by that, introverts are made to feel like they are not good enough and must change who they naturally are. This can be damaging, but it doesn’t mean introverts can’t find their confidence anyway! It may take some time, but with the right resources and a positive attitude, any introvert can gain more confidence in themselves.
These tips I am going to share come straight from my own personal experience. Over the past couple of years, I have gone from a confused introvert, who questioned and resented my natural timidness, to a confident introvert, who is unapologetic and willing to share my experiences and knowledge with others! These tips have worked wonders for me and I hope they do the same for you.
This was the spark of the “confidence fire” for me. About a year and a half ago, I came across a book that changed my entire outlook. The Irresistible Introvert by Michaela Chung helped me see that I wasn’t the only one who embodied my unique traits. I didn’t feel weird or out of place anymore because I knew there was at least one other person in the world who was like me.
When you read about introversion, it allows you to answer more questions about yourself. And when you have answers, you have clarity, and clarity inspires confidence.
My top two introvert book picks are The Irresistible Introvert by Michaela Chung, a personal and relatable book that will make you go “OMG, me too!”, and Quiet by Susan Cain, a more research-based book that dives into the psychology of introversion and the pro-extrovert culture that we live in.
Find other introverts
One of the best ways to become a more confident introvert is to surround yourself with other introverts. They are people you can relate to and not feel so different being around. You can rely on each other for support and positivity.
Now I know we introverts aren’t exactly the life of the party when it comes to making friends, but there are a few ways you can go about doing this. If you don’t already have introverted friends, you can most definitely connect with people online. Join introvert Facebook groups, find introverted bloggers and introvert-run social media accounts to follow. Connect as much as you wish with these people and allow your similarities to lift you up!
Another way to become a more confident introvert is to understand yourself as an introvert. No two introverts are the same. We all have different personalities, limits, and preferences, so it’s important to figure out what those things are for you.
When I mention limits, I’m talking in terms of socialization. The main thing that differentiates introverts from extroverts is that we resort to solitude for “recharging our batteries.” Being alone or with a small group of quality people relaxes us and makes us feel most comfortable. This quiet time is required for us to keep our sanity, so understanding your socialization limits is a must.
Understand that you don’t have to stay at every social gathering from beginning to end, you don’t have to stop and talk to your neighbor every time you see them, and it’s okay to go a whole day without talking to anyone at all. Let your personal limits guide the decisions you make on a daily basis. Your mental health will thank you!
Another thing to consider is what your “sweet spots” are. This is a term that Susan Cain uses in her book, Quiet. The sweet spot is the happy medium that us introverts should seek out in every aspect of our lives. For instance, it is the choice to work in an office that encourages solo work in cubicles versus an office with an open floor plan and constant teamwork. It is the choice to spend every other Friday out with your girlfriends and the others at home.
The sweet spot is the balance that brings us the most peace and happiness and allows us to thrive every day. When you find yours, you will see how much of a difference it makes! You’ll be more productive at work and enjoy your time with loved ones more because you won’t be forcing yourself into discomfort all the time.
One of the biggest mistakes we introverts make is apologizing and over-explaining ourselves too much! When someone questions us about our behavior, we immediately feel the need to say sorry or start rambling off fake excuses as to why we are doing what we’re doing. Stop doing that!
Introversion needs to become normalized in our culture and by responding to someone with an apology, it’s like we are admitting a wrong-doing. We are basically saying, “Sorry for not acting more extroverted. I’ll try to act normal now.” This defeats our purpose and brings us down.
A huge part of becoming a more confident introvert is becoming an unapologetic introvert – one who does not feel the need to explain or apologize for their natural behaviors. I talked all about this in a recent Facebook Live where I also spoke about my personal introvert story!
Surround yourself with positive people
People who are not introverts are usually one of two types: people who understand, or are willing to understand, introversion or pro-extroverts who dislike the introverted personality and do not believe that success is possible without an aggressive and overly charismatic personality.
The first type describes most people and hopefully, you are already surrounded by some. But, sometimes it is not going to be possible to completely rid those pro-extroverts from your life. They may be a boss or a member of your immediate family; someone you can’t avoid.
Unfortunately, you most likely will not change their opinion on introverts, but that doesn’t mean their negativity and ignorance should be welcomed into your life. Limit your time with these people and don’t let their unsupportive thoughts sway you on your journey to becoming a more confident introvert. Aim to surround yourself with positive and uplifting people who appreciate who you naturally are.
Feeling more confident yet? I hope so! There are a lot of good things that come with being an introvert. It’s necessary to recognize them and love yourself completely. If you are in need of more introvert inspiration, check out the rest of the Inside My Sparkly Shell series! Learn how to harness your introvert power in the classroom, in your career, in relationships, and more.
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