Introversion is a bad thing

Introversion: An underrated quality

Would you rather listen than do the big talking yourself? Do you feel much more comfortable in small groups than in large groups? Do you prefer to think about solving a problem on your own instead of brainstorming with colleagues? Do you like to stay focused and persistent on one thing? Then you may be introverted - and in good company.

Introverted famous people

Experts estimate that at least a third, if not half of the population in Germany has this trait. Angela Merkel is one of them, Federal President Joachim Gauck, ex-Pope Benedict and others.

Is it easier for extroverts?

Nevertheless, introvertedness was hardly noticed for a long time. The inward-looking nature was at best considered a risk factor for depression and addictions. The focus was on extroversion, i.e. the outward orientation and its effect on other people. Good self-promoters still have the better cards in our noisy, shrill world, research results have shown. Packaging, it seems, is often more important than the content. Those who speak quickly and loudly are perceived as more competent, more interesting and even better-looking.

Studies have shown that people who are more extroverted are more likely to make it into a managerial position. Since the right performance is decisive when applying for a job, the employment offices offer targeted training with tips and tricks for self-marketing in the interview.

There are benefits to being an introvert

More introverted people find this exhausting. Some even believe that they are missing something, that they should imitate the extroverts. But there is movement in the stuck patterns. The American lawyer and author Susan Cain refers to numerous studies that prove the benefits of an introverted leadership style. In the future, no company can afford to ignore the creativity and strength of introverts.

"The potential of the quiet is still underestimated," says Dr. Sylvia Löhken. In her book, the communication expert and author describes the strengths of quiet people, their typical hurdles in job and partnership, as well as strategies with which they can better bring their plus points to bear. Breastfeeding skills include: concentration, calm, empathy, perseverance, depth. The hurdles include conflict avoidance, attention to detail, passivity, fear, avoidance of contact.

Mixed types of introversion and extroversion

The term "introverted" refers to C.G. Jung zurück, the founder of the so-called analytical psychotherapy, who in the 20s of the last century called quiet people that. Even today, the degree of introversion or extraversion is one of the central characteristics of personality. "On a scale between these two extremes, we are mixed types with a more or less clear tendency," says Sylvia Löhken.

An innate quality

According to previous knowledge, introversion or extroversion is innate and a property that is quite stable over the life span, which is associated, among other things, with different stimulus processing in the brain. Studies have shown that introverts have higher brain activity, regardless of whether they are working or resting. Possibly the turning inwards serves these people as a kind of protective wall against too many stimuli.

"The level of stimulation that extroverts find stimulating can be overwhelming or disruptive to introverts," says Colin DeYoung, psychology professor at the University of Minnesota.

Culture and environment have a strong influence

"Since our brain continues to develop a lot after birth, the environment and culture also have a major influence on the degree of introversion," says Dr. Sylvia Löhken. She lived for several years in Japan, where reserved demeanor is appreciated, and in the USA, where there is a high level of social noise. The degree of inner agility can also change in the course of life: "With increasing maturity and life experience, one becomes more independent of the opinion of others.

In many cases, this means that introverted people are more likely to stand by their opinions than in younger years, that they are more likely to approach other people and "do their thing," says Dr. Löhken. In this way they lose their former shyness in the eyes of their fellow human beings - which, however, is often based on a misinterpretation, because introverted people are not necessarily shy. Behind shyness, explains Sylvia Löhken, is the fear of social evaluation, and this is what some extroverted people suffer from. And then there is a third influencing factor: free will.

Even introverts can go out of themselves

Free will gives us the leeway to vary our genetically shaped and culturally colored personality when a topic is particularly close to our hearts. "An introverted person who wants to exert political influence can certainly acquire the necessary behaviors if they suit him," says Sylvia Löhken, citing Chancellor Angela Merkel as an example, who has gone from the withdrawn physicist to the most powerful woman in World according to "Forbes" ranking.

A policy of silence can also lead to success. The way in which they recharge their batteries has a major influence on the behavior of introverts. Quiet people withdraw and quietly charge their "batteries"; loud people need outside impulses to gain strength.

Strategies for reserved people

It is all the more important for the quiet to find the "right dose of people" for themselves, says expert Löhken. Anyone who is quickly exhausted at the big family celebration should rather seek the opportunity for intensive dialogue. Anyone who perceives networking as running the gauntlet at the annual meeting of their company should better relocate contact to e-mail. Or he plans specifically who he wants to get in touch with and talk to. That means: making a conscious appointment, only talking to a few, asking others to be introduced to a certain person. It is important to know your own needs and to take them into account, says Sylvia Löhken. The first step: "Find out who you are."

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