Did you know that studies show that extroverts tend to be happier than introverts?
If you’re an introvert (me too), it doesn’t mean your doomed to be a miserable sod your whole life. And whilst it’s not possible to magically turn yourself into an extrovert overnight, there are ways that you can be an altogether happier introvert.
In fact, there are several things introverts can do to increase their happiness and life satisfaction. Most of them are pretty easy to do too!
Here are 9 ways to be a happier introvert:
1: Accept yourself. If you’re introverted, you’re introverted. That can be challenging in some ways and a blessing in others. You can’t change your basic nature, so you may as well embrace it. Plus, you’re in good company with famous introverts like Mark Zuckerberg, JK Rowling and Meryl Streep. There are lots of great pages which support introversion on Facebook which can help you feel like part of a big introvert family (I love Introvert Doodles).
2: Focus on the quality of relationships in your life, rather than the quantity. Introverts don’t dislike people, but they do dislike shallow conversations and relationships. You may even worry that people think of you as antisocial, or aloof but that’s more about your own self reflection rather than what others truly think of you. As an introvert, your socialisation needs to be meaningful. You don’t need 30 friends. You need a couple of good friends.
3: Take time for yourself. Introverts thrive on alone time, so give yourself plenty of it. Create a lifestyle that matches your need to spend time alone. Utilise this time for creative pursuits and journalling about your observations throughout the day. You could even plan this alone time on your weekly schedule to ensure your needs are met.
4: Acknowledge your strengths. You’ll be happier if you remember that being an introvert is great in many ways. Look at yourself and the extroverts you know. What can you do that they can’t? What are your strengths compared to theirs? For example, introverts tend to take longer to process information and do so thoughtfully, which means you might come up with more creative ideas than your extrovert counterparts.
5: Pretend to be an extrovert. Studies have shown that introverts experience positive feelings after pretending to be extroverted in social gatherings. A little bit of play acting never did anyone any harm! The next time you’re at a business networking event pretend you’re an actor and act extroverted. You might discover that you like networking more than you thought!
6: Choose a suitable business. A sales business might not be the best choice for an introverted person. You’ll be happier if you choose a career path that doesn’t require constant communication with others. Design a business which suits your life and personality.
7: Avoid over-scheduling. An extrovert might thrive with a daily schedule that includes a full day of work, meeting friends for dinner, and then taking a evening study class. Introverts tend to need more downtime to recharge their batteries. A simple life tends to work the best and can be very satisfying to an introvert. Be mindful of what you’re penciling in your diary. I know that if I’m going to an event or meeting, I won’t schedule anything else in that day, as I get worn out by the busyness of public transport and meeting lots of new people.
8: Take a day off when you need it. Whether it’s taking a mental health day from your business or backing out of a social commitment, take a day for yourself when you need it. The alternative is over-stressing yourself or making yourself miserable. If it’s not too difficult, take a self-care day off once in a while.
9: Find activities you enjoy that you can do by yourself. Avoid falling into the trap of just watching TV each night and utilise all those introvert super powers! Spend time on your personal development and you’ll soon reap the benefits of your efforts.
In summary, extroverts might have it a little easier, but there are many advantages to being introverted. Decide today that you’re going to do what you can to have the happiest life possible, and then make that happen.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Take this quiz on Psychologies.co.uk and post your result in the comments.