Some enjoy the limelight, where others can’t escape quickly enough from it.  What is it about someone’s character, which makes them an introvert?  Can they survive and excel in different environments?

Shy Or An Introvert?

Many people have had a moment of being shy or stepping back from the attention at some point in their lives, but this does not classify them as being introverted.  So what is the definition of an introvert?  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an introvert is: to turn inward or in upon itself: such as to concentrate or direct upon oneself or to produce psychological introversion.
An introvert is more comfortable spending hours alone, than in the company of others.  Unlike a shy person, an introvert may not be intimated to give a talk to a large group, but they will crumble in a small group of people conversing in small talk.  An introvert prefers to have deep, involved conversations, but they shudder at pleasantries such as, “how is the weather today?”  Introverts are often misunderstood because extroverts may view them in the following light:

  • Rude
  • Aloof
  • Inaccessible
  • Loner
  • Reserved
  • Arrogant


Put The X Into Extrovert

Extroverts think as they talk, as opposed to an introvert, who will often plan out their thinking before speaking.  In order for an introvert to survive in an extrovert’s world, people need to realize that being an introvert is not a choice, but a character.  It’s best not to question if they are okay, view them as an oddity, or even worse a problem.  If in the workplace, recognize that an introvert may prefer to work alone and will unlikely attend social work events.  Concentrate on an introvert’s skill, which may include the following:

  • Concentration
  • Problem solving
  • Details
  • Diplomat
  • Not emotionally involved
  • Accurate view of their abilities

Shyness can be crippling, but having a set of coping mechanisms is crucial.  The following tips may help control and recognize symptoms of shyness:

  • Recognize that being shy is normal
  • Realizing that adrenaline is our body’s way of coping with the flight or fight theory (psychological response to what the person sees as a threatening situation) and having adrenaline can produce a better performance.
  • Acknowledge that anxiety is not factual.
  • Be aware of thoughts and feelings when surrounded by people. Anxiety and thoughts are often an exaggeration or a misinterpretation of reality.
  • Practice positive and truthful thinking to help build confidence in a crowded environment. Limit negative thoughts.

Anti-Stress 2-in-1 Kit

Anti-Stress 2-in-1 Kit


It’s All In Your Head

Shyness can be difficult, but it may be overcome and controlled by pushing self boundaries.  Redirecting thought patterns into a positive direction result in strength and confidence.  Scientists at Harvard Medical School have used functional magnetic resource imaging (FMRI) to observe adults who had been very shy in childhood.  When these adults were shown photos of strangers, the activity in the amygdala (a brain assembly connected with caution and fear) was significantly higher, compared to those who were outgoing as children.  This leads scientists to believe that the developing brain in a youngster, may have an affect on the person as an adult.  In short, shyness could be part of the personality’s makeup.
Introverts, extroverts, and those who suffer from shyness may all make fantastic leaders in different ways.  Recognizing the disposition types can broaden the view, enhance the work environment, and benefit individuals and groups alike.  So before judging the introvert, think of the many constructive powers that have been overlooked an untapped.
For further information on this subject, please visit
New Scientist
How to be a leader when you are an introvert