Introverts may be living in a world that seems to celebrate extroverts, but they should embrace the way they are and know that they're also capable of being just as confident as anyone else, says a B.C. author.
"I want every introvert out there to know that there's nothing wrong with you," said Michaela Chung, Nanaimo-based author of forthcoming book The Irresistible Introvert: Harness the Power of Quiet Charisma in a Loud World.
"If you are an introvert, you have different needs and desires than extroverts and that's okay. You can be just as confident, charismatic, and you can be just as happy as any extrovert by following your own introvert's blueprint."
Needing time alone
For several years now Chung has been running the website Introvert Spring to help other introverts like herself understand and embrace their introversion, and coach them to unlock what she calls their "natural introvert charisma."
She said being introverted is different from being shy and being afraid of social interaction; instead, it has to do with energy.
"Introversion is all about where you get your energy from," she told host Michelle Eliot on B.C. Almanac.
"Introverts get it from being alone, whereas extroverts get it from being in more stimulating environments, such as being around people."
Chung said introverted people may feel misunderstood and lonely, and may also feel guilty because they want time for themselves when there is often pressure to be social.
Another big challenge for introverts is communication, Chung said, because introverts are "internal processors."
"Extroverts are verbal processors, which means that they speak as they think. We [introverts] need to think before we speak, so that means we tend to speak more slowly, we tend to pause, sometimes we just can't find the right thing to say at the right time," she said.
However, Chung said that's something that can be helped.
"You can be a great speaker and a great communicator even if you're introverted, because it's a skill you can learn," she said.
Chung said that something that can help introverts with communication is by giving themselves "permission to share what's going on in the inside, without invitation."
"One thing I noticed after hearing from tonnes of introverts on my website … is a lot of introverts are waiting, and waiting, and waiting for people to ask. But a lot of time people just don't ask," she said.
"So even if it's one thing that you share during the conversation — one idea, one thing you're excited about, one tidbit about your personality — give yourself permission to share it without invitation."
With files from CBC's B.C. Almanac
To hear the full story listen to the audio labelled: Introverts should embrace their need to recharge by themselves, author says