Introverts get their energy and inspiration from time alone.
This actually has a number of advantages compared to extroverts.
Here are the top 11 things introverts are best at doing.
1) Listening actively
The first of the things introverts are best at doing is active and deep listening.
Active listening means that you don’t just hear what somebody is saying, you also understand why they’re saying it and what they potentially want from you.
Introverts are comfortable listening with their full attention and hearing somebody else out, even if they aren’t sure at first what the point is that’s being expressed.
They don’t mind waiting a bit longer and really giving somebody their ear, actively listening and deciding if they have a useful response to give.
Being a good listener is very valuable, particularly in our social media obsessed age when everybody seems so intent on having their voice heard but less and less want to sit back and just listen.
“They’ll pay close attention to exactly what you’re saying, and listen patiently until you’ve exhausted every last thought that needed to be said.”
2) Reading emotions
The next of the things introverts are best at doing is reading emotions.
Being more introverted tends to coincide with being a bit more emotionally sensitive and perceptive.
Extroverts can be sensitive too, but their emotional perception tends to be directed more to group settings and external social situations.
The introvert, by contrast, is adept at reading emotions that are below the surface.
They hear what’s being said between the lines, and read the emotions that aren’t being expressed but are clearly present.
This highly intuitive and emotionally sensitive nature makes an introvert very attuned to what others are feeling.
Whether that’s understanding a romantic partner or grasping emotions under the surface of an ongoing business negotiation, the introvert is certainly best in this domain.
This brings up the next point about what introverts are best at:
3) Empathizing with others
Introverts tend to have a high level of introspection and the ability to read emotions, as mentioned.
This gives them a naturally high level of emotional intelligence and increased ability to empathize with others.
Even if they haven’t been through exactly what somebody else has, the introvert is able to empathize and understand the emotions being felt.
He or she has the patience and sensitivity to relate to what others are going through and to relate to it on a deeper level.
The introvert is naturally attuned to others emotions and knows how to relate to them and communicate about them.
This makes the introvert a natural empath and a highly sensitive individual who’s often ideally suited for jobs like coaching, counseling or being a lightworker.
4) Keeping secrets
The next of the things introverts are best at doing is keeping secrets.
This makes sense when you think about it:
Extroverts get their energy and inspiration from being in groups and interacting with others. This involves a lot of chat and sharing what’s going on!
Secrets tend to get spilled much more easily by extroverted individuals, whereas the introvert knows how to keep a secret and doesn’t have nearly as much temptation to spill it.
What’s more is that the introvert’s increased emotional intelligence helps him or her understand the emotional importance of a secret for the person who told it to them.
The introvert will do everything in his or her power to avoid telling a secret, because they know what a risk it is to share a secret and the understand the pain of having a secret told that you wanted kept private.
5) Thinking creatively
The next of the things introverts are best at doing is thinking creatively.
Extroverts tend to get their creativity and brainstorming sessions done in groups and in collaboration with others.
Introverts, by contrast, are able to think creatively on their own and their imagination gets fired up without any need for the input of other people.
The introvert may sit in his basement and dream up a fantasy book series that later goes on to sell millions and become a TV show.
The introvert may think of a creative new way to fuse GPS systems with driving while making it cheaper and easier to use, just from her own experience of the annoyance of driving while constantly having to scan down at the GPS navigator.
The introvert is always thinking creatively, innovating and being obersvative.
6) Staying humble
The next of the important things introverts are best at doing is staying humble.
The reason is that introverts tend to know themselves more and be very aware of their flaws and shortcomings.
This doesn’t mean they don’t have confidence and swagger. But it does mean they don’t overestimate themselves.
Whereas an extrovert may allow themselves to be built up by the roar of the crowd’s approval, an introvert doesn’t let outer validation go to their head.
The introvert is much better at staying humble, and even when they get famous or fabuluosly rich they tend to keep that true inner humility as well as openness to learning and being receptive to other folks.
7) Analyzing issues
Another introvert superpower? Analysis of pressing issues and problems.
Whether it’s future water scarcity or the increasing political polarization in society, the introvert has unique insights and ideas about what it means and why it’s happening.
Introverts may become political analysts, journalists or even get into the business world or corporate world in unique and powerful ways.
That’s because they have the ability to analyze at a very granular level while still keeping the big picture in mind.
They are able to consider black and white perspectives while still allowing room for complexity and engaging other dimensions of critical thinking that often remain unused, especially by more extroverted and front-facing individuals.
8) Predicting trends
The next of the things introverts are best at doing is predicting trends.
As keen observers of the world and what goes on around them, introverts are often the first to pick up on coming changes and developments.
They feel shifts in the zeitgeist and changes that are occurring in society and culture long before many others.
They can predict political or economic revolutions and changes years and sometimes even decades ahead of time.
Famously introverted sci-fi authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick were predicting the rise of artificial intelligence many decades before most even considered the idea remotely imaginable.
This is the power of the introvert, often ahead of his or her time by leaps and bounds.
This is an extremely valuable and rare skill, particularly with the accelerating rate of change that’s occurring in today’s brave new world.
9) Making decisions
Introverts aren’t only good at analyzing and predicting what’s going to happen.
They’re also surprisingly good at acting on the basis of this and being ahead of the curve in responding to change.
Indeed, the next of the things introverts are best at doing is making decisions.
This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but introverts are actually usually better decision-makers and leaders than extroverts (I’ll get to that a bit later here).
The reason is that the introvert tends to make more considered and careful decisions.
He or she also throws their full weight behind decisions.
Let me explain:
A more outgoing person tends to be more subject to acting impulsively or in the “heat of the moment.”
The introvert knows themselves well and doesn’t act as impulsively.
Second, outgoing folks are more influenced by the crowd’s opinion and feedback on what to decide and are much more likely to make decisions that are popular rather than necessarily correct or prudent.
10) Crafting narratives
Along with their emotional intelligence and analytic and decision-making abilities, the introvert tends to be best at crafting narratives.
This may sound vaguely sinister, and it can be.
But narratives are all around us and they always will be. They are the stories, myths and ideas that help shape our reality and what it means to us.
It’s just a matter of who’s crafting those narratives and for what purpose.
The introvert is very conscious of narratives and skilled at crafting them, think of somebody like film director Stephen Spielberg for example, who has talked about being introverted on many occasions.
He or she understands the power of the story and the foundational myth. The introvert knows that words have immense power and should be wielded wisely.
This leads directly to the last point, which may surprise some.
11) Being leaders
Introverts make the best corporate, political, scientific and military leaders.
Famous introverts include people like Elon Musk, and Albert Einstein.
Iconic American founder George Washington was also a man of very few words who preferred to keep to himself or spend time in nature when he was free from the duties of war and statesmanship.
Other famous introverts include third US President and Founding Father Thomas Jefferson and great orator and political visionary John F. Kennedy.
Introverts often make the best leaders, because the approval or disapproval of the mob is not what moves them.
They are anchored in principle and in their own vision, not in pursuit of popularity or acting on the emotions of the moment.
Doubling down on your strengths
When you’re an introvert, you may sometimes feel insecure.
It can seem like extoverts are out there having all the fun and racking up all the wins.
But being an introvert is actually a huge plus if you can take some of the strengths listed above and double down on them.
Best of success!