How To Use Your Introvert Personality As A Super Power

Have you ever been called anti-social, shy, or awkward? Maybe you spend time alone reading and thinking. Maybe you prefer quiet nights at home over social events.

Maybe you’re an introvert.

You’re not alone. Some of the world’s greatest minds prefer spending time quietly by themselves. The list includes:

  • Warren Buffett
  • Charles Darwin
  • Albert Einstein
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Google’s Larry Page

What is an introvert?

The terms introversion and extraversion were first popularized by Carl Jung. Jung defined introversion as an “attitude-type characterized by orientation in life through subjective psychic contents” (focus on one’s inner psychic activity); and extraversion as “an attitude type characterized by concentration of interest on the external object”, (the outside world). (source)

For a long time extroverts were considered the dominant personalities in society. And loud, social people were thought to have the upper-hand in the business world. But today – the world’s most successful people are a different breed. They’re programmers, hackers and geeks.

They’re introverts.

I am an introvert too.

For years I did my best to pass as an extrovert. I naturally struggled with social situations, and I drank to calm my nerves. And, it worked.

I laughed, I talked, I shook hands and did my best but inside I was full of dread. All I wanted to do was go home and enjoy the quiet, where I felt most comfortable.

Now that I understand more about the introverted personality I am more comfortable being myself. I’m not shy. I am creative and quiet thinker.

And I’m ok with that.

Introvert

The introverted lifestyle has worked very well for me. While others are out seeking entertainment I am focused, chipping away at my goals.

How do you know if you’re an introvert?

  • You prefer spending your time alone or with 1–2 close friends
  • You can think better when you’re alone
  • You gain energy and strength from being alone
  • You feel most comfortable when you are alone

If that sounds like you – welcome to the club.

Today I’m going to show you how creative individuals, especially those pursuing affiliate marketing can use their introverted personality as a super power to crush the competition.

introvert

  • Work longer. An introvert can spend a lot of time alone. In fact, we prefer it. While the extroverted socialite is out buying drinks, we are at home writing ad copy, testing landing pages and increasing our ROI.
  • Be an artist. An introvert’s world exists within his/her own mind. The mental games we play can lead to artistic and creative solutions to problems.
  • Save money. One advantage to not having much of a social life is cost savings. The money you save by not going out can be used to outbid your competitor and launch bigger campaigns.
  • Think deeply. We have no problem lying at home and doing nothing but going through our thoughts. During these contemplative hours we dream up big ideas.
  • Be alone. We can work for days alone with no problem. With no distractions around us we can focus and work. We use our time alone to write, create, test and optimize.
  • Observe and create. We like to sit and observe more than actively participate. Our observations give us an advantage when thinking of ideas and angles that will work on specific demographics.
  • Never be bored. Rarely will you hear an introvert say that they’re bored. My extrovert friends always need to “do something”. While they are doing something – we are thinking, plotting, dreaming and scheming.

For decades it was believed that introverts were the minority and less than 30% of the population. It wasn’t until a 1998 study that anyone did a study on a national sample and found that it was about an even 50/50 split.

“But in 1998, researchers were finally able to do what Isabel Briggs Myers could not: an actual population study. The study was based on a national representative sample – 3,009 randomly selected individuals – which, through weighting of underrepresented groups, was made to approximate the distribution of the 1990 U.S. Census. The findings were clear: introverts and extroverts are equally represented in the population.”
– excerpt from Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

A follow-up study done in 2001 actually put extroverts in the minority, 43% compared to a 57% majority for introverts.

You don’t have to pretend

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…” – Steve Jobs

You are not the minority – so you don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not in order to fit in. It doesn’t work – and pretending is painful.

In conclusion

Your introvert personality is a super power. (tweet this)

Used correctly it will allow you to:

  • Work longer
  • Be an artist
  • Save money
  • Think deeply
  • Be alone
  • Observe and create
  • Never be bored

You’re in good company. Some of the world’s most creative minds are also introverts.

Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be a social person if you are not.

And one last thing. Don’t spend your alone time on time wasting activities like watching TV or playing video games. Because unless you’re being productive…

You’re just another person sitting alone on the couch.

  • lenstrom

    Validation. Thank you, Malan.

    I still don’t like most people. 😛

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      well lenstrom, i’m still trying to figure out the difference between the two… 😉

  • Pete

    Another knockout post, Malan!

    I don’t think it’s all black and white either. People tend to be a mix of introvert and extrovert; to varying degrees.

    Many think that extroverts would be great entrepreneurs and salespeople, but actual studies show the contrary.

    In fact, recent research shows that the most productive salespeople are ‘ambiverts’; “neither extremely introverted nor extremely extroverted…They’re not quiet, but they’re not loud. They know how to assert themselves, but they’re not pushy”.

    http://www.washingtonpost [dot] com/business/on-leadership/why-extroverts-fail-introverts-flounder-and-you-probably-succeed/2013/01/28/bc4949b0-695d-11e2-95b3-272d604a10a3_story.html

    http://pss.sagepub [dot] com/content/24/6/1024.short

    ( replace [dot] with .)

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      right – as i understand it, introversion and extroversion are simply terms that identify which direction we lean towards more – not separate species of human being.

  • http://impulsandoideas.net/ Gastón

    Hey Darran! Great post, I have been reflected on. We need to appreciate our strengths and put aside comparisons with others.
    Stay well!

  • Eva

    You should read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Fantastic book!

    • http://malandarras.com/ Malan Darras

      Eva – i saw that referenced in almost every article I saw during my research. Didn’t read it but it seems like a lot of people did 😉 thanks for the recommendation

  • River Mud

    It’s notable that most (not all) of those high-achieving introverts owe some of their success to their partners – the other human beings that they networked with to help sell their vision (or at least broaden it, or pay the bills and keep the lights on). That requires relationships, trusts, and face to face bonds. Maybe just a few very strong relationships (to the introvert’s strength). Maybe many loose, informal bonds (to the extrovert’s strength). It varies highly depending on industry, country, and funding source. However, it’s also notable that you posit an entrepreneur’s options as “out buying drinks” ***OR*** “working late hours by yourself on ad copy” and “not having much of a social life”, which sounds antisocial, not introverted. Going further to suggest that the money saved by avoiding awkward happy hours might be ample to undercut a competitor in a future bid seems highly unlikely (in fact, an equal or higher number of deals are being made, out at that awkward happy hour), and also points to a client where the lowest bid, not the best product, is important. Can’t imagine that’s the mental work space that introverted developers prefer to inhabit. I strongly agree that we should all be who we are…..I wish more people were more self aware and would get out of career fields where their personality is kneecapping their personal value to society, themselves, and each other.

  • Glynn Ash

    Yes I agree, we can save money easily, work hard , be alone and never be bored, but with the thinking deeply i see this as a problem becuase I for one, thinks over things too deeply to a point where either nothing happens or i go mad going to deep in shiz

  • Claudio

    Great article! One thing that often happens is that people assume being shy is the same as being introverted. I don’t think that is the case. I would consider myself introverted, but not shy at all. I don’t mind giving a presentation in front of dozens of people, or to be able to make a good appearance at a party where I know almost no one while being social. But that will drain my energy levels and then later I’m glad if I have the next few days only for myself, not having to talk to people, just reading or something similar.

  • Mac

    Those nowadays ‘minority’ tho, made me feeling like yourself for years. I felt pressurr to socialize, go out and ‘participate’ in outer world, while, in fact, I wasn’t myself in those situations… Alcohol? Why not then? Not even near as bad as you told us here, but I can’t remember few ‘goouts’ very well…
    I fought it my own way, emigration, separation… Then, first of all, I could recognize real friends (well, there is 2 instaed of 150 now), secondly my life partner, beloved wife, is happier as well, as she’s introvertic as well.
    Great post.

  • Matan Shamshila

    WOW Malan, this is exactly me.
    I love your content so much, I am also extremely creative and I’ve always been.

    • Matan Shamshila

      also one of the biggest upsides for me is the edginess with chicks

  • Leonard Radu

    Hi Malan.. what MBTI type are you? I’m INTJ