Extrovert? 5 Tips for Embracing Quiet Reflection
The idea that introverts are constantly striving to become more extroverted is as outdated as America’s cannabis laws. There are many advantages to being introverted that could benefit extroverts if they’d just stop socializing long enough to practice the art of quiet reflection.
Mindfulness is little more than paying attention to what’s happening in the moment. It’s not letting your mind wander into the future or past, but identifying non-judgmentally thoughts, feelings, tactile sensations and more during the present. It means instead of going on auto-pilot, stay aware of what you’re doing and what’s happening around you. Spend your commute being present instead of yakking on the phone. Talk a walk alone without tweeting, posting and texting friends. Certain cannabis strains can help with mindfulness, keeping you focused on the now instead of being distracted by errant thoughts.
Keep a Journal
Extroverts are often concerned with the people and things around them while many introverts enjoy rich internal lives. Keeping a journal about yourself, not just events that happened during the day, can help extroverts focus on their inner worlds and explore thoughts, feelings, and emotions that are otherwise overlooked. If you find thinking about these things uncomfortable, it’s a good time to ask yourself why. Inner reflection can lead to an improvement in our daily lives, relationships and even work performance.
Spend Time Alone
Most extroverted people enjoy the company of others and feel recharged by socializing. Introverts are often falsely accused of being shy but as much as they enjoy socializing, they simply require quiet alone time to rejuvenate their energy. If you’re the type that fills every moment of the day with activities and interaction with people, you may find being alone uncomfortable or “boring” at first.
Despite lengthy periods without human interaction, introverts are rarely lonely. Spending time and doing activities alone can enhance creativity, increase productivity, build mental strength and boost empathy for others. Don’t say you’re “too busy” or “can’t sit still,” two of the extrovert’s favorite excuses, either. Solitary pursuits are worth prioritizing. Read a book, take a walk, create some art or write in a journal. Do it until it feels okay to spend time alone.
Learn to Meditate
Meditation has proven health and wellness benefits from reducing anxiety and improving sleep to reducing age-related memory loss, but it’s not something you just “know” how to do. Meditation can be very difficult at first and you may even wonder if you’re doing it right, but it’s definitely worth mastering! Meditation also involves the practice of mindfulness, being conscious of the breath entering and leaving the body. The length of time it takes for your mind to wander will gradually increase. You’re doing well if you can make it 2 minutes without your mind wandering off to a distraction! Train yourself so this time is longer and longer. Meditation reduces brain chatter, improves focus and helps our bodies manage stress.
More Listening, Less Talking
Extroverts have a lot to say and they’re not always graceful about letting others have the floor. Use your new mindfulness techniques in conversations and meetings to check if you’re steamrolling your quieter friends and teammates. A little self-awareness can go a long way in improving personal and professional relationships. Instead of waiting for your turn to speak and thinking about the point you want to make, just listen and focus on the other speaker. From their tone to their body language, there’s a lot of information out there if you just pay close attention. Being thoughtful in your answers and allowing quiet voices to be heard will benefit everyone and may garner you some new friendships or best practices.
If you’re an extrovert that’s bought into the propaganda that introverts should be more like you, it’s time to check yourself. In fact, here are 7 advantages introverts have over extroverts including forming deeper, more meaningful relationships to never being called out for needy, attention-seeking behavior.
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