Introversion can be tough to deal with, but certainly not impossible. Image courtesy of Flickr user Schleickmeister and licensed under CC by 2.0

Today’s guest post is by Shahzad Saeed, an Indian Engineering student and founder of the blog Tech and Project. His site is geared toward students hoping to participate in international science fairs and student project programs, like the Google Summer of Code.

Introversion is not a disability or disease. The best thing about college life is we get to meet all types of people on campus, both introverts and extroverts. Recently, I came  across an article explaining why introverts can make best leaders. The article says 40% of the executives and leaders are introverts like Bill Gates and Barack Obama, and it also describes the characteristics that help introverted leaders build on their quiet strength and succeed. Despite these success stories, many introverted college students worry about their ability to adapt and do well in college, and in life.

Am I introverted?

If you aren’t sure whether you’re introverted or not, try this this test to check. It also describes the top signs of introversion, and the results may surprise you. In this extroverted world there are a lot of myths about introverts. Many think that introverts hate people, they are shy and don’t talk too much. As an introvert I can say that these are completely false. Talk me about blogging or something I am really interested in, and I will keep talking for hours. That is why most of my friends never consider me as an introvert.

Dealing with introverts

It is said that two thirds of the gifted population is introverted but only about one quarter of the general population is introverted! So never underestimate an introvert for being calm and quiet.

  • Introverts are not smiling machines. Even in a big party, they feel calm and cool being alone, so never ask an introvert whether they’re okay, or why they’re standing in the corner. This is the rudest question they can hear.
  • Shyness and introversion are different. When people are shy they will be nervous around people. But introverts are not nervous unless they are shy. Introverts normally want to be alone, while a shy person wants to be around people, but is afraid to approach them. Shyness can be overcome, but introversion is a deep-seated part of one’s personality. In fact, some introverts have excellent social skills. Introverts want to be alone to recharge themselves after engaging in a social activity.

Tips for Introverts

If you are an introvert and often feel lonely, try to figure out why. Here is some advice for introverts who feel unhappy with themselves.

  • If you are terribly feeling lonely, determine whether you are homesick or missing anyone. Don’t stay full time in your room on holidays. It is true that you want to be alone to relax and recharge yourself, but this is not an excuse to hide from people
  • Your may see your friends as individuals, but not identify them as a group. It’s important to understand that we introverts don’t normally have big group of friends. Try to strengthen your relationship and keep looking for friends you might be interested in. Who knows, you may just find a clique that you feel comfortable with.
  • Introverts are a minority. Some extroverts may disrespect you for being calm and quiet, but most won’t. Don’t try to hide from every extrovert. Spending some more time with other extroverts may even allow you to develop a relationship with them.