The strengths that bring out an introvert’s full potential

Many industries require people who are great with people, especially in the sales world. But there are different ways of successfully handling people, and different strengths you can bring to the table. If an introvert wants to create a business without constantly dealing with swarms of people or being a part of the customer-facing side of the business, fear not—it’s entirely possible.

Introverts must never see their introversion as a liability—it must be seen as a weapon. How many people reading this can think of one extrovert they know who is borderline annoying, a big talker, who pursues quantity over quality? The secret power of the introvert is that they are observers of the world, and by engaging with it less frequently, they can have a greater affect with their selectiveness.

Here’s a few reasons why I believe introverts are better at business:

  1. They’re better listeners. This means the team around them feels more supported and heard, and are more likely to have their suggestions taken on board.
  2. Introverts make great business partners. Pairing an extrovert and an introvert together makes a power couple that can provide two interesting perspectives.
  3. Introverts prefer social quality, not quantity. This means better action on a small group level. An introvert will be more effective going from team to team and department to department, whereas an extrovert may attempt to treat the employees as a collective.
  4. Introverts are often better writers and express things more powerfully through the written word. A great deal of business is in this medium, so make good use of this asset.
  5. Alone time is a recharging time for an introvert, so if they use this space to deal with problems pragmatically and logically, it will serve the business well.

How do I know all this? I’m an introvert entrepreneur. I get scared by big groups, and am always anxious about talking on the phone. People think I’m a sociable guy, but I spend a lot of time recharging on my own, and much prefer to be around one to three people than five or more. As an introvert, I plan my words carefully, and feel that I am great at expressing ideas, especially now I work one-on-one with clients, rather than in a large team scenario. So if you’re an introvert and tentative about succeeding in the business world, take solace in the fact that other introverts have been able to do just that for many years.



How To Stay Positive When Things Turn Negative

We all face negative situations in our life. Someone may say something bad about you, or something you’ve worked hard on is rejected.

In situations like this it is difficult to keep a positive attitude. However we’re judged by our communications so staying positive is the professional way to react to adverse situations.

Your natural inclination is to release your inner Hulk and bash. This  negative reaction will make  the circumstances worse and you will end up filled with disappointment and anger.

You can beat negative situations by keeping a positive attitude. The attitude you take when faced with a negative situation is a choice. In the business world keeping a positive attitude in negative circumstances is a valuable skill to learn. It will keep your professional reputation intact and show you can handle any negative situation.

5 Rules to Help You Stay Positive

The best way to overcome a negative situation is by keeping a positive attitude. It is not easy and requires discipline on your part, but you can do it. At first you may not succeed every time so consider it a training program. Eventually you will learn to control your reactions out of habit.

Rule # 1 – Control Your Response

The golden rule of staying positive in a negative situation is to control your response. Take a deep breath, count to 10, do whatever it takes to remove yourself from the negativity. Wait until you calm down and have thought clearly about your response.

If you respond out of emotion you will only make it worse. Remember Thumper’s rule. “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” This is good advice when you find yourself in a negative situation.

Negative situations compound when they cause you stress. Learn how to deal with stress to remove the extra negativity.

Rule # 2 – Learn From Negative Situations

Look at a negative situation or event as an opportunity to learn and grow personally. Albert Einstein said “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Don’t channel your energy into a negative reaction, but into something positive that will make the situation better, not worse.

If you do react negatively take note of it and the circumstances that caused it. Learn from it by identifying the triggers that caused your reaction so you can watch for them in the future. Train yourself so you control the situation instead of allowing the situation to control your actions.

Rule # 3 – If You Make a Mistake, Admit it

We are human so we all make mistakes from time to time. When you do you need to step up and admit it. One thing I told my boss a long time ago was that if I ever made a mistake he would hear it from me first. If you make a mistake that leads to a negative situation, admit to it, learn from it and move on.

Rule # 4 – Maintain a Positive View

Don’t allow your opinion of someone to become jaded by a negative situation. Keep a positive view about a person or a situation and don’t jump to conclusions. Be proactive in dealing with adverse circumstances, not reactive. If the negativity is true see rule # 3. If not then affirm what you already know about yourself and your work.

When you are working under pressure it is hard to keep a positive attitude, but for a manager often pressure is part of the job. Learning how to work under pressure will help you overcome a source of negative situations.

Rule # 5 – Accentuate The Positive.

Remember that scene in The Jungle Book where Baloo breaks into a song about staying positive?

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

Words of wisdom from a dancing bear.

  • Emphasize your positive attitude by your actions and in your words.
  • Eliminate any negative thoughts generated from a negative situation. Nothing good is gained from a negative reaction.
  • Affirm the positive truths you know to be true about yourself and your work.
  • Don’t flip-flop between positive and negative. When negativity comes to you remove yourself from the situation, flip to the positive side and stay there.

Take Away

In the middle of writing this piece I had to put this into practice when the power went out for 2 1/2 hours during a thunderstorm. Rather than get mad because I had lost my writing time, I grabbed a notebook and started writing my to-do list for work tomorrow. A negative reaction to something beyond my control would have wasted time and energy.

Life will continually present you with negative situations. You choose how you react to them. Rather than waste energy and your reputation by reacting negatively, learn to turn a negative situation into a positive. Don’t let the actions of others or circumstances turn you to the dark side of the workforce.

Keeping a  positive attitude in a negative situation is hard, but if you work at it you will learn to overcome your emotional reactions. Doing so will enhance your professional appearance and show that even under negative circumstances you can maintain control and deal with any issue in a positive way.



15 Things That Introverts Would Never Tell You

Introverts get a bad rap in a world that celebrates extroversion and “people-persons”. There are things introverts wish you knew about them that would help any relationship or situation. For instance, we are not anti-social or depressed, we’re just different. In fact, many envy us for our self-contained, cool manner that keeps others calm, focused, and safe. People love us, in secret. As introverts, we have many “ways” that only our closest friends understand. Here are several things about introverts you may not know.

We don’t care about your birthday.

Any introvert who works in an office knows how it feels to be hustled for birthday cake money. It makes us squirm when a random office person cheerily volunteers that it happens to be their birthday. We think they expect us to respond with like enthusiasm and interest, and maybe even accept their invitation to join them for drinks with a group of about 300 other random people to celebrate. Three hundred is a bit of an exaggeration, but feels that way to an introvert who just wants to go home. If you don’t invite us, we’re not offended. We’re relieved.


We don’t need you to care about our birthday.

Yeah, we don’t. We have friends who genuinely know us and care, if we care. However, an interesting thing about introverts, is some don’t need to celebrate it. We’re okay with quietly honouring the day on our own or with a group of friends we’ve carefully selected. We don’t have to let the world know.

We are not really listening as you recount your weekend.

Unless you are part of our circle of friends, we don’t care what you did last weekend. We are of the mind that everyone has a right to privacy, and if you chose to spend it in a drunken stupor or beating down the door of your ex, then that is up to you. We don’t judge, and find it takes too much energy to give it to people we don’t know. Just because we work with you, that doesn’t mean we know you.

We hate crowds.

Large groups of people make us tired. All the stimulation of having so many different types from all walks of life can make us a little woozy. Some introverts are empaths, so they tend to take on the energy of others easily. We sometimes feel like we “know” everyone in the room and get easily overwhelmed with the swirl of activity.

We don’t really like networking events.

This is especially hard for introverts who run a business. Networking makes us feel like we have to perform. We struggle to say the right thing and listen attentively. We don’t really care since we don’t know you. Even in business, we have to feel connected to someone on another level to get the most out of a networking type of event. This takes time, and choosing the right event, and coming up with a plan to offer value to others, while getting some for ourselves.

We force ourselves to act like we like you.

This is the nasty truth. We know who we like and don’t. It can stem from many reasons that can have its roots in childhood to what we ate for breakfast this morning. Don’t take it personally. We appreciate honesty, and sometimes it hurts. To survive, we have to supersede these feelings and be nice. Nice can be harder than being real.

We know how to get stuff done.

We pack our alone time with activities–projects, phone calls, emails, rough drafts and blueprints for world takeover of our next big idea (which we have lots of). We value solitude because it lets us experiment with new concepts, plan and stretch our imagination. Anything is possible when we spend time alone, and what we create may change our lives, and yours, too.

We like to write things out.

We love email because it helps us get what we need without interruptions. Interruptions throw us off course, and we need to expend more energy to get back on track. So, please don’t call unless it is a close-ended question.

We feel safe with the right people.

When we have the right people in our lives, we give our all. We give our best selves. We become protective warriors who will fight almost any cause for someone we love. Just ask our friends. We blossom in the right company, and shine. It takes us time to find the right people, and when we do, we don’t hold back.

We do have friends, who really like us.

Introverts like people, and people like us. Most introverts have no issue with hanging out in groups, and spending time with others. If we have friends, it’s because we consciously chose them. We’ve put effort into the relationship, and our friends know that. We go to bars, parties, and meet new people. The difference is that not everyone we meet becomes a friend.

We can do the extrovert thing, for a while.

We have to do that to get along. We can be the life of the party, host the networking event, and be the chairperson of the charity. We do this willingly, knowing that at the end of the day we can go home. When we get there, it may take days, or weeks to replenish ourselves, and feel ready to do that again.

We are not shy, rude or uptight.

At first, we may seem that way. Get to know us, and we can actually make you laugh, and hold a conversation that lasts more than 15 minutes. The thing is, we don’t share this with everyone. Being “social” or “sociable” is an option, not a way of being. We can’t fake happy or excited really well, and we show what we think on our face, not as much in our words.

We are okay alone.

We have lots going on in our heads and don’t need more. Unlike our extrovert counterparts, we don’t need others for stimulation. We’re constantly working out life in our heads. We entertain ourselves with creative projects and know how to take ourselves out for a good time. More people, means more stuff to deal with, and we’ve got enough of our own energy to hold.

We hate small talk.

We’re thinkers, and we relish conversations about big ideas, theories and ideals. We rarely get into small talk and do so comfortably.

We make a choice to be with you–appreciate it.

We value our alone time and are picky about who we let in. Letting in the wrong person will drain us, leaving nothing for ourselves. We tend to attract extroverts who suck our energy, and search out likeminded introverts for our groundedness, deep thinking and sense of control. We appreciate our time with other introverts and have an understanding of each other’s limits and boundaries.




25 Spot-On Gifts Any Introvert Will Appreciate

The holidays are a stressful time for introverts. Between the countless holiday parties, forced merriment and family obligations, it can be hard to find a minute of alone time. Your favorite introvert deserves an extra-thoughtful gift for making it through the holiday season intact.

We’ve rounded up the best introvert gifts, from hilarious tees to endearing totes. For introverts who need to relax and recharge, we’ve got it covered with soothing home decor. Happy gifting!

  • 1
    shopluellatx Etsy
    Introvert Hard Enamel Lapel Pin, $12+ on Etsy
  • 2
    thedreamygiraffe Etsy
    Ain’t Nothing Wrong With Being A Homebody Print, $18 on Etsy
  • 3
    Whistleburg Society6
    Introvert Cat Throw Pillow Cover, $17 on Society6
  • 4
    PrettyPlusPaper Etsy
    Please Go Away I’m Introverting Coffee Mug, $16+ on Etsy
  • 5
    UGG ‘Amary’ Slippers, $109.95 at Nordstrom
  • 6
    DiglotEtc Etsy
    Cat Enamel Pin, $9 on Etsy
  • 7
    GeneralRepublic Etsy
    Introverted Tank, $23.99 on Etsy
  • 8
    Belham Living Trenton 3-Panel Room Divider Privacy Screen, $179.99 at Hayneedle
  • 9
    franticmeerkat Etsy
    Jittery Scribblings of an Overly Caffeinated Introvert Journal, $12.95 on Etsy
  • 10
    PapaLlama Etsy
    Functional Introverts Association Tote Bag, $24 on Etsy
  • 11
    Urban Outfitters
    Aspyn Shag Bean Bag Chair, $198 at Urban Outfitters
  • 12
    Barneys New York
    Diptyque 5 Mini Candles Set, $78 at Barneys New York
  • 13
    Sorry I Can’t I Already Filled My People Quota For Today Mug, $14.99 at Human
  • 14
    Ginkelmier Society6
    Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want To Come Wall Clock, $25.50 on Society6
  • 15
    Urban Outfitters
    Stay In Bed Dyed Pillowcase Set, $39 at Urban Outfitters
  • 16
    Natori Plush Velour Robe, $104 at Nordstrom
  • 17
    SweetLimeEmbroidery Etsy
    Introvert Funny Embroidery Quote Rainbow Hoop Art, $19.29 on Etsy
  • 18
    Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Studio 2.0 Adaptive Noise Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones, $247.99 at Walmart
  • 19
    Farsidian Society6
    Quiet Zone Tote Bag, $18 on Society6
  • 20
    Books Are Better Than People Throw Pillow, $20.67 at RedBubble
  • 21
    Please Leave This Isn’t Helping Tank Top, $19.99 at Human
  • 22
    Jason St Paul Society6
    I Can’t Go Because I Don’t Want To Men’s Fitted Tee, $24 on Society6
  • 23
    Urban Outfitters
    Stay Home Club Happy Alone Lapel Pin, $10 at Urban Outfitters
  • 24
    World Market
    Do Not Disturb Door Hanger, $6.99 at World Market
  • 25
    PaperFury Society6
    Party Like An Introvert Throw Pillow, $17 on Society6




o-worker appears out of the blue and asks me a question. Her eyes and tone of voice say she wants an answer now. Her request is easy, but my mind is momentarily paralyzed.

I start sentences then stop them. I hesitate. I say words that are close to what I mean, but not exactly. I backtrack.

My co-worker — an extrovert who always seems to express herself effortlessly — looks at me like,come on, spit it out. I think, if only my brain would cooperate.

Ezgi Polat

Why introverts struggle with word retrieval

When we’re speaking out loud, we introverts may have trouble with word retrieval, meaning, we struggle to find just the right word we want. We may come off sounding like we don’t know what we’re talking about, even though we do. In social situations, we may have trouble keeping up with fast-talking extroverts.

Our brains use many different areas for speaking and writing, writes Dr. Marti Olsen Laney in her book, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, and when talking out loud, information needs to flow between the separate regions. One reason why introverts struggle with speaking is that we process information deeply, which means information moves slowly between areas of our brain.

Another reason has to do with introverts relying more on long-term memory than working memory. Information stored in long-term memory is mostly outside of our conscious awareness. Like the name sounds, long-term memory contains information that is retained for long periods of time — in theory, information is saved indefinitely. Some of this information is fairly easy to access, while other memories are more difficult to recall. Contrast this with working memory (sometimes referred to as short-term or active memory), which is limited and retains information for mere seconds.

It takes longer to reach into long-term memory and pull out just the right word or piece of information. The right association is needed, which is something that is related to what we’re trying to recall. This, of course, slows us down when we’re speaking.

If we’re anxious — like how I felt when my intimidating co-worker approached me — it may be even more difficult to locate and articulate the right words.

Why it’s easier to express ourselves in writing

Introverts “often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation,” writes Susan Cain in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

Introverts may prefer text messages and emails to phone calls. Many of us keep journals or compose lyrics, poems, or stories, and some of us make careers out of writing.


The reason for this preference once again has to do with how our brains are wired: written words use different pathways in the brain, which seem to flow fluently for many introverts, writes Laney.

What to do when your mind goes blank

Memory is complex, and it uses many different areas of the brain. Our brains store memories in several locations and create links between them, called associations.

To yank something out of long-term memory, we need to locate an association. The good thing is, most pieces of information in long-term memory were stored with several associations or keys for unlocking them.

“If we find just one key, we can retrieve the whole memory,” writes Laney.

When you struggle to remember a word, a piece of information, or even what you did over the weekend (because that question often comes up in small talk!), try these things:

  • Be still and relax.
  • Give yourself permission to be quiet for a few moments. Don’t let the other person rush you.
  • Buy yourself time to process things by saying something like, “Let me think about that,” or “Hmm, let me see…” Or, give a nonverbal signal that shows you’re thinking, like looking away and furrowing your brow slightly.
  • Let your mind wander for a moment and go where it wants. One thought may lead to another, and one of those thoughts may hold the “key” to unlocking the words you want from your long-term memory.

If all else fails, and words escape you, don’t feel embarrassed — your brain is doing what comes naturally to it, and that is to pause and reflect. If you’re being quiet, you’re in good company with other deep-thinking introverts: Stephen Hawking once said, “Quiet people have the loudest minds.”

Then, try breezing over any awkwardness in the conversation by using humor to make light of your tongue-tied state, or say you’re a little distracted right now, and you’ll get back to the other person later — by sending an email or text.




10 Ways to Support the Highly Sensitive Person in Your Life

I’m a highly sensitive person (HSP). This means I’m hypersensitive to external stimuli and have a high level of emotional reactivity. There’s a lot of benefits to being highly sensitive, like being naturally empathetic, having a deep appreciation of art, music, nature and being creative and imaginative. However, being an HSP comes with quite a few challenges, too.

Sensory processing sensitivity, the trait that HSPs possess, is not a disorder, but it does affect many aspects of our daily lives. It can makes things that are no big deal for most people difficult for us. Since it’s estimated 15 to 20 percent of people are highly sensitive, chances are you know an HSP or two. If you aren’t highly sensitive, then you might sometimes find yourself confused by your highly sensitive loved one’s feelings, needs and reactions. Here are some ways you can show your support and help us not be overwhelmed by everyday life.

1. Read “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron.

Dr. Aron is the one who first began doing research on sensory processing sensitivity in 1991 and is herself an HSP. She has written several books, but “The Highly Sensitive Person” will give you a basic introductory course in sensory processing sensitivity and a glimpse into the inner workings of your highly sensitive loved one’s brain. If you are an HSP, then Dr. Aron’s books may help you understand yourself better as well.

2. Do your best to let us enjoy your company in ways that don’t overwhelm us.  

Since we’re hypersensitive to external stimuli, we often find things like parties, nightclubs and many other large-group social situations extremely overwhelming. So much so that we can’t even enjoy being there with our friends because we get too frazzled. Maybe you’re planning to celebrate your birthday by going out to a bar with all of your friends. Your highly sensitive friend probably wants to celebrate the occasion with you, but dreads the prospect of going out to a loud, crowded bar with sticky floors, weird lighting, loud music and strong alcohol smells.

They might think it’s worth it to brave the sensory overload in order to celebrate with you and all your friends, but they might also feel trapped between forcing themselves to go out and feeling like they’re abandoning you on your birthday. I know I’ve felt this way on several occasions. Maybe your highly sensitive friend can meet you for a slice of pizza before you head to the bar. If you know your friend is highly sensitive and would feel much more comfortable meeting one-on-one in a pizza place than going to a bar with 20 of your friends, offering them that option upfront can help them feel less pressured to go places and do things that make them uncomfortable.

3. Respect our need for alone time and quiet time.  

Not all of us are introverts. In fact, about 30 percent of us are extroverts, but we all need time to recharge, just like introverts do. Since every HSP is different, every HSP’s recharging time will look different. Some people may need a complete sensory shutdown, totally alone, in absolute silence, with no bright lights or strong smells. Some people may just need to find a quiet spot, listen to some calming music and dive into a good book.

Some people might not even need alone time. They just need to do something more relaxed with you in a less stimulating environment. For me, I like to go home, curl up on the couch with my dog and watch some Netflix. Whatever it is that we do to recharge, we need our loved ones to understand and be respectful of it and let us take it when we need it.

4. Ask us if there are any everyday tasks we find particularly overwhelming, and offer to help with them from time to time.  

Chances are there’s at least one mundane, everyday task you think nothing of, but your highly sensitive loved one really struggles with because of the way they process sensory stimuli. Maybe they don’t like to go to the gas station because they find the smell of gasoline too overpowering. Maybe they dread vacuuming because it’s too loud. Whatever it is that your highly sensitive loved one struggles with, occasionally offering to help them out with it will make their life a lot easier and more pleasant.

For me personally, the sound of forks and knives scratching against each other or against plates makes me feel like I’m going to vomit. Whenever I go home, I really appreciate it when my sister or one of my parents offers to split the task of setting or clearing the table or unloading the dishwasher with me. This way I can handle the plates, and they’ll do the silverware.

5. Give us plenty of time to do the things you ask us to do.  

If you want an HSP to do something for you, then if possible let them know about it before you need it done. One trait that a lot of HSPs (myself included) share is we tend to get anxious and overwhelmed when we have a lot to do in a short amount of time.

6. Don’t surprise us.  

One trait Dr. Aron uses to identify highly sensitive children is “doesn’t usually enjoy big surprises.”  That aversion to surprises doesn’t just go away in adulthood, either. You probably already know your highly sensitive loved one isn’t the type of person who would enjoy a huge surprise party for their birthday, but not surprising us applies to smaller things, too. When I was learning to drive, I would get distraught when we would be already halfway out the door and my dad would say, “You’re driving.” Even though I’ve never been a huge fan of driving, that wasn’t the reason why I got so upset. I got upset because my dad had surprised me. Once we worked out a schedule of driving lessons, my dad had a much easier time teaching me to drive.

7. Don’t stand over us while we’re working.  

My parents used to do this to me all the time when I was a kid, and I absolutely hated it. I mean, I understand why they did it. As a child with ADD, I needed a little extra help and supervision to keep me on task and get my homework done, but as an HSP, being watched made it even harder for me to concentrate on what I was doing. Many HSPs feel the same way. If they have to perform a task while someone is watching them, they will become nervous, frazzled and be more likely to make mistakes.

8. Don’t make us watch violent or scary movies if we don’t want to.  

There are a lot of people who find scary movies fun and exciting, but your highly sensitive loved one is likely not one of them. Many HSPs avoid watching graphic movies and television because as highly sensitive people, the images on the screen will have a much bigger impact on us than they will on you. You might be able to feel scared during a movie and then perfectly fine once it’s over, but for me, watching a scary movie means taking a chance I might be dealing with sleepless nights and feeling constantly on edge for days after I watch the movie.

9. Don’t purposefully startle us.  

HSPs startle more easily than non-HSPs do. Because of our hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli, we’re being startled all day long by sudden noises and changes in our environments. The last thing we need is to be purposefully startled again by someone we love. Maybe your highly sensitive loved one doesn’t mind the additional jump they get from you sneaking up behind them or popping out from around the corner, but better safe than sorry.

10. If you see us start to get overwhelmed or notice we’re in a situation that we might find overwhelming, then check in with us and ask if there’s anything you can do to make us more comfortable.  

Going through life as a highly sensitive person can sometimes feel like walking around naked. There’s no barrier to protect you from your surrounding environment, and you feel things around you other people seem to be able to just ignore. You start to feel exposed, vulnerable, hyper-aware and probably a little bit self-conscious the longer you’re away from your home or another place where you feel safe and comfortable. When you check in with us and help us feel more comfortable in our environment, it’s like you’re offering us your coat.




7 Things You Don’t Want to Learn Too Late in Life

We should never regret too much in our lives. However, there comes a time when we realise there are things that, if we had known them earlier, could have benefited us a lot in our younger years. Maybe we only come to these realisations through personal growth and experience, but sometimes we can go through life not being fully aware of situations until we hit a crisis point that leads us to question whether we truly did or cherished things to the best of our ability.

How often have you thought to yourself I wish I’d known this when I was younger? There’s an overwhelming feeling that if your younger self had just been more enlightened or aware, then you could have dealt with emotions and situations more readily or just moved forward with a more knowledgeable mindset and perspective on life.

With this in mind, here are 7 important life lessons that will change your perspective and mindset to enhance your experience of life for the better.

1. Be Present In The Here And Now

We spend so much time rehashing the past or planning for the future that we forget to experience the present moment. The present moment is what is happening to you right now. Happiness can only exist in the present moment ‒ the past has gone and the future hasn’t come yet so the present moment is all we have.

Our minds have a habit of running at a hundred miles an hour and this means we are rarely just being in the here and now. Try stopping and looking around you, see what is happening right now, be mindful of where you are right in this moment, or simply be aware of your breathing. Once you do this, your mind will start to open up and appreciate what you have right now and you will even start to feel like time is no longer slipping away.

2. Don’t Rule Your Life By What You Think You Should Or Shouldn’t Do

Society, or our family’s expectations tend to make us think there are things we should do ― I should go to university and get that degree or I shouldn’t pursue my dreams because I won’t make the same money as I would working in this dead-end office job. We all have these niggling ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ circling our minds, but when we make these statements, who exactly are we making these statements to? Who exactly are we trying to get permission from? And why is this acceptable? Living your life the way you want to is the only way to be happy. Stop limiting yourself because of other people’s expectations. It’s your life and no one else’s.

3. Don’t Make Things Bigger Than They Are

Our minds can work against us and through mindsets we develop and fears that take over. We can often make problems much bigger than they actually are. It’s all about perspective. How many times have you thought something was a huge deal but a day, week, or month down the line you don’t even think about it anymore? That’s because your mind likes to focus and blow-up worries and problems that aren’t actually problems.

Next time it happens just take a moment to ask yourself: realistically, will I still be thinking about this tomorrow, next week, next year etc.? Most of the time the answer will be “NO” so eliminate all the unnecessary worry you put yourself through.

4. Face Your Fears More

We all have fears ― some are justified and some are not ― but to grow and really get as much out of life as you can, you need to face your fears more often. Remember that many of your fears are only a product of your mind; they don’t actually exist. When you start to realise this, doing things you find intimidating and scary will actually become easier. The feeling you’ll get from facing your fears head on will be the best and most rewarding feeling you will ever have and, 100% guaranteed, it will always never feel as scary as your mind thought it was going to be.

5. Slowly But Surely Wins The Race

When we’re younger, we tend to aim high and want everything quickly. When we set ourselves goals, we can give up easily when we don’t get the results immediately. Our modern world has conditioned us to expect and obtain anything in a blink of an eye which has led us to believe this can be the same for our dreams, goals, and ambitions.

The secret to success is small steps for big changes. Our goals are there to help us achieve and grow and we can’t do this if things happen quickly with no area for learning or getting a sense of achievement from it. Remember to set yourself small attainable goals that will help towards your dreams and know you are on the right path no matter how long it will take.

6. Stop Assuming What Other People Are Thinking

We can often make huge assumptions about what others are thinking whether they are judging you for something or thinking badly about an opinion you had. The bottom line is the world doesn’t revolve around you. Everyone around you is dealing with their own problems, worries, and insecurities and the chances are, they aren’t paying as much attention to you as you may think. So stop caring and, even worse,assuming what others are thinking. You wouldn’t want anyone to assume what you’re thinking so why do it to others?

7. Appreciate Everything In Your Life

One of the most important life lessons is appreciation. The older we get, the more we appreciate the things in our life including people, experiences, lessons we’ve learnt, and even our possessions. Establishing this habit early on the better, because gratitude and appreciation is the true key to happiness. The sooner you can be enlightened to this and integrate this into your everyday life, the more you’ll be able to live in the present moment and be thankful for what makes your life a good one―no matter how small the thing is you’re appreciating.

So, whether it’s the shower you get to take every morning, the nature around you, your pet, that one person who you can talk to about anything, the food in your refrigerator―appreciate it all and realise the abundance that’s really present in your life. This will transcend into the rest of your life and establish the positive mindset needed to live a happy and healthy life; your older self will thank you for it!




Woman walking through wheat field

23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert

Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who’s hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the “social butterfly” can just as easily have an introverted personality.

“Spotting the introvert can be harder than finding Waldo,” Sophia Dembling, author of “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World,” tells The Huffington Post. “A lot of introverts can pass as extroverts.”

People are frequently unaware that they’re introverts -– especially if they’re not shy — because they may not realize that being an introvert is about more than just cultivating time alone. Instead, it can be more instructive to pay attention to whether they’re losing or gaining energy from being around others, even if the company of friends gives them pleasure.

“Introversion is a basic temperament, so the social aspect — which is what people focus on — is really a small part of being an introvert,” Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, psychotherapist and author of “The Introvert Advantage,” said in a Mensa discussion. “It affects everything in your life.”

Despite the growing conversation around introversion, it remains a frequently misunderstood personality trait. As recently as 2010, the American Psychiatric Association even considered classifying “introverted personality” as a disorder by listing it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), a manual used to diagnose mental illness.

But more and more introverts are speaking out about what it really means to be a “quiet” type. Not sure if you’re an innie or an outie? See if any of these 23 telltale signs of introversion apply to you.

1. You find small talk incredibly cumbersome.


Introverts are notoriously small talk-phobic, as they find idle chatter to be a source of anxiety, or at least annoyance. For many quiet types, chitchat can feel disingenuous.

“Let’s clear one thing up: Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people,” Laurie Helgoe writes in “Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength.” “We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.”

2. You go to parties -– but not to meet people.

If you’re an introvert, you may sometimes enjoy going to parties, but chances are, you’re not going because you’re excited to meet new people. At a party, most introverts would rather spend time with people they already know and feel comfortable around. If you happen to meet a new person that you connect with, great — but meeting people is rarely the goal.

3. You often feel alone in a crowd.


Ever feel like an outsider in the middle of social gatherings and group activities, even with people you know?

“If you tend to find yourself feeling alone in a crowd, you might be an introvert,” says Dembling. “We might let friends or activities pick us, rather than extending our own invitations.”

4. Networking makes you feel like a phony.

Networking (read: small-talk with the end goal of advancing your career) can feel particularly disingenuous for introverts, who crave authenticity in their interactions.

“Networking is stressful if we do it in the ways that are stressful to us,” Dembling says, advising introverts to network in small, intimate groups rather than at large mixers.

5. You’ve been called “too intense.”

book nietzsche

Do you have a penchant for philosophical conversations and a love of thought-provoking books and movies? If so, you’re a textbook introvert.

“Introverts like to jump into the deep end,” says Dembling.

6. You’re easily distracted.

While extroverts tend to get bored easily when they don’t have enough to do, introverts have the opposite problem — they get easily distracted and overwhelmed in environments with an excess of stimulation.

“Extroverts are commonly found to be more easily bored than introverts on monotonous tasks, probably because they require and thrive on high levels of stimulation,” Clark University researchers wrote in a paper published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “In contrast, introverts are more easily distracted than extroverts and, hence, prefer relatively unstimulating environments.”

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

home lounging coffee

One of the most fundamental characteristics of introverts is that they need time alone to recharge their batteries. Whereas an extrovert might get bored or antsy spending a day at home alone with tea and a stack of magazines, this sort of down time feels necessary and satisfying to an introvert.

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

Introverts can be excellent leaders and public speakers — and although they’re stereotyped as being the shrinking violet, they don’t necessarily shy away from the spotlight. Performers like Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Emma Watson allidentify as introverts, and an estimated 40 percent of CEOs have introverted personalities. Instead, an introvert might struggle more with meeting and greeting large groups of people on an individual basis.

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.

sitting alone subway

Whenever possible, introverts tend to avoid being surrounded by people on all sides.

“We’re likely to sit in places where we can get away when we’re ready to — easily,” says Dembling. “When I go to the theater, I want the aisle seat or the back seat.”

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.

Do you start to get tired and unresponsive after you’ve been out and about for too long? It’s likely because you’re trying to conserve energy. Everything introverts do in the outside world causes them to expend energy, after which they’ll need to go back and replenish their stores in a quiet environment, says Dembling. Short of a quiet place to go, many introverts will resort to zoning out.

11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.

couple having fun

It’s true that opposites attract, and introverts frequently gravitate towards outgoing extroverts who encourage them to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.

“Introverts are sometimes drawn to extroverts because they like being able to ride their ‘fun bubble,’” Dembling says.

12. You’d rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything.

The dominant brain pathways introverts use is one that allows you to focus and think about things for a while, so they’re geared toward intense study and developing expertise, according to Olsen Laney.

13. You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation.

Because really, is anything more terrifying?

14. You screen all your calls — even from friends.

iphone finger

You may not pick up your phone even from people you like, but you’ll call them back as soon as you’re mentally prepared and have gathered the energy for the conversation.

“To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go ‘BOO!,’” says Dembling. “I do like having a long, nice phone call with a friend — as long as it’s not jumping out of the sky at me.”

15. You notice details that others don’t.

The upside of being overwhelmed by too much stimuli is that introverts often have a keen eye for detail, noticing things that may escape others around them. Researchhas found that introverts exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information, as compared to extroverts.

16. You have a constantly running inner monologue.

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“Extroverts don’t have the same internal talking as we do,” says Olsen Laney. “Most introverts need to think first and talk later.”

17. You have low blood pressure.

A 2006 Japanese study found that introverts tend to have lower blood pressure than their extroverted counterparts.

18. You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s.

lost in thought

Introverts observe and take in a lot of information, and they think before they speak, leading them to appear wise to others.

“Introverts tend to think hard and be analytical,” says Dembling. “That can make them seem wise.”

19. You don’t feel “high” from your surroundings

concert crowd

Neurochemically speaking, things like huge parties just aren’t your thing. Extroverts and introverts differ significantly in how their brains process experiences through “reward” centers.

Researchers demonstrated this phenomenon by giving Ritalin — the ADHD drug that stimulates dopamine production in the brain — to introverted and extroverted college students. They found that extroverts were more likely to associate the feeling of euphoria achieved by the rush of dopamine with the environment they were in. Introverts, by contrast, did not connect the feeling of reward to their surroundings. The study “suggests that introverts have a fundamental difference in how strongly they process rewards from their environment, with the brains of introverts weighing internal cues more strongly than external motivational and reward cues,” explained LiveScience’s Tia Ghose.

20. You look at the big picture.

When describing the way that introverts think, Jung explained that they’re more interested in ideas and the big picture rather than facts and details. Of course, many introverts excel in detail-oriented tasks — but they often have a mind for more abstract concepts as well.

“Introverts do really enjoy abstract discussion,” says Dembling.

21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.”

introverts class participation

Many introverted children come to believe that there’s something “wrong” with them if they’re naturally less outspoken and assertive than their peers. Introverted adults often say that as children, they were told to come out of their shells or participate more in class.

22. You’re a writer.

Introverts are often better at communicating in writing than in person, and many are drawn to the solitary, creative profession of writing. Most introverts — like “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling — say that they feel most creatively charged when they have time to be alone with their thoughts.

23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity.

Introverts can move around their introverted “set point” which determines how they need to balance solitude with social activity. But when they move too much — possibly by over-exerting themselves with too much socializing and busyness — they get stressed and need to come back to themselves, according Olsen Laney. This may manifest as going through periods of heightened social activity, and then balancing it out with a period of inwardness and solitude.

“There’s a recovery point that seems to be correlated with how much interaction you’ve done,” says Dembling. “We all have our own private cycles.”