Unleashing Power within Introverts: 5 Practical Steps to Thrive in an Extrovert World

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

One-third of the populations in this world are introverts. Are you one of them?

Since young, I remembered having great difficulty to be social. I cannot fathom through idle chitchat or loud and generalized conversation as they were over-stimulating.

Things were eventually placed at a great disadvantage for me when I entered the corporate world. As an introvert in a loud corporate world that could not stop talking, I struggled to network effectively. I felt extremely exhausting to be at social events.

All I wanted was to rush back home and be myself again. Or just a one-on-one conversation with somebody I know, rather than this massive big group at networking parties. In summary, I didn’t felt it was me at the events.

While it can be frustrating at times, I was reminded of how transformative leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt had led a successful life, despite being introverted or shy.

In the modern era, well-known introverts like Chris Scherpenseel (President of Microsoft), Warren Buffett (one of World’s richest Magnate), and Brenda Barnes (Sara Lee’s CEO) have also made it.

They have proven that introverts CAN succeed in a world inclined towards the extroverts. It can be achieved.

So you might ask what is their “secret formulae”?

What these successful people have had in common was the ability to nourish unique strength from their quiet needs and carefully tailor social interactions.

If you wish to be successful in life, the below 5-steps guide would be extremely helpful-

Step 1: Accept That You Need to Take the Leap

“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” ― Stephanie Perkins

The first thing you have to do is to accept the fact that you ARE going to jump into the social pool. Take some time to mentally accept that you would be put an awkward situation that you often look to avoid.

Be prepared to enter loud, crowded, and often unappealing social gatherings wherein idle chitchat and pointless greetings are necessary.

Step 2: Prepare in advance

 “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. Benjamin Fanklin, one of Founding Fathers of United States

Preparation makes half the battle won. Before going on business meetings, be sure to think through the world from your perspective.

Leverage on your strength as introverts and think about the personality, goals and motivations, concerns and questions the person you are meeting might ask. This helps you get comfortable even before the meeting and increase your chances of ace-ing the meeting.

In addition, contact the person via email, Facebook or other forms of social media to break ice before the meeting.

I have tried this method many times and it has always worked well. I feel more comfortable and relaxed during the meeting J

Step 3: Leverage on Your Strengths

The key to any game is to use your strengths and hide your weaknesses.”-Paul Westphal, former head coach with NBA

Despite the misconceptions of the introverted mind, most introverts are good at carrying a conversation IF it is on the right subjects. This is because we are mostly adept at talking deeply due to our specific interests and focused knowledge.

The key to reaching these abilities is to get away from the pointless chatter of inane subjects. So find a way into get into deeper conversation with people in your conversation and guide them towards your interests.

This task is not always easy, but idle chitchat and pointless jib-jab will often leave you incapable of carrying a conversation. Thus, look for ways to relate topics back to the area of interest you enjoy.

Having said that, be careful not to appear domineering during the conversation.

Step 4: Seek Groups with Pointed Interests

If you find relating back topics difficult, then it is best to enter a group with pointed interest. This is instead of always agreeing to enter gatherings of a hodgepodge of individuals where it is hard to blend in.

With the vast knowledge that most introverts have, you would not find it difficult to hold of deep and individualized conversation. Book clubs, sporting bars (with a common beloved team/club) or expo gatherings are all great places to hang out.

Alternatively, you can look to creating deep relationships with a few high-value contacts, rather than spreading your net on a large pool of contacts on superficial relationships.

Step 5: Take Breathers When Required

I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.” -Ernest Hemingway, famous American author and journalist

The introverted mindset is one that uses up a lot of energy trying to read other people’s body language, subtle meanings, and general between-the-lines dialogue. It can get exhausting and overwhelming.

The mind simply attempts to make connections, deduce meanings, and becomes overworked without conscious effort. That is why small breaks from interaction are important for the introvert.

Finding an adjacent and isolated moment every 30 minutes or so can help prolong the overall social efforts of the introvert. In so doing, you will be more capable of having poignant and worthwhile conversation over the courses of the gatherings.


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25 Responses to Unleashing Power within Introverts: 5 Practical Steps to Thrive in an Extrovert World

  1. Perry Hua says:

    I LOVE THIS POST! I’m an introvert myself and I’m tired of seeing posts about “how to become an extrovert”. We are special in our own way and should use our abilities in accordance.

    Nosce te ipsum!

  2. I often feel the same way when I’m with a huge group of people, and worse, if they are total strangers. I guess, it all comes down to fully committing to expand, and keeping in mind your real goals, is that right?

  3. Dan Erickson says:

    I think this is a good article.  I’ve slowly moved form introvert to extrovert as I’m gotten older.  You make some great points in making that change.  I still don’t like large social situations, although I can operate fairly well in them.  That said, I don’t think we should all aspire to be extroverts.  The world needs a balance.  

  4. chrissrhino says:

     I particularly enjoyed the last bit of help information about taking breaks! I really don’t think many people are aware of how fast they can overwork the brain with all the mental activities. Plus, in a crowd and a group of people your heart rate can begin to rise with all the mental tasks. If the heart rate gets too high, then the brain does what it has been designed to do, shut down some functions (like your ability to think rationally, concentrate, and focus) and activate others (like your flight or fight responses). In a sense, it seems the brain can become flooded and we just need to take some time away and unflood the brain. Then we will be fine and back in touch with ourselves again! Great post!

  5. Pingback: Unleashing Power within Introverts: 5 Practical Steps to Thrive in an Extrovert World | Time Management Magazine

  6. Irabor Mark says:

    Nice post. One of the powerful truths that will release your freedom is the truth about who you are. Discover who you are. You have got to build your life in line with you uniqueness, You have to know what your personal values and needs are. “Unhappiness is not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it” definiteness of purpose is the most potent tool for wealth creation.

  7. Clay says:

    There are multiple ways to have your voice heard and stand out, thanks for breaking the cliche about introverts!

  8. Jorge Blanco says:

    Step 1 is indeed the first thing that you need to do. If you won’t accept the fact that you’ll be immersed in an uncomfortable situation, you’ll reject it when you’re there and you could even hate it and end up avoiding it all your life, running away on impulse every time you are faced with a social situation. You must also instill in your mind that the only way to make the uncomfortable comfortable is to become comfortable about it. Expose yourself to social interaction little by little. And later, as you engage in more conversations, you’ll notice that you’ve become more relaxed around people. Perhaps you won’t be the one to start the conversation, but you surely can carry it and keep it going.

  9. Karen says:

    I think the point that i needed most is to find people in pointed interest! This will definitely help me to have better conversations with the people I meet

  10. Hi Perry, I have to absolutely agree with you. Being introvert is what we are. So we don’t pretend what we are not. =)

  11. Hi Del Mar, thank you so much for your comment. I have to agree with you on your part about the being committed and what’s your end objective. 

  12. Hi Dan, thanks for your comments. Yap, introvert have their strong points too. We are definitely more analytical and deeper in our thinking than the extrovert. I think the world need people like us =)

  13. Hi Chrissrhino,

    Thank you so much for your comments. Yes, i agree with you. Just like Dean Stephenson mentioned, we need to have an effective “Recovery Mode” then a “Go Mode”. 

  14. Hi Clay,

    Thanks for your comments! =)

  15. Hi Jorge,

    Yes, I agree with you. I think taking the first step is always the hardest thing to do. But gradually it would be come a habit and the discomfort feeling will slowly disappear. 

  16. Hi Karen,

    Thank you so much for your comments. I think one good way to find a person with the same interest is to ask your friends about that particular person whom you may want to talk to or good feelings with. 

  17. Hi Irabor,

    Thanks for your comments. Building a life that in line with your uniqueness is a  fantastic idea. But don’t forget to include your loved ones within the plan too =)  

  18. disqus_hWmYd2rRqm says:


  19. I like the way you explained about “Unleashing Power within Introverts: 5 Practical Steps to Thrive in an Extrovert World”. I really hope more people read this and get what you’re saying, because let me tell you, its important stuff.

  20. Muhammad Moosa says:

    This is helpful post indeed, if i may speak on behalf of all the introverts as i am one myself. I hesitate to face people in gatherings or even talking to my seniors.
    Contacting them before meeting them via FB or SMS is a good suggestion.

  21. Nickie Smith says:

    I appreciated the material, though I think it could’ve been better written. Some of the language usage was a bit confusing.

  22. Great article! Step 2 about preparing in advance is what I tend to do if I have to attend a social function. The more I know about the event, the attendees, etc. the more comfortable I am when I get there, even if I don’t know anyone personally.

  23. Pingback: Unleashing Power within Introverts: 5 Practical Steps to Thrive in an Extrovert World | Peter Grant Ph.D.

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