Quiet Individuals are incredible, yet highly misunderstood.
Perhaps the most commonly noticed personality trait is Extroversion. In the first few moments of meeting someone, you can usually recognize a high extrovert. They are generally communicative and outspoken, whereas quiet individuals prefer to work things out in their mind before voicing opinions or concerns.
Those who are quiet, or have low extroversion, are genuinely underestimated. A common misconception is they are quiet because they’re shy, upset, or don’t have anything to contribute to the conversation. This could not be further from the truth. Low Extroverts can provide thoughtful insight since they’ve taken the time to think through a situation and analyze potential risks and rewards.
Low and high Extroverts vary not only in their communication styles, but also in their thought processes. Extroverts tend to think out loud, talking through their thought process with anyone present. Quiet individuals conduct this process in their mind, only voicing their thoughts after reaching a conclusion they’re comfortable with. They may assume their opinion is unwanted and often need to be prompted to speak up at meetings.
This hesitation can be misinterpreted in many ways. People may view these individuals as opinionated, disinterested, or even rude. This provides yet another situation where behavioral awareness can be useful. When we understand the communication and thought styles we tend to have more patience, understanding, and appreciation for their differences.
Another major differences between extroverts and quiet individuals is how they handle stress. After a stressful situation, we subconsciously looks for ways to recharge ourselves. Extroverts recharge in exciting, social environments while low extroverts prefer a quiet, familiar place. Low extroverts don’t tend to draw attention to themselves. In leadership positions they encourage creativity and input from other team members.
Let’s break down these differences scientifically and look at the chemical composition of the brain. When dopamine, a hormone associated with happiness and reward, is present in the body, people tend to be more open and talkative regardless of extroversion levels. However, people high in extroversion react more intensely to dopamine. While low extroverts react strongly to a hormone called acetylcholine. This hormone also provides a good feeling, but is more related to a strong sense of contentment.
Like any aspect of behavior, high extroversion and low extroversion aren’t strictly black and white. When someone is close to the mid-line in their proscan, they are referred to as an ambivert. These individuals portray tendencies of both high and low extroversion. For example, they might enjoy being social but take time to consider an idea before speaking.
Those who are quick to judge low extroverts are missing out. The quieter personality that accompanies low extroversion can result in very selective, sincere relationships. Be careful not to jump to conclusions about a low extroverts ability to provide valuable insights.
Understanding behavior impacts every aspect of your life. Gain knowledge of yourself, your strengths and weakness, and what makes you tick. By understanding the behavior of others, you can improve relationships and grow a new appreciation for the differences of people around you.