It's too easy to take your introvert strengths for granted—or overlook them altogether.

Your Introvert Strengths Are Probably Hiding in Plain Sight

Other people in your life can see your introvert strengths far better than you yourself can. You’re simply too close to yourself to spot them on your own.

“You have skills and abilities that others do not. We often undervalue the things we know and what we can do, thinking, ‘If I can do it, anyone can.’ Well, ‘anyone’ can’t.”

—Cathy Stucker

When I was in graduate school studying for my master’s degree 
in counseling, I was introduced to an eye-opening activity called the quality awareness exercise.

In a nutshell: You are given four identical copies of a one-page list of positive adjectives that can be used to describe someone—for example: adaptable, competitive, decisive, imaginative, and dozens of others.

You fill out one of the sheets yourself, circling the traits you feel describe you.

You give the other sheets to three other people in your life who know you well, and they circle the traits they feel describe you.

And then the magic happens.

You Don’t Know Your Introvert Strengths

Invariably, you end up discovering a disconnect: that other people see in you qualities (which they have circled on their papers ) you don’t see in yourself (since you’ve left those same qualities uncircled on your paper).

The things we do best, and the personal characteristics that represent us at our best, tend to come easily and naturally to us. So easily and naturally that, in our own minds, they can’t possibly be valuable, to us or to anyone else.

In other words, we often don’t know our own strengths—because we can’t see them.

But other people can.

In fact, to other people in our lives, our strengths are frequently obvious beyond words.

This strengths-blindness phenomenon is commonplace among introverts, especially. You are probably quite unaware of the many abilities, skills, and personal qualities you possess as an introvert.

In fact, if you’re like most people, you’re 
so oblivious to your own introvert strengths that you need someone else to point them out to you.

Allow me.

Here’s an extensive, though not exhaustive, list of introvert strengths that may be so second-nature to you that you don’t recognize them, let alone appreciate their value.

You’re Independent

“You don’t need a babysitter,” says Joan Pastor, author of the book Success as an Introvert for Dummies.

You’re self-reliant and self-motivated. You can work alone with little or no supervision—because you don’t need any.

You’re also unlikely to be swayed by peer pressure; you make your own decisions based on your own values and priorities.

You’re Highly Focused

You are not easily distracted.

You can focus on something for a long time—hours upon hours—without needing to get up every five minutes to talk to someone.

You also have the ability to hang in there when things are difficult. You have what author Angela Duckworth calls grit: “passion and perseverance for long-term goals.”

You’re Reflective

You’re willing to ponder things—before you do them (to make sure they’re right), while you’re doing them (to adjust your actions as needed, on the fly), and after you’ve done them (to determine how you’ll handle things even better next time).

You’re also good at thinking before you speak, so that you don’t put your foot in your mouth.

You’re constantly trying to learn and to improve yourself too.

You’re Methodical

You’re the opposite of impulsive; you’re careful and cautious, in the best sense of both words.

You’re also meticulous and detail-oriented. People can count on you to not drop any balls.

You’re Imaginative

You have both the willingness and the ability to sit quietly, inviting the boredom that in turn leads to original thinking and creative problem solving.

You can also see connections among things that, on the surface, don’t seem to have any obvious relationship to one another.

You’re Good at Research

You have a knack for digging—on the Internet and elsewhere—to find answers.

You like dealing with complex topics, and you often develop expertise in the subjects you spend so much time studying.

You also thrive on the deep analysis necessary to understand what you’ve found through your research activities and apply it in your everyday life, at work and at home.

You’re Observant

You notice things that other people may not, and you’re good at taking in information and ideas through your senses.

You read people well too; you sense how people are feeling, even if you have to interpret “between the lines” to figure it out.

You’re a Good Listener

You listen well—an ability that is prized in a world where, too often, it seems like no one is listening to anyone.

You give other people the chance to fully express themselves without interruption.

And you offer them the critical empathy that helps them see they’re not alone.

You’re Superb One on One

The other people in your life see you as genuine, reliable—the “real deal”—largely because you’re so good at building one-on-one relationships.

You’re willing and able to have deep, lengthy conversations with one other person (or perhaps a small group of people) that not only draw them out, but draw you out too.

You Write Well

You may or may not be a grammar and punctuation champion, but the messages in your writing are clear and powerful.

You have a way with words, especially when you can communicate them with your fingers (after having given them a great deal of thought with your brain beforehand, of course).

You’re Prepared

You can wing it in life when you have to, but normally you’re planful and prepared.

Yes, this trait helps you as an 
introvert as much as it helps others; it minimizes the surprises that can deplete your energy.

But your preparedness is a trait that others appreciate too. You’re someone people can rely on to be ready, whether it’s for a meeting at work 
or an event at your child’s school.

You’re a Mentoring Leader

You have a calm, humble, quiet leadership style that keeps you out 
of the spotlight and ensures that the people you’re leading feel confident and supported.

You’re less a boss and more a coach and colleague who gives credit instead of hijacking it.

Don’t Take Your Introvert Strengths for Granted

Do you have all of these traits as an introvert?

Probably not.

Then again … you just might.

Especially if you go beyond a self-assessment and ask the other key people in your life to help you pinpoint your many introvert strengths.

You might be painfully unaware of what’s painfully obvious—to the people around you.

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