Studies show that extroverts tend to be happier than introverts. However, if you’re an introvert, you can’t just turn yourself into an extrovert. But that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of sadness and misery, either!
There are several things introverts can do to increase their happiness and life satisfaction. Most of them are quite easy, too!
- Accept yourself. If you’re introverted, you’re introverted. That can be challenging in some ways and a blessing in others. You can’t change your basic nature, so you may as well embrace it. Remember that you have many advantages over extroverts.
- Focus on the quality of relationships in your life, rather than the quantity. Introverts don’t dislike people, but they do dislike shallow conversations and relationships. As an introvert, your socialization needs to be meaningful. You don’t need 30 friends. You need a couple of good friends.
- Take time for yourself. Introverts thrive on alone time, so give yourself plenty of it. Create a lifestyle that matches your need to spend time alone.
- Acknowledge your strengths. You’ll be happier if you remember that being an introvert is great in many ways. Look at yourself and the extroverts you know. What can you do that they can’t? What are your strengths compared to theirs?
- Pretend to be an extrovert. Studies have shown that introverts experience positive feelings after pretending to be extroverted in social gatherings. The next time you’re at a party, pretend you’re an actor and act extroverted. You might discover that you like parties more than you thought!
- Choose a suitable career. A sales career might not be the best choice for an introverted person. You’ll be happier if you choose a career path that doesn’t require constant communication with others.
- Avoid over-scheduling. An extrovert might thrive with a daily schedule that includes a full day of work, meeting friends for dinner, and then taking a night class. Introverts tend to need more downtime to recharge their batteries. A simple life tends to work the best and can be very satisfying to an introvert.
- Take a day off when you need it. Whether it’s taking a mental health day from work or backing out of a social commitment, take a day for yourself when you need it. The alternative is overstressing yourself or making yourself miserable. If it’s not too detrimental, take a day off once in a while.
- Find activities you enjoy that you can do by yourself. Avoid falling into the trap of just watching TV each night. Look for things you can do that you enjoy that also help you to grow. Take up an instrument, learn to play chess, read, or write. What interests you?
Where you lie on the extroversion-introversion scale is believed to be quite consistent. It’s a case of “you are what you are.”
Extroverts might have it a little easier, but there are many advantages to being introverted. Decide today that you’re going to do what you can to have the happiest life possible, and then make that happen.