Traits of an Introvert
I am an introvert.
What is an introvert, you ask? An introvert is typically motivated by peace. We are logical, objective, deep thinkers, detail-oriented, and tolerant of others. For us, solitude is a crucial ingredient to our creativity.
Many extroverts mistakenly label all introverts as shy, socially awkward, or quiet. Sure, some introverts are shy, but this isn’t true of all of us. Others of us might be socially awkward, but that surely isn’t an all-encompassing trait for all introverts everywhere. Many of us are certainly regarded as quiet, but mostly because so many of our extroverted counterparts are simply more outspoken than we are.
Operating as an Introvert in an Extroverted World
As an introvert, I have learned how to operate in a world that tends to place high value on extroverted qualities; qualities I don’t naturally possess.
In school, many of my teachers discouraged introverted activities and personality traits, while they encouraged most extroverted qualities. Similarly, most workplaces place greater importance on open-concept environments, group projects, and salesperson-type attitudes than “closed-off” workspaces, working alone, and quiet reflection.
Since when did “solitary” activities take on such a negative perception?
Learning How to Exploit My Introverted Qualities
For someone who gains energy from aloneness and solitary-type activities, my world hasn’t always been what I would design it to be.
Then I became a private investigator. With a home office that provides a quiet and uninterrupted work space that is conducive to intense study, laser focus, and developing my expertise, my stars have aligned.
As a private investigator and solo practitioner, I have been able to develop my penchant for deep thinking far above anything I ever accomplished in other work environments. As both a former teacher and a crime analyst, I always ran into such disappointment when I hit a ceiling due to red tape, politics, policy, or some other nonsense. Well… I saw it as nonsense.
I am a typical introvert in that I have a tendency to take in a whole lot of information before I choose to speak. As a private investigator, all I do is take in information, and lots of it. I take in so much information, in fact, that I am beyond ready when it finally comes time to write up my report for a client.
Speaking of writing reports for clients, this is typically a private investigator’s (or anyone’s) least favorite part of taking on cases. It takes time, finesse, a decent command of written language, and some pretty great organizational skills to write a good report. However, introverts normally are stellar communicators through written language, much more so than spoken words. I am no exception. I not only enjoy writing reports for my clients, but I choose also to write blog posts like this one on a regular basis and dabble in other writing mediums as well.
Introverts love spending time developing an expertise. There are private investigators who do a little bit of every kind of investigation, then there are private investigators who hone in on one or two specialties and take them to the deepest levels they possibly can. I decided early on to develop my skills as a social media investigator and adoption searcher. Those are my deep dives, my ever-evolving areas of expertise.
As mentioned previously, solitude is an essential ingredient to the creativity of introverts. This has been especially true for me as a private investigator. My best ideas spring from my alone time, pondering those difficult cases that require a little extra creativity.
Private investigators must be analytical. Introverts naturally have analytical minds. We are typically more careful than extroverts, paying painful mind to the most minute details that really matter.
Accepting Extroverts and Introverts As Equals
None of this is to say that even the most highly extroverted people cannot be fantastic private investigators. Because I know some. And they are.
This post is meant more for my fellow introverts, to encourage all of you to pursue the things in life that are most meaningful to you. Use your innate gifts of logic, analysis, attention to detail, intense study, and need for solitude to impress the socks off of your bosses, coworkers, clients, and customers.
People who possess a great deal of intrinsic motivation, quiet reflection, calculated contemplation, and even a reluctance to lead have been some of our most beloved and revered leaders - Eleanor Roosevelt, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln.
Not everyone craves a great deal of stimulation. Not everyone is naturally predisposed to working the room at networking events. Not everyone loves to be the center of attention.
It takes all kinds; extroverts and introverts working together. Be who you are, even in the face of others who are trying so hard to fit your square shape into a round box.