How to survive in an extroverted world

We really do live in a world that values extroversion.  And for people who are of the quieter persuasion, it can feel rather unwelcoming. But in her book, The Introvert Advantage:  How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, Marti Olsen Laney Psy.D. points out that we introverts do enjoy some advantages – although we may not be aware of them.  More importantly, she describes how we can learn to recognize and even strengthen those advantages.

Sometimes a little adaptation on our part can help both us and others feel more comfortable.  Here are 10 tips for introverts on how to live better in an extrovert-focused world:


  1. Since most people aren’t mind-readers, find a way that feels comfortable for you to tell your boss and others about your successes.
  2. Know the situations that deplete your energy (like being in a group situation for a long period of time).  Plan for periods of retreat before, during and after to restore your energy.
  3. Before going in to a social situation, think about the people you will be with.  What are they passionate about?  Come up with a few comments or questions beforehand.
  4. Kindly accept compliments from others.  A sincere “Thank You” will do.
  5. Make a point to give compliments.  You may recognize others’ gifts before they do – let them know.
  6. Plan to tackle your toughest work early in the day.
  7. At the end of each day, write down at least one thing you accomplished.
  8. Don’t feel pressured to give an immediate response.  If you need to think it through, say so.
  9. Sometimes we are perceived as snooty and standoffish.  Sharing a little bit about yourself with others will allow them to feel like they know you better.
  10. Know and appreciate your strengths.
If you or a close-someone is an introvert, I highly recommend this book.  It will provide a different perspective on their unique value.

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World