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Introverts – Tips on Using your Introvert Qualities to Empower – Contrary to popular belief you’re not weak

by | Mar 17, 2022 | 0 comments

Introvert Extrovert woman with sunglasses on

If you’re like most of us who are introverted HSPs and empaths, you’ve spent much of your life feeling like you’d be much better off if you could just become more extroverted. Here are some tips on how to be an empowered introvert.

Don’t change who you are – Leverage your Strengths

Success doesn’t come by changing who you are at your core; it comes when you can embrace your strengths and learn to leverage them. You have advantages that extroverts don’t have. But you’ve been so busy trying to be different that you may not be taking advantage of them.

Many of us have twisted ourselves into knots to fit into an outgoing mold that doesn’t fit us. Doing this causes discomfort, anxiety, and most of all, can even cut you off from your true self and the advantages you can gain by being yourself.

You’re not disadvantaged or weak

You’re just different. Not all HSPs and Empaths are Introverts, but most Introverts are HSPS or Empaths. And we are wired differently. You’re only disadvantaged or weak if you buy into the thinking that you need to be like everyone else.

If you’re an introvert and an HSP, Highly Sensitive Person, or empath, you’ve probably spent most of your life being called shy, strange, different, repressed, quiet, nerdy, and many other names all meant to tell you You’re not normal. It’s not easy to hear, and if you’re like most of us, you’ve tried to fix yourself or force yourself to “just get over it”  “get with the program”. It often seems like an uphill battle to not give in to the popular beliefs about your tendency to be introverted.  You may have given up and retreated from what seems like a battle or pushed yourself to “get over it” and “get with the program.” Neither option works well long-term for an empowered fulfilled life.

How did that work for you? Yeah, that’s pretty much what I thought, not well. Just because over 80% of people experience the world differently doesn’t make you wrong. Your differences may often be your strengths.

Why can’t you just be normal and join the crowd?

You are wired differently; it’s in your genes and part of your nervous system. You can’t change it, but you can understand it and learn to create a world where you can live and thrive.

Neurotransmitters are the fuel that feeds you

It’s all about Dopamine and the “reward” chemical – if you’re an extrovert

Dopamine is released in the brain and motivates you to seek external rewards that can take many forms, like money, status, promotion, and even winning a game on your phone. A flood of dopamine makes you more talkative, alert, and able to risks and explore.

It’s not that you don’t have less dopamine than extroverts, and the levels are about the same, but you don’t get rewarded by the same external stimuli if you’re an introvert. Non-introverts are to be energized by parties, crowds, money, social status, winning a contest, or even chit-chat. You get much more from a one-on-one conversation about something meaningful, reading, creative pursuits, beautiful things, nature, or simply being quiet.

Introverts crave Acetylcholine and get it quietlyIntrovert - extroverts

Acetylcholine is also a pleasure chemical, but it makes us feel good when we turn inward. When you’re in quiet solitude, reading a book, or watching a movie, you’re immersed in the feel-good presence of acetylcholine, which helps you think deep thoughts, reflect and focus intensely for long periods. When you’re stressed or tired, you crave quiet and solitude.

We tend to be highly moved by nature, beauty, art, music, words, and deep thoughts, you enjoy your quiet time.

You are wired differently

Introverts are wired differently.

Introverts are wired differently – it’s usually apparent early in life

The parasympathetic nervous system is the part of your nervous system that requires rest and downtime. Guess what fuels it? Yep, Its acetylcholine that creates magic in your system. Acetylcholine kicks in when you withdraw, allowing your muscles to relax, food to metabolize, and heart and blood pressure to slow down. It’s like a long deep sigh for your entire system.

Extroverts crave the opposite they need stimulation – Read move about it here “Why Introverts and Extroverts Are Different: The Science” 

Are all HSPs Introverts or all Introverts HSPs?

According to HSP expert Dr. Elaine Aron, author of The Highly Sensitive Person, 15-20% of people are highly sensitive, and around 20% of all people tend towards introversion. Out of the 15-20% HSPs, 70% are introverts.

If you followed all that, good for you. It makes my mind boggle a bit, and I work with numbers daily. The bottom line is that there is a large amount of overlap, so they’re often confused for one another.

You often come across as observant, caring, emotional, and very tuned in to other people and all that may exhaust you if you’re both an introvert and HSP/Empath. That’s where it’s important to learn what energizes you and how to avoid the energy drains, and I’ll get to that shortly.

Can you be an Introvert and not HSP?

Yes, if that’s the case, you’re not as in tune with people and may not be as stressed by certain things that most HSPs have in common – time stress, dislike of violence, noise, and other stimuli.

It’s estimated 30-50 of people are introverts, and some are neither highly sensitive nor empaths.

Introverts aren’t all shy recluses – Some of us can be outgoing – at times

Being an introvert doesn’t automatically make you shy or even unsociable. You may love being with people but prefer one-on-one time or a small group with

group of 3 enjoying pizza and conversation

Introverts can be outgoing – in the right circumstances such as small groups vs crowds

authentic conversation rather than a party where you chit-chat with numerous people. You can rise to the occasion when needed, but often at great expense to your energy levels for a day or more afterward.

The trick to living an empowered life as an introvert is to find the right balance for yourself.

One of the worst lunches I ever experienced was with three extremely nice friends who kept the conversation light airy, with no substance. Just idle chit-chat about nothing at all. I left in tears, devastated at the lack of real connection. We all had major things going on in our lives, yet we didn’t talk about any of the true things in our lives. It was all so NICE! I’d never realized how draining nice can be. I’d have been so much happier staying home.

Tips for Thriving with the Wiring you Have

Learn what Feeds you and what Drains you and make adjustments needed

We introverted HSPs and empaths aren’t all alike, so not everything I say may work for you. It’s a matter of experimenting and figuring out what works for you. The goal, of course, is to find techniques that allow you to participate in family events, meetings, networking, even parties in ways that support your system. Techniques that don’t leave you feeling like you need to go to bed for a day or two or retreat into your house for the next week to recover.

It can take a lot of trial and error and paying close attention to when to say Yes to something and when to say No, or to adjust the experience so it works for your system.

Enjoy socializing without the resulting melt-down

It took me more years than I care to admit to finally learning how to enjoy parties and even networking events. Once I learned what works for me, I could relax (mostly) and enjoy myself. See if these ideas work for you.

Tip 1 – Don’t place yourself in the middle of the action.

The more in the center of the action you are, the more inundated you are by the various emotions of the people around you. You don’t necessarily have to put your back to the wall, but it’s not a bad idea if you can do it without being too conspicuous. You can move more to the edges of any group or meeting and often feel immediate relief.

Try an experiment – Next time you are in a group of over 15 people who are standing around talking.

   1 – in the middle

  • Start near the group’s center and try carrying on a conversation with three or more people. How do you feel?
  • Check-in with your body. Is it tense or relaxed? Have you developed tight areas or even pain that wasn’t there before?
  • How’s your brain? Are you thinking clearly, feeling a bit foggy, jittery, or even having difficulty following the conversation?
  • Check in emotionally. Are you energized and enjoying yourself, or are you feeling tired and frustrated with the lack of real connection?

   2 – on the edges

  • Find one or two people at most whom you’d like to have a deeper conversation with or just someone you think might be interesting to know. Let them know you’d like to talk and would prefer to move a bit out of the hubbub.
  • How do you feel now? Go through the same series you did before and quickly compare how you feel.

   3  – compare results

  • This comparison should give you a clear indication of what works best for you.

Putting this into practice can change your experience of gatherings of all kinds, and you may even begin to look forward to them instead of dreading them and “girding your loins” beforehand.

Tip 2 – Dial down your sensitivity

This may sound simplistic and even a bit nutty, but give it a try. When I first learned it, I was more than just a bit skeptical, but I gave it a try and was amazed at the instant shift I felt.

   1. Before you leave home or go into a situation, take just a minute to visualize your sensitivity and/or openness level.

  • See it on a dial of one to ten 0r low to high.Dial Highest
  • Dial it down to a place that feels comfortable to you.
    • You don’t want to dial it too far down because you could risk losing one of your advantages.
    • Your sensitivity levels can give you a lot of clues about the other person and their reactions, but even more so if you’re an HSP or Empath.
    • It’s an important part of how you connect. If you dial it back too far, you may feel cut off and even anxious

   2. Pay attention to how you’re feeling and make adjustments if needed.

Dial Low

  • This quick technique can be shifted in seconds with a little practice.
  • If you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed, dial it back one level at a time.
  • Are you feeling disconnected or remote? Then open it back up a level at a time until you feel the warmth of contact without being flooded.

Tip 3 – Dealing with Energy Vampires

Have you ever been around someone that always seems to leave you feeling drained? They’re either super boring or an energy vampire, possibly both. Energy vampires may or may not be aware of what they are doing, but they continually draw on the energy of the people around them. I like to think it’s unconscious but have been in situations when I can see and/or feel what they are doing. Vampires haven’t learned to fuel themselves, so they take your hard-earned energy instead.

There are many techniques for doing this, but the most effective one I’ve found is the easiest. It can be almost simultaneous. This is important because, I don’t often think to put up protection before I go into a situation, but as soon as I start feeling drained I can activate this process.

You can’t feed off me technique

This is simple and quick. Perfect for that moment when you start feeling drained.

  • Visualize a stream of golden white light coming in through your crown chakra (top of head) and coming out your solar plexus.
  • Then request that it continue until you stop it.
  • Don’t stop it until you’re back home
  • That’s the whole technique and you can do it mid-conversation.
  • Energy Vampires attach to your energy at your solar plexus and this keeps them from being able to make the attachment.

The first time I tried it, I was talking to a very conscious energy vampire. She felt the change, her expression changed, and within a minute she found an excuse to go elsewhere.

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Will you become an extrovert? Probably not, but you will become more able to enjoy your life and work in ways that may astound you. When you learn to work with your body’s wiring and chemistry, you empower yourself to live a fuller life.

I hope this article gives you some additional insight into why you are you and ways in which you can support yourself more fully.

AnnaMariah Nau (before getting a Shield in 1994 I referred to myself as an introverted sponge person :>)

Some of my research

Why Introverts and Extroverts Are Different: The Science By Jennifer Granneman

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, by Elaine N. Aron

Introversion; Reviewed by Psychology Today Staff

I’ve been researching, taking workshops, and writing about what it is to be an HSP or Empath for nearly 30 years. The above are my most direct resources, along with nearly 30 years of talking to customers about what they’ve experienced, what’s worked for them, and what hasn’t. I’ve talked to them before and after getting BioShields and have 6 years of HSP quiz data as well.

Related Links

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Empaths are you drained

Almost every empath or HSP I’ve known struggles with relationships that aren’t healthy for them. The difficulty is in how well vampires hide and the many ways they zap you. Most empaths and HSPs see the best in people and can’t believe someone is stealing their energy on purpose, compounding the issue.

The good news is that you’re not helpless; there are techniques and an almost miraculous pendant that can change everything, giving you back your energy, vitality, and joy. It’s not truly miraculous because it’s scientifically proven, but the effects can be life-changing and feel like a gift. Read more for tips on spotting and repelling vampires today.

More tips about Energy Vampires – Order the Dual Path, a Novel – by AnnaMariahthe Dual Path a Novel

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