I recently read the quote, “Quiet people have the loudest minds,” and thought how I wish I came across that earlier in life. I grew up, like most of you reading this, in a society that favors loud, bold, boisterous individuals. Those people have for the longest time been associated with success. Being an introvert, I felt I was missing some vital ingredient for success in life.
An introvert is defined by Urban Dictionary as a person energized by spending time alone. But there’s much more! Introverts are creative, perceptive, sensitive, thoughtful and are able to take in a lot of information about certain scenarios that help them avoid harm and come up with solutions to what seems to be an difficult problem. And so while being an introvert held negative connotations my entire life, I now realize it was an asset that has set me apart and gave me abilities unavailable to many. And I’m in good company. An article in the Huffington Post lists 16 Outrageously Successful Introverts familiar to Western Cultures. In my own research, I’ve come up with a few Middle Eastern introverts.
- Prophets: Jesus Christ and Mohamad PBUH
- Business leaders: Omar Hamwi, Ihsan Jawad, Hala Fadel
- Filmmakers: Omar Qattan and Hany Abu Asad
- Authors, Poets and Artists: Suhair Hammad,Rumi
Can you name others?
Are you an introvert? Do you have untapped qualities that you misunderstood? If you answer yes to the following questions, then you most likely are one:
- Are you mostly quiet?
- Do you draw energy from spending time alone?
- Do you favor having a few good, long-lasting friendships?
- Do you find excuses to avoid parties and loud social or business events?
- Do you need time to recover from public speaking or being the hostess of a social gathering?
- Do you feel uneasy when you’re asked to come up with a response on the spot?
- Do you let the phone ring and prefer to hear a voice-mail over speaking to someone you don’t know intimately?
- Do you enjoy telling people about yourself?
Recognizing you are an introvert in a culture that associates extroversion with charisma is a first step to aligning with a more meaningful model of success. Harnessing your power of introversion will bring greater balance to the world that can only become better through the wisdom and creativity of loud minds.