They make quality friends
Since introverts can feel their energy being drained by being around other people – as opposed to extroverts, who gain energy from being with others- introverts choose their friends wisely. They would rather have a few close, trusted friendships to invest their time and energy in, as opposed to a large network of acquaintances, according to Buelow.
“Introverts are pretty picky about who we bring into our lives,” Buelow says. “It requires some energy, and if you do come into our inner circle, that means a lot.”
They make loving romantic partners
“Because we have this need for our own privacy, we give that to others as well,” says Buelow. “We won’t be super clingy or high maintenance in relationships.”
And the same qualities that make introverts great listeners also make them great partners, according to Kahnweiler. At the end of a long day, they’re there to listen and support their partner without feeling compelled to talk about themselves.
Introverts also like to get to know someone before sharing intimate details with a prospective partner, and it can make them appear more appealing in the early stages of relationships.
“There can be something attractive about the mystery factor of introverts,” says Helgoe. “That can inspire curiosity and wanting to know the person better.”
They’re thoughtful networkers
Being in a large group where the goal is to meet, talk and make a good first impression can be overwhelming for many – especially for introverts. But Buelow says they can use their natural strengths to create meaningful connections. Extroverts may approach networking events with the goal of talking to as many people as possible, but often, those quick conversations don’t leave lasting impacts, says Buelow.
But Buelow says the strength in networking is not necessarily in numbers. Introverts, she says, should focus on learning about people they meet – even if they only connect with a handful of people.
“I try to make meaningful connections with a couple of people that I can follow up with in some way,” says Buelow. After an event, she’ll send links to articles or speeches that made her think of the person she spoke to. This type of active listening and follow-up can be a lot more beneficial than simply handing out 50 business cards, she says.
They’re compassionate leaders
Helgoe says introverts can make the best leaders – when they channel their natural strengths. For starters, they don’t feel the need to step into the spotlight and take all of the credit for group successes; rather, they are likely to highlight the strengths of their teams, according to Helgoe.
“An extroverted leader may be noticeable, but you ,” Helgoe says. And employees who feel recognized tend to be more motivated, she says.
And since introverts process information more slowly and thoughtfully than their extroverted counterparts, introverted leaders tend to learn more about their subordinates, according to Kahnweiler. They have focused conversations with their team members in order to learn their skills, passions and strengths, according to Kahnweiler. Once they gather all of this information, they can use what they’ve learned to help each team member be more efficient and happier at work.
“People will talk about their favorite managers and they’ll say, ‘They were with me,’” Kahnweiler says. “‘Even if there were more pressing things, I felt like I had their attention. I had their ear.’”
Introverts are especially skilled at noticing introvert qualities in others, Kahnweiler says. They can tell when a person is thinking, processing and observing, and then give them the space to do so, which makes people feel much more comfortable, according to Kahnweiler. “They allow time to really connect with people,” she says.