Positioned slightly outside of the group, observing the world around them, refraining from small talk or meaningless conversation: this is the introvert. We all know them. They could be your best friend, a family member, or even a celebrity you admire. Every day, introverts live among us, even when we don't acknowledge them. To someone who is not introverted, these people may seem reserved, non-confrontational, and even a bit awkward. Some or all of those things might be true, but introverts are so much more.
They wield a revolutionary gift: the power to listen.
This tool is often unrecognized by the rest of society. So many Americans are great at making friends, taking action, and speaking their mind. This makes sense since studies suggest that the majority of Americans are extroverts. But with that, comes the inability to hear others out or sympathize with them. Extroverts are beautiful speakers, but introverts are the good listeners that every person on Earth desires to have.
But, how can good listeners change a world so full of hatred and violence?
Many introverts ask themselves that same question. Because extroverts are so glorified in academics, the job market, and politics, they doubt the special power inside of them. Introverts do not prefer idle chatter, but conversations that matter. This can come off as shy or unopinionated, but in reality, it just means that introverts will speak when they feel there is a need for something to be said.
Introverts will observe a situation, analyze the people and things in it, and then formulate a response based on those observations. Because of this careful planning of words, the things that introverts have to say are usually quite eloquent and profound. When introverts speak, people listen. Introverts are careful about when and where they use their voice, so if they are speaking, it must be very important.
Albert Einstein taught us about the rewards of good observation when he made countless discoveries in the field of physics.
Rosa Parks showed us the power of word choice when she uttered a simple "no".
Elanor Roosevelt became a great example of choosing important conversation when she became a renowned human rights activist.
J.K. Rowling proved that an introvert's ideas are worth listening to when she wrote the "Harry Potter" series.
The list of wildly successful introverts goes on and on. These famous names are so loved because of the sage words, peacemaking attitude and tact they demonstrated. Your regular, everyday introvert possesses the same qualities as a famous one; they just use their skills on a community scale. And that's where change starts, doesn't it?
Communities, families, circles of friends. Change starts in our churches, our schools, our playgrounds and our streets. What if the people in our communities felt heard and understood? What if they were given sage advice and someone to look out for them? What better people for this task than the introverts of our nation.
Take some time today to think about introverts, and how they have changed your community, your world, and your life. Thank them for who they are, as being an introvert is an often thankless job. Be an encourager and supporter of the introverts in your life, so that they can spread their words, their thoughts, and their peacemaking with our world so in need of their services, keeping in mind that someone listents to them too.