hey introverts- learn how to make better decisions
Updated: Apr 21
There is a difference between how introverts and extroverts make decisions. The key to understanding that is looking at the difference between an introvert and an extrovert. An introvert leads with an introverted process. That is a technical way of saying an introvert feels most comfortable in their own mind rather than the outside world. When they are in their own head, they are spending time in their introverted world. Because they have spent more time in their head than in the outer world. The opposite is true for an extrovert. They spend the majority of their time interacting with the outside world. It is enjoyable and comfortable for them. Because they spend the majority of their time in the outside world, they are exceptional in interacting with others and things but are not super comfortable spending time in their mind.
We can't spend our time both in our minds and interacting with things. Because of that, we've gotten better at doing one than the other. That means there is an opportunity cost in how we spend our time. The more time we spend in our mind, the less we have to spend in the outside world, and vice versa.
However, we need both skills to operate effectively and live a happy life. We need the ability to be in our minds and also exist in the outside world. If we were 100% introverted we would only exist in our minds and have literally no skills for interacting in the world. We couldn't drive a car, buy groceries, and have conversations with other people. If we were 100% extraverted we would only be outward-facing. We couldn't check in with ourselves, figure out our needs, realize we are hungry, and so on.
Introverts can relate to things in the outside world, they're just not as skilled as extroverts because they don't spend the majority of their time there. They can do it, enjoy it, and have wonderful relations with others and objects, it's just not what they are most proficient at.
When we are interacting with extroverts, we are interacting with the skill they spend the most time with. However with introverts, the same is not true. When we interact with introverts we are not interacting with what they spend their most time with. What they are skilled at and what they spend the most time in will only be accessed by themselves. No one can enter someone else's mind. When we interact with introverts we are interacting with the co-pilot of their personality. Their pilot is tucked away and cannot be accessed by others. The process when someone asks an introvert for something is their co-pilot must then consult with the pilot to get the best idea of what the introvert wants to do in the situation. This is why asking introverts for decisions on the spot can be loaded with errors if the introvert feels they must give a decision now. If an answer must be on the spot and the introvert isn't given time to get into their head, the introvert is left with making a decision with their co-pilot rather than their pilot. So they are making a decision with a lesser developed part of their personality.
Introverts probably know how this feels. Someone asks them if they want to do something. They say no at the moment and realize after spending time in their head that it was really a yes. They couldn't have known what they really wanted because they were having an interaction with their co-pilot, not the pilot of their personality.
There is nothing wrong with this when this happens. People can change their minds. The best way for introverts to give accurate and authentic answers is to ask for time to think about the question, even if it is five minutes or 24 hours. Practicing asking for time to reflect on a request can save introverts from making bad decisions. A pause will be beneficial for introverts especially if it means doing what is right for them in the end.
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Photo credit: Matt Artz on Unsplash