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  • Subject area(s): Business
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  • Published on: 21st September 2019
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It is difficult for introverted people to comfortably convey their ideas within a society dominated by verbal communication. This is a direct consequence of the introverted personality, where introverts prefer to stay silent in any situation. Further, this difficulty in being heard is enlarged by a society that facilitates extravert ways of thinking whilst suppressing introvert personalities. However, when introverts choose to speak up, their words have a significant impact as others understand that what they have to express must be of substantial importance. Thus, though it is difficult for introverts to be heard in a world full of talkers, it is this distinction that allows their words to have lasting resonance.

The attributes of the introverted personality form a significant reason as to why it is difficult for introverts to be heard not only within a world full of talkers, but in any world. Introverts are generally defined as being people who are more focused on the internal, meaning they prefer to be alone and are energised by being alone. From this, it is clear that the difficulty that introverts have in being heard arises due to their reserved personality and preference to stay silent in group discussions. Contrastingly, extroverts are people who enjoy external stimulation and prefer to think in large groups and through discussion. As such, extraverts are more easily understood in this world due to their ability to build rapport (Duffy & Chartrand 2015) [WEB OF SCIENCE], as they are genetically engineered to naturally interact with others, and form a relationship that allows them to successfully communicate. Although this is not an indication that introverts cannot build rapport, it is perhaps this difference in ability to create relationships, which allow for effective communication, that hinders introverted people to communicate effectively in this world. Thus, whether it be by choice or because of their genetic make up, it is difficult for introverts to be heard, in any situation.   

Further, the western society strongly values extraverted traits over introversion which adds to the difficulty of introverts being heard. There are many studies that indicate that extraversion is a strong indicator of effective leadership outcomes (Do 2014) [PROQUEST CENTRAL] and that introversion is often a cause of failed leadership. These measures of successful leadership are mainly based on the ability of a leader to communicate and, recognising the importance of leadership within any world, the western society has adopted a regime that facilitates extroverted communication. This is especially so in the workplace and educational institutions, where measures of ‘success’ are designed around extroverted attributes (Cain, 2012) and the ability to communicate verbally with large numbers of people. As such, introverts find it difficult to be understood as they are not comfortable communicating their thoughts verbally in an environment full of people. According to Kuofie et al (2015) [PROQUEST CENTRAL], introverts prefer to use social media or written communication to get their ideas across. However, this study also suggests that this form of communication is not enough for one to be effectively heard.  In addition to this, their perceived lack of communication ability has resulted in a bias that still exists today. This bias is that introverted behaviour, and especially introverted communication, is not suitable for the workplace nor school. Thus, it is difficult for introverts to be understood, as they are within an environment that is forcing them to verbally communicate their ideas.

Furthermore, the western world largely encourages people to think in an extroverted manner, making it even more difficult for introverts to be heard. As well as designing the ‘criteria’ of success around extraversion, schools and workplaces have also designed the learning and working environment to suit how extraverts think. This means constant group discussions and even grouped seating arrangements (Cain 2012). However, introverts prefer to process information by themselves before speaking up (Kuofie et al 2015) As such, introverts are being compelled to adopt the extraverted pattern of thinking which is in turn hindering their ability to reach their maximum potential and produce creative resolutions (Nadel 2008) [

Kuofie et al (2015) also asserts that this will negatively affect an introvert’s self esteem, if introverts are not being supported to reach their potential and they will naturally prefer to stay silent, further emphasising their difficulty in being heard. However, if introverts were to learn certain extraverted behaviours, such as verbal interaction with large groups of people, this would mediate the difficulty that they have in being understood and communicating their opinions.

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