11 Tiny Habits Of Introverts Who Command The Most Respect

Advice for any introvert trying to navigate an extroverted world.

Introvert woman drinking coffee and petting her cat on her bed dimaberlinphotos, pixelshot | Canva

So you’re an introvert, eh? Or maybe you know one and would like to know more about how an introvert can better navigate a world that is often not easy for us. Here’s what I learned after decades of struggle as an INFJ and what I did to help me thrive (more of the time).

Here are 11 tiny habits of introverts who command the most respect:

1. They own their preferences.

Allow yourself to go for, have, and even flaunt what you believe society thinks is odd or unacceptable. You must be careful here because it would be so easy for me to say, ‘Yo, introvert! Go and do what you want, and ignore the rest! Of course, do those things that gel with you, but use your Instinct as a guiding accomplice. If it feels right, and healthy and nourishing, do it. But you may also need balance. For example, if you choose to live in a cabin in the woods for a while, make sure you get some social interaction, too.


2. They care for their appearance.

Feeling good about yourself starts with the seemingly superficial. Get a haircut, trim your nails, and buy some decent clothes so you feel sharp. First of all, we’re doing this for ourselves. You can live in an isolated hamlet with two other people but still get a lot out of looking good. Even the small things make a difference; it says a lot about how you think and feel about yourself.


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3. They nourish their extroverted side.

Sorry to break it to you, but none of us are 100% introverts. ‘Introvert’ is a label and an indicator and shouldn’t be taken as a guide for how to live your life. We all have parts to us that enjoy (and need) social interaction, getting ourselves out there, and being heard. So don’t let that part of you atrophy through a misguided belief that, because you’re introverted, you should become a person who never leaves his apartment.

4. They make peace with their past.

“Accept the past as it was and let go of the emotional attachment to it.” — Lao Tzu

To what degree would you say your past has a say in how you behave today? It’s easy to continually reflect on past events with regret, seeing what happened as a reason for your present struggles. But this is just a thought. Thoughts can be dropped the minute you realize the past does not influence who you are today. Start by questioning your beliefs. If you believe you’re a ‘shy’ or ‘boring’ person (like I did for a long time), ask yourself if this is strictly true, and whether there are examples to disprove these thoughts. You will find them.


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5. They stop seeking external validation.

We all want to be liked. It feels good to get a jolt of dopamine from a liked post or a pat on the back of support. This need is also subtly working against you. Why? If we rely on validation to feel good and get ahead, it means we also become avoidant of rejection by default. This keeps us anxious and on edge. We must be willing to attract disagreement and to feel the pain of that poke to the ego. This is the secret of those who get far.

6. They slow down.

I get it. It seems the only way we can even attempt to compete in this chaotic world is by going fast. But most people are jacked up on caffeine doing meaningless busy work. Slow down, ditch the stimulants, and you’ll make more intelligent decisions that go further. Then you’ll go faster than most anyway.

7. They continually turn away from self-obsession.

I once tweeted that ‘the real pandemic is self-obsession.’ People are overly self-conscious, worried about what others think, and continually immersed in a world of personal doubt and insecurity. Happy introverts look outward. They think about contribution and service. Their energy is high, and their outlook is bright because they aren’t trapped in themselves.


8. They regularly write.

As an introvert, I’m very familiar with my tendency to think hard about things for long periods in an attempt to gain a sense of control over my life. I’m an INFJ, meaning I can entertain myself for hours in my thoughts, but often this leaves me quite exhausted. This is why I love writing as an outlet for my ideas. Even if I don’t publish what I write, I find the process cathartic, and it helps me straighten out my thoughts.

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9. They nurture a quiet self-compassion.

Finding compassion for ourselves comes naturally when we stop self-berating via our thoughts. A stiller mind creates the perfect environment for compassion. We can encourage this by looking for evidence to support the truth that we are worthy of compassion. We can also regularly treat ourselves like we’re our motivating life coach. We’re often good at coaching others, but can we coach ourselves?

11 Subtle Habits Of The Introverts With The Most Self RespectPhoto: Cast Of Thousands / Shutterstock


10. They view the world through an owner’s mindset.

We lose (greatly) when we see ourselves as victims. When we blame others, all we’re doing is draining our power. Instead, we must own our choices. Taking ownership of both your wins and your losses reflects a mature mind. Note that you can’t own your wins without owning your losses, too. But when you do, you feel better. You aren’t at the mercy of externalities. You’re your person.

11. They lead something.

We all can lead others in some way. We can lead as parents, teachers, guides, writers, and organizers. Adopting a leadership position in something where others follow your guidance and are inspired by your example lifts your spirits and sense of aliveness. This is doubled up when you lead in line with a deeper purpose or cause that excites you.

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Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient.