Introverts are sometimes thought to be more adult than others because they tend to appear more serious, with their quiet presentations. And they probably are…more serious, that is…but they’re not necessarily more adult. Everyone grows into the tasks that orbit around the idea of adulting. This even applies to the somber Introverts.
So, for Introverts, here are qualities that can give you a boost when you pursue adult tasks and suggestions for some areas you might want to work on. But before we start, if you don’t know whether you’re an Introvert, follow this link to our free personality test to find out.
The Adulting Superpowers of Introverted Personality Types
These will make things easier for adulting Introverts.
Ready-Made Independence – Sort Of
One goal of adulting is to do things independently. Introverted personalities need people just like everyone else. However, they have periods when they gladly do without people. They like to shed other people for a while simply to recover and restore their energy. What could be more independent – at least during those times? All things being equal, most Introverts would usually prefer to do things on their own. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they do independence any better than anyone else. It’s just that many Introverts may feel a greater comfort level with this aspect of adulting. And that can make things easier.
Being so darn comfortable with independence doesn’t mean that Introverts don’t have to go through the rigors of learning to execute and adopt grown-up tasks. If Mom always picked up the Introvert’s dirty socks off the floor, the Introvert may need to find some self-motivation to take over that duty when they leave home. They can be just as dependent as anyone in specific areas. But still, there’s that being alone thing. This willingness to be more self-contained may provide a smoother transition when crossing the bridge between childlike dependence and adult independence.
More Uninterrupted Time for Reflection
Introverts probably aren’t any more reflective than Extraverts, if we’re talking about the ability to mull things over. It’s just that they likely have more uninterrupted time for contemplation. And more time may bump up the quantity and perhaps even the quality of reflection. See where we’re going?
You can’t find a solution if you don’t see a problem. Introverts may have more insight into what needs adulting in their lives simply because of the time they spend alone thinking about things. Whether one leaves the washed laundry in the machine for days may not be one of their deepest thoughts. But such missteps likely cross their radars more frequently. Recognizing that even a mundane problem is a problem can be essential to growth.
Potential Adulting Projects for Introverted Personality Types
Nobody is perfect. Everybody needs to pay attention to the obstacles in their lives and maybe even turn some into projects for improvement.
Slower to Ask for Help When They Need It
The flip side of ready-made independence (sort of) is that, when it’s time to ask for help, Introverted personalities may be slower to do so. Many Introverts experience dealing with other people as energy-sapping. They may imagine that the last thing they need when building adult habits is something that drains them and makes the whole thing worse. After all, motivation takes some energy.
Most of adulting doesn’t need a lot more advice than you can find on the Internet. But, as an example, sitting down with a financial counselor or even an accountant to discuss options when planning for retirement might make money decisions a lot easier. Some things in life benefit from wise instruction. Reluctance to ask for help may be a comfort zone that Introverts need to step out of, at least occasionally.
Yes. Put Yourself Out There More
As an Introvert, even I roll my eyes at this suggestion. How often have you heard this? However, showing up even when you don’t have to is part of being an adult. But it can be a real challenge for Introverted personality types. Comedian and director Woody Allen famously said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Most adulting is usually about some particular skill or activity. This suggestion is a little different. It’s more of an attitude that says, “I may not always like it, but I’m showing up anyway.”
The point isn’t that you give up all of your alone time. That time is useful and valuable to you. But Introverts may avoid going into situations to avoid getting drained in the presence of other people in the first place. Putting your own comfort to the side for a while can be an opportunity to explore different areas of adult responsibility. For example, with Introverts’ natural ability to listen and to consider things at a more leisurely pace, they can be outstanding counselors, whether lay or professional – but only if they just show up. Volunteering to help at a community center is very adult.
Look at you, volunteering to put together activities for an after-school program that focuses on at-risk kids with nowhere else to be!
Introverts likely know what their skill level is, whether they show it publicly or not. Adulting is a learning process for them, just as it is for everyone. But this personality trait provides them with a few advantages and a few things that might need work. Stay curious about what adulting means to you and what areas you need to explore. And fly your Introvert flag high as you pursue new things.
Are you an Introvert who is getting the hang of adulting? Share your tips in the comments below!
- Getting out of your comfort zone is important when learning how to be an adult. We offer some advice here: “Escaping Your Comfort Zone, Regardless of Your Personality Type.”
- Adulting often brings fresh starts: new jobs, new places…and new friends. For Introverts, the “new friends” part can be tricky. Check out our article “How to Make Friends If You’re an Introvert.”
- Do you struggle to ask for help? It’s harder for some personality types than others. Find out why and read advice in our two-part series on asking for help.
- If you’re ready to dig deeper into your personality type and learn more strategies for personal growth, our Premium Profiles are for you.