Why Are Introverts Good Listeners? (5 Comforting Reasons)
Oct 09, 2021
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Introverts are people who prefer a calm, less stimulating environment to recharge and get energized by introspection. The introverts’ curiosity and contemplative abilities really make them suited for the role as an authentic listener.
Because of the introvert’s natural role as a listener during conversations, they also had a lot of time to cultivate those listening skills. Sadly, in a world where seemingly an increasing number of people would rather only talk just to hear the sound of their own voice, authentic listening is perhaps gradually dying out.
Could we learn something from the introvert to improve our ability to listen to others and keep authentic listening alive? Let’s investigate some potential reasons why introverts tend to be good listeners!
Why Are Introverts Good Listeners? (5 Comforting Reasons)
1. Introverts tend to be good listeners, because they are introspective
The natural tendency to introspect most of the time is one of the core aspects of what makes introverts, introverts. Introspection is the examination of one’s own mental and emotional processes (source).
In layman’s terms you could say that introspection is the ability to carefully listen to one self. Introverts tend to be quite aware of what’s going on inside them and take the time to sort this out.
For instance, they might notice feelings of sadness on a few consecutive days and start to investigate why they feel this way. In their investigations they contemplate numerous causes and which situations worsen the feelings.
Introverts can take these mind and soul investigations very deep. As a result, they have discovered a myriad of subtle intricacies in the inner constellation of thoughts, emotions and behavior patterns that make up their unique personalities.
Now, the extent to inner awareness and self-knowledge undoubtedly varies between individuals. But, it seems that because introverts tend to have some knowledge of their own inner complex world, they understand that each person, no matter their personality type, has their own intricate inner world.
Introverts tend to be good listeners, because of this understanding. They try to carefully uncover those complex inner worlds of others while in conversation, by asking deeper questions and allow for the other to show who they really are.
2. Introverts tend to be good listeners, because they talk less
As discussed in my article Why Do Introverts Ignore You? (9 Shocking Truths) there are numerous reasons why introverts might choose to not engage in social interaction with others. Introverts draw and maintain their energy from within, by introspection, contemplation or refraining from engaging socially.
Social interaction can easily drain them of their energy. Introverted people also tend to dislike speaking unwarrantedly when they don’t have anything interesting to say (also read my article 6 Reasons Why Introverts Hide Their Feelings).
So, in general the introvert is more reserved in conversations with others and tends to speak less. Due to speaking less, they also are less inclined to interrupt the person they are in conversation with.
This allows the other to really express themselves and keep the original train of thought on track, so to speak. It can be very annoying when you are frequently interrupted while speaking your truth.
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It may convey the idea that the other isn’t listening to you or that you are hindered in expressing yourself. Especially when the original train of thought gets completely derailed.
So by naturally talking less, the introvert leaves a lot of space for the more talkative (predominantly more extraverted) people to talk during conversations. Enhancing the feeling of being listened to.
3. Introverts tend to be good listeners, because they like to observe
Can you picture it? Sitting on a park bench on a lazy sunny autumn Sunday at the waterside, witnessing the people stroll past you while you catch a few short moments of their worlds via their conversations, facial expressions, and their state of mind.
You observe them against this backdrop of a beautiful park of which the tree leaves are changing color, and are sun kissed by the low hanging autumn sun. While you gently observe everything around you, you feel the cold autumn air filling your lungs as you breathe in deeply.
Could observation be one of the greatest forms of listening? When you observe someone or something, you tend to take in all the different elements. The view, the sound, the touch, the smell.
When you are truly engaged in observation, it is almost as if you are listening with your whole body. Introverts love to observe.
Next to observing new (social) situations, to determine if they’re safe, introverts observe for sport! Introverts enjoy just people watching, carefully taking in their surroundings or looking at the clouds in the sky by themselves.
While doing this, they enthusiastically conjure up interesting theories and ideas about the things they are observing. Where is this person coming from and where would he or she be going?
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Could humans fly like those birds in the sky, if we had feathers? Introverts might even try to narrate a conversation of two inaudible people in the distance, based on what the body language of those two individuals is displaying.
Introverts tend to be good listeners, because it seems that their strongly developed observation skills enhance their listening qualities during conversations.
4. Introverts tend to be good listeners, because they seek to understand
With the propensity of their inquisitive mind to seek fundamental understanding of whatever sparks its interest, introverts naturally approach an idea or concept from many angles. Obviously, the amount of curiosity between introverts will vary a lot, but they sure are known for their inquisitiveness.
Introverts tend to be good listeners, because their curiosity propels them to ask more specific questions about what the person they are talking to is saying. When in conversation with an introvert there’s a high chance that you will find the introvert trying to dig deeper on the subject you are talking about (depending on the subject).
Whether it’s an emotional issue, practical problem or just a fun and interesting experience that you’re sharing, introverts very much try to dig a little deeper to make sure they understand clearly. They relish uncovering a deeper core essence on a topic that will add to their understanding.
Due to introverts asking more specific questions, and perhaps paraphrasing to make sure they understand what you’re talking about, you’ll feel that the introvert is really listening to you and wants to know more! If that isn’t a sign of great listening skills, I don’t know what is!
5. Introverts tend to be good listeners, because they favor deep conversations
Introverts tend to be good listeners, but only when it comes to a certain quality of conversations. You might find that the introvert isn’t as good of a listener when you shower him or her with small talk.
Nice weather isn’t it? Did you have a good weekend? Is the printer working? These types of questions make the hairs stand up on the back of our introverted necks.
Especially, when these questions are part of your daily or weekly routine at work as a colleague. That’s why you’ll rarely see us at the coffee machine or at lunch.
It is just cringeworthy and tiresome to us after a while to keep having to engage in the same old small talk. What makes introverts activate their great listening skills is when the conversation moves to a deeper place.
For instance, what is the meaning of life? How do you think your childhood shaped you as an individual? How will the ever increasing sophistication of machine learning and algorithms affect human society in the near future?
The subject could be anything, as long as it has an underlying complexity and is of interest to that particular introvert. When talking about such subjects of greater complexity, it is important to be a great listener.
You’ll need to be able to respond to the subtle nuances of the subject that the other person is bringing into the conversation. You’ll need to be sure that you understand what the other is saying about the subject as well.
Nothing can kill a good conversation more quickly than someone who isn’t really keeping up or paying attention anymore. Luckily, the introvert has the great potential capacity to dive deep into abstract conversational topics without drowning, because of their ability to listen carefully and convey their understanding.
In this article we’ve discussed some of the aspects which tend to make introverts good listeners. Without question, this doesn’t mean that extraverts or “ambiverts” can’t be good at listening.
However, these traits that seem to be innate to the introverted individual do give them a potential advantage in developing great listening skills. What do you think?
Do these traits make introverts good listeners? Could you think of some more traits that make introverts great at listening? Whatever you are thinking about, let me know. I’m listening!
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