Being introverted is not the same as lacking confidence, although it may seem that way to some people. However, as some people think introverts lack confidence this article examines that. You might also enjoy 7 tips to boost your confidence, as an introvert.
What is confidence
In a general sense confidence is the feeling that you can have faith in, or rely on, someone or something.
Confidence is a belief that a chosen course of action is the right choice and that you can properly complete that action.
Both of these definitions imply confidence in a specific area, and it may be useful to distinguish between that and much wider ability to meet life’s challenges and succeed.
Psychology Today defines confidence as a belief in oneself, the conviction that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed—and the willingness to act accordingly.
This implies confidence requires a realistic sense of your capabilities and to feel secure in that knowledge, that certainly has nothing to do with introversion. That implication means many introverts who may appear to lack confidence can be confident (happy to deal with life’s challenges). Maybe part of the issue is about projecting confidence versus being confident?
Is confidence important?
Projecting confidence can give credibility, allow one to make a strong first impression and a belief in the business we’re representing.
Being confident can help deal with pressure and tackle the inevitable challenges from life (or people around us who will (inevitably) disagree with us.
Why do introverts appear to lack confidence?
Internal processing may cause introverts to appear to lack confidence. Consider a meeting where two people are asked their views, one gives a confident sounding answer, the other pauses and attempts to add detail and data by referring to notes. External processing can mean somebody talks to think and answers immediately; internal processing means we think to talk and perhaps pause before answering. Add that to a greater desire for detail and accuracy and one person may appear less confident – even though it isn’t the case.
Being energised by being with people can lead to the appearance of general confidence, losing energy by being with people may cause some to hang back and thus appear less confident.
In neither case does the appearance have anything to do with a knowledge of the subject and a belief in one’s abilities and strengths.
Are introverts confident?
If being quieter gives the appearance of lacking confidence, it’s easy to assume extroverts are more confident than introverts; that doesn’t make it true. Confidence is not the same thing as introversion/ extroversion. There are introverts and extroverts who lack confidence, just both personality types can have too much confidence!
Which would you rather appear as?
Too much confidence can appear as arrogance, or narcissism. Those who constantly overestimate their abilities can suffer from problems like failing to complete things on time, or not selling enough as people don’t believe them.
A lack of confidence can appear as timid, uninterested or not capable.
Striking your balance between the two seems like the best place to be.