We introverts may prefer to be home reading a book in complete solitude much of the time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also want to be successful — in our careers, our friendships, and our day-to-day interactions. Here are some simple rules to follow on your path to introvert success.

  1. Be true to yourself. You don’t need to go shouting from the rooftops, “look at me! I’m a special introvert flower!” but keep your unique self in mind as you feel about through life. Give yourself time to recharge when you need it. Set up your office and your home to include somewhere where you don’t have to see or hear other people. Stick to your bedtime. Whatever you need to feel like a complete person, do it.
  2. Don’t be an asshole. Not everyone knows you’re an introvert, and they don’t need to. You can be nice to other people without spending all your precious energy on them. Acknowledge daily interactions with a smile, and move on.
  3. Don’t cancel plans. Seriously, don’t do it. If you made plans with someone, follow through, even when they lob you a softball for getting out of it because they know you always cancel. People do this as a defense mechanism so they don’t feel bad when you cancel for the umpteenth time. Again, don’t be an asshole. Keep your plans — you made them because you wanted to in the first place, so trust yourself.
  4. That said, don’t make plans you already know you don’t want to keep. Remember point number one? Be true to yourself and recognize that saying yes to everything just to force yourself out of your shell isn’t healthy for you as an introvert. If your gut reaction when someone suggests going out to dinner and a show is, “gross, I hate that restaurant and I don’t even like live music,” then say no! But if you think, “hey, I’ve been wanting to try that place and it’s been forever since I’ve seen a show,” say yes. And then GO to dinner and a show.
  5. Practice your people skills. Just because you don’t want to deal with people doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with people. If you want to be successful, that is. So practice. It’s not going to be comfortable at first, after awhile it will become second nature. Just remember to give yourself plenty of recharge time.

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Originally published at medium.com