Being an introvert means the only thing that feels better than making plans with old friends is when they call to cancel them at the last minute. Seeing your phone ring sends yours heart into palpitations. Your favorite place at a party is hiding in the playroom with all the kids, cuddling in a corner with the host’s dog, or laser focusing on your iPhone. And even going to a parent-teacher conference requires one of your husband’s 15-minute pep talks to get you out of the car.
But there are benefits to being introverted. When you’re out, you listen and observe more than the average extrovert, so you learn more and get to hear a lot of cool stories. You’re more sensitive to other people’s behavioral cues, so you’re likely kind, considerate and likeable. With all the time you’ve spent at home, pondering life and reading, you’re probably super smart by now.
And sometimes, being introverted literally pays off. Let us count the ways.
• Table for none. Merely existing in the company of others is difficult enough. Eating in front of them? Forget it. Cooking at home is easier on the introvert’s nerves and their wallet.
• Introverts are naturally wise investors. More cautious by nature, they’re more likely to make sound investments and less likely to rush into bad investments or scams.
• Napping is their national pastime. Being around people is draining. Drained introverts need extra sleep. With zero fear of missing out on life, introverts have no qualms about taking a good, hard nap. Naps cost nothing. Bonus: you can’t spend money if you’re unconscious.
• Introverts are savers by nature. This goes along with their tendency to be more observant, thoughtful, deliberate and risk averse. Also, while extroverts are out there in the whirlwind that is their lives, introverts are home being cognizant of the future and knowing on some cellular, neurotic level that three out of five middle-class Americans outlive their savings.
• Introvert hobbies are often inexpensive or free. Cat videos anyone?
While extroverts are all, “Hey, bud! Let’s party!”, introverts are like, “If by party you mean ‘Stream Ted Talks and eat a cheese platter solo,’ let’s do this.”
Meditation, journaling, research, cross-stitch, gardening, canning, crocheting, cooking, playing instruments, drawing, design. You don’t have to romp around town spending money like a drunken sailor to have a good time.
• Speaking of romping around like a drunken sailor, it’s less expensive when you do it at home with one or two of your closest friends.
You can buy two bottles of wine for the cost of one round of drinks at the bar. You’ll be able to have meaningful conversations that won’t be interrupted or shouted over loud music. If anything you do ends up on YouTube the next day, it will be because you posted it there yourself, and you can delete it once you sober up.
And just think of what you’ll save on bail.
• You save a fortune on clothes. A survey on Bustle.com showed readers regularly spend $200 a month on clothes, with some spending as much as 15 percent of their total budget on them (financial experts recommend spending two to five percent).
Introverts don’t need a ton of “going-out” clothes and don’t like to draw attention to themselves with super flashy or trendy clothing. Roughly 90 percent of your wardrobe is sweatpants and pajamas. You probably even knit your own sweaters and do your own tailoring. That’s a whole lot of money that can be diverted toward real necessities like retirement investments, health insurance and cat food.