Some people believe that having a reserved personality is a negative quality.
But the truth is, there are plenty of benefits to being reserved and many ways to thrive in life with a personality that is more reserved than others.
It can be hard to be the quiet one in the group, mainly because people assume something is wrong and you're upset or that you’re quietly judging them.
But if you are reserved, you know it's just because you enjoy listening to other people have a conversation and prefer to give input only when you believe it's useful or necessary.
It's not that you never speak, but most of the time the chatter is happening in your head.
Often reserved people are introverts whose natural personalities lend to a quieter, more thoughtful way of interacting. Does this sound like you?
Let's talk about the personality traits of people who are reserved and some of the best ways to thrive in life with this type of personality.
- Reserved Personality Traits
- Why Am I Reserved?
- 15 of the Best Ways to Thrive with a Reserved Personality
- 1. Embrace Your Personality Type
- 2. Accept That Traditional Methods May Not Work for You
- 3. Find What is Holding You Back
- 4. Don't Compare Yourself to Others
- 5. Surround Yourself with Other Reserved People
- 6. Choose the Right Job for Your Personality
- 7. Use Writing to Your Advantage
- 8. Focus on Your Strengths
- 9. Speak Up
- 10. Develop Important Close Relationships
- 11. Maintain a Positive Attitude
- 12. Develop Self-Awareness
- 13. Consider the Fact That You Might Be Nervous
- 14. Remember That You Are Building Your Success on Prestige
- 15. Play the Game
Reserved Personality Traits
People who are reserved share certain personality traits.
While they are not necessarily shy, reserved people prefer to keep to themselves unless a topic arises that is truly important to them.
They are deep thinkers and prefer to listen to other people communicate in groups instead of putting themselves out there and opening up to a larger crowd.
They enjoy having deeper conversations with one or two close friends.
Reserved people have the ability to keep their emotions to themselves and are not easily provoked. When they do feel emotions arise, people who are reserved can hold in their opinions and keep their behavior calm and collected.
They can privately manage their intellectual and emotional content. Reserved people may come across as being stoic, but that does not mean they are unhappy or uncomfortable.
Reserved people tend to keep their opinions to themselves and try to not impose emotional influence on other people.
Instead, they ponder the information they hear and hold onto it for quite some time until speaking (if they feel the need to do so).
Why Am I Reserved?
There are many possible reasons why you could be reserved, and none of them have to be seen as negative.
Being reserved might be part of your introverted personality type. But even extroverts can be reserved in certain situations.
Perhaps being reserved makes you happy and content. You may not feel the need to conform to society's desires and put it all out there for everyone to see.
Instead, you may find comfort in being selective about the information you share with other people and who you share it with.
Maybe you are reserved because you don't want to complicate things in your life. If you are reserved, it means you have a high sense of self-awareness, and you don't give people much of an opportunity to judge or label you.
Your independence allows you to make your own decisions without consulting other people for their opinions, which can naturally lead you to become reserved.
Whether you are proud of your reserved traits or this is something that you want to change, it is important to know how you can thrive in life while still being reserved.
Here are some good tips to live your best life with this type of personality.
15 of the Best Ways to Thrive with a Reserved Personality
1. Embrace Your Personality Type
It is important to stop trying to be someone you are not.
You may realize that most of the people around you have very different personalities than you do and try to adapt yourself to fit into that mold.
This might work in the short-term, but after doing this for some time, you will be unhappy with the person you are trying to be.
The facade you put up will end up causing you stress and unhappiness.
However, if you live authentically and embrace your reservations, it will lead to more growth, success, and opportunities in life because you can focus more on your work than trying to be someone who you are not.
2. Accept That Traditional Methods May Not Work for You
You may find throughout life that people become obsessed with something that is all the rage, such as a specific motivational speaker or a great self-help book.
As a reserved person, you are already in tune with your feelings, and you probably don't need lessons on self-awareness. However, you may need advice on how to work with people who have different motivations from yours.
Many reserved people aren’t motivated by traditional measures of success, which means the conventional methods to succeed are not effective. To find what will work for you, you have to figure out what motivates you.
3. Find What is Holding You Back
As a reserved person, you may feel held back by the obstacle of stepping out of your comfort zone.
External stimuli have a greater impact on people who are reserved than on other people.
It can be a mental hurdle to step outside of your comfort zone and possibly expose your perceived weaknesses. It is easier to avoid this risk than it is to face it head-on.
Whether you don't want to leave your comfort zone, you have a fear of failure or rejection, or something else, pinpointing what is holding you back is one of the first things that a reserved person can do to be able to thrive.
4. Don't Compare Yourself to Others
While people who are reserved are mostly disciplined and goal-oriented, they may not have the competitive traits of other ambitious people.
If you see someone doing well and you are not, you could feel defeated. Instead of measuring your success to that of other people, compare yourself only to the person you were yesterday.
This will help you remain focused on your personal and professional achievements.
5. Surround Yourself with Other Reserved People
To help prevent comparing your success to that of others, surround yourself with people who are like you.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will allow you to stop seeing other people as competitors and start seeing them as a group of people with similar goals.
It may take a while to find your like-minded group, but you’ll know it once you’ve found it.
6. Choose the Right Job for Your Personality
Reserved people tend to do their best work alone, with very few interruptions, and a lot of time to focus.
Pick your career accordingly, which would likely not be one that involves a lot of traveling, frequent group projects, or a job that focuses on a meeting-driven culture.
Companies that offer a work-from-home option may be beneficial for people who are reserved.
Having the option to work from home on certain days, in an environment that you can control, may be beneficial after a busy week in the office.
7. Use Writing to Your Advantage
If you are reserved, you probably feel more comfortable communicating through writing than through talking.
You probably like to carefully consider an issue before sharing your thoughts with other people.
Use this to your advantage and write down your ideas and thoughts prior to meetings.
In professional meetings, bring your notes or make sure to have an outline of the issues that you want to address.
8. Focus on Your Strengths
While being reserved in a room full of talkative people may feel like a disadvantage, it doesn't have to be if you know how to play to your strengths.
Because you are reserved, you're probably able to quickly absorb information, observe group dynamics, and notice key things that others may miss.
Point out the things you see in a follow-up email to the other members of the group so they can see your unique perspective.
9. Speak Up
Make sure to speak up if you have something important to say. Don't remain quiet if you have a great idea in a meeting or notice a big potential problem.
When you have something to say, push yourself to say it. Once you start speaking, you will likely be pleased with the reaction you get from other people.
Because you are not one to speak impulsively, people will be more interested in listening to what you have to say.
10. Develop Important Close Relationships
Instead of talking a little bit to a lot of people, remember the importance of speaking up when it is necessary.
You don’t have to know everyone, but it is important to develop deep and strong relationships with the few key people in your business or industry who can help you reach your goals.
11. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Don't look at your tendency to be reserved as being a flaw.
Learn to acknowledge the things that you find to be especially difficult and adopt a growth mindset to allow yourself to recognize that you can get over any hurdles.
People who have a growth mindset tend to thrive more than those who don't because they keep trying to get better at whatever they are doing.
12. Develop Self-Awareness
Develop self-awareness about when it's appropriate to go with your natural tendency to stay quiet and when it is best to override it.
For example, it may be a good idea to speak up about a matter you've been contemplating for a while rather than continue to think about it.
Learn to correct any tendencies you have to overthink possible negative outcomes of taking action and focus more on the potential positive outcomes.
13. Consider the Fact That You Might Be Nervous
Think about if you feel nervous about obtaining professional success because it could bring about performance pressure and increase your social demands and requirements for your time.
If you feel like you may be holding yourself back for these reasons, think about ways you can combat these issues.
14. Remember That You Are Building Your Success on Prestige
The two approaches to achieving success in life are prestige, which refers to sharing expertise and knowing how to earn respect, and dominance, which involves using some force and fear tactics over other people.
Research shows that using dominance is only effective in the short-term because new competitors try to override your position all the time. However, building your success on prestige will have a long-term impact.
15. Play the Game
Learning to play the game simply means to learn flexibility.
In order to do this, you don't need to change who you are, just aim to show different parts of your personality to different people so you can relate to them better.
In other words, talk to other people about things you know that they are interested in, which is what adaptability is all about.
Having a personality that makes you be more reserved in life certainly should not keep you from thriving, either professionally or personally.
Play to your strengths and understand that many people who have become famous for their success were more reserved people.
Keep the fifteen tips listed above in mind if you are feeling like you're not reaching your potential, and you will see that you can thrive with your reserved personality.