I can easily sum up a potential downfall for confident introverts: They risk being seen as rude, aloof and unapproachable.
As introverts (and I am one), we tend to “live in our own heads”, always thinking. Thinking about everything. And while we’re in our heads, we are often unaware of how we’re coming across to others, because we’re not thinking about them, we’re thinking about what’s rolling around in our head. You may be coming across as confident; however, your “thinking face” can sometimes be read as unfriendly. Your silence at times can make you appear shut down. Your lack of eye contact, unaware of others’ presence and their desire to interact with you can make you appear disinterested. While you are in deep thought, your outward display of those inner thoughts can be added together to create a formula for rudeness, aloofness, and unapproachability.
Have you ever met a confident person who seemed unfriendly, yet once you got to know that person they turned out to be one of the nicest people you’ve ever met? That often happens when we think back to our initial interactions with those introverts who are now our friends! Although you are an inward processor, you need to remember what others are inwardly processing when they come in contact with you.
The solution is not to quit thinking; because after all, that is the way you are naturally wired. The solution is self-awareness. It is only when you become self aware of how you may be perceived outwardly that you have the capacity to realize that you hold the power of creating an impression on others–either a positive one or a negative one. And to be aware that you are creating these impressions constantly, whether you know it or not. Challenge yourself to suspend your own thinking long enough to focus on the person in front of you. When you do that, you find that your face will soften, you will be engaged non-verbally and verbally, and you will experience some amazing connections.