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A WHOSA-WHATSA-VERT?

What is an introvert?

Introverts gain energy by being alone. Stimulating environments and social situations are draining for introverts. We can only handle so much before we MUST restore ourselves in solitude.

This is where many people are confused about introversion. It’s not about wanting to avoid people because of shyness, or sadness. Introverts NEED to spend time alone to feel at our best. Plain and simple.

In contrast, extroverts are energized by socializing. They get a buzz from the very activities that overwhelm introverts. When extroverts spend too much time alone, they feel bored and depleted.

Neither personality type is superior, we simply have different needs.

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LATEST FROM THE BLOG

Introvert – I thoroughly enjoy minding my own business

I’m an introvert. I won’t necessarily initiate conversation with you if I don’t know you. It’s not because I’m aloof, or cold, or shy. It’s just that I really enjoy minding my own business. Another way to put it is that I love attending to the business of my mind: the steady stream of thoughts and ideas, the expansive landscapes of imagination, even the familiar channels of worry. Sometimes I feel guilty about minding my own business. I don’t want people to think I dislike them, or that I am rude, or uncaring. I hope they don’t assume that my mind and heart are closed when I keep to myself. The infinite introvert You might have seen a picture somewhere depicting introverts with a small personal space bubble. When I am exploring my imagination, my world has no borders. I can dive deep into an ocean of memories. I can sail freely through a current of dreams. There is a famous quote from the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The main character Charlie and his two best friends Patrick and Sam are driving through a tunnel at night, the song “Landslide” blasting from the stereo. They exit the tunnel and see downtown lights and “everything that makes you wonder”. Then comes the famous line: “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” Charlie is a teen introvert who mostly minds his own business. Yet, through his writing we see that his inner world is infinite. It is only through his ability to “see things … keep quiet about them, and … understand” that he... read more

9 Superpowers of the Highly Sensitive Person

Have you ever been told you’re “overly sensitive”? If you’re a highly sensitive person like me, you’ve probably heard these hurtful words more times than you can count. As a highly sensitive person, you also know what it’s like to feel the emotions of others so deeply that it hurts. Or get so overwhelmed by crowds, loud noises, and strong smells that you want to hide out under a blanket all day. People constantly tell you to “toughen up” and “grow a thicker skin”. They believe that being thin-skinned in our abrasive world is a liability. But here’s the thing. Being highly sensitive, you also have subtle superpowers that the more calloused among us don’t get to enjoy. In other words, your sensitivity is actually your greatest strength. Read on to discover 9 secret superpowers of the highly sensitive person. Superpowers of the Highly Sensitive Person 1. You find strength in solitude. The ability to spend time alone and actually enjoy it is a virtue. Being content in solitude means that you don’t waste time and money on useless distractions and superficial friendships. You don’t need to constantly be around people to feel fulfilled. You find happiness and strength in quiet moments when you can reflect and recharge. 2. You understand the importance of pacing. Have you ever heard the story of the tortoise and the hare? The hare looses the race because he doesn’t know how to pace himself. This tried and true metaphor perfectly illustrates why the highly sensitive person has an advantage in life. Your sensitivity forces you to slow down, which leads to fewer wrong... read more

INFJ: 6 brilliant answers to “Why are you so quiet”?

  How many times have you heard this annoying, and utterly frustrating question: Why are you so quiet? Honestly, I stopped counting after a thousand. Every INFJ has heard this tiresome question many times in her/his life. It goes without saying that it makes us feel nauseous every single time. Sometimes we draw ourselves into an endless cycle of explanations, and justifications, but with no result. To some people, we will always be “the quiet one”. How we feel As introverts, we think before we speak. We carefully choose our words, and when to say them. Being INFJs, we are people oriented, so we always carefully choose our words so as not to hurt anyone. Our natural analytic nature means that our words are usually considerate, caring, and full of understanding. When we hear the “Why are you so quiet?” question, it triggers a chain reaction in our mind, making us doubt in ourselves. We start feeling that there is something wrong with us, that we are not “good enough”. Not to mention the feeling of guilt, which floods us because we feel that we should talk more. Let me share with you my example from a couple of years ago. Imagine this situation: I am standing in the corner of a large party, having my juice, and silently observing. All of a sudden more than 10 people surround me. Like a choir, they ask me that dreaded question, plus offer me drinks to “cheer me up”. When I reply, “I’m okay”, they don’t believe me. They start implying that I am actually bored. They ask, what I’m doing... read more

Why Lunchtime Sucks For Introverts

Lunch hour is often the most dreaded time of day for introverts. Contrary to what you might think, our secret lunchtime anxieties have nothing to do with food. See if this scenario sounds familiar: It’s break time at the office, which means you have one hour to chow down, and relax. If you work in a job that requires a lot of talking and dealing with people, you desperately need this time to recharge and fortify yourself against the day ahead. But there’s one problem. For other people, lunch hour is all about catching up with coworkers. Your extroverted colleagues congregate together, and engage in one of the most offensive pastimes to an introvert. Small talk. For extroverts, chatting with others is replenishing. For introverts, not so much. Over the years, we’ve come up with all sorts of sneaky ways to avoid small talk. When it comes to lunchtime at work, you’ll likely see us doing one of the following: Hiding behind a book, and doing everything in our power to avoid eye contact with other humans. Sneaking off to a secluded area of the office where we munch away in sweet solitude. Escaping the office all together and wandering the nearby streets or stores in the hopes that we won’t see anyone we know. Don’t get me wrong, introverts are not necessarily anti-social. And we might really like our coworkers. But small talk is NOT how we want to spend our precious one-hour lunch break. Instead of replenishing us, as it does extroverts, lunchtime chit chat drains us. How to make lunchtime less sucky First of all, let go... read more

Introvert – Utterly Obsessed, Or I Don’t Care

I’ve noticed that a lot of introverts are like a light switch when it comes to our interests. Often, we are either completely immersed, fixated, and even OBSESSED with something. Or we don’t care. This makes sense when you consider how an introvert’s brain works. According to this article by my friend Jenn Granneman from Introvert Dear, introverts use more of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine than extroverts. Granneman writes: “Like dopamine, acetylcholine is also linked to pleasure; the difference is, acetylcholine makes us feel good when we turn inward. It powers our abilities to think deeply, reflect, and focus intensely on just one thing for a long period of time.” Why fixation feels so good It feels good for introverts to focus intensely on one project, or hobby at a time. We’d rather devote our thoughts and energy to one or two blazing obsessions, than several lukewarm pastimes. I’m reminded of the movie Adaptation, which is loosely based on the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. In the movie, a character named John Laroche is single-mindedly obsessed with finding rare orchids. We learn that orchids are not Laroche’s first love. He has had other all-encompassing obsessions. In his youth he was infatuated with fish. His whole world revolved around his passion for fish. Then all of a sudden, ‘flick’, the switch went off and he didn’t care about fish anymore. He explains his sudden change of heart in the below lines from the movie: John Laroche: Then one morning, I woke up and said, “Fuck fish.” I renounce fish, I will never set foot in that ocean again. That’s how... read more

Top 10 Books For Introverts

Welcome to my detailed list of the top books for introverts! If you’re an introverted book lover like me, you know the anguish of not having anything good to read. A lack of good books can be especially painful during lazy summer days, when all you want to do is sit in the shade and swim through the pages of a great book. Ay, but there’s a rub. It’s hard to know what to read. We all have our own taste when it comes to books. No matter what your personal palate for literature, I think you’ll get a lot out of the books for introverts I recommend here. So, let’s dive in, shall we? Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength By Laurie Helgoe Of all the books for introverts, Introvert Power is definitely my favorite. It’s written with such compassion, and color you’ll want to drink up every word. At nearly 300 pages, it’s also comprehensive. Here’s just a little taste of what you’ll find in Introvert Power: “As an introvert, you can be your own best friend or your worst enemy. The good news is we generally like our own company, a quality that extroverts often envy. We find comfort in solitude and know how to soothe ourselves. Even our willingness to look at ourselves critically is often helpful.” Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking By Susan Cain This book has been a game changer for countless introverts all over the world. It served as a major catalyst for the introvert revolution, which continues to gain speed to this day.... read more

INFJ Relationships: 4 Steps To Deep Connection

INFJ relationships can be tricky. We want deep, soul-shaking connection. But we don’t always know how to get there. Our personality consists of only 1 percent of the world population. We are rare, and not so easy to understand. Our rarity can be challenging, but it is also our greatest gift. We are unique, therefore we need a unique connection as well.☺ Establishing a lasting connection is a defining moment in our life. INFJ relationships are based on our magnificent ability to connect with our partners. The blueprint for connection in INFJ relationships is based on understanding. Not many people will be wired the same way we are. When we connect with someone, this truly is a magical moment for INFJs. Connection Surpasses Introversion or Extroversion My relationships were mostly directed towards extroverted women. I never asked myself why this is the case. I simply followed my intuition. One relationship in particular stands out. Six years ago I met someone who I thought was my soulmate. This was the first time I felt true love. What made this so special was the insanely good connection we had. We literally finished each other’s sentences. Never did I once pay attention to the fact that she is an extrovert. It didn’t matter. All that was important to me was that we understood each other. For the first time I told myself: “I can be vulnerable with this person, and not be afraid.” The relationship didn’t last, but I will never forget what we had. It didn’t matter that we had different personality types. It was that pure, authentic connection that mattered most. Here... read more

3 Ways HSP Introverts Can Avoid Vacation Overwhelm

If you’re a highly sensitive (HSP) introvert like me, you understand how challenging this can be. As an HSP introvert, you know what it’s like to feel mentally and physically exhausted after doing everyday activities, like going to a crowded grocery store. Or giving a presentation. Or taking the subway. Being an HSP introvert means that … You are more aware of subtleties in your environment. You notice smells, sounds, and sights that others miss. Your sensitivity to even subtle stimuli makes you prone to overwhelm. You are more sensitive to your own emotions. You feel things deeply, and tend to spend more time reflecting on your feelings. This is why you have strong reactions to violent movies and TV shows. You are empathetic, which means that you are deeply affected by other people’s moods. You literally feel the emotions of others. This can be exhausting if you don’t know how to create emotional and energetic boundaries. You are particularly sensitive to caffeine. You are prone to suffering from social hangovers. Sometimes, you need days to recover from a single social event. To clarify, not all introverts are highly sensitive, BUT about 70% of HSPs are introverts. This makes the HSP/introvert combination surprisingly common. Still, few people understand how hard it is to be highly sensitive and introverted in a busybody, extrovert-biased culture. Don’t get me wrong, being an HSP introvert has its advantages: strong intuition, keen observation skills, creativity. And it’s perfectly possible to tailor your lifestyle to suit your unique needs. This is exactly what I’ve done. Nowadays, I rarely notice my sensitivity when I’m at work,... read more

INFJ: I came, I saw, I made it awkward

The annoying feeling of awkwardness is something INFJ’s are all too familiar with. We often feel awkward, because we can see something few others can see. We sense those hidden signals that no one else feels. This is a feeling I’m sure many of you can relate to. I am going to share with you my own awkward story. Not many people know what I am about to tell you. In other words, I feel completely “naked”, and exposed. So here goes. ☺ Young and awkward Throughout the entire high-school period, I was bullied. For me, every day was a fight for survival. I felt alone, didn’t know who to turn to. I would go to school crying, anxious, and afraid. My daily plan was merely to survive, and come home. One day, something happened that made me feel like the King of Awkwardness. Read The Full Article By Joining Our Free Private INFJ Forum >> Introvert’s Spring’s INFJ Forum INFJs rarely meet one another in the ‘real world’. Become an Introvert Spring INFJ and meet INFJs across the globe. Join our private forum and discuss INFJ problems, solutions, and idiosyncrasies. Start your own discussion topics or join a popular thread. You’ll also discover unique INFJ blog posts and infographics. Join The INFJ Forum Now – It’s Free!... read more

Introvert: Stop saying yes to sh*t you hate

We introverts tend to say yes to a lot of things out of guilt. Can you blame us? We feel enormous pressure to fit into a culture that worships extroversion. More specifically, we feel pressure to be outgoing busybodies with a packed social calendar. The desire to keep up with the extrovert ideal drives introverts to say yes to all sorts of things we hate. What we risk by saying no We secretly believe that if we say no, our life could start to unravel. We imagine saying no will lead our coworkers to think we’re mean, lazy, or (gasp!) genuinely too busy to do their job for them. Our acquaintances will realize how unloveable and despicable we really are and create a secret club that gathers weekly for the sole purpose of talking behind our back. Our chance at real success – the kind that involves money, admiration, and endless attention on Twitter – could be lost forever. These are just a few of the irrational fears that keep us from saying no to shit we hate. The truth is that saying no to needless obligations frees up time and energy for more worthwhile things. You know, like activities we actually enjoy, and benefit from. The most common no’s for introverts The things we secretly want to say no to vary from one introvert to the next. Our list often includes social obligations, such as happy hour with coworkers, or holiday parties. Perhaps, we’re dying to say no to community obligations, like strata meetings, or fundraising efforts. Parents might feel the urge to say no to heading up the next school bake sale, or book drive. Many of us desperately want to say no to work opportunities... read more
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Michaela Chung is an introvert author, coach and entrepreneur. Her first book, The Irresistible Introvert will be out July 5th 2016.

Copyright: © Michaela Chung 2016

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