Be Afraid of the Quiet Ones (Strategic Thinking Introverts Will Outsmart You)

In general, humans are multidimensional, but tend to act unidimensional. This is the case because we either favor the skills that we enjoy the most or possess the greatest strength. The age-old competition that pits brain versus brawn will continue as long as people favor one over the other. 
 
But in an intellectual world, which one is most viable? And why should strategic thinking introverts be a force to be reckoned with?
The American Academy of Advanced Thinking (AAAT) describes strategic thinking introverts as INTJ, ISTJ, and INTP personality types or Strategists, largely because of their predilection towards intellectual pursuits. 
 
Out of the eight introversion categories within the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), AAAT determined that INTJs, ISTJs, and INTPs are the personality types most apt to leverage their intellect to gain power and influence. 

Also, AAAT determined that strategists are most inclined to survive and thrive in a world described as “Domineering.” In a domineering world, strength, courage, and risk-taking are decorated as weakness, quietness, and indecision are shunned. Strategists develop best practices for outthinking and outsmarting competitors and dissenters. 
 
They can either be your best friend or worst enemy.
Alexander (n.d.) suggested that strategic thinking is in an introvert’s DNA:
Strategic thinkers are often introverts. They are known for looking at the metaphorical chess board and thinking 5 moves ahead. Again, an introvert’s quiet contemplation is a competitive advantage. While an extrovert might go with the flow in a conversation, an introvert is skilled at staying focused on a target.
Fosslein and West (n.d.) postulated that introverts have mental databases that are readily available:
As introverts are thinking, they reach back into long-term memory to locate information. An introvert will often compare old and new experiences when making a decision, which slows the processing down but leads to carefully thought-out decisions. This means that introverts have an active dialogue with themselves and usually walk around with many thoughts in their minds.
Strategists spend many hours reading, researching, and self-reflecting on a wide array of subjects. These long hours of study create a depository of information that seem disconnected to other personality types, but easily form patterns for strategists.

 

Strategic Thinking Introverts Will Outsmart You
 
 
Brain vs. Brawn
Strategists thrive in transactional relationships. Within these relationships where a party is the recipient of a strategist’s largesse, there are two requirements for the receiving party to be indebted:
1.)  The alliance must be confidential.
    2.)  The benefits must be indispensable
In other words, the recipient must have a “If it wasn’t for you…” feeling towards the strategist.
In the movie, “Lincoln Lawyer,” Matthew McConaughey plays Mick Haller, a defense attorney for arch-criminals. Mick Haller best represents the mindset of a strategist.  While he plays the role of a trusted advisor, he also comes across as a reliable friend. 
 
He is Machiavellian by doing what is necessary for the situation versus what is moral. The clients he represents happily pay for services rendered, but there is an indebtedness to the relationship. Clients believe that Haller will always come through in solving their problems. 
 
As a result, when Haller needs to have an errant client beaten up after his family is threatened, he calls on his criminal patrons to administer the punishment.    
Haller’s actions align with Fosslein and West’s summation that introverts, “slow the processing down…,” which leads to reasoned and thought-out decisions.
This is reminiscent of what often happens in high school when an introverted student tutors the captain of the football team. Without this strategist’s assistance, the football captain cannot maintain his academic standing sufficiently to continue playing football. 
 
Again, an indebted relationship emerges where the football captain becomes the guardian protector of the introverted tutor. By proxy, the introverted tutor has leveraged his intellect to gain power and influence within the high school environment.
In a practical sense the relationship will always be one-sided. The strategist can use intellect to gain power and influence with those who have brawn.  However, those possessing brawn cannot gain intellectual power using strategists. 
 
Arguably, the trove of information possessed by strategists allow them to leverage people and relationships and remain in demand and in control.
Could those with brawn threaten and intimidate strategists to act against the will of strategists? Maybe. For a short time. Remember, the indebtedness angle to the relationship creates a feeling of obligation on the part of the brawny. 
 
Mick Haller’s minions, as well as the captain of the football team engender gratitude for being able to carry on with their self-interested activities.

 

 
 
 
Strategists’ intellect goes farther than merely leveraging the physical prowess of others. Strategists have an uncanny way of deciphering patterns, particularly, in behavior. Let’s say that Sarah tends to berate and bully co-workers at the workplace. 
 
She is constantly criticizing others with words like, “I can’t believe they promoted him…He’s slow in getting work done and has the brainpower of a flea.” Another employee tells the newly promoted supervisor about Sarah’s criticism. 
 
The new supervisor is a strategist. What are his options?
He can call Sarah into his office to address the matter upfront. He can send an email to human resources outlining the dates and times he has heard Sarah backbiting other employees. He could create a smear campaign against her. 
 
Or he could ignore the matter and merely keep a track record of her behavior within his new supervisory role. There are countless avenues afforded to strategists when they have been offended or slighted.
Remember, strategists have a high moral compass, and rarely initiate negative actions against others unless prompted. And because they are introverts, there isn’t a lot of fanfare or advanced notice surrounding impending activities. 
 
Done correctly, the unsuspecting violator never sees it coming.
For evolved strategists, quietness and introversion are not signs of weakness. They are tools of the trade, as well as a cautionary tale for offenders. In the end, you should not be afraid of the quiet ones if you maintain self-respect and treat them with civility.
As writer H. P. Lovecraft once penned, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
Edward S. Brown, M.S.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References
Alexander, S. (n.d.). 5 ways introverts are more influential than extroverts. Creativelive Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.creativelive.com/blog/5-ways-introverts-can-influential-extroverts
Edberg, H. (2020, May 15). 73 inspirational quotes on fear (Updated for 2019). The Positivity Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.positivityblog.com/22-inspirational-quotes-on-fear.
Fosslien, L., and West. M. (n.d.). 6 illustrations that show what it’s like in an introvert’s head. Quiet Revolution. Retrieved from: https://www.quietrev.com/6-illustrations-that-show-what-its-like-in-an-introverts-head.

Related Posts