Famous introverts such as Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, and Sir Isaac Newton may not have been traditionally handsome, but somehow they’re attractive. And not just because they made a name for themselves in the sciences. There’s something about shy guys—both anecdotally, and based on actual data. We now know that understated personality types are often more than they seem and, since it’s not in their strong, silent nature to brag about their own attributes, we did it for them. Here are the sexy, measurable perks to being a wallflower.
Introverts Think Before They Speak
People with introverted personalities are less prone to shooting from the hip (and less familiar with the taste of their own feet in their mouths) psychologist Laurie Helgoe explains in Psychology Today. “Introverts like to think before responding—many prefer to think out what they want to say in advance—and seek facts before expressing opinions,” she writes. “Extroverts are comfortable thinking as they speak.” As much as that off-the-cuff swagger can be attractive, there’s evidence that heterosexual women are generally drawn to men who use shorter words and speak in shorter sentences. Besides, thinking before you speak never hurts your sex appeal.
They’re More Selective…Sexually
Studies show that extroverts get laid more often than introverts (sorry, shy guys). The data suggests extroverted men have sex 5.5 times a month, while introverted men only get it on 3 times per month. But introverts are all about quality connections, so it’s no surprise that this selectiveness extends to the bedroom.
(Plus, doesn’t that 0.5 imply some extroverts flew too close to the sun…?)
Their Brains May Be Built to Make Better Decisions
Introverts appear to have larger, thicker gray matter in the prefrontal cortices of their brains compared to extroverts, a 2012 study out of Harvard University suggests. Given that this is an area of the brain linked with abstract thought and decision-making, study authors concluded that this may account for why introverts sit back and quietly contemplate before making decisions. So it’s no wonder why they’re so much more concise in their speech and less sexually promiscuous. That extra touch of gray matter seems to suit them.
They Use Their Power More Effectively
Extroverts may speak the loudest around the office, but when it comes to wielding any real power introverts have the edge, according to 10 years worth of data. The study, published in the Harvard Business Review, looked at over 17,000 C-level executives, including 2,000 CEOs, and found that more than half of the CEOs who performed the best (according to investors and directors) were introverts. For those of you keeping score at home—that’s two Harvard-led studies championing introverts. Convenient? Perhaps.
They Don’t Take Shit From Extroverts
Despite their quiet demeanors, introverts pack a punch. They’re more likely to give extroverted coworkers lower performance reviews, less likely to endorse them for raises and promotions, and less likely to give them credit for their achievements, two separate studies suggest. The findings demonstrate that introverts are not necessarily impressed by their gregarious counterparts—and that they’re unafraid to admit it. Sure, they think before they speak and get out less often than extroverts. But that doesn’t mean you want to cross them.