Some employment questionnaires may contain a question regarding reserved personality traits. If you aren’t sure how to answer, here is what you need to consider…
What is a reserved personality?
Reserved personality is a preference. Reserved people prefer to keep their thoughts and ideas to themselves. They tend to be very self-aware and speak only when it matters or when someone asks for their opinion. Even more so, they want to take their time before acting on their thoughts.
You may be wondering whether someone with a reserved personality is essentially an introvert. The answer is yes. They are usually introverts, but they can also be ambiverts with strongly developed introversion. If you aren’t sure about your preference, you can take our Introvert, Extrovert, Ambivert Quiz here.
Reserved personality traits
If you need a short but comprehensive list of reserved personality traits, here you go. Reserved people
- are mentally alert;
- are perceptive;
- are highly independent;
- are absorbed in thought;
- need lots of time alone;
- share their thoughts only with those who they know well;
- focus on work rather than socializing;
- think before acting;
- may be difficult to get to know;
- love peace;
- dislike crowded places;
- prefer texting over phone calls.
How does reserved personality develop?
Some people naturally prefer introversion, or in other words, they are born this way. There are theories regarding reasons why some people acquire a more reserved behavior style later in life.
One possible reason is that some people may feel that the world is too dangerous and chaotic, and as a result, they think that they need to make their choices carefully and acquire as much knowledge and skills as possible. They may also feel that they can only trust people they know very well. It’s a survival strategy.
Some others simply seek mastery and skill. They want to be good at something so that they can feel strong and capable. They want to be able to offer the world something special — something that not everyone has.
What does it mean to have a reserved personality?
If you have a reserved personality, you are probably an expert in some field. Before doing something, you need to work it out in your mind first. To outsiders, it may seem that you are completely consumed by your ideas, living in your own world.
What does it mean to have a reserved personality on the job?
Some may think that having a reserved personality is disadvantageous for your career, but in reality, it depends. Outgoing, extroverted people are better suited for specific jobs, while reserved people do better in other fields.
If you are asked whether you have a reserved personality at a job interview or employment test, the best course of action is to tell the truth. If you are naturally reserved, working a job requiring lots of networking or being in crowded places will be exhausting for you.
Remember, there are many jobs suitable for your personality type where extroverts often don’t do that well: programming, accounting, writing, content editing, graphic design, counseling, research, engineering, and many others.
Whether or not you get hired may also depend on the personality of your future boss or whoever makes the hiring decision. Some employers prefer reserved people because they are more likely to focus on their tasks instead of socializing. They are also more likely to stay loyal to the company as time goes.
When it comes to work, having a reserved personality generally means that
- You need to be able to work in a quiet place, without disruptions.
- You don’t get involved in workplace drama.
- You carefully analyze all options before proceeding to make a choice.
- You prefer to work alone rather than to be a member of a team.
- You focus on tasks but don’t pay enough attention to networking and building relationships with your co-workers.
How to overcome a reserved personality?
A reserved personality isn’t a disadvantage, but some people may want to become more sociable because they think it will be more beneficial for their career or personal relationships.
Generally, overcoming your tendencies and acting out of character for a short while shouldn’t be a problem. However, it will probably feel unnatural and a little uncomfortable, like writing with your non-dominant hand.
Some ambiverts are only slightly more introverted than extroverted. They have the easiest time switching between the two behavioral styles.
If you are naturally reserved but want to seem sociable and outgoing, you need to copy extroverted characteristics:
- Practice smiling and eye contact.
- Spend more time with your friends and colleagues. Give a chance to people you don’t know very well, such as friends of your friends.
- Have a goal of at least one conversation per day. For example, you could ask your colleague about their opinion about something. It will be even more effective if it’s someone you don’t usually talk to.
- Join a public speaking group, such as Toastmasters.
- Invite people for dinners.
- Allow yourself to take a break from analyzing everything and just to relax and enjoy other people’s company.
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