You may have formed an idea of detectives and their attributes through stereotypical portrayals in media such as being less like introverts.
Detectives can specialise in certain departments including, Criminal Investigations Department (CID), child protection and fraud.
In reality, these archetypes are exaggerated to make for compelling viewing or reading. While crime fiction indicates that private investigation is filled with action-packed adventure, this isn’t necessarily true.
Nevertheless, there are some interesting traits that detectives use for their investigations which introverts also possess.
Here are 10 reasons why introverts would be perfect for this role.
Detectives aim to help those in trouble by solving their issues. They try to seek answers by gathering as much evidence as possible.
To examine the evidence, detectives need to consider intricate details. The process of investigating allows them to illustrate their analytical skills, thoroughly assessing information taken from different sources.
This systematic approach can prove to be effective as the investigator can confirm their suspicions and solve the problem.
Rachele Davies, who works in the investigative industry notes, “Private investigators must be analytical. Introverts naturally have analytical minds.”
Introverts tend to be deep thinkers. They spend time reflecting and paying attention to the task at hand.
Research from Frontiers in Human Neuroscience has shown that introverted individuals have higher brain activity when processing visual content in comparison to extraverts, and are more likely to focus on details.
Introverts can use their rational thinking in a professional setting. In regards to detective work, this can help them reach a conclusion based on proof and lead to a positive outcome.
Detectives must be perceptive when questioning people relevant to particular cases, noticing any inconsistencies in their answers and being able to identify possible suspects.
A strength that introverts possess is standing aside and noticing nuances of people, such as body language and facial expressions.
Conducting a surveillance investigation can be essential when solving a case. This consists of tailing someone without their knowledge and monitoring their activities, for example, catching a client’s spouse being unfaithful. Through covert photography, detectives can gather substantial evidence inconspicuously.
This would be perfect for those who can blend in easily. You are unlikely to arouse suspicion and can stealthily record your target’s actions while being conscious of your surroundings.
One necessity in detective work is confidentiality, so cases are handled safely and carefully. This exhibits professionalism and earns the client’s trust.
Introverts have the ability to set safe boundaries in order to improve their mental strength. This would be appropriate for handling sensitive information and tailoring services to suit the needs of the client.
Investigators need to make sure to not be too secretive, in case they end up withholding important information. They must follow legal procedures, so they know how to properly handle and analyse evidence, before reporting back to clients with their findings.
Detectives are permitted to work autonomously, taking responsibility for their actions as they evaluate situations.
This doesn’t mean that it is a lonely profession because interacting with people is necessary to progress with cases. The investigator can gradually build rapport through interrogating suspects, questioning witnesses, and collaborating with other members of law-enforcement.
Noir films from the Classic Hollywood era often applied this as a trope for their protagonists. Humphrey Bogart’s hardboiled private-eye Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon, for instance, follows the flawed, lone-wolf characteristic.
Looking at the character of Sam Spade, Aashni Kamra says, “Spade has no use for a partner and instead goes about his business alone, and quite successfully. He portrays the new ‘individualistic hero.’”
Introverts use up their energy through social interaction, and can enjoy working in solitude. Since there is some flexibility, this sort of career would be ideal for self-sufficient, introverted personalities.
When interrogating suspects, detectives must try to remain as objective as possible. They must put aside any personal prejudices to retrieve a reliable account from interviewees and to avoid compromising any data.
Donning the role of the investigator would be suitable for those inclined to consider all the alternative theories and their possible outcomes.
Victims are likely to be vulnerable or stressed, it is best to approach the situation with empathy. Introversion and empaths may go hand-in-hand, certain individuals have the ability to separate their feelings from someone else’s. Thus, identifying the complexities of other people’s emotions and getting a sense of their intentions.
Research is vital in this line of work.
Gathered documents that cover a large amount of information from the investigation must be processed for clients and court. These consist of recorded notes from questioning witnesses, victims and suspects as well as background checks.
You’d certainly be doing a lot of writing in this field! A handy skill for those who enjoy the hobby, especially if you can work alone. Writing is a very useful memory-aid and reflective tool that can also be a relaxing way to express your thoughts and ideas.
When forming ideas from gathered evidence, detectives can use this opportunity to get creative.
They evaluate the various possibilities of a case and use their imagination to look at it from different perspectives; delving into the depths of their mind to find multiple solutions that help them to make predictions that may turn out to be true.
Regarding the creative nature of introverts, Dr. A.J. Drenth remarks, “Introverts cherish creative expression for its role in deepening their self-knowledge. Creative work can provide them with a clearer sense of identity and play an important role in their personal development.”
Us introverts have the capability of being creative thinkers, taking comfort in our own company so we can maintain a clear focus and generate ideas that enable us to express ourselves.
To be a successful sleuth, you are required to remain focused during investigations. Having a passion for bringing people to justice and not being afraid to get “stuck-in” with cases is beneficial when handling a large workload.
Susan Cain theorises that a quiet workplace can improve an introvert’s productivity. Working in an environment without distractions enables them to stay dedicated to their craft, so they can develop a high-quality standard of work and eventually reach their end goal.
Eventually, the hard work pays off, with gratifying results.
The whole procedure of investigating crimes can be extremely time-consuming. Factors like building evidence, uncooperative people, and covert surveillance can prolong a case.
Therefore, patience is an absolute must! This role requires you to be careful and put your listening skills to the test by lending an ear to those in trouble. You can then obtain relevant facts that can eventually lead to a hypothesis.
One form of questioning is “The Columbo Technique”, named after the fictional, trench-coat wearing lieutenant (Peter Falk).
The disheveled cigar-smoker managed to procure answers from suspects by casually starting with open-ended questions, presenting himself as a bumbling, incompetent fool. Giving the murderer a false sense of security, so they implicate themselves away without realising.
Once Columbo has bonded with his subject, he uses this to his advantage by slipping in the real question. His famous catchphrase, “Just one more thing”, would be followed with the critical information that would implicate the perpetrator.
If you are too impatient and choose to ignore or interrupt your interviewee, you could discourage them from giving you a helpful response. Consequently causing your communication to be ineffective, and possibly dragging the case on for longer.
The intrigue of an unsolved crime would spark curiosity for many. Although there may be risks, having the opportunity to uncover answers and close cases could be a form of motivation for investigators.
Due to their reserved nature, introverted individuals can have an air of mystery that others may find alluring. The mysterious nature of crime-solving would also be enticing for introverts, for they can concentrate on unearthing any potential secrets.
We hope that this list was an enlightening and enjoyable read. Perhaps it will inspire you to put your inner Sherlock into practice!
Hey! I’m Sophie, a Crime and Games Writer for iTHINK. I graduated wth a degree in English Literature and Film and Screen Studies. I love to read, play video games and watch “so bad they’re good” films.