“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” — John Jakes
Introverts get a bad rap; they just do. But it’s often unfair to the more introspective around us to pigeonhole them into the common “If you’re not a Type-A, hard-charging son of a gun, you’re a nobody” expectation.
As an introvert myself, I prefer working alone to working in large groups. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy people; quite the contrary. And sometimes, if conditions are perfect, I can get a great deal of energy from being in a group setting, as long there are a dozen or fewer people I have to interact with. Any more than that, and my brain tries to listen to too many conversations. I find myself thinking:
They’re laughing louder than we are. Maybe I should join that conversation instead. No, that would be awkward. In order to successfully migrate I’ll have to come up with an excuse like ‘That guy’s hair is on fire!”, run over there, and tackle him. That would definitely be awkward. I’d better just stay here. What’s everybody talking about?
But in smaller groups, I can manage the flow of conversation, both externally and internally. I manage my internal energy by trying to manage the flow of energy around me. And sometimes, it’s just too much.
My cup runneth over in these moments.
As you go about starting your new project, keep the following thoughts about introverts in mind. They’ll come in handy when you discover that your new VA or bookkeeper isn’t as jovial as you experienced them during the interview. Remember that they likely spent every ounce of energy they had by socializing with you and your team, and that’s not their daily modus operandi.
Here are a few examples that maybe you’ve experienced with others or thought about yourself.
- They’re shy.
- They’re weak.
- They’re not bold enough.
- They’re timid.
- They’re scared, fragile, and brittle.
- The lightest comment can send them reeling.
- Pansy, chicken, even soft.
Sound familiar? Have you ever felt any of those feelings more than once? Have others said those things about you? You may be an introvert, but it’s important to remember that THOSE THOUGHTS ARE NOT TRUE. They’re the voice of fear; amplified by comparison.
Introverts aren’t necessarily incompetent; they just use energy differently than extroverts.
Energy comes to us all in different forms. We absorb it, use it, modify it, and then send it back out for others to absorb through our art, music, birdhouses, blog posts, web design, business ideas, conversations, inventions, and whatever else we create.
At the bottom of this post is a TED talk given by Brené Brown about vulnerability and how being more open with our true selves to the outside world can increase our personal satisfaction and help us contribute more to the world around us. Give it a peek.
Here’s how to deal with Introverts, courtesy of FastCoCreate.com.
Here’s the TED talk I promised:
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