It's difficult to be an introvert. Often it seems as if the surest way to be the center of attention is trying to avoid it.
Most of our interests, character traits and likes have developed during our childhood. Our family, friends, our profession, and setbacks and failure - all of that influenced who we became and what is important to us.
While you can change the color of your hair with some dye, the same does not apply to personality traits, for instance, introversion and extroversion.
The third category is ambiverts (like myself).
Introverted people are quiet while extroverted people are "loud" and outgoing. At least this is our perception. In reality, we are chameleons. We adapt to our environment. That's easier for some than for others.
Introverted people can act just like extroverts. And that is advisable in many situations. For instance, when you are applying for a job, host an exhibition or want to make new friends.
Extroverted people often act like introverts. That too can be advisable in many situations. For instance, in a relationship or when you start a new job.
The important distinction between an extrovert and introvert is on the inside. Important is
Introverted people often gain strength in a quiet setting. They can replenish best when they are alone with their thoughts.
Extroverts can gain power and strengths when they are in the company of others. Dialogue and togetherness are sources of power for them.
And then there are ambiverts. They can switch from introverted to extroverted pretty well. They can extract energy from togetherness but also need their alone time.
Introversion and extroversion are not inflexible categories. Most of us are somewhere in the middle with a tendency to one.
Fact is there are introverted people and extroverted people. And the difference is in our brain. Introverted people process impressions different from extroverts.
Introverts have different needs.
If you are extroverted, you will still find value in this article. I am sure that there are introverted people in your personal or professional environment. Knowing how they tick can only help your relationships.
If you are introverted, you know to refuel and recharge your battery you need alone time and quietness. Consider
You might learn about yourself that the best situation for you is not to sit home alone. Maybe you're feeling more comfortable on a long ride on the highway in a public library, etc.
? Find out where you can refuel and make sure you can access this energy spots all the time
What are you doing when you want to energize? One likes to listen to music while the next prefers reading a book. Some resort to mindfulness while others prefer to do nothing at all.
? Find out how you can energize best and make sure you have a lot of this in your life. Often an energy spot and energy source can be combined. For instance, if you're reading a book in a public library.
A lot of introverted people carry the label "introvert" like a crown.
They will often say something like: "That is difficult for me because I am introverted." After hearing it for the second or third time, people will get annoyed.
Remove the label. There is no need to emphasize that you are introverted. You just are. Empathic people and people who care about you will be understanding.
And the rest? They will not develop sympathy or be more understanding because you tell them you are introverted.
That doesn't mean you should hide that you are introverted. Just don't use it as an excuse or explanation.
? Make a conscious decision whom and when you will tell that you are introverted. Try not to stick a label on your forehead.
Many introverted people have been through a lot of suffering. Especially when they spend a lot of time with extroverted people who never show a lot of compassion for their otherness.
When they are young, other kids might mock them because they often choose to be alone. Parents might try to pressure them because they play outside less often than their siblings.
As grown-ups, they embrace their new freedom. Finally, they can decide whom they want to spend time with. Sometimes that leads to isolation. For some, withdrawal has become a habit while others want to avoid to be pressured again.
If that applies to you make sure you notice it. You are a grown up now. You decide how you want to live and how often you want to go out. Just make a conscious decision and do not allow negative experience or fear taking control of the way you live your life.
? Ask yourself, do I live like I want to? Would I want more or less excitement and people in my life? Which experience might block me from living the life that I truly want to live?
Introverts often feel like nobody understands them. For instance, when they RSVP with "no" just because they want to think about it and not decide right away. Experience has taught them that every other reply leads to discussions.
You could still give others the chance that they might understand you. Without a big fuss. Just being yourself. Without explaining yourself or apologizing for who you are.
If you feel that this is difficult for you. Contact me and we can discuss if my EsteemedMe program is right for you.
? Give others the chance to accept you for who you are. That implies that you have to be yourself. Without fuss, explanations or apologies.
Often in life, it feels like everything happens at the same time. One appointment after the other and a stressful week at work followed by a workshop on the weekend. And on Sunday, it's your grandma's birthday.
You could cancel the workshop or not attend the birthday party. But maybe it will be great to hang out with your family again?
It is often very rewarding to push your own limits. You can make the conscious decision that even though it will cost your last bits of energy you attend all of the aforementioned.
? Confide in yourself and push your limits from time to time. Just make sure that you recharge your battery as soon as possible.
Introverted people often feel exotic or even alien. That is not surprising because a there are more extroverted people and because they are "louder" they are highly visible.
There is nothing wrong with being exotic or different. We're all "different" if we are authentic. The problem is that for many people "different" has a negative connotation. Our society has conditioned us to comply. "What are people going to say?" Even if we are not aware of it this way of thinking is still an us.
Society has changed. We can risk being different. It's okay. We can admit that we are not party people and that we want to spend our lunch break alone.
? Understand that there is nothing wrong with being yourself. Different is just different. Authenticity cannot be trained. Self-esteem can. Contact me if you need a hand.
It will happen to you all over and over again that you come across insensitive people. Your boss might not understand that you would rather go home instead of an after work party or your friend doesn't understand why you wouldn't want to go to the concert with him or her.
Develop strategies to handle reactions like this. Without blaming yourself for who you are.
? Create a strategy of how you will handle incomprehension and negative feedback. We must learn to accept that not everyone will like everything we say or do all the time. And that is okay. A high level of emotional intelligence is extremely helpful for learning to deal with rejection or criticism.
Do you want to be heard in meetings? Do you want others to understand what you have to add to a discussion?
Mind the difference. Introverted people appreciate complexity. They have a good sense for details. It's one of their strengths.
Extroverted people sometimes can be irritated by complexity. They focus on the big picture and might lose interest or focus if you don't get to the point fast.
? When communicating with extroverted people focus on what matters. Keep the big picture in mind. Communication skills is yet another advantage of people with a high EQ
Did you discover a few tips that can be helpful to you?
You could pick one, two or three tips and implement them into your daily life in the next days. Some tips might require you to do soul-searching first. But if you are an introvert, this will not be too hard on you (;
And if you read this article as an extrovert you have gained a better understanding why your introverted friend or coworker sometimes seems a bit off.
I have more tips to share but this article is already pretty long. If you would like to see part two - just drop me a line.