Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Introverts: Do You Ever Feel Like Something is Wrong With You?

Back in January 2010, I wrote a post entitled "Workplace Challenges Being an Introvert". In response, one of my blog readers recently shared:

"I'm such an introvert, and recently was told by my brother that I'm "wrong" for not talking to my relatives the way he does...I'm just not talkative, but of course that comes off as "bitchy"..I've been criticized for being quiet for a decade (I'm 21), and it's terrible to have to go through that, feeling like something is "wrong with you"...when actually, I'm a nice, friendly person with deep, meaningful thoughts...sometimes I don't know what to do with myself."

First of all, if you're an introvert, I am sure this resonates.  If it does, rest assured that there is nothing wrong with you.  Unfortunately, given how we introverts are wired, we often come off as such to those who don't understand us.  What varies are the choice of words used to describe us. Yet underlying messages are similar. And in each instance we feel misjudged.

Having said that, we have a choice.  Do we want to continue to go through life being misjudged, defending how we are,while remaining silent and "hiding" behind "that's how we are?"  Or do we want to do something about it?  If you choose the later, here's something for you to think about, and then do.

Next time someone misjudges you, why not first thank them for they have given you invaluable feedback.  Secondly, ask them "What's the one thing you could say or do differently, so that you don't come off as...bitchy...aloof...arrogant...disengaged...?  If you genuinely ask for guidance, people will provide it to you, from a good place.

By doing so you will gain valuable actionable guidance, and then you can accordingly adjust your behavior as needed for the given situation.  And you can do this in a way that doesn't negate who you are while at the same time communicating to others the real authentic caring nice person that you are on the inside.

Now, if you were to choose this path, which you can for many things in life are acts of will, and therefore doable once you put your mind to it, what would your relationships, personal and professional, look like?  What obstacles would be removed?  What opportunities would become available to you?  In a nutshell, what would become possible for you?

So, with this said, which path do you choose? 

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