Thursday, January 5, 2012

Introverts: Have You Ever Felt Misunderstood?

Have you ever been asked these types of questions?
  • You OK?
  • Is everything alright?
  • Are you angry, upset about something?
  • Something bothering you?
Have you ever been labeled as:
  • Distant
  • Loner
  • Scary
  • Intense
  • Cold
  • Loser
  • Impersonal
  • Aloof
  • Quiet as a Mouse
  • Slow
  • Hesitant
  • Picky
  • Dull
  • Anti-Social
  • Not a team player
  • Low energy
  • Boring
If you're an introvert like me, I am sure this resonates for when you have been asked such questions and mislabeled as such, deep down you feel so misunderstood.  I know, for I have been there. And I must admit that hasn't necessarily felt good.

Good news is that there is something you can do about it.  You can overcome these perceptions by your starting to take one simple action.  While at first this action may feel uncomfortable for some, know that you can do it, and it may even impact your life in a very positive way.  Here it is:

As you run into your friends, family, work colleagues, and other people in general, rather then looking away, make a conscious effort to look at the them, or at least towards them, and say something letting them know you acknowledge their presence.  For example, assume this person you run into is named John.  When you and John approach each other, take the lead and say something like this:
  • Hello John
  • Good Morning John
  • Have a great day John
  • How was your weekend?
  • Take care guy.  Have a great day
When you don't know the person, still say something simple like "Good Morning" or "Hi There".  You get the idea.  And look, it's not that complicated. You just have to look at, or towards the person and move your lips and make a simple sound.  It's this easy and it's very doable.  If I can do it, someone who was once labeled as quiet as a mouse, you can do it.

Warning:  Initially this new action of yours may shock some people. They may even wonder what you're up to, what ever happened to you, or what you been smokin'.  But that's OK.  Let 'em guess.  Go ahead, have some fun with this.  :)

You see, reality is that we introverts do acknowledge others but we often do it in our heads. As a result, others don't know that and therefore we introverts get misjudged and mislabeled. Frankly speaking, we bring it onto ourselves.  So the choice is yours.  You can continue down the same old path or you can take the bull by the horn and make the shift by starting to take small yet powerful steps as suggested above to begin to connect, and reap the rewards that follow.

So, what will you choose?

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