Self awareness is the key…
Welcome to my new site and first blog!
I’ve worked with people for over 25 years as a Line Manager, Stress Manager and Coach, and have realised that in the main, the people I’ve worked with are more introverted in their personality type. I’ve often talked to people about being an introvert, how that might be a part of their struggles and how understanding that might help them. At some point they usually say something like “but I don’t want to be an introvert” but while there’s nothing we can do about that (you’re born that way), I’ve been able to help them understand their introversion, raise their self awareness, confidence and self esteem and make their way in the world more comfortably, feeling empowered, able to express themselves more confidently and make themselves heard.
I am an introvert, albeit a confident and fairly outgoing one. I need time alone for thought and reflection, sometimes prefer books to people and find my energy from within. On a good day that makes me quiet, calm and reflective and on a less positive day I over think things and disable myself from making a decision. I wish I could switch my ‘worry’ head off and always try to smile (I usually fail!) when people say “don’t worry about it!”. Where is that rolling my eyes emoji?! If only I could not worry about it! How do other people NOT worry about it, whatever the ‘it’ is! Exhausting!
If this resonates with you, I’m right there with you. I’ve spent the last 25 years observing behaviours and analysing my own experiences and now have the opportunity to talk to people about the difference between introversion and extraversion and how being more aware of your personality type can make a huge amount of difference to how you manage your stress, communicate with others and manage your relationships. For me there is huge strength in introversion and I hope you’ll let me share some of my experience and observations with you to demonstrate that.
I’m not saying that more introverted people are better than more extroverted people, or vice versa. We’re all unique individuals with different personality types, skills and talents and that should be celebrated in my view, but there is an emotional independence that introverts have that isn’t valued because we focus more on our other qualities, like feeling uncomfortable in larger social groups and not feeling confident to speak up in meetings. Western societies seem to value more extraverted personality types, with the more outspoken being given more air space. We’ve associated extraversion with confidence and introversion with shyness, which I’ll show you are the not the same things, and so we think that more extraverted people should be listened to, they have lots to say, and less attention should be paid to more introverted people as they have very little to say. Which is SO not true! We need to value the differences between people and build environments where all people can find their voice and offer an opinion.
Just because we’re quieter it doesn’t mean we have nothing to say…