Happy Sunday, and “holla!” to my fellow introverts.
This week I’m in the mood of sharing. Two fun new “Crystal Facts” for you: 1) I suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder and 2) I am in fact introverted. For me these two facets of my personality are intertwined. If you know me in person you might be surprised by this (or maybe not), but when I met you for the first time my anxiety level was likely sky high because it was probable that we engaged in small talk and I loath small talk. For me small talk is a waste of time and I am using up too much of my energy to talk about the weather with you when all I want to do is skip right to the good stuff.
I came across this good read from a Facebook share yesterday via the Huffington Post, 10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With the World. The post sites things like the fear of small talk, succeeding on stage but not in the chit chat afterwards, thinking before speaking, and dislike of speaking on the phone. This article is me to a T. The article also led me to this great Ted Talk by Susan Cain, The Power of Introverts. For someone who grew up being referred to as “shy” when I wasn’t, it feels good to read and watch others describe your personality and say “it’s okay and you are not alone”.
To me being introverted is a blessing. It helps me be more creative, I am never bored by myself, I am one of the best listeners you’ll ever meet, and I am much more empathetic because of introversion. I am my best in the following situations: 1) when I am alone and I can think stronger deeper thoughts, 2) in one-to-one conversations versus large group chats and 3) when I am engaging in very thought provoking and deep conversation with someone. When I speak my ultimate goal is for there to be a purpose for what I’m saying.
I hate saying words just to say them. The past few weeks this has had me on high anxiety alert especially in the morning when I see my coworkers for the first time, “How are you, how was your weekend?” Responding with “I’m great, weekend was good” for me is sometimes a lie and I hate lying, but I also hate making people feel awkward with, “Actually I’m doing horribly, and this weekend I just sat around thinking to myself.” Just doesn’t seem to be as socially acceptable. Being introverted is not a blessing during networking events (awful, absolutely awful), group projects when I have no time to work things through on my own, or I am confused for being “shy” because I’m being silent. Oh, and the anxiety, that sucks too.
This week hug an introvert and tell them they are valued and appreciated. Tell them that the world needs introverts just as much as it needs extroverts. Introverts? Embrace your inner personality traits as well as an extrovert because they happen to really like things like hugs, and they get the party started and are great at moving conversation along.
Have a good week! xoxo ‘n lols, crystal