Introvert-itudes©: You Don't Sound Like an Introvert!

During a one-to-one networking conversation on the telephone, the first person I connected with chimed, “You don’t sound like an introvert!” I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Now just what the heck does that mean?” Maybe I put out that passion because I so want to break down these introvert myths which even some introverts believe. But the conversations that followed proved it is still going to be a long process.

There’s no end to my energy, or my willingness to do what I can to further the positive image of introvert. Sometimes this can be dangerous and I realize that to tone things down would be in some people’s eyes, more like an introvert. So I continued the conversation mainly to find out what did he expect an introvert to sound like?

He said, well, introverts mumble and they are indecisive.

This is the perception some of us, as more introverted, are giving! I went on with our defense and hopefully some clarity.

    Mumbling. I believe everyone mumbles at times. Often when I am networking, I might sit next to someone who moments earlier, was clearly more of an extrovert. You know the kind. They were talking on and on about – them, their company, their service. Talking without taking a breath. But now, in a low indistinct manner, they might be telling me something they don’t want everyone at the table to hear. How on earth, unless you don’t get out at all, can you make this leap of conclusion? What are we doing labeling people by things that many of us do under different situations?

    Introvert-itude©: I speak confidently and assuredly when I know the person, am prepared and have an energy reserve.

    Indecision. Oh come on! When does a thorough examination of a situation equate to indecision. It may be a slower decision making process than some but it’s not a – no decision. Depending on the situation, even my extreme extrovert husband, will have a slower decision making process. Over the years, I can think of examples in business, when he was deciding on the best approach for a presentation to a client. He would call the client, get some clues, talk with his staff, talk with me, and this could take days. Is that indecision? Hell no. It’s a slow, methodical process of deciding.

    Introvert-itude©: As an introvert I tend toward rational, planned and careful decision-making. It’s a thoughtful approach that usually works.

Since we were out of time in this speed networking venue, those were the two identifiers that he and I bounced back and forth when I steam rolled his comment, “You don’t sound like an introvert!” I know he could have continued, and I could too, because, I hear things like this everyday from some people.

Are you an introvert?

Have you ever been told you – sound like an introvert?

Stop and think, what behavior gave this perception?

Can you really make the leap from that behavior to you are – an introvert? Or even an extrovert?

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Comments

  1. bonniedubrow says:

    Pat, we humans experience what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. That happens real time moment to moment. Then we interpret and organize our experiences through words and labels. Then we think our experience was the words and labels and we generalize… an introvert is this and does that… and extrovert is and does something else. And through this process, we miss the magic.

    May we all continue to wake up and experience the moment – who we’re with, who we are, and what we’re sharing. May we focus on connecting heart to heart. May we remember words are only 7% of a communication. The rest comes through visuals (what we and others see) and vocals (how we sound, what we hear.)

    So share your energy. Connect from your heart. Experience the magic in the moment.

    The Energizer Bonnie

  2. Pat Hi,

    Really useful material there – and yes – ‘labelling’ people is a scourge we all do to a greater or lesser extent and shouldn’t.

    Many ‘introverts’ I’ve known aren’t indecisive – many have HUGE iron will for starters! They may not talk much – but try and shift them from where they want to be!!

    Perhaps a solution is to develop communication styles that suit different personality types = they feel comfortable with what they are doing.

    When people feel comfortable = they tend to do a better job

  3. Pat Hi,

    Really useful material there – and yes – ‘labelling’ people is a scourge we all do to a greater or lesser extent and shouldn’t.

    Many ‘introverts’ I’ve known aren’t indecisive – many have HUGE iron will for starters! They may not talk much – but try and shift them from where they want to be!!

    Perhaps a solution is to develop communication styles that suit different personality types = they feel comfortable with what they are doing.

    When people feel comfortable = they tend to do a better job

  4. Bonnie, it’s quite natural for us to label – it’s the generalization that isn’t quite suiting when it comes to understanding a person.

    Hi Richard! Wonderful to see you here. The best in business are somewhat chameleon like – having their communication style match their prospect, employee even family members.

    Thank you both for your comments.

  5. Good post Pat. I am an INTJ. I know a number of extroverts that are indecisive and to be fair a lot of introverts that are also. Introversion is not about decision making.

    I think a list of introverts can speak for themselves:

    Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former first lady
    Laura Bush, first lady
    William, Prince of Wales
    Abraham Lincoln, 16th president
    Al Gore, former vice president
    Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president

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