This morning on a news interview about, how to ace an interview, the interviewee’s comments are a reminder that there is still so much confusion about introvert versus shy.
When I heard her start to give her top tips she credited a previous Forbes list, and I heard, “It was really meant to help introverts. People that are shy …”
“What!!” I screamed at the woman on the television business news broadcast.
If the understanding that introvert equates to shy is still a misconception, let’s walk things back a bit and clarify what the key distinction is what it means to be more introverted.
Many more people today understand that a key distinction of someone more introverted – how they get their energy, their stamina – is from their inner self. That’s opposite from the extrovert energized from all things and all people going on around them.
Because life naturally has so much extroverting in it, especially around the holidays, we want to be responsible introverts and take care of our energy. Why bother to recover and recharge?
But listen to this 18 seconds clip to refresh what the misconception is:
1) Introverts who ignore signs and symptoms of energy depletion, might appear: aloof, anti-social or disinterested.
Sometimes I will attend a family member or friend’s holiday party and start out matching the pace of the conversations. Wrong! Talk about energy depletion fast. But being more mindful of what is in the moment snaps me back to adjusting my pace.
With our sensitivity to all things outside us, we can continue to deplete your reserves without taking action for yourself.
When I need a quick remedy to over-stimulation, I hop over to Thriving Now Radio and listen to the 17 minute “How Do I feel Good Around Others?” It always helps me to realize that my awareness of my energy is the first step to recharging.
2) Introverts are much more vulnerable to disengaging our strengths when we – keep on going and going.
Recently I was asked,
What do I say to extroverts who ask what seem like intrusive questions? “What are your plans for the weekend?” or “How did you spend the holiday?” Maybe they mean to be polite. But how many times can you say, “I read a book, played with the dog, and watched TV” without sounding antisocial or boring?
I cannot presume how the person feels or what emotions they might have with this exchange.
Then, the person wondered aloud with me saying,
“It’s even tempting to make up something and at least sound more interesting.”
This approach could be like a Venus flytrap: alluringly scented but deadly.
What if your made-up-something then prompted an invitation to next week’s local college tailgate party? Avoid getting caught in this trap.
One approach to answering questions is to pretend you are with one of your closest friends. Take a deep breath and talk about what interested you about the book embellishing as you go.
Talk about something in the life with your dog either in the past 30 days, as if it were that weekend. Or tell a little interesting tidbit about your furry friend.
Or after you mention what was your favorite television program that weekend, ask what they did?
Or you could say something like, “We love our alone time. It’s how we get charged up.” Nothing wrong with either direct or indirect statement of how you like things that way. Then, add the conversation to take the focus off of you and your routine. Ask, “What are you/were you up to?”
Be considerate, be willing possibly to stretch your conversation but shift the focus to the other person.
Become comfortable with who you are so there is no stress in drawing your strengths into the uncomfortable situation.
Know your introvert strengths and then in your creativity find an empowering statement or two you can make to satisfy you and your querying neighbor, friend or family member.
The bottom line is to take your eye of your worry and focus on the subject. Go deep and go wide. Play around.
3) For our quiet effectiveness to have a positive effect in what we bring to work and life, we want to check in with ourselves to bring in our best.
Both our mental and emotional states are affected when we are over-stimulated. During times like the holiday season with all the festivities, we may forget to take a time to tune purposefully in and take some time for ourselves.
How do you know when is enough is enough to stop and take care of yourself?
How much lack of focus is your cue to stop and recharge?
How much overwhelm will you tolerate?
We all need to be out in the world with people – in our work, with our family, and with our friends. But introverts are different than our extrovert co-workers, family, and friends.
Being alone is what gives us what we need to be with them. So let’s not screw things up or perpetuate negative myths about ourselves.
If we stop and acknowledge that we are losing are steam, and then it’s – our responsibility to recharge and recover.
Notice, nothing is about how rest and recovery reminders might help out someone shy. That’s because being shy is incredibly different than being more introverted.
Here is an article from the archives that might help you understand this distinction between introvert and shy: Introvert Myth: Are Only Introverts Shy?
Now enjoy your …
Introverts Holiday: More Responsibility to Value Recharge and Recover
Why do you think it’s important that we recover and recharge?
How do you recover and recharge? Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
Originally published on: Dec 9, 2009 as introverts-3-rs-responsibility-to-recharge-and-recover