Isn’t everyone dysfunctional to some degree?
We may have a dysfunctional family; or we may be the dysfunctional family member! Maybe we’re a dysfunctional parent, or maybe we have one. Because of all the negative perception about introverts, we may qualify to raise our hand, “Yes! I’m dysfunctional.”
Let’s just stop that now and find a way to put the fun back in dysfunctional as relates to us.
Top Ten Introvert Ways To Put Fun Back In Dysfunctional
- 1. We don’t have to suffer from being a doormat. Some of us don’t even recognize we do. But we have to realize, some people just can be unkind, or otherwise uncaring and they just don’t (and won’t) understand it’s wrong. We can open the door to recognizing this is life.
- 2. Identify your strengths, put them into action and surprise yourself with the outcome. In talking with people all around the globe, we just don’t lead with our strengths. It reminds me of a recently criticized political debate where the moderators lead with the question, “What is your greatest weakness?” Come on. As human beings we already focus on that.
- 3. Even extroverts have a certain amount of dysfunction. It’s a funny thing how we can often recognize flaws or dysfunction in others and be blind to our own issues. So pick something, anything – a behavior, a habit, something – one thing you know is likely negative in the mind of someone. Yep; THAT.
- 4. Some of us are beyond therapy but we continue to sing out of tune. My husband has been telling me for years that he doesn’t like when I raise
- my voice. We could be talking about something I am passionate about in either a good or a not so good way and there it goes! I’ve tried in particular since he asked me to renew our vows a few years ago. On a scale of 1 to 10 of getting better, with 10 being the therapy worked, I’m likely at about a 2.
- 5. Let go of the fights with yourself with questions like: “Does my introvert butt look big in this event?” There is little point in beating ourselves up about anything. Find some kind of practice to – let go of questions that are simply perpetuating a flaw. If you cannot let go, or letting go isn’t helpful in particular around others, then find some way to begin to change the question. How about, “Does my introvert listening look big in this event?” Everyone wants to be listened to so asking ourselves this isn’t a fight. It’s a recognition we bring something to the event.
- 6. “Introverts are like icebergs: you see on the surface a small amount of the full person.”
- This means we know, we often go deep. If you even get the comment, you’re so quiet, it’s likely nothing has entered the particular conversation that has fired you up enough, to start to melt the iceberg.
Nur Zafrena (can no longer find her online) tweeted this in 2010, and it fits perfectly!
- 7. As a woman introvert, if you are ever called a bitch, to your face or behind your back, you’ve just been complimented as being assertive.
- 8. I think introverts, like dogs, can learn enough people skills to get along. Our dog, Chanel was amazing with her manners. We spoiled her early in her life by feeding her something from our food after dinner. While she didn’t always “beg” at the table, she would sit ever so politely right by us until she knew we were finished, and of course head for her bowl for that treat.
- When we entertained, she would hang around either me or my husband. She would wag her tail and look at everyone with those big, round, dark eyes. If they got down to her level to pet her, her tail would wag even faster, if such a thing is possible.
- 9. Introverts are social. It’s just that most of the time, “One is company and two is a crowd.” My neighbor and I share the same birth date. One year I suggested, let’s get just 3 or 4 couples together for a dinner celebration. Refer back to #3 for the explanation of the situation just below.
- One particular friend I invited was an all out extrovert, which I knew. What caught me totally by surprise is here calling me within an hour saying she invited 3 other couples. I called my birthday partner and he was regretful about who I called! Now he wasn’t sure he wanted to go. By the end of the day she had grown our quiet dinner party of about 8 people to about 28.
- I made a management decision and cancelled the affair. Then just the four of us, quietly, enjoyed a birthday dinner out.
- 10. Don’t accept that the word dysfunctional relates to who you are as more introverted. It’s really someone else’s lack of understanding.
- Actually, let me point out again that we are all dysfunctional. Just some of us more than others!
It’s time for us to transform how we think of ourselves as being different. We are for goodness sake! But it can be easier if we lighten up, accept who we are as we are and then go with the global dysfunctionality.
What can you say to help us lighten up about ourselves?
And thank you my friend Margie Basaraba for the title – great fun.
Originally published, February 2010.