Definition of an Introvert

Introvert: (n)  

- a shy person : a quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people.

Merriam Webster's definition above of an introvert might not fit me to the tee , but it certainly describes my general personality. I'm not one of those socially awkward people who crumbles and cowers in a corner when a stranger approaches me. I can carry on a conversation, be social with friends and colleagues, and work as a team. But do I prefer to do this all of the time, no!

I would much rather be by myself, work independently, and reflect on my feelings. Now I've known this about myself for a while now, but until recently did I fully connect it to the fact that I am an introvert.  I am the  definition of an introvert as a verb. According to Merriam Webster, to be introverted is to pull inward or in upon itself,  as to concentrate or direct upon oneself. 

Now concentrating upon one's self sounds horribly conceited, but I don't believe this is what Merriam Webster means, and I can assure you I am not. Nor do I believe are most introverts.

I'm tired of introvert being a negative description. The HR pros with blogs I read and the 'How to Ace the Behavioral Interview" articles talk all the time about how to act and answer questions during an interview. But what they don't tell you, in my opinion, is that they really want you to act like an extrovert even if you aren't. I believe employers don't understand that there is unharnessed power in introverts, including my own, and I am ready to unleash mine and prove my employer wrong. 

I'm starting this blog mainly because I love to write, and this is one way for me to start doing more of it. But also  because I recently came upon a book called, Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking'by Susan Cain. After I started reading the book, I knew I had found my blog topic.

The book's title spoke to me immediately, and as I read the description on the back, I was checking off in my head each description that Ms. Cain describes as a typical introvert:

  • "Ones who prefer listening to speaking," check.
  • "Who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion," check.
  • "Who favor working on their own over working in teams," check, check!

In the first few chapters, I already have a better understanding and appreciation for my true personality and understand how I can start to utilize my quiet power i.e. my new super-human power! I have to be honest, though, I'm not even done with the book. But I can't wait to finish today's blog, so I can use my snow day to pick it back up.  

What I have taken away from the book so far, though, is how to better understand my boss and coworkers by being able to identify and understand their personalities. I felt pretty confident that I had figured out my boss's personality soon after she started. And thanks to the book, I am now validated!  

But honestly, her quick decision making and my need to sit back and evalute an idea before I make my final decision is starting to clash. Of course, there is a time and a place when a quick decision is necessary. And in some ways I admire her ability to make a decision without fully thinking it through, but I want her to understand that my approach is Ok too. That our work isn't so immediate and life-changing that we can't even take a couple of hours to think over an idea and weigh the pros, cons, and possible struggles we might face by deciding too quickly. 

However, with the help of this book and my new realized super-human power I am learning to channel for the good is going to turn the tables at the work place and in my life. Just wait and see how this openly introverted gal turns inward to lead and relate out.

 

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