Thursday, July 26, 2012


When I was 20 years old, I had an important person in my life make the following statement: "If you don't get out of your introvert state, you will never amount to anything."

As shocking as that is, it was a wake-up call and in many ways did me a lot of good. Probably the most important thing it did was to make me want to disprove that I could "never amount to anything". I have come to realize over the years since that being an "introvert" is a characteristic that people are born with. There is nothing you can do to change it and there is nothing wrong with it. You can mask it and appear to be someone you're not but deep down you are who you are and that's okay; and you're not alone.

One out of two or three people are introverts. We are quiet, reserved and careful -- sometimes to a fault. Introverts like me need to accept who they are eventually without letting the characteristic create limitations. The worst thing we can do is climb so far into our shell that we don't know which way we are moving.

I have come to realize that although I am an introvert, I have a deep desire to connect with people. I want to give to them in my own way. I may not be a loud, flamboyant-type. I may not fill the room with my presence or even be comfortable in the room. Still, I tend to think deeply about people and in a kinesthetic way, I seek to understand them. Without the traits of introverts there would be no one to listen and truly understand people.

By accident, I came across the following video which gives introverts credit for who they are and the balance they have to offer. The speaker suggests that our culture praises extroverts at the expense of devaluing introverts. She says that the deepest thought comes from contemplation while our institutions and business environments encourage group-work in an extrovert enriched environment.

To all of you introverts out there, I offer you power! I offer you the power of asking questions. They teach this in sales training and it's a hidden gem. There is power in asking questions whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. People want to talk about their own stuff and don't want to hear you talk anyway. Now there's a revelation and good news for introverts. If you harness the power of asking questions, you get to speak very little and at the same time reap the rewards of letting others talk about their own stuff. Now, go ahead and be an introvert then out-sell and out-perform.

We can't deny who we really are. I understand that we all can use encouragement to think outside our own box. Introverts should stretch themselves to be more expressive and connected. On the other hand, extroverts can also slow down and understand the value of smelling the roses.