(NOTE: This was originally posted on my blog in April 2016. Given recent conversations in our VA 101 Mastermind about being an introvert, I thought I’d bring it back. Enjoy!)
Back in the old corporate days, I was having an electronic conversation with a co-worker one morning about writing, and she mentioned she is an introvert, and finds writing much easier than interacting with people. That was the birth of a blog post.
I am also an introvert. There are a bunch of misconceptions about introversion and extraversion. The true definition of these terms are, what is the source of a person’s energy. Introverts gain energy from within, and extroverts gain energy from their environment, mostly through interaction with other people. Similar to the way men and women often don’t understand each other, introverts and extraverts often don’t understand each other. One is not better than the other, they are just different. They don’t understand why we don’t die of boredom, we get exhausted just watching them bounce all over the place. We think they could become besties with a lamp post, they think we don’t like people. It’s not that introverts don’t like people. We are just not as comfortable in large group settings, especially when we don’t know most of the people present. Starting conversations is challenging – we’re not a fan of the tired, old, boring questions like “what do you do?” and “where are you from?” and it’s tough to come up with something creative when you’re uncomfortable. Spontaneity is definitely not our thing. We are planners by nature, if for no other reason than to minimize the odds of getting caught in a crowd of extraverts without advanced preparation. We think “go with the flow” means “risk getting thrown headlong into a pile of rocks.”
Now you are likely thinking, “OK, Mr. Introvert, how do you survive working as an admin? Isn’t that totally a people job?” Generally, yes. But that’s one beauty of working with engineers. Most of the personalities on my floor are subdued. Consider the classic engineer joke:
“Q: How do you tell an extraverted engineer from an introverted one?
A: An extraverted engineer will look at your shoes while he’s talking instead of his own.”
I’m a particularly strange introvert. I’m introverted and a clown at the same time. I love laughing and making people laugh. So when I need to recharge, I’ll be at home in my Man Cave watching old sitcoms like M*A*S*H and Night Court, laughing my fool head off. I also love truly stupid movies like “Anchorman,” “Take This Job and Shove It,” “Spaceballs” and “Cannonball Run.” I also have a list of my favorite stand-up comedians. I try to incorporate humor whenever possible in my Toastmasters speeches. This is one method I use to get charged up when I know I am going to be in a situation that will involve a lot of interaction with others, such as a networking event or a Toastmasters meeting. When the battery is fully charged, I can interact more easily.
In the aforementioned electronic conversation from this morning, my co-worker said I should consider writing something more substantial than just a blog, because she thinks I have a good writer’s voice and have well-researched material. Truth be told, I had not considered that, but perhaps I should. The more I write, the more enjoyable I find it. I do think I have a knack for writing about controversial subjects in a way that disarms people from the desire to kill others with opposing viewpoints. I’m also good at making fun of people, especially myself. Hey, that’s a good idea – an entire post of self-deprecating humor. Let me get started on that.
While on the subject of writing, if you’re a small business owner who needs content for your website or blog, you should consider hiring me as a Virtual Assistant to take care of your writing needs while you grow your business.Do the ol’ Contact us thing to see how we can partner to make great things happen for your business.