I’m a woman. As a young girl I was always encouraged to be “lady-like”. I was told to sit with my knees together and if I were to cross my legs, I could only cross them at the ankle. I was told to sit up straight and practice great posture. My mother told me all of these things not to conform to some idea of what it meant to be feminine, but for my health. She always said these things were lady-like and good for me. She told me sitting up straight would train me to have good posture and that crossing my legs only at the ankle would ensure proper blood flow. She also said these things showed everyone else that I cared about myself. She was right. In addition to these things being good for my health, they also put out a message.
My mother also taught me to let myself be heard, and not to cower in fear of what others may think. This is a lesson that took a while to learn, but it wasn’t hard. I realized I project a certain confidence that I often found lacking in myself. I have been told that I “carry myself” well, or that I look like the type of woman who “don’t take no mess”. I have taken my share of messes in the past. It often puzzled me that people at first meeting found me intimidating. It was not until I saw a video of myself walking to my car shot by a friend of mine. I was standing talk, back straight, chest out and thought to myself “Who is that?” I could not believe my eyes. I could now see what everyone else was talking about. I looked more confident than I was. This video was a game-changer for me. That day I decided I was going to be the woman I had trained my body to be.
I was never a push-over, but I wouldn’t say that I was the most assertive woman either. It took a lot for me to step up and make myself heard. I knew that part of me needed some work so I used the antiquated term of being “lady-like” to my advantage. I took a page from my mother’s book. She described the confident posture and demeanor that I now possess as “lady-like” because, I feel that she subconsciously believed that to be a less threatening term for a woman. What she was teaching me was to convey confidence in a non-threatening way. I had to learn to be assertive.
Being assertive for an introvert has its challenges, but it also has its advantages. As an introvert, I tend to sit back and observe. We introverts make lots of mental notes in our heads and tend to not act on impulse, thus making our assertion more effective. We can be calculating and often let all the dust clear before sweeping up the pieces and putting them in order. I use the “lady-like” approach. I wait my turn, smile, and never raise my voice. This is not a sign of weakness, but of control. I can maintain my composure while making myself heard and commanding respect. I have been amazed at how well this works. I believe once you lose control of your emotions, you being to crack the shell of your defense. I was able to convey a confidence and even intimidation just in the way I walked. It wasn’t because of anything I said. It was because I was in control of my body. I learned that I also had to get that same control over my emotions.
Learn more about introverts and why they are wonderful partners, and have a profound ability to connect deeply with others.
Source: Introverts Are Born To Connect More Deeply With Others, Here’s Why
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
A letter from Michael Schiller, founder of the Social Introverts Facebook Page, on his passion for helping introverts appreciate their own quiet perfection.
Source: On “Social Introverts”
Truth! I have used #13 many times.
Extroverts: We adore your unbridled enthusiasm, boundless energy and ability to socialize with a houseplant. It’s inspiring. Also: exhausting. So, while we think you’re great, we wish you got us a little bit better. Here, 22 things that only true-blue introverts understand. Read on (in silence, of course).
Source: 22 Things Only Introverts Understand
A new book looks inside the minds of introverted kids and teens, with lessons for schools on class participation, groupthink and public speaking.
Source: How Parents And Teachers Can Nurture The ‘Quiet Power’ Of Introverts : NPR Ed : NPR
It’s my cross to bear. It confuses many people, but I am a bubbly introvert. I love people and like most introverts and I enjoy the company of others, but there are times when I need to be alone. I have a quick wit and a sense of humor. I’m loving, affectionate and compassionate, but I still need and crave time alone. As like most bubbles, mine eventually pop.
There are times when I am in a small group of people and I am truly enjoying myself and the company, but then I need to leave. Oftentimes those in my company think they’ve done something to offend me or they believe that suddenly I’m not feeling well. They wonder what happened to the funny lady who has been cracking jokes for the past thirty minutes or so. I have just reached my limit of social interaction at that time and I need that time away to refill my well. After spending a lot of time in social situations I begin to “power down”. This is especially awkward at dinner parties when I can’t just walk away with everyone else still sitting at the dinner table. I tend to get quiet and just sit there. I try my best not to let my desire to get up and leave show on my face, but sometimes it does. When that happens, I get the dreaded extra attention. People begin to ask me if I am okay. Even when I assure them that I’m fine, most of the time they don’t believe me. They feel the need to include me in the conversation and inadvertently draw attention to and increase my discomfort.
What is difficult thing for most to understand is how I can be a bubbly, energetic person and then shut down. I often try to explain it, but it can be difficult to explain. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to me. It is what it is.
I feel this confusion comes from a misunderstanding of what an introvert is. We often see images of people concealed in hooded garments with all of the world shut out or images with captions that read “I can’t people today”, “People go away”, or some other standoffish command. Although I can relate to not wanting to “people” at certain times, that is not the case all the time or even most of the time.
Being an introvert does not mean that I’m shy, have a personality disorder, or am unable to socialize. I am not uptight, arrogant, or hate being around people. I don’t even find socializing difficult, but I want to do it the way I want to do it and I need time to myself to recharge. That does not mean I can’t thrive in a crowd full of people. I can make it work, but I would chose to be in a smaller group of people I already know and even then, I will have enough and want to be by myself. I am also perfectly fine alone. I don’t need to be around people to enjoy myself, but I like everyone else, I need people in general.