If you have read any of my other posts, you know I’m an introvert. I am an introvert who does not appear to be on because and many people don’t understand, I love people. I can be the life of the party for about 15 to 30 minutes. Then I have to disappear. If I actually attend a party you can rest assured that it was either mandatory, a mistake, it was one of those step-out-of-my-comfort-zone moments, or I had some idea of a quick and clever escape once I arrived. I have always felt my introversion was an advantage and I have learned to stop making excuses for it, but recently I am seeing that there is a clear extrovert advantage and it is making my me feel, for lack of a better phrase, some kind of way.
Those who are extroverts and thrive on creating and attending social events can really put the pressure on an introvert. Especially if you find yourself in a sea of introverts. There is a very well-liked extrovert who has recently entered my circle of associates. This introvert is the one who plans get-togethers, parties, meet ups, group outings, all the things I and many introverts shy away from. Being the introvertiest person in the group, I often feel the pressure of attending these functions as all of the others are willing to accept. To top it of, I get lots of “Are you coming to this one? You didn’t come to the last one?” I feel like I am drowning in a sea of extroverts.
In instances like these, I feel the extrovert has disrupted my little world. In a sea of extroverts it takes time for them to adjust to your introvert ways. I have to navigate the “it’s not you, it’s me” conversations to assure them that although I enjoy their company, I get over it quickly and want the interaction to end. Once I get them used to me, someone comes along and makes me the odd one out all over again. UGH! My little group was accustomed to me leaving events early or not going at all, and would let me do so in peace without question. Now this new introvert has reignited them. It is as if they have forgotten what kind of person I am.
Now I have to start over but, that’s okay. If you plan to have a healthy and fulfilling life you have to adjust to different types of people. This instance is challenging to me but, I will work through it.
In my previous post, I ended with how I needed to gain control over my emotions. I feel that control over my emotions is something I will never have, but I do have control over how I allow my emotions to affect my life. If you follow my blog and read any number of my posts, you are familiar with my season of unfortunate events. That time in my life was a period of reflection, introspection, modification, and liberation. It was a necessity for me to gain control over how I allowed my emotions to affect my life, but I was failing at it. I looked great and no one could tell that I was going through my emotional turmoil. Actually, I made it my mission to look my absolute best, have the best attitude, and appear to have my act together. The more my world fell apart, the more I tried to hide it. I was doing a great job until my health started be affected. I was getting sick often, getting various infections, viruses, and inflammations. I was not in control of my emotions. I was still feeling these things, but I wasn’t dealing with them properly. I was pushing them under layers of stylish clothes, Ruby Woo lipstick, and halo of perfectly coiffed, but gradually thinning hair. It wasn’t until I got tired of sweeping tumbleweed of my beloved kinky coils off of the floor, that I realized something had to give. I needed to regain control.
I had to realize that I had to do something about what was happening to me. There were some things I couldn’t control in my life, but there were also things I could control and that’s where I started.
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.
Like many writers, I plan on finishing a novel. I have been working on one for a while. I have had some articles and short stories published, but I have yet to have a published novel. Many of my friends and acquaintances ask if I have written, or in the process of writing a book. When I tell them I am working on a novel, the next question is “What is it about?”
Years ago attended a writing workshop in my town and sat in a room filled with aspiring authors. When it was time for us to ask questions, one of the attendees raised her hand an asked for tips on getting an agent. Then she went on to tell what her book was about. After about 5 solid minutes of awkward starts, backtracks, and confused faces, she ended with “I have a title. It’s called Saturday Night at the Disco.” Even as I cringed along with everyone else as she bumbled through her attempt to describe her book, I wondered if I could do a better job.
Part of my current job is helping students succeed academically. I help them with time management, study skills, critical thinking, etc. I am often looking for various ways and techniques on how to improve study skills. One method is the Feynman Technique. If you are not familiar with the Feynman Technique, it is essentially explaining something in language simple enough for a young child to understand and, by doing so, you too are gaining a better understanding of the subject. After explaining this technique with several students I realized that this technique is a great way to fill plot holes and confusion in you own work.
If you want to be a published author and plan to go the traditional route of finding an agent, you will have to write a query letter. You will have to be able to sell your book in a few sentences. One way to do this is with the Feynman Technique.
iBourgie’s Guide to Writing your Query Letter Using the Feynman Technique
- Write down your tentative title.
- Write down the plot as if explaining it to an 8-year-old child
- Review what you have written (or if you have an 8-year-old handy, ask them to read it to see if they can follow it. If they cant..
- Look for the confusing parts and clear them up. This may be a great time to also look through your work to see if that confusion exists in it as well.
- Finally, make any adjustments using plain language
I really is that simple. If it is too hard for you to apply this technique, you have a little more work to do. Enjoy the journey!
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
“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.”
Source: Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings
I couldn’t have said it better myself.