Posted in Introvert Lounge, Uncategorized

Introverts and Socializing at Work

As an introvert, I don’t feel I am at a disadvantage most times. I have grown to love my introversion and do not view it as a hindrance, but when you are in a situation where you are you must work with mostly extroverts those advantages don’t seem to put you in a favorable position.

Working with extroverts, especially those who try to for you out of your introversion can be difficult. Most of the work activities are stirred toward forced social interaction, team-building, and all things that they may enjoy, but we find uncomfortable and tiring. It can be challenging to be an introvert in those situations. I have found some ways to cope with them. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. When they do, it is a win-win for all involved. Below are some of the tips I have used in the past.

 

Offer to do the planning and the setup.

I love to plan.  Planning an event is never a problem for me.  It’s attending the event that sparks my anxiety.  That anxiety is exacerbated by the idea that everyone will thing I am antisocial or unwilling to participate because my energy will drain and I will begin to power down in the middle of the event. If I become heavily involved in the planning, I can still participate in my own way and often alone.  I can also busy myself with the setup and thus avoid any sustained interaction.  

 

Find another introvert

I call this the magnet method.  The introvert is easy to spot.  Search all corners of the room and that is where you will find us.  Generally introverts who understand each other are content with congregating together and not socializing.  

 

Excuse yourself ahead of time

If you are not on company time, it is perfectly fine to have other plans they will cut into the event.  When you feel your energy start to drain, leave.  It works well to have something planned ahead of time so everyone can be prepared for your departure.

 

As I mentioned, these tips don’t always work for every situation, but they can ease some of the introvert’s anxiety.  The main thing is not to feel guilty for using these or any other coping strategies. We are who we are and we cannot help that.

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday # 48

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Today’s Writing Prompt:  Ritual

We all have some type of ritual.  It could be a daily walk, a morning brew of coffee, or a complex set of steps that you must complete before moving on to the next thing.  Write about one of your rituals and what it means to you.  Why do you feel it is necessary?  When did it start?  What would happen if you didn’t do it?

Posted in Uncategorized

Wisdom of a Child

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The other day my son and I were driving home from church.  We pass a very small, modest house and my son said “That’s the kind of house I want!”  I was a little shocked as the house was very small and nondescript.  My son is academically gifted and I had visions him being a CEO, famous artist, etc.  Basically, I visioned him having a lucrative career  and along with that, I did not envision such a tiny, unremarkable home.  I asked him why that house appealed to him.  He then went on to tell me  big houses require a lot of work and money to maintain and  he did not want to spend his time, money, and energy maintaining and extravagant house.  He would much rather travel, and work just enough to afford the things he enjoys.  Spending so much money on a house did not make sense to him.

This day I learned that my dreams for may child are just that – My Dreams.  He has a mind of his own and, from what I can tell, a pretty good plan.  I work in higher education and I often encounter parents pushing their dreams onto their children.  I try to encourage the parents and the students to make decisions they will be happy with in the long run.  Although I never tell my son that he shouldn’t take a certain path or judge his decisions, I do realize that I may imply my disappointment, but saying things like “Why would you want to do that? I have to be careful with my tone because I have always told my son that he would be free to do anything that does not harm himself or others.  I will always take into consideration his best interests and will guide him along the way, but I will also trust that sometimes his vision for himself is what’s best for him.  It is his life to live and I want him to be happy.

Posted in Soothing Sunday

Procrastination: It works for me!

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As 2014 rapidly approaches, so does the endless lists of New Year resolutions.  One resolution that has been at the top of my list for as long as I remember is to stop procrastinating.  I have given myself the title of Master Procraster.  Although procrastination has never prevented me from meeting a deadline, I have always felt that I needed to stop doing it.  I am notoriously punctual.  I’m never late so I often wondered it procrastination was a real problem for me.  I have always been able to work well under pressure, but this year I made it a point of getting assignments and projects done early.  I finished several papers well before their due dates, submitted proposals and outlines shortly after they were assigned, and I felt no great sense of relief.  I was actually a little bored having all of my work done with nothing pressing down upon me.  I reviewed my work and I didn’t see any great difference in the content or quality.  So why do I need to quit procrastinating, or why is procrastination such a bad thing.  It’s not for me.

One of my professors mentioned to the class that he would be absent at the end of the week because he was presenting at a conference.  We asked him about his presentation and he gave us a brief and interesting description. Then he told us that he had not written it yet.  As the week progressed, each day we asked about his presentation we were told that he had yet to write it.  Finally, the day before his conference, he said that he still hadn’t written the paper he was presenting and that he would outline it on the plane and write it the night before the presentation.  He went on to tell us that he had the entire paper planned out in his mind and it would be nothing for him to sit down for a couple of hours and type it out.  This is when something clicked in my head.  It is okay to procrastinate if you are good at it.

Just like my professor, I plan things out in my head before I execute them.  I can get very  busy and some things take precedent over others.  I have household chores, my child’s activities, my activities, and all of the other things that are a part of life.  I like to take care of all of those things first.  I personally find it hard to focus if I have a laundry to do, dinner to plan, and even time to relax.  There have been times when I took an extra 3 hours to catch up on a season of Mad Men when I had papers to write, presentations to plan, and other pressing deadlines.  I could have used that time to focus on those things, but I didn’t and it was okay.  I was still able to get meet all of those deadlines because I had all of them planned out in my mind.  I wasn’t physically typing away on my keyboard, but I had been working.  I spend a lot of time thinking.  As I am cleaning my house, waiting in the car line to pick up my son from school, or any other activity that does not use a lot of brainpower, I’m thinking and planning.  So when I am ready to sit down and write that paper, or prepare for that presentation, I have something to work with.  It’s like riding a train.  Although you may be sitting still, you are still making progress toward your destination.

So if you are a Master Procraster, don’t be so hard on yourself.  If you are able to meet deadlines and produce quality work is there a reason for you to change?  I don’t think so.  There may be things that you can’t put off until the last minute, but if you can, and it is not going to harm you in any way, by all means, do it.