Being Introverted In The Workplace

You may or may not know this, but I am an introverted person. You might also be familiar with the Myers-Briggs 16 Personality Types and I’ve taken the personality test based on these 16 personality types – if you’re curious I always come out as an INFJ. I’ve had this blog post in my drafts for a while now waiting to be finished, so here it is!

So, what is it like being introverted in an extroverted world?

This is mainly going to be based on my experience of navigating extroverted environments and they might differ from introvert to introvert, but I’m sure that if you’re an introvert you’ll be able to relate to some of the things that I discuss in this blog post.

There are many misconceptions about being an introvert in the workplace when it’s pushed to be an extroverted environment. If you scroll through job role descriptions they’ll generally ask for an ‘outgoing’ person. Don’t get me wrong, as introverts we can have extroverted traits and display outgoing characteristics. The only difference with us introverts is that it drains our energy a lot quicker, so we need time to recharge away from these social activities. 

In an extroverted world, people who portray extroverted characteristics tend to come across as more confident and outgoing to others. As a result of the characteristics extroverted people possess, they’re more likely to get attention and to get recognised by their peers and their managers. So, as an introvert I feel as though my achievements can go unnoticed because I’m not necessarily a ‘loud’ or extroverted person. (Although, don’t get me wrong, not all extroverted people are necessarily loud).

One of the main misconceptions is that because I’m a naturally quiet person and enjoy being alone on my lunch breaks that I’m unsociable. Some people seem to be put off by the fact that I’m a quiet person. I’ve been told that I should ‘talk’ or ‘speak’ up more, but the truth is I will generally input into conversations on my own terms. I also despise the small talk in the office because small talk just isn’t something I’m good at. This is something I’ve become used to doing, even if it isn’t something I enjoy!

In addition to being more of a quiet person, this can also lead people to underestimate me, whether that be my skills or my personality. Just because I’m a quieter and more introverted person, others might not realise my potential or they might not really understand my personality. To some people I could come across as ‘boring’. The truth is you just need to get to know me more.

Going through interviews as an introvert is tough too. Having interviews is nerve wracking enough, but having interviews with a panel of 3 people writing notes on your answers is so nerve wracking. Having all of the attention on you whilst also answering interview questions about yourself is tough and exhausting as an introvert. As an introvert, I always find it hard to talk about myself to anybody, let alone a couple of strangers (although I find it just as if difficult with people I’m comfortable with to be honest).

Being introverted in the workplace when the majority of people portray more extroverted traits than I isn’t the easiest to say the least.

Let me know if you resonate with anything I’ve written in this blog post

Ashleigh

12 thoughts on “Being Introverted In The Workplace

  1. I completely understand how you feel! I’ve always struggled in the workplace due to being naturally quieter and introverted, it can be so frustrating to be told all the time to speak up or ‘come out of your shell’ 🙄 I’ve actually lost jobs in the past too because I was too quiet. Thankfully, I’ve been able to work from home during the pandemic which works out so much better for me haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s frustrating isn’t it! Like I’ll get comfortable with people in my own time but that means I’m quieter in the beginning! That’s awful, maybe it was a blessing in disguise to have lost those jobs. I agree haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, it can be tough! I’m such a shy, socially awkward person but working in retail and progressing to a management role i kind of come out my shell because i have to and youd think it would’ve helped me stop being so anxious and shy in all social situations but when im not at work and in other social situations im still so socially awkward!

    Like

  3. In a couple of interviews I had, I was asked, “how would previous coworkers describe you?” and my answer was always “quiet but hardworking,” because I was always quiet and often not speaking unless spoken to. I don’t know if that’s the best ‘sell yourself’ answer I should say but it’s the truth.
    I definitely think I’m an introvert but it’s also just that in workplaces I’m often never comfortable enough to come out of my shell. On top of just being naturally not the greatest with people, I’m almost always the youngest person there and my departments are often away from main action, so it just makes it that much harder.

    Like

    1. I always feel like I have to sell myself as outgoing interviews haha. At least you’re being honest!

      I never come out of my shell straight away, it always takes me a bit of time to get comfortable with people. I’m always the youngest too, it can be a bit intimidating sometimes!

      Like

  4. I’ve really enjoyed the pandemic if only because of the mandatory cancellations of lots of extracurricular social gatherings. I find extrovert co-workers have difficulty comprehending how an after work gathering could be draining. I get tired just explaining myself to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad that people are relating to this. It definitely gets overlooked and feel like we are forced to be ‘extroverted’ and ‘outgoing’ all the time when that’s just not the case.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I also feel it. I wish I could change my personality to be more mingling with my colleagues but in fact it’s very difficult. Sometimes I feel pressured because apart from being boring, they think I don’t care about my surroundings. occasionally because of my silence, the wrong people even give me the blame. thanks for your writing, I often feel like I’m the only one like this in the world.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.