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