book-2592057_1280

FACING A DIFFERENT CROWD EACH TIME FOR THE FIRST TIME

 I was once a hardcore fan of a particular rock band. Not only did I watch every live event they played online, but I also listened to their songs far more times than the number of events they would ever play. I even memorized song lyrics and knew the lead vocalist’s unconscious habits. When I went to the concerts, I discovered that the vocalist would sometimes sing more intensely, and at others, he would be a little mellow or laid back. This is what I call his spirit. That’s right, even if it’s from a video clip, the audience can feel your spirit. To introverts, the difference between having and not having spirit might crop up when you’re still preparing a speech topic, long before you ever get on the stage. 

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Getting On Stage

Let’s face it, it’s not even possible to not feel nervous. That scary feeling of getting on stage for public speaking is nothing out of the ordinary for introverts, but let’s look at a couple methods we might be able to use to lessen its impact. 

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USING AN INTROVERT’S TRAITS TO TURN SOCIAL EVENTS INTO YOUR HOME FIELD

WHEN I SETTLED on this chapter title, I could not help but laugh out loud. To put it a little more bluntly, I doubt if there’s any way for introverts to feel “at home” in any social event. This probably seems nearly as impossible as a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan getting together. However, what about introverts who need to work primarily with social- networking gigs or want to make this type of work their livelihood? There are still things we can do! 

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people-2567915_1280

Introverts in a cross-cultural workplace

KAROLIINA KORHONEN IS THE ILLUSTRATOR of a popular online comic series called Finnish Nightmares: An Irreverent Guide to Life’s Awkward Moments. Everyone I know who sees it forwards it to me. Even more than a year after the comic strip was first published, there are still people who think, “Ha ha, that’s so introverted, just like Jill!” Matti, the main character in Korhonen’s comic strip, is a classic introvert, just like Korhonen herself. Incessant little dramas are being played out in his mind every day: “I’ll be late if I don’t leave the apartment now, but there are people in the hallway . . . what do I do?” or, “I’d like to try some, but please . . . I don’t want to talk with the salesman,” or even “Why are you so close to me? Oh my God! You just touched me!” When someone is moving away from the seat next to him, on the other hand, he thinks, “Did I do something wrong to make them not want to sit with me?” 

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notebook-2386034_1280

Focusing On Bringing The Best Out Of You At Work

Many introverts in the workplace are playing out a drama with thousands of acts and scenes in their heads and are always getting tangled up inside: “Why am I incapable of being like so- and- so who can start a conversation effortlessly?” they might think, or “Why do I have to think of the answer to that question from a moment ago now? It’s already too late!” or “My host partner said he wouldn’t be able to attend for the time being; did he just leave me standing here holding the bag?”

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THE WORKPLACE IS AN EXCELLENT FRIEND- MAKING SPOT

I’m sure you’ve heard people say that it’s hard to make good friends once you start working, right? In the beginning of my career, I actually believed this to be true. After all, everyone’s just so busy, and it’s even more challenging to eke out the time for social hours after you start your own family. That said, I’ve organized a lot of meetings throughout my career so far. After each wraps up, I get a steady stream of thank- you emails saying things like “Thank you for inviting Dr. so- and- so, too. We’ve been wanting to catch up for a long time, now we finally had a way to reminisce.” Notes like this show that even catching up with people you consider your friends is a challenge. And it’s all much harder when you’re trying to get acquainted with new people, hold a conversation with them, and slowly building up your friendship, bit by bit.

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people-2557399_1280

Tips for Adapting To A New Environment With Zero Stress

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, when I was looking back at my work history, I suddenly realized one of my superpowers—I can survive in even the most challenging and difficult of work environments. Even if, prior to my arrival, the position I took had a high turnover rate, it became stable when I took over. I was able to settle into the position calmly and tranquilly. Although it appears that I am highly loyal and have a high tolerance for stress on the job, the real reason I have stayed in various jobs is partly because I didn’t want to have to get to know new coworkers all over again!

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student-849828_1280

Understanding Introverted Traits

Some people believe that introversion is innate; others firmly believe that introversion can be changed. From a scientific perspective, there’s no one, clear- cut answer, but the most widespread understanding is that introversion has both innate and acquired influences—in other words, nature and nurture. Debra Johnson and her colleagues at the University of Iowa published a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry about using positron emission tomography (PET) scans to observe the conduction and reactions of the brains of introverts and extroverts when presented with stimuli. Johnson found that when introverts were given stimuli, such as being asked to respond to questions, they were likely to have higher blood flow toward the frontal lobes and frontal thalamus compared to extroverts, indicating that their brain activity was more active.

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notebook-2386034_1280

The Big Differences Between Introverts and Extroverts In The Workplace

THE WORKPLACE IS, OF COURSE, a war zone. It’s not hard to figure out that everyone likes a coworker or a subordinate with a sunny and open disposition, someone who’s witty and a savvy talker. People with these qualities have a much easier time blending in with others. It often appears as if they’re also better suited for more important work that showcases the company. On the flipside, people with quiet and calm personalities are often put in the back of the house to work on internal company duties. Introverts who have professional capabilities are able to get involved with professionally skilled work, otherwise, they are very likely to be assigned administrative work, regardless of whether they like it or are adept at it. When people with different personalities coexist in the workplace, what happens? Extroverts like to be lively—they like doing things quickly; they can make prompt decisions; they are willing to take risks; they pursue stimulation or pleasure; they like to lead; they aren’t afraid of conflict; and they don’t enjoy doing things alone. Introverts, on the other hand, often ponder things deeply; they can only handle a small number of stimuli; they’re circumspect and prudent; they like listening to others; they tend to avoid conflict; and they don’t mind working alone.

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