1.30.2012

Being an Introvert

It's funny how sometimes concepts and themes can follow us around. I've heard that we are always surrounded by recurring themes, it's just that once in a while one jumps out at us on one day and then we start to notice it elsewhere. Whatever the cause, the theme that has been prevalent for me lately is introversion.

Turns out I'm a pretty introverted person. I know quite a few people don't think I am. Particularly those I work with have a tendency to think I'm an extrovert because I turn on such energy most of the time while working. What they don't see is the crash that happens most nights. The thing about introversion vs extroversion is that it means our energy comes from within, rather than from the people around us. So an introvert can be social all day, but then probably needs to 'recharge' at night. On the Myers-Briggs I am an INFJ, one of the rarest types. Though not quite as reserved as that article might suggest, I definitely need my recharging time.

One of the ways that I recharge is by reading. Constantly. I fly through books. So one of the things we decided about the new house was that I should have a spot for my reading. We decided on a couple of wingback chairs in the living room, to allow me to be social and near people, but also be my spot. I picked fabric for my chairs tonight, and will definitely post pictures as soon as we get them :)

And then there is this article. They interviewed the author on NPR today and I thought her perspective about needing to leave room for introverts in the workplace was really interesting. She said that a lot of our most creative work happens when we are alone, rather than when working with a group, because we get influenced by the reactions and inactions of the people around us. Fascinating, and if you think about it, totally true.

When was the last time you had a truly productive brainstorming session? How many times do people say 'oh man, another meeting.' or 'ugghh I hate group projects! Meeting with the group is always such a pain!?' Very common. Not that it's bad to want to work with groups, I just think there are a lot of people out there who would rather do some of the work on their own. There's a reason everyone listens to music in their offices - we need to create our own space to do our best thinking.

Anyway. Those are my recent thoughts on introversion. Chris is out of town this week, so I will have plenty of time to spend by my quiet self, doing my quiet things, until my (ok ok maybe not so) quiet husband comes home to keep me company.

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2/1 update: I found this interesting article, "An Introvert's Guide to Networking," which pretty much describes my philosophy about how to handle networking. I would add to this that when you bring together a group of people who don't know each other at all, it can be great for the introverts if everyone stands up and says their names and what they do. That way we can seek out the people for whom we might have an actual purpose to converse, rather than having to just start random conversations.

6 comments:

  1. At least I have the luxury of having my own office at work. And my boss largely believes in letting us do what we feel we need to do.

    Home is where the real juice is though. I have a small, dark, cozy room where I feel comfortable and get creative.

    Word verification: mulvingl.
    I like that one.

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  2. Yeah I was talking to a coworker who used to provide food service for one of the Disney Imagineering buildings. He said they created those dark corners within their cubicles - the lights in the rooms were always off, and people would bring in string lights and even tents so they could create their own little introvert havens. Interesting concept. :)

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  3. I disagree with this concept. The best work I've ever accomplished was in highly functional groups. The key is to assign tasks to people according to preference or skill set with routine progress meetings. These meetings have to be to promote constructive criticism and not include any level of micromanaging. I went all the way through school in an open-air studio and it was extremely motivating to be able to see all the hard work go on and hear the sound of creative progress. I wouldn't be surprised if the problem isn't the environment, rather the management style.

    Also, poor lighting or lighting of the wrong color has been proven to reduce productivity, as well as lack of sunlight and poor ventilation. Even improper temperature has a significant effect. An open air office in a basement or without proper duct planning can be a real killer.

    I won't even go into the inaccuracies in that article about Steve Wozniak. It makes me less capable of trusting any information provided by that writer.

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  4. greendrums truth1:29 PM

    There are a people out amoung the world that are rapidly becoming beyond endangered and an ever lesser minority. They go beyond introvert in a place of living outside the "normal realm" of our ever quickening society. Technology is not their forte, nor could they tell you who the "stars" are or what the trends are. They are a people who have chosen never to end their education, nor find any need to judge others no matter what their differences.They hold very strong beliefs yet have not cast them in stone or closed the door on the ever possible change that experience or human interaction and communication may bring. What these people do share in common is a life long work of keeping old school values in the actions of thier methods of living.The values they gaurd are simplistic and ancient. They spawn from three primaries, TRUTH BEAUTY GOODNESS The spawn of these when motivated with unconditional LOVE (creator value) bring forth the many other positive values humans have defined over the age upon ages. These peoples have no group, no affiliation, no membership, no class, no identifying marks or symbols. They have no right way that things must be done nor work to manipulate others to accept their point of view. For the most part they only know of others of their "kind" by chance meeting or when led by an inner voice and the reinforcement their "feeling" gives them that have met another of like value foundation and commitment of retention of those values based on universal observed law and experiences of stretch beyond normal parameters. For the most part these endangered beings keep quiet with a preference for continual observation of what is and who are not. Their interactions with family, friends and people in general are based upon the times they may be needed to solve a problem, or listen objectively so someone might spew in the pocess of solving their own problem by being able to voice it without the risk of judgement or I answers.I would do this or that or you should..... These are the beings most of us have met that ask little if anything of us,nor suggest how we should or should not live our lives or work to decide for us or extract from us.They are those who trust all until trust is breached,Love and except no matter the results to themselves. They are driven to seek Truth in all experience including that of their own behavior. They are the ones to find Beauty in all circumstances by knowledge that all things happen for a reason and choice all ways allows for focus on the good or the bad in any event. They seldom share what they know they know unless asked or the door of some event or human will opens to allow them to share. What sets these peoples aside from most of us seems to be their asility to quiet the ego babble that goes on and on in moat of our heads speaking to that next want of gratifacation, competition or exhalted image of self. They seem to lack the "I Gene.They have listened from another direction and choose a path that considers equality, lack of judgement, and due consideration for generations to come. Their flexibility and spiritual energy allow those creative juices to flow in all enviornments at any time charged or not. They have direct connect having nothing to do with cell phones, rather concentration on and protection of Truth Beauty Goodness SO the writer and the commentors all have valid points yet this commentor would ask that you review your memories of the endangered peoples you know or have known and ask if those values held might not need to saved for their to be such things for future generations. Were we to admit that as a Humanity we are going away from these values more rapidly each day then we would know that the very crative energy the writer speaks of is in dire need to be focused on problem solving. We have as an objective measure of our Humanity that with all our tech will still choose to allow fellow humans to starve.
    A tip to all online it is never a good idea to let all the world know when you are home alone.

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  5. Anonymous5:26 PM

    How do I get the three minutes of my life back after suffering through that jibberish?

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  6. Anonymous I am sorry you did not find the post to be interesting. I hope that you give me another chance and that in that case you find it to be more interesting, otherwise I hope you find somewhere else that is more to your taste.

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