By September 27, 2010 Read More →

I’m an introvert, get me out of here!

Introversion extroversion home workingEarlier this month we were talking about how extroverts and introverts might respond differently to working from home. It can seem to the less extrovert that the business world is geared up in a way that constantly works against them. For example, following my recent trip to London for some workshops, I’ve been thinking about the subject in relation to training and development, something all of us must do from time to time to keep up-to-date.

I’ve noticed that many courses on business development are run at hotels over several days, often starting early, working over break-times and finishing late in the evening. This is all very well for the extroverts, who relish being with people all the time, but what about us poor introverts? Just the thought of a course like this makes me want to lie down in a darkened room with a damp cloth on my forehead!

One of the reasons I chose the KPI programme was that it’s non-residential and run in two-day blocks, after which I can come home, my head bursting with all the information and impressions I’ve soaked up, and take my time to absorb them and incorporate them into my routine.

Networking is another business activity that favours extroverts. Introverted personalities must use a huge amount of energy persuading themselves to turn up to an event, talking to strangers and spending time in a crowded room. Extroverts dash off afterwards, invigorated and enthused, while the introverts need time to themselves to chill out and reflect on what they’ve experienced. Ring any bells?

Posted in: Health

9 Comments on "I’m an introvert, get me out of here!"

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  1. Sharon says:

    Bells ringing everywhere Judy!
    I’m especially having a hard time with networking – I just can’t get the hang of it & being a naturally shy person, I end up standing alone as conversation is in full flow in ‘closed’ groups! If only there was another way!
    Thanks for this post – it’s nice to know I’m not the only one 🙂

    • judy says:

      I think you’re far from being the only one, Sharon, but being introverts, we tend not to talk about it! I don’t want to keep pushing my book down everyone’s throat, but there are lots of tips in Chapter 7 about getting to grips with networking, all gained from my own and other people’s, often difficult, experiences.

      And now there is another way – yippee! It’s called Jelly and it’s coworking, working alongside other home workers and freelancers, no networking, no selling. Lots of people have set up their own events using my How to start your own Jelly guide. What do you think?

  2. Rosie Smart says:

    You’re not the only one, Sharon. I hate networking and find that I really have to make myself go. Afterwards, I find myself wondering what I’d got myself worked up over!

    • judy says:

      I was always exactly the same. That inner tussle about going or not going is exhausting, isn’t it? I say ‘was’ because since I discovered Jelly I don’t think I’ve been to a networking event. But everyone and every business is different. I’m just glad I’ve found something that suits me.

  3. Nicky Kriel says:

    I have yet to decide whether I am an extroverted introvert or an introverted extrovert. I enjoy networking, but I find it exhausts me and I need quiet time on my own to recharge and other times meeting groups of people re-energises me. So what is your verdict Judy?

    • judy says:

      My verdict is that we’re all wonderfully complex and mysterious creatures and we can all be everything at different times and in different situations! I wouldn’t want anyone to box themselves in with a label, but understanding the differences can give us permission to be who we are and stop thinking ‘I should be more like…’

      Maybe it depends on how much contact you’ve already had with people before you go to the event, or how well you know the people there, and so on.

    • If you are anything like me, Nicky, you probably swing both ways (from extroversion to introversion that is). Rather than being one or the other we can do both.

      Although our introversion or extroversion will affect our behaviour at networking events there are other aspects that will determine how we react. So many networking groups get the first impression wrong. You can be excluded, like Sharon (many networkers are more inclined to talk to their mates rather than welcome newcomers), set upon by sales pitches where they just see you as a prospect, or you are machine gunned by 50 questions which exacerbates the negative feeling of going in the first place.

  4. John Valentine says:

    Well I dont’ want to push bizset networking down anyone’s throat. However, I’m an introvert(ish) kind of person, who didn’t like networking (I’d be the one at the edge of the room playing with my mobile hoping to be swallowed alive by a freak ground swell).
    So I basically took the best of what was out there, removed the bad, added a little bit of new stuff and hopefully will create a good experience.
    If you go a networking event where the ‘hosts’ let you stand alone, looking at the closed groups then that is bad, however it is also common.

    • judy says:

      I quite agree, I can never work out why so many hosts busy themselves by sitting at a table ticking off names or something equally pointless when they should be busy introducing people and rescuing those looking lost. Your networking sounds much kinder, John.