At the end of my last performance review, my boss concluded:
“And on top of your excellent work, everybody here really appreciates how smiling and upbeat and full of energy you are — (“Oh stop it you…”) — but then you’re clearly an extrovert, so this must come easily to you!”
I was taken aback.
Me, an extrovert? When I told this story to my sister, who’s an actual extrovertand my complete opposite, she just burst out laughing.
On the one hand, kudos to my employer: a corporate work environment that makes an introvert blossom so that everyone believes they’re an extrovert? Good job.
But on the other hand — will everybody please stop associating introverts with shitty social skills!
Some people are shy. Some people have bad social skills. Some of those people are introverts. Some are not.
The difference between an introvert and an extrovert is how they get their energy. Not how good they are at chatting up a stranger in a bar.
Extroverts get energized by social interaction; they get drained when they’re alone.
Introverts get energized when they’re alone; they get drained by social interaction.
Being an introvert does not mean that you are:
- Trying to pass as extrovert
It just means that you need regular periods of quiet time to recharge your batteries.
Contrary to popular opinion, introverts can totally:
- Give a kickass presentation to a large group of people
- Succeed in their career without feeling exhausted and fake
- Smile and be pleasant conversationalists
- Enjoy meeting new people and make genuine connections
- Have time and energy to pursue engaging hobbies
In short — introverts can be ambitious!
What misconceptions about introverts annoy you the most? Let me know in the comments or by shooting me a message!