Introverts often have a hard time adapting in different areas of their lives because they face stressors that extroverts don’t. It is hard to deal with people’s perception of you when they do not understand your way of dealing with stress. Your tendency to introspect gives you a greater understanding of things, but it also makes you extremely critical of yourself.
These hurdles reinforce the belief that all introverts are shy, awkward, and hate interacting with other people, which is an absolute misconception. Introverts do thrive on solitude, but that doesn’t stop them from being successful individuals. In fact, many successful and well-known people, such as Bill Gates, Meryl Streep, J.K. Rowling, and Barack Obama, are introverts.
Below are several stressors, along with tips for staying calm:
Invasions of Personal Space
Personal space is one of the most important things to introverts, and when it is invaded, they find themselves getting stressed out. This happens because introverts energize when they are left alone. Being around people they do not consider as close can drain them more than it would an extrovert.
While at work, it is hard to find any time for yourself. You are surrounded by your co-workers with whom you have to interact constantly. In such a situation, you can plan your breaks and lunch so that you get some time alone to reenergize. It is also advisable to build up your social capacity by setting targets. The target could be to initiate conversation with a particular number of people in a day.
When you find yourself overwhelmed, relax with breathing techniques and physical activity.
Dealing with Extroverts
…if you want to hire people, get them excited, build a company around that idea, you better learn what extroverts do, you better hire some extroverts and tap into both sets of skills in order to have a company that thrives both in deep thinking and building teams and going out into the world to sell those ideas. — Bill Gates
Extroverts do not understand your mental processes or how you cope with stress. For them to understand how you function, you need to speak up and tell them what you require and why. Having extroverted friends makes for good partnerships as they will excel in areas that you lack in and vice versa. They will also push you and help you step out of your comfort zone. This will help in challenging your introversion. These partnerships are only useful when there is good communication.
Events and Social Gatherings
Social gatherings are especially strenuous for introverts as they require interacting with people and making small talk, both of which are outside of their comfort zone. It can be even more arduous if public speaking is involved. For such situations, it is crucial to be well prepared and relaxed before the event.
Visiting the venue before the event can make it less daunting as, during the event, you will already be familiar with the area. If possible, it is a good idea to go to the event with someone who keeps you calm. Meditating on a daily basis can also help maintain a calm demeanor.
Networking is a challenge when you are an introvert, but it is not something that can be avoided. Preparing in advance and readjusting your mindset not to be daunted by the thought of the event is essential. It is handy to get a list of attendees before the event so you can plan ahead and decide who you would like to connect with at the event. Sending them an email in advance will make the job of approaching them an easier task.
Introverts have difficulty in adjusting to and focusing on tasks when they are constantly switching between tasks. Batching is an effective solution to this problem, as it helps you focus on one task for an extended period without any distractions. Batching is a technique for time management that encourages you to “batch” together all the tasks that are similar. This allotting of blocks of time to similar tasks minimizes distraction and boosts productivity.
- Avoid caffeine, as it stimulates the parts of your brain that are active when you feel overwhelmed
- Get sufficient sleep
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Always plan and prepare
- Embrace your skills and your nerves, and grow from there
- Step out of your comfort zone