Do you feel awkward in large groups?
Like alone time? Feel drained after a big meeting?
If so, you just might be an introvert. I am. Arggg, I hate that word, but there I said it.
I’m not one of the cool kids and honestly I often feel like I have an affliction. In reality I’m just part of that 20 to 30 percent of the population who claim this unflattering title. I can be far from shy. In fact introverts are not really shy, but share the common feeling of being drained after social interaction, especially with large groups.
Extroverts are amped by people, and often bored and drained when alone. For introverts, it’s the opposite. It’s not an affliction, and we are not antisocial, misanthropic or pathetic loners, really! We just need an occasional recharge.
Ask Gini about cave time
I discovered this post on Spin Sucks about a particular person many of you know who claims to be an introvert. It looks like I’m in good company.
In the post Gini talks about how she often feels drained after social encounters and needs to retire to a special place. A cave, as Justin Brackett calls it. Boy, can I relate.
I’m anything but the screaming kid who wants to be the center of attention.
I HATE being the center of attention. I prefer to observe, listen and give feedback when I actually have something to say. I do interact. In fact I sometimes speak in public, but I am always a bit uncomfortable in groups.
Like Gini, I can go and go, but there comes a point where I absolutely, positively need that cave time. It’s the only way to recharge. If I’m around people for too long, I feel drained and need to retire to my dark place to recharge.
But cave dwellers do make good managers
According to this post on Harvard Business Review, Introverts often make good managers.
The post reexamines the stereotype that extroverts make better leaders. Interesting stuff.
So, what’s the point?
Well the same virtues they site. Qualities that make introverts good leaders: Listening and promoting others, are the skills that help one advance in the social media sphere. It’s about developing a community and helping others. Not of shouting over others, spamming or blatant self promotion. I’ve learned this from the likes of Danny, John, Marcus, and Kaarina.
Of course extroverts do well here. Most of my online friends probably qualify, but social media certainly seems setup for us quiet types.
When I’m in a group I’m often afraid to speak up. Here I can enter a conversation and sneak out undetected. Blogging is not going to turn me into a slovenly, Twinkie-eating, keyboard-pounding, weirdo. At least I hope not, but the social media world is a good setup for me. I’m comfortable here.
How is it for You? Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Are you energized or drained by social situations?
Is social media that platform you’ve always been looking for?