So you’re the introvert lurking in the blogosphere?

by Craig McBreen · 105 comments · Creativity, Social media


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?

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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin Feldman September 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Oh, I am most definitely an introvert. I was terribly shy as a kid and didn’t break through that until I was in college. Even then, I’m still not fond of large groups, which makes the whole speaking engagement thing rather funny (It’s my next move with my business.).

I think social media does help. It lets people know who I am behind the introverted shell. If I meet people and get to know them via social media, it’s easier for me to be less introverted when I meet them in real life.

Social situations often are draining. I have to encourage myself to introduce myself to someone new. I’ve gotten better with doing that, but I still feel the nerves starting to do their thing when I’m in those situations.
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Erin,

I didn’t break through until I turned 40 :) And I’m still in my productive 40s, so we’ll see how far I get. It’s interesting that you mentioned speaking. I want to do some public speaking and am working on subject and venue right now, starting small of course. I do find that more than a few successful public speakers are indeed introverts. I was surprised too. There’s a big list somewhere. These people are okay with speaking to a crowd, but might be a wallflower at a party.

I totally agree with your second point. It is great engaging with everyone here and when I do finally meet some of the fine people I know online, it won’t be like trying to start a conversation at a dinner party. I don’t go to too many dinner parties, so you might want to check with Mr. Dorman below for advice there :)

I agree Erin. Once you push yourself to just take that first step, the rest is so much easier. I’m seeing you around quite a bit these days too. Keep at it! And, let me know how your plans for a speaking engagement go.

Have a good one and thanks for commenting!

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Erin Feldman September 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Does a career day count? I’m speaking at one in about two weeks. :)
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I’d say so :) You need someone to record it.

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Erin Feldman September 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I hadn’t thought about that. Hmm.
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Bill Dorman September 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm

First of all, blogging is not going to turn you into a slovenly, keyboard-pounding weirdo; too late, you are already there and that’s all I will say about that.

I’m going to disagree with you about it being mostly extroverts doing all the social online. I would argue most are introverts and were not in the ‘cool’ crowd in high school. Social provides a platform to get beyond all that.

What’s a hybrid extrovert/introvert? Social events energize me, but I cherish my down time as well. I don’t want to be the center of attention and I’m not going to seek it out, but I’m ok with it. Personally, I like the challenge of walking into a room of total strangers; I will find a way to connect with someone. I like to engage the introverts so they don’t feel so uncomfortable………and you can spot them, at least the shy ones.

If you observe me online, it would be very similar to seeing me offline. I think you would say I pretty much act the same way. The way I write, the way I talk is probably going to be close except you get to hear my accent in real life.

What about you, do you think social media allows you to come out of your shell and be heard?
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Erin Feldman September 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm

I’m with you – if you read my blog or have a conversation on Twitter with me, you’re going to get to know the “authentic” me. I don’t think I have an accent in real life, except with certain words like “bag” and “magazine.” Yep, I’m originally from the North, but I don’t say “betcha” or substitute “pop” for soda (I used to use that word, but I’ve retrained myself.).

Personally, if I didn’t have social media, I know I’d be using another channel to make myself heard. I have to do that when I’m in business. I can’t sit on the porch all day drinking mint juleps and hoping that somebody will hire me. I have to do the work and that means using the channels that are available.

I keep telling myself to contact you about guest posting…and keep forgetting. I think it’s been a month since the last time we talked about it. Are you still looking for guest posts?
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Here in the PNW, people sometimes say “pop” for soda, or “sack” for grocery bag. “Half-rack” is my favorite though. :) Always thought that was kinda funny.

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Erin Feldman September 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I’ve never heard of “half-rack.” That’s an interesting one. I’m curious about the history of that phrase.

Since I live in Texas, soda is sometimes referred to as “coke.” I probably use all three words interchangeably, but I’m less likely to say “pop.” It’s a dead giveaway that I’m not a native Texan.
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Half-rack = 12 pack of beer :) How’s the weather in your part of Texas?

Bill Dorman September 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

In the south it is ‘coke’. If you say I want a coke, the response will likely be ‘what kind’?
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Erin Feldman September 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Wordpress won’t let me reply to the later comment, so I’m replying to this one.

I never would have figured out what “half-rack” meant. Thank you for the definition.

The weather is finally turning cooler. Yay! It even rained last night. The lightning was splendid.
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Bill Dorman September 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Yes……………and no; I did 4 and they were all a success but didn’t do a good job of lining up enough of them. Once a wk comes around pretty quickly……….:). But yes, if you would like to do a GP at my place.

If you want you can go to the site and see what the other GP’s looked like and the topics they discussed; it’s a pretty generic site.
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Erin Feldman September 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I’ll visit your blog, probably this afternoon or evening. I need to get ready for a tech consortium I’m attending.
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm

It’s a great place, Erin. I’m going to start calling him, “Coach Bill” :)

Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Hi Bill,

Ha ha. Yes, you’re actually very close. I am now talking to myself more and spend more time alone in front of my computer, but don’t we all :)

You’re probably right, but I do see some pretty strong personalities in the social media sphere. We need a poll :) But, this is such a good platform for the uncool.

I like the idea of a hybrid model. Maybe I’m just trying to pigeonhole everyone: You have to be in one camp or the other. To be perfectly honest, I go up an down. Some days I do love being around people, and others I need to hide away in my humble abode. I kinda like the classifications Malcolm Gladwell gave in The Tipping Point. Not sure if I like the challenge of walking into a room of total strangers as much as you, Bill, but I can certainly visualize you in action :)

I really think this is a great platform to come out of the shell a bit and a great launching pad for creativity. I can express myself freely here and hopefully not bore everyone to death!

Bill, thanks for your support, advice and all that. I feel like a tag along. You da man!

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Laura Click September 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm

This is very interesting, Craig. In fact, it helped me look at myself in a bit of a new light.

Much like Bill, I think I might be some strange hybrid based on your definition. I certainly don’t love being in the center of attention (i.e. opening presents in front of everyone at my wedding shower felt weird to me). However, I really love to get up in front of a group of people and speak. And, while I love to engage with people and definitely feel isolated if I haven’t talked to anyone in several hours, I also feel drained after an entire day on the phone or in meetings. I guess it just goes to show that sometimes there IS too much of a good thing (or I’m just a freak of nature!).

I think the beauty of social media and blogging is that there is something for everyone. And, chances are good that you’ll be drawn to other people who share your interests and personality. I think that’s why this is ten times better than high school! ;)
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Erin Feldman September 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm

They hybrid point is well-taken. I hadn’t thought about that, but I need my social interaction time just as much as I need my alone time. If you’re a freak of nature, I guess I’m one, too.
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Hi Laura,

Glad it did! Whatever I can do to help :)

Yes, the hybrid model works for me. Thanks, Bill :) Heck, maybe that’s what I really am. It’s funny you mentioned the baby shower feeling. My wife and I both hate Birthdays for that very reason, oh and the getting one year older issue too. I would rather get up in front of an audience than go to an event where I’m just a guest, with a room full of strangers, but I do that much more often than I used to. I feel drained, but better afterward, odd, huh!? Would love to see how you engage with an audience too. Are there speaking videos?

Yes, ten times better for sure! I’m involved in this blogging adventure because I want to learn and do much more. Hey, I’m exploring the options every day, and it’s getting easier with all of the help and advice from the fine people out there, like you, Laura.

Thanks again for stopping by! I’m thinking the fun has just started.

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Lisa Gerber September 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

What Laura said! I’m a hybrid too. :)
and it’s funny, Laura that you mentioned that about your wedding shower. One thing I was totally unprepared for, was walking down the aisle!!! I didn’t even think of it until I was actually there, and I thought I was going to die. and everyone stands up!!! LOL.
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Lisa, I guess that’s why so many people faint at weddings. It’s usually the guy that passes out though :)

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Laura Click September 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Wow – I never thought about how the walk down the aisle could be tough for someone. I got married at this HUGE chapel on Valparaiso’s campus, so I just chatted with my dad down the mile-long aisle until we got to where the people were at the end. I have to say, I loved the attention that day. ;)
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Al Smith September 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Good job Craig. Can’t believe it, but I agree with DorkMan (I mean Dorman) Really. Completely. Its scary. I dont seek the spotlight, but I don’t hide from it either and I am pretty much the same guy online as in real life. Being relatively new to all this computer time and being on social media, i find it is draining. there is a lot to do, say, write, comment and just keep up with all that going on. But I like it and have met some really cool people, just in the few months I have been on.

Keep on goin, brother. You are goin to do great !

Al
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Al,

Thanks for visiting, but now you’re gonna have to endure the wrath of one Mr. Dorman :) It does seem that more than a few people agree with Bill. He’s both a wise man and a wise guy :)

Thanks so much. I can definitely see the real you online, especially with all the positive vibes you give off, it must be something to meet you in person.

Yes, being social in the “real world” is one thing, but all the time and effort you need to put into social media is something. It’s draining, indeed, but very exciting. I feel the same way you do. There is plenty to do, always, but it’s so worth it, for overall experience and the cool people.

You keep goin’ too. Be at your place soon!

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Bill Dorman September 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I will kick your ass……….
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

No violence here, please :)

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Gini Dietrich September 17, 2011 at 12:20 am

HAHAHAHA! Did you call Bill Dorman Dorkman?!? LOL!!
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Bill Dorman September 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I will hurt you………
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Frank Dickinson September 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Hey Craig – great piece! It seems a lot of people are writing about the introvert/extrovert thing these days. I have learned a ton from it!

I have always said that I am an extrovert with introvert tendencies :).

I like being the center of attention in a crowd – but afterwards I need to go smoke a pipe all by myself.

I am amped by people – but can function just fine if I am alone – but only for a while.

It’s a see saw kinda thing with me. Up one minute – downtime needed the other.

I LOVE the social media platform and the control it gives me (of when to be up and then down), but I love meeting new people at the local TweetUp.

I know – weird.

:)
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Hi Frank,

Great to see you here! Yes, I started digging and found more than a few articles and posts on the topic. If you are an extrovert with introvert tendencies, you might be another candidate for the hybrid model mentioned in the comments above.

Hey, dude, what kinda pipe are you smokin’ :)

I’m with you on the alone thing. I don’t mind being alone, in fact I spend much of my time alone in my office, but I need to take some major breaks from that. If not, I’d be the odd fella talking to himself a little too often.

Yes, good days where you can deal with anybody, and other days where you want to retire to your abode and smoke a pipe!

Not weird, just you. Thanks from your comments, Frank. Really appreciate you stopping by.

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Frank Dickinson September 15, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Erik Nording freehand at the moment – but I’ve been known to puff on a corn cob or two as well.

Checking out the hybrid model.
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 1:24 am

Put down the corn cob :) I just Googled that Nording. That is one good looking pipe, my friend.

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Frank Dickinson September 16, 2011 at 1:49 am

Thank you.

She’s a beaut – and a fabulous smoker!
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Joe @ Not Your Average Joe September 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I’m an extrovert who will occasionally withdraw when I’m uncomfortable—but I’ll admit those occasions now are few and far between. I’ve had the best of both worlds, you could say. I was more of an introvert when I was younger, but then going to work in the restaurant business and in sales afterward drew me out of the shell. If you’re not at least mildly extroverted in those businesses, stick a fork in you, you’re done!!!
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Craig McBreen September 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Joe,

I guess you have to be pretty outgoing in sales, huh? :) :)

Sometimes I’m jealous of the really gregarious types, just to see them operate is amazing to me.

I worked in more than a few restaurants too, and yes that is definitely an environment that will bring you out in a big way. More, like come out or die, or as you say, “stick a fork in you, you’re done!” I’ve met some of the craziest people ever in the restaurant business. A business my son wants to get into. Now that will be an education!

I couldn’t do sales though, it would just tax me too much, so I admire anyone who can do that well, day after day!

Thanks for commenting, Joe!

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Jack@TheJackB September 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I don’t know how to classify myself. I can and have been the center of attention. It is typically not something that I seek out but I am not afraid of it.

I think that I am pretty comfortable with myself. I say what I say and write what I write without much concern for what others will think. When people call me weird (and some do) I embrace it. I like standing on the outside looking in.

It is almost as much fun as reminding Dorman and Old Al that their football teams ought to be playing Pop Warner. Excuse while I run away from the crazed pick up driving rednecks. No worries, I’ll run in a circle and their Nascar roots will kick in and I’ll be safe. ;)

Anyhoo, social media has been a blessing for me for a million different reasons. Social media is responsible for reminding me of who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Social media has been the impetus for making some good friends and for that alone I am grateful.
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 1:21 am

Hey Jack,

That’s a bit of acceptance, eh? If people call you weird and if you think you’re a strange bird, that’s okay. That’s more than okay and I’m glad you embrace it. Be your unique, strange self. I am, and I do :) We are all weirdos in our own way, right?

Accept your uniqueness and learn to use it to your advantage. Well you already do that online with your deeply personal writing. I don’t see too many people doing that, except Nancy Davis, but maybe I haven’t been around long enough.

Ha ha, that is funny. Pop Warner. Hopefully the guys in the pick ups are too drunk to catch you. And you just made me think of Ricky Bobby and the dinner scene in Taledega Nights :)

Jack, I’m glad social media has helped so much. I think it might help me in very similar ways.

Yes! Here’s to the great people you meet online, Like one JackB. Thanks for stopping by.

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Bill Dorman September 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Easy now, the south shall rise again……………..just sayin’…………….:)
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Jack@TheJackB September 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Uh oh, we just had our first Viagra commercial of the day. ;)
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

:) I just love having Bill and Jack at the party! Way to liven the place up, guys.

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Nancy Davis September 17, 2011 at 12:01 am

As long as there are no man-thongs, its all good fellas. :)
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Viagra. Man-thongs. You people :)

Davina K. Brewer September 16, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Interesting explanation of the differences. Introvert does not necessarily mean ‘shy’ or ‘antisocial.’ I consider myself an introvert Craig, not because I am anti-social, but b/c I’m not wild about being the center of attention, nervous and drained in large groups of strangers; and because I am just as comfortable being on my own.

I am the same online – except here, 1) you don’t hear me talk too fast and my words read funnier, cleverer than they probably sound in conversation and 2) it’s not the whole me (damn but I type that a lot). I’m also more comfortable hiding behind a monitor, not worried about voice, appearance, how bad my hair looks.. take more chances in writing. Like others have said about the time and effort being social, in writing I can pause and ‘edit’ before I post, not so on-the-spot. But then, that’s all until you get to ‘know’ me a little better; once I feel ‘safe’ around someone, I warm up and show more of the real me. Who is still shy, introverted on the inside, no matter what I’m doing on the outside. FWIW.
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Davina,

I must admit, I had you pegged for an extrovert, maybe because of the very honest, to the point way you write on your blog. I love the fact that you tell it like it is (I’m still working on that) and obviously you are not afraid to post exactly how you feel. An admirable quality, I must say. But labeling you an extrovert, that’s me generalizing, as if naturally introverted people can’t be like that!

I’m perfectly fine being on my own, but do know people who can’t function like that and must have people around them, always.

I like your staccato style and you are funny and clever, in person and online … admit it :)

Like you, I definitely take more chances in writing. Isn’t it great that you can pause, filter, and re-write? I’m pretty bad at the in-person, on-the-spot thing too.

Thanks, Davina. You always leave great comments and I am still working on implementing some of the suggestions you made in my previous post.

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Davina K. Brewer September 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Think I feel safer on my own blog, plus I just respond more to a direct, no b.s. style and think clients would too. But focus of attention or tossed in a mix of strangers, I get shy in a hurry, at least until I get a read on the room.
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Me too! I need to scan the room and get a feel for the place AND people.

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Stuart September 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I’m an introvert too Craig. And damn proud of it!

I’m proud to be able to walk around in society, completely comfortable in my own skin. I’m proud to be able to read all about celebrities and their ‘wild nights out’ on the town, and not be affected by thinking it’s uncool to stay in. I’m an introvert because I’m a human being, simple as.

I recently bought a book (not yet read) titled “The Introvert Advantage”, have you read it? It sounds good, and I’m looking forward to getting around to reading it, once I’ve plowed through the other 9 books in line ;-)

I’ll leave you with this – never doubt yourself because someone says or thinks you shouldn’t be a certain way. You have a right to live, as does everyone else. Your life is your own choice, to play and do whatever you want.

No-one can take that away from you :-)
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Hi Stuart,

Good for you. High-five, fist-bump and all that. I’m damn proud of it too!

I thought you would need a couple of weeks to catch-up, after coming back from the South of France, but you just jump right in :) Good to see you “around town” again.

I love what you have to say here. It took me many years to be comfortable in my own skin. I sure would not have wrote this even just a few years ago, but bam! Now is the time. You, my friend have a great attitute! I’ll add “The Introvert Advantage” to my book list for sure. Anyway, you and I are in good company with people like Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, and … oh, Gini Dietrich.

Thanks for the words of inspiration, especially the “… play and do whatever you want” part!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Stuart September 17, 2011 at 7:16 am

Thanks Craig, I try not to miss a beat. I have a slight fear of ‘missing out’ which I inherited from my mum, I’m working through it ;-)

There are plenty of good people in the world who are introverts, but because they’ve been labelled as ‘weird’ or a ‘loner’, they think they’re weird and lonely. So they don’t recognise themselves as an introvert, they recognise themselves as filth and sub-human. It’s a real shame, and it shouldn’t be happening. Which is why I wish the world would take a open mind on this issue.

Here’s what I’m going to do – if I ever become famous, and millions of people listen to me, I’ll proudly say “I’m an introvert and introverts are just as cool as everybody else!” :-)
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I have a similar fear of ‘missing out’.

You’re right about the label, and that label sticks, especially when you’re a kid. It still ticks me off when I see that gang mentality, and the quiet kid that doesn’t quite fit in bears the brunt of the abuse.

Stu, you’re pretty young, so you have plenty of time and are most likely on your way to doing something great. If you do become famous and have millions of adoring fans, I’m holding you to it :)

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Gini Dietrich September 17, 2011 at 12:18 am

I read Introvert Advantage and I made Mr. D read it, too. It really helped him understand why I just can’t be around people after a really long week of work.
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 2:21 am

There’s my excuse for the parties! I’m reading it.

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Stuart September 17, 2011 at 7:19 am

I can understand that Gini. Just yesterday I met up with a friend (who I hadn’t seen for years) before heading off to sign up with a jobs agency. It was really great to meet my friend again, but I had processed so much new information from catching up, that I felt exhausted.

Before I went to the agency, I had to ‘recover’ for a few minutes, just to let my brain process all the new information.

Now I certainly don’t think I’m weird in doing that, I think ‘brief recoveries’ like this are essential for me to operate. Otherwise I get cranky and tired, and no-one likes that side of me :-)
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Shakirah Dawud September 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Introvert here, checking in. I was a +8 on the personality test they made freshmen take in the college orientation course, and even the sixes were looking at me like I was an alien.

I don’t mind people–from a distance, though, mostly. As you said, I’m quiet, but not shy. I use social media to people-watch, browse, find information, and touch base with people who’ve moved me to touch them somehow. In my Twitter bio I mention that I’m “often really silent yet really present on Twitter.” Although I’m not constantly posting an update, I could be clicking a link, favoriting another, visiting my regular haunts (even if I don’t comment or share), or sharing a DM flurry with a tweep I enjoy.

Shocked to discover Gini’s an introvert, but I empathize!

Thanks for gathering us all here; nice to meet you, Craig.
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Shakirah,

Thank you for the comments. That’s funny, when I was younger I felt like I would be more at home on another planet.

I have to admit though, I’ve become much better over the years. It is almost like my twenties and thirties were the slow rollout period, where I learned to start speaking up. Still workin’ on it, Shakirah!

Social media is certainly a great place to people-watch (you’ll see a soap opera or two), browse and find great information. And as you mentioned, the best part is being able to converse with some of the great people out there, new friends, people you admire, etc. What a great platform for that.

Thanks for dropping in. I really appreciate the comments and you sharing a bit about yourself here. Nice to meet you too, Shakirah.

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Gini Dietrich September 17, 2011 at 12:17 am

So funny, Shakirah! I’m a 9 on that scale. I work REALLY hard to come out of my shell, which is why I do so much speaking. It does wonders….but it’s super stressful and nerve-wrecking.
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Nancy Davis September 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Hi Craig,

I was going to come by yesterday, but I got home late and then I forgot. I am very ADD that way. :)

I am an extrovert who hates crowds. I get nervous in large crowds and had to psych myself way up in order to show up at BWE. Crowds scare me, but acting on stage and doing stand up does not. Go figure.

I like my quiet time in small doses. If I am alone too much (which I was all the time working from home) then I can get irritable easy. I am best in medium sized groups and of course, small groups.

I like meeting new people and enjoy that aspect of social media very much. It is where I met you fine folks.

We have no fun expressions here in Jersey – at least not for food. However…we drive on the “parkway” and we park in the “driveway” we also have the most malls and diners. Our diners are the best in the country too – LOL
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Nancy,

Nice to see you and I can relate to being very ADD. Sometimes I just need my wife to point me in the right direction :)

And glad to see an extrovert dropped in. No problem, we won’t kick you out :) Since you get nervous in crowds maybe you quality for the hybrid model mentioned above.

You do Stand Up? I would love, love to hear more about this.

And I would like to attend one of the future BW events, but will most definitely have to psych myself up, like you did.

I never get irritable when working alone, just start talking to myself :) I get irritable when I miss a meal, and my 17-year-old son has been know to put me over the edge more than a few times.

Well, “parkway” “driveway” sounds like it could be part of your routine, if you still do that. Speaking of that, Jersey is the butt of so many jokes, but we have just as many dunderheads here in WA state. I think the show “Cops” is permanently stationed here.

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Kaarina Dillabough September 16, 2011 at 10:08 pm

First of all, thanks so much for the lovely mention: so kind of you, and much appreciated.

I am an extrovert: according to the dictionary, “an outgoing and gregarious person”. Yep, that’s me. But I’m not sure why that got equated to being the centre of attention. I certainly don’t need or want the spotlight, but I LOVE PEOPLE. I love watching people light up with enthusiasm, laugh, and get all jazzed about something. And I’m a big “touchy feely” gal. (I am now going to watch out for that Bill Dorman to make mincemeat out of that:) I’m quite physically demonstrative, unless I read someone’s body language that tells me, “back off/ keep away”. I respect people’s personal boundaries. But I give a great hug!

One thing I find about being online is that I miss the in-person contact. I will make sure that, every day, I go somewhere or do something that brings me in connection with people. I love to help whenever I can, and I often find myself like I did today: helping someone with their groceries to the car, so we could continue our chat.

I’m totally energized by social situations, but as far as the spotlight goes: I’d much rather cast it on someone else. It gives me great pleasure to sing the praises of others, make connections for them and simply live my Mission: To spread joy. And I completely admire each individual’s “personality” and inclination to introversion or extroversion, and do not pass judgement. Each person is the best, in Betsy Cross’s words “me I can be”, and I love people! Cheers! Kaarina
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Erin Feldman September 16, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I wish WP would let me like comments. Since it doesn’t, I’m writing that I like your comment. :)

I bet you do give great hugs. I’m not much of a touchy-feely person, but I’ve had to change my ways some since I live in a predominately Hispanic community. Hugs are for everyone, even if you’ve just met them, and let’s not forget the kiss on the cheek.

I’m more introverted, but the human factor is important to me. Your attitude toward the spotlight is much like my own. Perhaps introverts and extroverts aren’t all that different underneath the social mannerisms.

I love that you helped someone with the groceries so that you could continue chatting.
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Good point, Erin. This might push me to Livefyre.

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Erin Feldman September 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm

After reading Marcus’ post about Livefyre and the comments about it, I wouldn’t push Livefyre on anyone. I didn’t find it to be complicated, but it seems that it has an intimidation factor for some people. DISQS lets people like comments, too. Maybe that platform has a lower barrier to entry than Livefyre. *shrug*
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Danny Brown had some great comments on it though. I’m still looking into it. Decisions. Decisions.

Kaarina Dillabough September 16, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Thanks so much Erin:)
I think you’ve hit it spot on: underneath our “social mannerisms”, we’re all quite similar in terms of things like: wanting to fit in…wanting to be “liked”, respected, appreciated…wanting to feel significant. We each have our own way of expressing ourself, but at our core, I believe we’re all striving to be the best we can be, and we want to be acknowledged and appreciated and loved…yes I said that word we often shy away from:)

I’m sending a cyber hug your way! Cheers! Kaarina
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Erin Feldman September 16, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Yay! Cyber hugs. Sending one back.
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Kaarina,

You are most welcome, but I have learned quite a bit from your blog and your thoughtful comments.

Okay, another extrovert checks in. I knew it! I won’t hold it against you, promise. We’ll all be nice ;) You are right about extroverts being pegged as people who must be the center of attention. I agree, not true all the time. I believe that has a bit more to do with ego. And you have both types (quiet and outgoing) sometimes exhibiting a bit of narcissistic behavior.

Yeah, I’ll leave the “touchy feely” comment alone, because Mr. Dorman will be all over that. Are you baiting him? ;)

About the in-person contact. I am most often in the office alone, but have to get out sometimes, even if it’s just going to the store. I’m also in a local Toastmasters group, so that really helps, with socializing and dealing with that introverted thing I mentioned :)

I knew you were an extrovert AND a good good samaritan, but you are Canadian (Canadian = nice), eh!? I won’t get started on the Molson thing :)

Sounds like most here don’t like the spotlight. It is fun and rewarding to cast the spotlight on someone else, yes!

Thanks again for dropping in with great comments!

How long before Bill comes back? His ears are burnin’ 3 … 2 … 1

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Kaarina Dillabough September 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Wow…first time I’ve been called narcissistic. Yikes! That is so not how I picture myself, and you’re the first person who’s ever used that word to describe me. Something must be very wrong with how I’m presenting myself to you, if that’s the case. Vanity is certainly not a quality that I aspire to, admire or have ever been accused of. All I can say is…ouch.

And of course…I’m just baiting Bill. It’s all part of the fun:) But I think he’s now out painting the town, so we’ll have to have our countdown again to lure him in. Have a great weekend. Cheers! Kaarina
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Craig McBreen September 16, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Ha ha! I really need a like button for this :) :)

Sure … I put that word in there to bait him too. I just hope my comments back make some sense. I’m typing too fast!

Bill busted me for using the word “byzantine” on Nancy’s blog, so he’ll sniff this one out :) and call us out. Can’t wait :)

You have a great weekend too. Thanks!

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Gini Dietrich September 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

Oh YOU are for sure narcissism. :)
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Gini Dietrich September 17, 2011 at 12:11 am

Holy moley, Craig! 57 comments on a brand new blog?! What are you doing? I need the secret sauce. Congratulations!!

I think it’s funny that people think introverts are shy or stuck-up (I’ve been called stuck-up A LOT). It’s not the case. We’re just not as comfortable as extroverts at talking to people about things that make no sense. We’re also extremely good listeners. We ask lots of questions because we’d rather someone else be talking.

It’s a big sticking point for Mr. D and me. He’s an extrovert the the extreme degree. He wants to be around people ALL THE TIME. And, for instance, I’ve been on the road all week. I was in seven cities this week. I get home at midnight tonight. The LAST thing I’ll want to do tomorrow is be around people. I need my cave time.

And there is nothing wrong with that.

Congrats on the big hits! I’m proud of you.
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Michael Schechter September 17, 2011 at 12:19 am

You’re stuck up.

I still love you, even though I hate you this week.

Women rule.

#ThatIsAll
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Gini Dietrich September 17, 2011 at 12:21 am

I swear, Shrek, I am going to fly to NYC and beat you with a baseball bat. And then I’m going to make you run six miles without a break, all while I run beside you yelling profanities. See if you ever call me names again.
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Michael Schechter September 19, 2011 at 1:37 pm

You do know that I’m into that kind of thing… right?
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 1:56 am

Hi Gini,

Thanks for showing up at this little backwater :) I am as surprised as you, but it sure feels good. No secret sauce. I’ve learned so, so much from you and just about everyone who has commented here. It was kind of fun for me over the summer, floating around, commenting and NOT maintaining a blog, but now it’s time to put, and keep my house in order, yikes!

I’ve been called a lot, but I can’t imagine someone saying you are stuck up. Well, there is Michael Schechter ;) That is funny: “We’re just not as comfortable as extroverts at talking to people about things that make no sense.” … Ha. That’s it! I guess when you go to parties you’re like me … A lot of head nodding and Oh. Uh Huh. Yep. As I said, it’s great to know I’m in good company.

My wife claims she is like me, but she’s usually the life of the party. But it sounds like you have your hands full with Mr. D, dragging you all over the place. Tell him to read this post, so he can understand! :)

Thank you, Gini, but please take it easy on that Schechter fella. No violence, please :)

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Gini Dietrich September 17, 2011 at 1:59 am

Don’t worry. You’ll get to know Shrek and want to do the same.

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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 2:11 am

That’s funny. I just told him to take cover. I think I’ve become too damned passive living in Seattle :)

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Michael Schechter September 17, 2011 at 12:18 am

So alike last post, so POLAR opposite this time. I’m the uber-extrovert. In fact so much of my challenges from last post came from being overwhelmed and over amped by the energy of the group. Couple that with a general lack of filter and/or shame and it makes for an interesting evening. Funny how both extremes can lead to the exact same lack of belonging.

On the plus side the middle is fairly boring, so here’s to not belonging to that!
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 2:04 am

Michael,

Man, cool to see you again! It’s good to know you, uber-extrovert. I do know more than a few, and I like them, because they take the pressure off me. They talk. I listen :) Plus, they are fun to be around. I guess it’s easy to be overwhelmed and amped up, but I get the feeling you’re pretty cool to hang out with, with the lack of filter and all.

And yes, interesting how you and I are polar opposites, but have had that same lack of belonging much of our lives, very good point!

No middle. Onward and upward. BTW, I hope Gini doesn’t come to New York and pound you, … First your post at her place, then the insult … take cover!

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Lori Gosselin September 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Hey Craig,
I’ve been much too busy lately and missed the first two days of this party! You’ve got a lot going on here and for such a young blog – congratulations! :-)
I am just over the introvert/extrovert line – on the extrovert side. I think it doesn’t matter a lot how far you are over the line – I still get energized by being around people (funny, we were talking about this at a dinner party last night!) It’s good to know this about yourself, isn’t it?
Keep up the great work!
Lori
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Hi Lori,

Another extrovert checks in :) It has become quite a party, eh? I sure hesitated before I hit publish, but am glad I finally jumped in. Now I know how hard you all work to keep a blog up and running. It’s fun though. Right now I don’t see the shiny new and exciting experience getting old anytime soon. Great medium, cool people, and I enjoy the writing.

Lori, I think you also energize people with your positive messages. Now, I have to get over to your place for some of those positive vibes, madam.

Thanks again for stopping by!

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Bryan Thompson September 17, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Craig, a few years ago, I took the Myers Briggs test and my score was ENFJ, but the E(xtravert) is right on the border with I(ntrovert). I have become slightly more extraverted through the years, but with your definition, I still fit most introverts’ profiles. I can be in groups of people but it’s exhausting. I MUST find time each day to get alone and recharge. Driving, doing busy work by myself, etc. Maybe I should retake that test sometime. :)
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Hey Bryan,

Thank you for checking out the blog and commenting, I really appreciate you coming by.

I consistently score as an INTJ.

The portrait says, ENFJ’s are givers. On the line, as you say, but it looks like you are a people-focused person, with a quality of bringing out the best in friends and acquaintances. Is that true? They Certainly sound like some great qualities to have. I think I have become a bit more extroverted too, but I have to constantly push myself to go way out of my comfort zone. Been doing that a lot lately.

Thanks again for commenting and I hope you can make it over again. Hope you have a great day.

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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 11:17 pm

And very nice blog, Sir! Just subscribed.

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Bryan Thompson September 19, 2011 at 5:03 am

Thanks for the kind words, Craig! I would say the same about your site! I think pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones is one of the best things we could ever do for ourselves! Thanks again!
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Craig McBreen September 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Thanks right back! Agreed, and blogging is the perfect platform.

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Adam Toporek September 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I think I really have to question whether being an introvert or extrovert is the same online as off. When I see some of the people here calling themselves introverts, it is really interesting because they seem so extroverted on social media and in the blogosphere. Perhaps this discussion does underline how little we know about people until the relationships move to more “real” interactions.

Craig, congratulations on such a strong launch to your blog! To echo Gini, it is really impressive.
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Erin Feldman September 17, 2011 at 9:49 pm

That’s a really good point. I know I probably seem somewhat extroverted online, but that personality doesn’t really reveal itself in real life until I’ve gotten to know the person well.
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Craig McBreen September 17, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Hey Adam,

Very good point, as people do appear extroverted online, but I think back to what Gini said about speaking/meetings, then needing cave time. I get a charge out of public speaking. I’m nervous as hell and it’s difficult, but I do like it. I don’t do it much, but I like the challenge. I just need time to recharge after that … “cave time”.

Not sure if it’s true, but I’ve read several interviews where David Letterman says that he is an introvert. He’s a great performer, has fun doing his thing, but it drains him. We have our own David Letterman-types online. They are everywhere, teach us, do speaking gigs, etc. They get a charge out of it, but have to push themselves to do it, and then need to retire for a bit of peace and quite. I think I have this right, … not sure?

Thank you again, Adam! I appreciate the complement, sir. Now to balance this with the day job :)

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Adam Sokoloff September 21, 2011 at 1:26 am

Hey Craig, first time here and I really enjoyed your post! I’m not sure if I would call myself an introvert or more of a hybrid? I do get exhausted from some social situations , but also feel adaptable when I need to be running the show.

As for social media, it’s a little slice a heaven being able to reach out to people I probably wouldn’t have if they were with me in a crowded room. It allows me to be extroverted…even if I run into some virtual rejection!

Great stuff! -Adam
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Craig McBreen September 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Hi Adam,

Thank you for stopping by and thanks for the nice comments! I’m kind of like you. If I’m running the show and can plan, I’m fine, it’s those other social events or impromptu situations that make me nervous, and usually where I need more “recovery” time :)

Totally agree with you on social media, virtual rejection or not, it’s a great place to be.

Thanks again and hope to see you again. Hope you have a great day.

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Alicia Jay September 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Hey Craig!

I loved reading the comments on this one–the serious and the silly. I don’t know that I have much to add at this point that wasn’t said already. (You can thank my mini vacation for my late arrival) I find myself a little bit of both the extrovert and introvert in different situations. People know me as friendly and easy to talk to but I HATE public speaking. I just HATE all eyes on me when the main goal is to stare at the speaker and listen. I never wanted to be that speaker. However, I will be the person in the room at an event or party who will go over to someone standing all alone. I know how much I dislike that feeling and I don’t want others to feel that way.

Either way, I can see the benefits of both when it comes to blogging. Those extroverts aren’t afraid to say what they have to say. On the other hand, many introverts find the blogosphere a safe place to voice their opinions.
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Craig McBreen September 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Alicia,

There are more than a few serious comments, but man we need the silly, don’t we? Late arrivals are most welcome! I just wanted to thank you for commenting.

I read Scott Berkun’s “Confessions of a Public Speaker” (great book, by the way) and he talked about public speaking fear. You can blame that fear on the lizard brain in us. We hate all those eyes on us because we are on display. It’s almost as if we see the audience as a group of hungry lions. This isn’t exactly what he said, but that fear is in us all :)

Good for you though, supporting the wallflowers of the world. Standing alone at a party is not a good feeling, so that’s great.

Thanks for dropping in. I appreciate it!

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Maureen Logan September 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Hi Craig,
Just read your blog this morning before I start my work day, I tell people I talk for a living! SALES! Because I am a total extrovert it works to my favor but boy do I need to have my alone time after a long week. I think it’s great there are all types of us! Keep Blogging brother!!!
Mo

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Craig McBreen September 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Hi Maur,

You are actually taking the time to read this boring pabulum in the morning :) ;)

Well, I know what you do, and I’ll admit that I certainly couldn’t do it. I could probably do sales for a week, then I’d be done. I would need to retire to my cave too often, would lose major commissions and probably get canned. They might just get confused and call be a lazy bum :)

But you are good, really good at what you do!

Maybe an introverted person could thrive in that environment too, but it would be a battle.

Thanks for dropping in again, Maur. Hopefully I can blog and keep my day job ;)

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wine vinting u-brew sunshine coast bc March 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm

The most successful mindset of networking in business is that it is not an event but a process. Grasp this concept and the phrase “relax and network” will have more congruency even for the introvert.

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Marya | Writing Happiness April 20, 2012 at 4:36 am

And I thought I was the only misfit here ..

Say, have you read “Quiet – the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking?’ by Susan Cain. In a recent review, somebody claimed that all the introverts would be tripping over their feet in a rush to get a copy. Did you?
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Craig McBreen April 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Hi Marya,

Ha ha, glad to know I have a fellow misfit on board ;)

No, I haven’t (I just added it to my list, thanks!), but I did link to a post she wrote in the NY Times here http://www.craigmcbreen.com/master-the-art-of-solitude-and-blast-your-creativity-into-the-stratosphere/

I am now tripping (well not that kind of tripping) and will certainly get the book. Thanks for reminding me and for stopping in!

Craig

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Lindsey Kirchoff August 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Hi Craig,

I found your website through Jill Tooley and am excited to read more! This is an especially interesting post because I am a BIG extrovert in the real world. I love to talk, meet new people, and okay I’ll admit, be the center of attention. Should be easy enough to translate online right?

Not quite. It was been a big push for me to be social online at first. Without the energy of physically talking to people, facial expressions, and tone of voice, it’s been interesting switching gears! For the first time, I felt a little shy. It’s been an enlightening transition, but by focusing on listening and helping others, I’m learning translate my offline extroversion to an online manifestation. Great article and I look forward to reading more!
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Craig McBreen August 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Hi Lindsey,

Well thanks so much for coming over :) Jill is one of my favorite people and a friend of hers is a friend of mine.

You would think that extroverts would shine in this environment and introverts would wilt, but that’s the case. It’s interesting what you are saying … the charge you get being around others. That amps you up, right? While it drains an introverted person.

But the blogging space is just a platform to other things. It’s such an amazing platform to build upon. To grow. If you’re naturally outgoing, you’r probably a great networker or maybe a confident speaker. So, if you move beyond the blog that offline extroversion might pay huge dividends!

Thanks for stopping in!

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