Archive for the ‘being an introvert’ Category
It’s nice to be happy with the way I am.
Each year I think to myself that maybe we should do more. But, then I realize that the way we celebrate is us: simple and low-key.
We’re both fairly introverted, and that really works for us. We love hanging out in our house, just watching TV or movies, playing with Evan, talking over a home-made meal, or working on the house. I think that’s why we’ve put so much time, money, and energy into making our home very comfortable – because we love spending time here!
I am so happy to have found someone who likes being at home just as much as I do. This year, we’ll be doing it again. But, we have the wonderful pleasure of adding Evan to the mix!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Thankfully, in the pool, one of the other ladies struck up a conversation with me and we chatted during the workout. I found it easy to talk with her, but she had to initiate.
Well….when the heck did this happen? I always thought of myself as an outgoing, easy-to-talk-to person. I’m not sure when it changed, but sometime over the last few years my socializing skills have gone down hill. I think I’ll blame it on being in an extremely anti-social environment over the last five years, for being around physicists longer than that, and for not having many friendships outside the realm of academia.
I really hope these classes help me get these skills back! I don’t want to be the shy woman in the corner who never speaks to anyone. That’s not who I am!
(MDO) I’d say if you’re already unhappy with the project, then, unfortunately it’s probably not going to get much better.
(Cath) It really does sound like this project is going to make you unhappy either way.
These got me wondering: what has happened in the last few months to make me go from super-excited and gung-ho about this project, to wanting to walk away?
I know exactly what it is: people.
You see, a couple months ago, I met with another person who is creating a similar program at another telescope in Canada. He had all sorts of great ideas, one of which was to put a steering committee together to help me write a business proposal.
At first, I thought this was a great idea – I could bounce ideas off others and the program could benefit from their experiences and unique skill sets. But, as time goes on, I’m not sure if it’s a good way to get things done.
First of all – I’m an introvert. So, I have a huge problem articulating myself in groups. It’s not that I don’t know how to talk…no…it’s more like I let people finish their sentences, or it takes me a few seconds for things to sink in before I want to say my part. Most people, though, are extroverts – they feed off interrupting and talking over each other. So, I tend to get pushed to the background, while everyone else is freely voicing their opinions.
I also have an issue in trying to be “the leader” of the committee. Even though I have ample experience in developing and running outreach programs, I feel looked down upon because I am younger than everyone else on the committee. I don’t think it’s understood that this is my program, and I’ve asked them to be on the committee to help out, not take over.
Adding these two together, I have a hard time “wrangling the troops”. I send out a list of things I want to talk about at a meeting in the hopes people will stick to the topics, but this never happens. We often go off topic, and when I try to get things back on track, it lasts for about five minutes before someone else goes off on another tangent (again, good for extroverts, not so good for introverts).
Lastly (and Cath alluded to this in her comment asking if I can “cut the fat” and get back to basics), all of these people have great ideas….but sometimes it gets out of control. I really want the program to start small and simple, and to grow at a sustainable rate. But, every time I start talking about an event, all of a sudden we’re inviting the local who’s who, hosting a black-tie banquet, or entertaining 300 Scouts from across Ontario.
What it comes down to is I’m not enjoying working with a team. They are wonderful people, have great ideas, and lots of energy…but I just cannot “manage” the meetings the way I would like too. Things are getting totally out of hand, and I just want to scale back and start from the beginning again.
Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this situation? How can I become “the leader” without turning into “the bitch”? How do I get them to understand that their role is “helper” not “taker-over-er”? Part of me wants to disband the whole idea of a steering committee, but I think if I could find a way to make it work, it would really benefit both me and the program.
Yesterday I figured out why I get so anxious at these conferences – although I had an inkling all along: I am way more introverted than the majority of people there.
We all took this work profile test, and it gives you a “mark” on a scale of 30 for four work/personality traits. These are introvert/extrovert, structured/flexible, creative/practical, and analytical/beliefs.
In general, there is about a 2:1 ratio of extroverts to introverts, which was the case at the conference. What was interesting though, is a lot of people were on the extreme end of the extrovert scale (i.e., scores of 15 and above). My score was 18…on the introvert side. Only one person (out of about 50) was more introverted than me at 22. The next most introverted had scores of 11/12.
Interestingly, people were really surprised that I was that much of an introvert. Mostly because I can speak to people well, I share my opinions, etc.. It really bothers me that there is a stigma that introverts are social idiots who are shy and scared of people. That’s just not the case! It’s just that it takes energy for us to interact with people…while that gives energy to extroverts. They feed off of it, while introverts feed off of alone time.
So, I really started to understand why this conference in particular grates on me like nails on a chalkboard. Seriously. These people just keep talking and talking and talking and talking. They also love being in big groups, and end up going everywhere together…and talking. It wears me down so quickly that I end up opting out of dinner plans because I just cannot handle it anymore.
I am dreading going back today.