Owning It

Here’s a great blog from Introvert, Dear on Owning Your Introversion: 12 Ways to Own Your Introversion

Number 4 is Leave when you want to.

I want to leave.  Leave my job.  Owning my introversion means taking responsibility for my own happiness.  And this job doesn’t make me happy.  It makes me miserable.  In my “role” as a manager, I’m expected to be a take-charge outgoing socializer.  Not happening.

I heard about this book, Never Eat Alone, and just about freaked.  I almost had a panic attack when I saw it in the bookstore.  That’s what I mean.  I can’t even handle the idea of going to lunch with a new person every day just to be successful in my job.

Time to leave this party.

So, I have been thinking about early retirement. But, I have a big obstacle.  Huge!

The company I work for has a tradition of throwing big blowout parties for anyone who retires, with catered food, speeches, balloons, and all the retiree’s relatives that they can convince to show up.

I can’t face retirement because I’m terrified of the party.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World

Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe: Working Through Social Anxiety

The Gratitude Game

Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, wrote a blog post on Ecclesiastes Chapter 8. Here’s her original post.>>—-> How to Enjoy Tranquility Through All of Life’s Trials

Here’s my comment on her post. Rejoicing makes sense to me even if there’s nothing in particular to rejoice about. I recently read in a review of, Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, that the secret to happiness is gratitude. It rings true for me.

I make it a spiritual practice to challenge myself to look for unusual things to be grateful for–like dirt . . . and worms. Yep. As a gardener, those are two essentials for a successful garden.

Another favorite thing to be grateful for is books; books full of words, and libraries full of books, free for the borrowing. I’m grateful for parents who read stories to me, teachers who taught me to read and even one special children’s librarian who got me totally hooked on books in the third grade.

How about color vision? I’m grateful to have color vision. God made the world such a vibrantly colorful place, but without color vision we wouldn’t be able to appreciate its natural beauty.

What would you do if you were color-blind? I was surprised to hear that Monte Roberts, The Man Who Listens To Horses, is color-blind. Not only that, he is grateful that he is color-blind and looks on it as a gift. He says that his color-blindness enabled him to see what others couldn’t see in horse’s communication dynamics. He attributes his amazing ability to communicate with horses to his color-blindness.

I’m grateful for my introverted character. I encounter many obstacles misunderstanding and even prejudice in the workplace. Like Monte’s color-blindness, I see introversion as a gift. It gives me a unique perspective on the world and allows me to see what many extroverts miss. They may think I’m missing out on the vibrant colors of an extroverted life, but I wouldn’t trade my introversion in for anything. (Even a Lexus.)

(Dear @Lexus, you owe introverts an apology)

Team Building for Introverts

Psychology Today – The Introvert’s Corner

I found this blog by searching for “team-building for introverts”. We recently had a meeting at work to discuss possible team-building ideas. Team-building exercises and icebreakers usually make me break out in a cold sweat. I’m an introvert.

I’ve been reflecting on the pros and cons of introversion lately. I used to feel like something was wrong with me when I froze up during lunch at a conference. Sitting around a table with ten other people is torture.  I never know what to say or how to start a conversation then feeling self conscious for not joining in or tossing off a witty comment.

I felt like a bug under glass riding the school bus in high school. Everyone else was chattering away while I felt like a tongue-tied alien. I naturally preferred sitting in the back reading a book. I wasn’t trying to be anti-social. I just didn’t know how to join in.

I’ve recently given myself permission to just sit quietly and listen, not trying to force myself to contribute unless I really have something to say.

Splint said, “Getting back to teambuilding, I find that I don’t really have a problem with it when it relates to a specific work-related or assigned task or physical effort. I’d have no problem with team building softball game, or bowling night for example or if we were brainstorming marketing strategies for a new product. I can chime in during those anytime.

What’s funny is that bowling and softball were the only two suggestions that I felt comfortable with. Most of the other fun ideas made me want to break out in a cold sweat!

I’m reading Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected. It has helped me realize that it it’s not the social situations that stress me out, but trying to be something that I’m not (an extrovert).

Through multiple examples Devora Zack show how introverts can succeed at networking by ignoring The usual advice and rules, substituting them with stuff that works for us introverts. It’s not about overcoming shyness (because many introverts are not shy) but about being true to ourselves and focusing on our strengths.

I’m also reading Confessions of an Introvert: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Career, Networking and Getting the Most Out of Lifethat I picked up at the library yesterday.  It’s a quick read. (I’m speed-reading through it so I can review the other three books before I have to return them.)  I got about 40% through it while waiting for my car to get an oil change.  I like the large print. Many of the points Meghan Wier makes are similar to the other introvert books, but she does have some new suggestions.  Like connecting to BNI; Business Network International. I also liked her advice about following up with written notes instead of a phone call. Phones and I just don’t get along.  I’d much rather spend the $0.44 on a stamp and write a note.  Thanks Meghan!

I’ve never been to a so called “networking” event, though I have attended conferences, training and trade association chapter meetings where some networking goes on.

How do people get connected to these networking events?  Are they useful?  Effective?  What’s your take on this?

One Reason I Love My Library

Hermosa Beach Public Library
I’ve been reading up on networking for introverts.  As an introvert (off the chart!) networking is more terrifying than . . . well, just about anything. I read a blog on HBR.org on introverted leaders that intrigued me. The majority of people feel that leaders need to be over-the-top extroverts to be successful. It turns out that this is not the case. Introverts can be great leaders too, if they learn to utilize their unique strengths. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long, long time.

I’ve decided to take responsibility to make my life as successful as I think it should be. I went on the library’s online catalog to look up some resources to study. I put a few books on hold through the online catalog.  That’s right, anyone with a library card can do it.  And it’s free!  At least it is still free at the County of Los Angeles Public Library.  Other libraries around the Southland are starting to charge for holds.

Here’s the email I got today notifying me that the books I requested have arrived and are waiting for me to pick up. You see, it doesn’t matter that your local branch is small. That local branch has access to all of the materials in all the other branches in that library system. In this case, that is the Los Angeles County Library system with about ninety branch libraries. That is a lot of resources.

County of Los Angeles Public Library Home Page

The best thing is that the majority of these resources are free. Totally free! That makes your library card the best card in your wallet. All of your other cards, bank cards, debit cards, credit cards, all cost you money. You have to pay up for all the stuff you bought with them. Pay up plus interest!

But everything you get with your library card is free. As long as you return everything by the due date.

Subject: County of Los Angeles Public Library
Friday, August 26, 2011

Hermosa Beach Library
90254  310-379-8475

The items you placed on hold are now available.  You can pick them up at the
library listed above.

They will be held for two weeks, until the date listed below.
You can check your account by visiting our website at http://www.colapublib.org/

Confessions of an Introvert: The Shy Girl’s Guide to Career, Networking and Getting the Most Out of Life / by Meghan Wier.
Wier, Meghan.
call number:650.1 WIER                                  copy:1
Pickup by:9/8/2011

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength / Laurie
Helgoe, Laurie A.
call number:155.232 HELGOE                              copy:1
Pickup by:9/8/2011

Why Should Extroverts Make All the Money / Frederica J. Balzano with Marsha Boone Kelly.
Balzano, Frederica J.
call number:650.13                                      copy:1
Pickup by:9/8/2011

Help! Poll on a musical dispute between introverts (via One Heart Leadership)

I’m debating this topic with a coworker. I thought I’d try to settle it with a poll. Extroverts don’t need to feel left out. There’s a poll for you too.

Help! Musical dispute between introverts I need your help to resolve a dispute between introverts regarding musical taste. My good friend at work is an introvert like me. We get along great except in one area. Musical taste. He likes classical music (91.5 FM in Los Angeles) and I like classic rock (100.3 The Sound). Every time he comes into my office to discuss a work issue, I have to turn off the music (which isn't really very loud anyway). He says, "How can you be an introvert if you … Read More

via One Heart Leadership