Let Your Guard Down: Life as a Social Introvert
This week, I thought I'd try something a little new in which I share things that are more personal in nature and revealing. Please let me know if this is something you'd like to continue to see in the future. Thanks!
Now let's begin:
My name is Erin and I am a social introvert. What does that mean exactly? Well, I'm a part of a niche market in that I love human connection and enjoy meeting new people, but hate any sort of public speaking, large crowds of strangers, and parties in which I don't know anybody. When I am thrust into any of these situations, several anxiety-ridden thoughts rush through my head. Instantly, I start to think, how am I being judged?As if simply meeting a new person is like some sick millennial game show of "America's Got Coolness." How can I perform better? Suddenly, there's a sense of competition in which I must prove why you should be interested in me. When will they catch on to my facade? As if no one would take me seriously as a business women. I recognize that many of these are less social introvert-ness and more so my own self-image issues. But that's for another day I guess.
Being that I am a social introvert, it's a relief that I'm able to be my own boss. I love being able to pursue a career that allows me to make social connections and avoid moments that terrify me, such as presentations in front of bosses and peers. While I know it's important to face your fears every once and a while, I feel that in order for a person to truly enjoy his/her day-to-day life, being terrified on a regular basis is not part of that equation.
I often get asked how I can call myself an introvert, yet routinely go on first dates. I understand that this is a little strange. But the truth is, one-on-one scenarios (in which I'm not in a job-like/professional interview scenario and therefore able to be myself), don't scare me. I simply decide to not let it get to me and don't label it a life-or-death scenario. Sure, I could maybe try applying this way of thinking to professional situations. And yes, I'm trying this and I'm happy to report it is getting easier more and more now!
From the way I see it, I think it's important to find a healthy mixture of comfort and fear in your life. And for some that might entail several instances of judgment in their career and personal lives. And for others this combo might include a bigger dose of calm, comfort, and familiarity. Yet regardless of your preference, you are always worthy of someone's time.