The Question Highly Sensitive People Are Asking Post-Election

The Question Highly Sensitive People Are Asking Post-Election

A lot of people think that those of us who are quiet and highly sensitive are weak. They believe that quiet + courageous is a contradiction. Now more than ever, I whole-heartedly disagree. No matter what your political views, you can’t deny that the recent US election has created a sense of division and brokenness. After reading posts from some of my favorite bloggers, I noticed a pattern in the comments. The phrase “I feel so helpless” came up a lot. But there is another, more hopeful trend, especially among my introverted and highly sensitive friends and colleagues. Highly sensitive does not mean helpless Many highly sensitive introverts are choosing not to run and hide post-election. We are not giving into the sense of helplessness. Instead, we are asking “What can we do? And how can we heal?” True to our conflict-averse nature, many highly sensitive introverts are ardently searching for ways to mend and unite. We want to gently break down the walls of division, rather than build them up. I see introverted leaders like Susan Cain, author of Quiet and creator of QuietRev.com, sharing Facebook posts like this one: Cain speaks her truth in a way that is clear, but never unkind. The overall theme of her message is, “What can we do? And how can we heal ?” I see my friend, publicity and business coach Selena Soo (who is a proud introvert and INFJ) making a stand for unity and compassion. Selena reached out to her community by email to address the “hate and mean-spirited language” fuelled by the US election. She reminded her peeps that real...
Why Introverts Hate Group Conversations

Why Introverts Hate Group Conversations

Group conversations are, and always have been, a pain in the ass for me. They make me feel awkward, inhibited, and totally out of my element. As a fellow introvert, maybe you can relate? You know what it’s like to wonder what to say and when to say it. You wait for a pause so you can share your thoughts, but it never comes. So, you stay quiet. Then comes the worst part … “Why are you so quiet?” they ask, as if it weren’t the most annoying question in the history of annoying questions. You already felt weird for not knowing what to say. Now, you’re also embarrassed that others have noticed. If you’ve ever experienced the above scenario, you are all too familiar with the PAIN of group conversations for introverts. You’ll also probably relate to my disdain for work lunchrooms, and small talk. So, how can little ol’ introverted me become an ace at group conversations? How can I be that person who always knows what to say, and when to say it. The one who tells long hilarious stories, and commands the conversation like a boss. To be honest, I probably can’t — at least not on a consistent basis. Now, before you get all “you can do anything you put your mind to” on me, hear me out. Why it’s so hard Group conversations work against, rather than with, an introvert’s strengths. They overwhelm us, and don’t give us enough time to think about what we want to say. Asking an introvert to command a group conversation (in a social setting, not a meeting) is...
Introvert – I thoroughly enjoy minding my own business

Introvert – I thoroughly enjoy minding my own business

I’m an introvert. I won’t necessarily initiate conversation with you if I don’t know you. It’s not because I’m aloof, or cold, or shy. It’s just that I really enjoy minding my own business. Another way to put it is that I love attending to the business of my mind: the steady stream of thoughts and ideas, the expansive landscapes of imagination, even the familiar channels of worry. Sometimes I feel guilty about minding my own business. I don’t want people to think I dislike them, or that I am rude, or uncaring. I hope they don’t assume that my mind and heart are closed when I keep to myself. The infinite introvert You might have seen a picture somewhere depicting introverts with a small personal space bubble. When I am exploring my imagination, my world has no borders. I can dive deep into an ocean of memories. I can sail freely through a current of dreams. There is a famous quote from the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. The main character Charlie and his two best friends Patrick and Sam are driving through a tunnel at night, the song “Landslide” blasting from the stereo. They exit the tunnel and see downtown lights and “everything that makes you wonder”. Then comes the famous line: “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” Charlie is a teen introvert who mostly minds his own business. Yet, through his writing we see that his inner world is infinite. It is only through his ability to “see things … keep quiet about them, and … understand” that he...
Why Lunchtime Sucks For Introverts

Why Lunchtime Sucks For Introverts

Lunch hour is often the most dreaded time of day for introverts. Contrary to what you might think, our secret lunchtime anxieties have nothing to do with food. See if this scenario sounds familiar: It’s break time at the office, which means you have one hour to chow down, and relax. If you work in a job that requires a lot of talking and dealing with people, you desperately need this time to recharge and fortify yourself against the day ahead. But there’s one problem. For other people, lunch hour is all about catching up with coworkers. Your extroverted colleagues congregate together, and engage in one of the most offensive pastimes to an introvert. Small talk. For extroverts, chatting with others is replenishing. For introverts, not so much. Over the years, we’ve come up with all sorts of sneaky ways to avoid small talk. When it comes to lunchtime at work, you’ll likely see us doing one of the following: Hiding behind a book, and doing everything in our power to avoid eye contact with other humans. Sneaking off to a secluded area of the office where we munch away in sweet solitude. Escaping the office all together and wandering the nearby streets or stores in the hopes that we won’t see anyone we know. Don’t get me wrong, introverts are not necessarily anti-social. And we might really like our coworkers. But small talk is NOT how we want to spend our precious one-hour lunch break. Instead of replenishing us, as it does extroverts, lunchtime chit chat drains us. How to make lunchtime less sucky First of all, let go...
Top 10 Books For Introverts

Top 10 Books For Introverts

Welcome to my detailed list of the top books for introverts! If you’re an introverted book lover like me, you know the anguish of not having anything good to read. A lack of good books can be especially painful during lazy summer days, when all you want to do is sit in the shade and swim through the pages of a great book. Ay, but there’s a rub. It’s hard to know what to read. We all have our own taste when it comes to books. No matter what your personal palate for literature, I think you’ll get a lot out of the books for introverts I recommend here. So, let’s dive in, shall we? Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength By Laurie Helgoe Of all the books for introverts, Introvert Power is definitely my favorite. It’s written with such compassion, and color you’ll want to drink up every word. At nearly 300 pages, it’s also comprehensive. Here’s just a little taste of what you’ll find in Introvert Power: “As an introvert, you can be your own best friend or your worst enemy. The good news is we generally like our own company, a quality that extroverts often envy. We find comfort in solitude and know how to soothe ourselves. Even our willingness to look at ourselves critically is often helpful.” Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking By Susan Cain This book has been a game changer for countless introverts all over the world. It served as a major catalyst for the introvert revolution, which continues to gain speed to this day....
Introvert: Stop saying yes to sh*t you hate

Introvert: Stop saying yes to sh*t you hate

We introverts tend to say yes to a lot of things out of guilt. Can you blame us? We feel enormous pressure to fit into a culture that worships extroversion. More specifically, we feel pressure to be outgoing busybodies with a packed social calendar. The desire to keep up with the extrovert ideal drives introverts to say yes to all sorts of things we hate. What we risk by saying no We secretly believe that if we say no, our life could start to unravel. We imagine saying no will lead our coworkers to think we’re mean, lazy, or (gasp!) genuinely too busy to do their job for them. Our acquaintances will realize how unloveable and despicable we really are and create a secret club that gathers weekly for the sole purpose of talking behind our back. Our chance at real success – the kind that involves money, admiration, and endless attention on Twitter – could be lost forever. These are just a few of the irrational fears that keep us from saying no to shit we hate. The truth is that saying no to needless obligations frees up time and energy for more worthwhile things. You know, like activities we actually enjoy, and benefit from. The most common no’s for introverts The things we secretly want to say no to vary from one introvert to the next. Our list often includes social obligations, such as happy hour with coworkers, or holiday parties. Perhaps, we’re dying to say no to community obligations, like strata meetings, or fundraising efforts. Parents might feel the urge to say no to heading up the next school bake sale, or book drive. Many of us desperately want to say no to work opportunities...

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