Hello my dear extrovert colleagues, you who make up roughly 70% of the population, I want to clarify a few things about myself and compatriot introverts. Actually, I am more of an ambivert, a combination of the extremes, but with clear introvert leanings. However, this does not mean that I need help in navigating the world.
You see, I am not shy and do not need help meeting people or making friends. I might not have 500 friends on Facebook, but I have many close friends who love and support me. What you regularly call shyness is actually an acute ability to listen. No, I do not speak up first at meetings, partly because I know you will interrupt me, so I let you have the stage first. I have learned to keep talking, just in case you have not noticed, when you try to break in again, which you will. I know that you are only trying to clarify my ideas and speak up for me, but honestly, I am quite articulate. Especially since I think before I speak.
No, I do not like large parties, but I am a pro at working a room since it is easy for me to connect with individuals. It is that listening skill again. No I do not like long meetings, but really, who does? I just know that over-talking any topic does not lead to resolution. I also know that group brainstorming, which is so fun for extroverts, often leads to group think. If you want true innovation have people generate ideas individually first and share them anonymously. There is actually research on this, done, of course, by introverts.
And just for the record, I do not need to be told that I can be a good leader even as an introvert. I have already proven that. Nor do I need to read one more book or article about introverts written by an extrovert. Trust me, I do not need the 7 steps an introvert must take to succeed in the world of extroverts or learn that I have strengths. I do not need a pep talk or comfort for my ability to recharge alone. I am actually proud of how adventurous this makes me. Think skiing, hiking, traveling and experiencing life on my own.
And just so you know, I really am a strong leader, just like Marissa Mayer, Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. Give me a microphone and I will amaze you, just like Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Spielberg, and Meryl Streep. I might avoid massive marches, but I stand up and take risks in the name of social justice, just like Rosa Parks, Elinor Roosevelt and Hilary Clinton. And don’t doubt for a minute that I can strut my unique style in public, just like Lady Gaga, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
Do you doubt my intelligence or critical thinking skills? Maybe you should check in with Albert Einstein, Carl Sagan or Charles Darwin. In fact, if you think I need innovation or business advice take a look at Warren Buffet, or Larry Page. But what about tenacity and creativity you ask? Let’s check in with JK Rowling and Dr. Seuss.
So, just to recap, I am fine. I love you dearly my extrovert friends, but in case you have not noticed I am often the instigator of adventures, seemingly outrageous new ideas, innovations, which makes me a powerful futurist. I am the one with the courage to flaunt societal rules and measures. I am the one willing and able to reinvent myself at will and support you in new endeavors. Yes I am the pirate to your queen, but that is a choice for freedom over containment. Keep your big office and title and I will keep my sails and open sea. And honestly, I am a highly valuable and amazing friend. Feel free to applaud.