Provided by Scherezade Ozwulo from Scherezade’s Labyrinth
Being an introvert in the corporate workplace is hard, hell, it’s a feat, exhausting, daunting, cumbersome, all of the effing above yet we gotta work to make ends meet or at least make them, period. Hence, we introverts go out into the working world with plastered on smiles, fake idle conversation, and constant eye contact to give the illusion we are similar to everyone else. This act in itself is all the above I mentioned.
Why do we put on the persona we are socially uniform? Because it makes others comfortable.
What others don’t realize or understand is there are levels to this thing of being introvertedly human (my phrase😉). Yes, socializing is fun. It’s healthy, but sometimes it can be too much for us. Which is why sometimes we answer right away.
Introverts, have you ever been asked a question and you’re stuck thinking of a proper response or witty retort? The person standing there looking at you as if you’re holding up the flow of conversation?
I hate it. I hate the look people give me when I can’t “think” fast enough for them.🤬 Rush to say anything that comes to mind first, then it’ll fumble and I’ll look foolish or weird🤪; think before speaking🧐 will cause the other to be like “forget it”. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. So, we resort to not saying anything at all and then we are antisocial.
Guess what antisocial means? “not sociable. Not wanting the company of others”. Which can be true for some introverts, not all. Some of us are social in small groups or when we aren’t bombarded with personal questions too soon for us to divulge with others; socializing takes time with introversion. The social ones look forward to conversation just don’t hit all at once. Levels to this thing remember?
Hence, today’s topic. Being introvertedly human in the corporate workplace. I read an article, titled Two Magic Words Introverts Can Say To Make Communication Easier . Basically, the article discusses unconscious bias- how people view others unconsciously e.g. people who talk out front know more. As long as I’ve been working, this notion is so NOT true. But it’s what many people follow. This is where discernment comes in, an introvert’s superpower. Once a loud know it all begins offering up information, we can tell if their bullshitting or not.
Now there are loud people who do know things and are accurate, but those others, boy they are tiiieedd (tired)! The latter are the ones who are pushed up in ranks and don’t know how to do nothing; they secretly come to you for the answers while they get the credit.🤬🤬🤬
It’s life yet we go on. Or a Milton is pulled🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 (favorite movie of all time, hands down!!)
I took this quote from the article, which sums up a good portion:
“If an introvert’s organization tends to lean toward extroversion, than even well-meaning extrovert managers may unconsciously reward the talk-it-out-ers while inadvertently sidelining the think-before-you-speak-ers. (That was the take-away from the unconscious bias training.) Indeed, the amount that people talk is often taken as a proxy of expertise – rather than actual subject-matter knowledge or experience.“
This is true…sometimes. My experience, I worked with managers who literally only dealt with talk-it-outers, who they knew screwed up everything yet used the quiet ones as the cleanup crew.
Some advice: Attention managers, don’t do this. It doesn’t help. Hold those accountable, period.
Back to the article…for introverts to get through their workday or any verbal communication is to say two words “I’m Thinking. Simple.
If we aren’t supplying answer right away, it’s because we’re ignoring you, we are thinking of the right thing to say. We are processing information similar to a computer. We’re taking in the question and matching up against our morals, values, statutes, reconciling it against memories, etc. Whatever helps us to provide a correct answer or response.
Some more advice: Don’t keep asking us while we’re processing; it’ll get us thinking back to square one and our heads may🤯🤯🤯🤯 POP!! Or we may🤬🤬🤬🤬
Being introvertedly human is tough when many within the world view talking as the only form of communication. We write too, it’s here we do our best communication. In writing, we’re not caught off guard. We have time to articulate thoughts and feelings. Verbal communication within the workplace sometimes doesn’t allow for this, hence us being looked past.
I get it; time is money, but wouldn’t most corporate workplaces value the right answer over a quick one?
So, the best thing to say is I’m Thinking. Maybe, they’ll back off, maybe they’ll look at you like you got two heads, maybe they’ll get offended- either way you provided a response.
Originally posted on Scherezade’s Labyrinth