Misunderstanding Introverts

All my life, I have irritated introverts by pushing them, overpowering them, interrupting them, and by trying to remake them into extroverts.  Please forgive me.

I now realize I needed to give space, rather than judgement.

On the other hand, as an extrovert, I have been misunderstood by introverts to be flirting or showing off when I was just enjoying the energy I receive through being with other people.

I guess all of us need space to be who we are (even when it doesn’t make sense to our opposites) rather than judgement.

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Got Faulty Social Assumptions?

  1. Think someone is rude or doesn’t care because they don’t smile, say much, or initiate conversation?

Don’t be so sure.

Introverts may be interested in you, but…

  • “Thinkers” like to process before they speak and assess before they connect.
  • “Feelers” are good listeners and are concerned about saying the wrong thing.

2.  Think someone is arrogant because they talk too much or monopolize the conversation?

Maybe not.

  • “Talkers” try to make others feel comfortable by filling up the airspace. They may not realize until later that they didn’t leave any room for others.
  • “Doers” think they are helping by taking charge because they think in terms of action.

3. Think your outgoing partner is flirting?

Not necessarily.

  • Outgoing “talkers” and “doers” get their energy from socialization. It may be completely innocent.

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What? You Want Me to Take Off the Electronic Leash?

But I like being distracted by dings, rings, and chimes

You go right ahead and leave that leash behind

You can mute, disable, and ignore

While I jump up and run for more

Emails, calls, tweets, and texts

The simple relief from work I detest

Or the projects I promise to undertake

After a tinnnny little technology break

 

I know you need the quiet and the rest

To concentrate and reflect

But, seriously, 

I gotta have shiny, communication things

For my mind’s wildly flapping angel wings

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This silly poem is my attempt to illustrate the classic clash of the spontaneous, people-focused vs. the scheduled, task-focused.

People-focused get their energy from socializing.

Task-focused get their energy from being alone.

So, can we stop judging each other now?

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What Loud People Want Us to Know

big mouthThey usually tell us.

But, here are a few tips anyway…

1) We talk a lot because we think out loud (can it be done privately?).

2) Our thoughts are not usually completely formed when we let them out (if we hurt your feelings it is usually an accident).

3) Our “volcanoes” are never inactive.

4) Ready, Fire, Aim is often our unfortunate mantra.

5) We need quiet people more than we realize.

6) Be patient with us. We’re learning as we go (with full public exposure and humiliation).

 

 

Random, yet Valid, Interpretations

I had this cool flying dream the other night. I was waiting for a hero to come to the rescue when suddenly I realized I was the hero that was doing the rescuing!  I shared the dream with my husband and business partner, expecting him to see the  inspirational message behind the dream. Instead, he insisted it was about my need to be more prepared and detail-oriented in my work.

After I finished laughing, I realized that our cognitive-dissonance had perfectly illustrated the tendency to interpret everything through our own personality filters and mistakenly think others see the very same things!

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

– Douglas Adams

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Two-Minute Tune-Up 11.14.12 Perception Differences: Are You Accepting or Resisting Them?

Referencing personality-driven perceptions, my “Owl” daughter said to her “Peacock” mother, “Mom, my whole life I thought you were a big fake.”

“Your WHOLE life…and you’re just now telling me??”

“Well, I thought no one could be (legitimately) so bubbly, and that you were just putting on some kind of show, but now I know you are for real.”

“That’s nice:(. How did you decide that?”

“Previously, I believed that everyone thought like me. Now, I understand the personality factor.”

“I appreciate the benefit of the doubt, but it would have been great to have had it years earlier.”

(And, it would have been great if I were more sensitive to my childrens’ personality differences so I wouldn’t have annoyed them half to death!:)

Two-Minute Tune-Up 11.12.12 I Can’t Believe He Said That!

So many hurt feelings, betrayals, and communication issues occur because we expect other people to have the same sensitivities, preferences, and communication language that we do. Before we judge another’s motives, it might be helpful to review the following list:

  • Have you ever said something unflattering behind someone’s back…primarily because you thought you couldn’t say it to their face?
  • Have you ever been accused of being insensitive about something that seemed so innocuous to you?
  • Have your motives ever been misunderstood?
  • Have you ever avoided someone to prevent a confrontation?

We are all trying to get around the block with the least amount of pain. The growth challenge is to learn about perspective differences before we judge.

Give peace a chance.

photo courtesy of lucacix.diviantart.com

Two Minute Tune-up 7.23.11 She was sooooo rude!

Yesterday, I thought this about a women who seemed unfriendly after an attempt to exchange pleasantries with her. But, I stopped short of the premature judgment and said to myself, Really? Are you sure? Or is it possible her reaction was related to something far deeper? Maybe she has Asperger’s Syndrome. Maybe she was scared or just had indigestion. Maybe she is very different from me in personality, up-bringing or culture.

Realizing we don’t know enough about someone to judge their motives has been an important part of growing up for me.

What a different world it would be if we all gave each other just a little more slack…allowing others the benefit of a doubt…as we desire it for ourselves.