In my last entry, I talked about “vertedness” and how I, and just about everyone, tend to have aspects of introverts and extroverts. I also wrote about how earlier in life I tended to be more of an introvert which shifted as I got out of school and into the workforce. A big part of that maturation process is becoming more self aware and knowing how to regulate yourself.
Quite honestly, I came up with this idea while taking an Emotional Intelligence test. I answered it truthfully and felt that I got dinged for it. I still scored highly, but I looked at those questions that hurt me from a different angle. I feel fairly aware of who I am and what my goals are when I’m in a conversation. I can blend into the background when needed or take center stage depending on what’s called for. The part that bugged me about the test is there are still times when you create a little friction on purpose. You just need to do it for the right reasons.
Coming to grips with being an introvert means knowing when you really need to speak up. On the flip side, it’s maybe even more important to know when to keep quiet. This is true in both personal and work relationships. Either way, your ability to make a point that resonates at the right moment is what it’s all about. At work, at home, or with friends, there are different tacts to take but the overall principles remain. The implications of talking over a customer or your wife are pretty obvious. There are times to listen and absorb because even if you say what you meant to all along, the other party now feels like you took the time to internalize what they said.
It can be OK to pick your time and challenge people though. Done in the right way, it can be productive and get you someplace you needed to get but wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Again, the key is to ask yourself about what you have to gain from taking that path. By knowing your own traits and the situation at hand, you can really be yourself.