As a international speaker & seminar leader many would assume I’m a natural extrovert. Not true! It took me a while to figure this out, that’s for sure.
Recently I was asked some questions about this from a reporter, Thomas C. Thomas of Introvert Connect, and I thought I would share them with you. Perhaps you know an undiagnosed introverted extrovert to share this with?
1. At what point in your life did you realize that you were an introvert?
When I got to my early 40’s, I discovered I was an introverted extrovert. I loved to speak and inspire from stage buy loathed superficial connections and small talk.
2. Did people ever give you a hard time because of it?
No, I gave myself the hardest time. I felt like I was being too judgmental, I had pangs of elitism and the classic: What’s wrong with me, everyone else seems to be ok with small talk.
3. What strategies have you evolved to fight back?
Rather than “fighting back” I chose to embrace my gifts and create harmony in my life. As my first mentor Jim Rohn says: “Let others live small lives, but not you.” So I Iet others enjoy their small talk and I dive into deep conversations or I simply don’t have them.
I also strengthened my listening skills, and learned to “listen louder” as Preston Smiles likes to say. This allows me to draw people into deep more meaningful conversations.
4. What tips do you have for people who are struggling to make peace with their introversion?
You can not give something you do not have. It’s absolutely critical to “learn to love yourself” otherwise you can not truly love others. Keyword Learn!
It’s not automatic and it takes work. If you don’t learn to love yourself, your life will be filled with endless Pain & Problems, just look at Whitney Houston. Whitney sang the song “Learning to Love yourself is the greatest love of all” too bad she never learned to love herself.
The sooner you embrace your introversion, the sooner you can fully love yourself and then fully love others.