Why are the articles always ‘hey introverts, here’s how to get out of your comfort zone’ and never “Hey extroverts, leave people the f*ck alone”?
As an introvert the lockdowns, stay at home orders etc weren’t a chore.
Don’t go out to crowded places? Ok
Don’t get stuck in traffic because of that commute? Oh, thank you, god.
Have a lot of alone time to contemplate, process, take in life? Yes, please!
The fly in the ointment was that my haven, my home office, was suddenly filled with colleagues aka my husband and kids. The outside world of “peopling” invaded my space. That was tough. I had to adapt, get out of my comfort zone, get creative with how I could find my alone time and recharge.
And there were a lot of well-meant and useful articles out there telling us how to be more extroverted, basically.
For the extroverts, like my youngest, those lockdowns were really tough. She missed people. She loves peopling.
Be surrounded by people, even those she doesn’t know? Ooh, yes, party time.
Hear people around you chatting, and maybe being the one doing most of the talking? That’s the best.
So getting to go back to school was a hallelujah day for her. Just like this return to the office situation is for all the adult extroverts.
The same kinds of things: some happy, some not, are happening for our teams. Good leaders like you have been making sure that your people were ok with the sudden switch to remote working. We kept those contact points with everyone, we made sure there were moments to connect socially as well as for work.
We looked after our extroverts.
And there was space for the introverts to really be fully present, productive, have a voice, take time to think about things and get back to you with an answer later.
As we move back to hybrid models, days in the office, in-person training days or team days, there’s a reverse crunch.
Those extroverts? They’re gonna love it. They’ll be enthusiastic, and maybe there’ll be some pent up desire for interaction that’s about to be exploded all over people. Like a can of cola that’s been shaken up for 18 months, and now you’re just going to open it.
drip drip drip
All. Over. Everyone.
(You can tell I’m an introvert can’t you)
This is the time for an intervention.We need to look after our introverts now.
This is the time for the helpful articles like
“Hey extroverts, here’s how to leave people alone”
So here we go.
Hey extroverts, here’s how to leave people alone.
It’s simple, extroverts. It’s going to take just a little bit of self-control, a little bit LESS. Just do one thing.
Give them space.
Yes, they want to speak to you, but ease into it. Not like microdosing where you stay just a minute but keep coming back every 5 minutes. But be more like a series. Not like online streaming a series is a today where you bingewatch the whole thing in one sitting.
Remember how a series used to be on TV, and you’d have to wait A WHOLE WEEK for the next episode? You’d be gutted it had ended, but there’d be excitement the whole week as you waited for the next instalment.
Basically, don’t be Netflix and make people binge-watch you. Be like Friends in the 90s: one episode at a time.
We introverts will love you for it. We’ll enjoy our time with you, we’ll enjoy our alone time, and we’ll look forward to your next visit.
This is part of my Thought Piece Series where I explore topics related to leadership and provide both answers and questions. My intention is to start meaningful conversations that help us move forward. Want to connect? Click here