During the last few month something interesting took place. Since more than 6 month I was experiencing some difficulties while practicing the part-time job I have working with children.
It started with a confrontation that I should be more interactive with my co-workers. According to what was said I was working too much on my own little island. I wasn’t sure what to do with this feedback. My first consideration was to figger out a way to set things right and I started to force myself to be more interactive and do what was expected from me. The result was that I felt insecure en unnatural in my behavior. So I kind of dropped it and went back to my nice little island.
As you probably can guess there was another knocking on my beautiful wooden door as soon as there was an opportunity to do so. Again I was confronted with the fact that I lacked the skill of interacting and seek others opinion about the choices and decisions I made.
It left me angry and misunderstood.
Why couldn’t they understand my view on this matter?
Why couldn’t they trust that I had everything under control?
It remained a question until I run into an article about being an introvert in a working situation written by Susan Biali.
It was as if I was reading a story about me. So much of what was written I could relate to and recognized. So I started to become more familiar with the concept introversion and high sensitive people (HSP). Here it was mentioned that most people who seem to have the characteristics of an introvert are commonly also highly sensitive people. Perhaps one could say that when someone is born with a high sensitivity in a surrounding that is mainly focused on extroversion are easy to develop an introspective character to coop with their high sensitivity in an extroversive society.
The more I read about it, the more I started to recognize the characteristic parts of an introvert in myself.
But an interesting thing happened though, although by receiving this knowledge I was able to create some peace and rest about these specific characteristics I created over the years. It really helps sometimes to find some sort of understanding and recognition in your own behavior especially when yours is being questioned by your surrounding.
But at the same time I wanted to ensure that this new information would not become an established order within my creation. That is to say that this knowledge about introversion should not become my excuse for my behavior.
Character doesn’t make the person. The person is the form in which the energy is shaped because the energy itself is shapeless. Character is formed by choice. Choices that are made before the actual manifestation as a person and during the life as that person.
But let’s go back to the topic on introversion in a working place.
I think I’m not far off by saying that most working places are still unaware of the full potentials of their employees. Although more and more people, and therefore companies, are becoming aware of subtle changes that are accuring around and in themselves, it is still accurate to say that most companies are afraid to make a leap into an environment that might seem to be uncontrollable. The safest thing to do is indeed hold on to what one knows and in this case is a working environment that is based on extroversion. The one who speaks first, the one who speaks the most or the loudest will be heard, the one who speaks afterwards, thinks before speaking or doesn’t want to speak at all is easily overlooked.
But being save doesn’t always work. And as well; this being save can be interpreted in different ways.
One thing that should not be a choice for safety is to decide to deny your natural character to fulfill the expectations of your surrounding, in this case the working place. A company might want you to adjust to their current believe that everyone should have the same working skills as being assertive and aggressive when it comes to giving opinions and making decisions. And although everyone, extrovert or introvert, could, till a certain level, do this it requires an enormous unnatural effort from someone who is born with the characteristics of an introvert.
The unfortunate thing is that in most working places it isn’t realized and valued that the possibilities and opportunities they receive when acknowledging the introversion of people, they are missing an enormous value of knowledge and working force that can be obtained by these people who are considered to be introvert.
But let us not forget: It is not your surrounding that needs to adjust to your characteristics. It is and will always be you who needs to make the choices that will lead you to the happiness and fulfilling life that you are aiming for.
it is what I have been trying to say now for some time. It is not about getting everybody on the same line. It is about letting everybody have the unconditional freedom to be what they need to be. And this is and can only be considered and decided by the person in question.
This is what I try to say in the previous post: “NOW” and “STOP LOOKING“.
It is funny and beautiful at the same time to see how those little fragments and possibilities of knowledge and insight always seem to fall into place when you need them to know.
If you like to know more about introversion and extroversion? Here are some interesting links:
Click to access empathia-advisor2014-04-IntrovertsExtroverts_and_the_Workplace.pdf