An Introverted Introspection

Being a bonafide introvert myself, I know that us introverts have somewhat of a unique perspective in our day to day actions.

About 50% of Americans are introverts believe it or not and you can bet that most, if not all, need their recharge time after “people” engagement.

I’ve met many introverts ranging from the ones you thought all along were extroverts and ones who just hate being around people altogether and never in their lives would be caught dead at a party over 2 people.

I was on each spectrum at some point in my life.

In college after my freshmen year I absolutely hated people. I disdained the fact that I would someday need to work with other people so I tried to find a major where I could sit in a cubicle all day without being bothered by anyone around me. So of course I thought up of professions I could pursue that would allow me this self-imposed necessity.

Accounting? Nah, too many numbers.

Librarian? Eh.

Maybe I could be an Astronaut, that way I could be away from as many people as I possibly could, perfect. Nah.

I got it, computer programmer. Yes, this is good.

I eventually chose computer science as my major by junior year of college. However, little did I realize that this major requires MOSTLY communication between EVERYONE who is involved with the project, and THEN SOME. 0_0

On top of that realization later down the road, I came to realize too that the computer programming industry itself involves a TON of talking with business partners and colleagues.

“Jon, what the heck did you get yourself into?” – The Voice in Jon’s Head

Fast forward a few years of pain, torture, tears, blood, and hair loss later, I finally graduated college and began working at a marketing firm not too far away from my home.

Was it fun? No…and yes kind of.

The people there were nice and I actually loved doing what I did in terms of just being able to sit down and work. It was what I wanted to do, something I always dreamed of doing, replace text on a website.

…something I always dreamed of doing, replace text on a website.

The little communication that I had with people was ideal for me. They tell me what to do, a little small talk, and boom, balao, done without work, drive off into the sunset with my hands raised to the sky listening to “Congratulations” by Post Malone.

But one thing I realized was how awkward I found myself to be at work. I began to feel distant towards people because of the disconnection. I actually began to hate my job, not so much because I didn’t like the work, but I needed a connection with others. These people weren’t robots, they were living human beings capable of emotion and thought and just ignoring them made me feel like…crap I guess.

I would complain to my roommates of the disconnection and they were surprised as I was about my new found realization.

“WHHAATT?! Jon wants social connection!? – one of my roommates.

“Yeah, I know. I can’t believe it either.” – Me

That job was the beginning of a realization of the need for connection. About 3 months or so later I landed a job with another company doing things that I actually REALLY wanted to do, replace even MORE text on a website. Just kidding – making websites and some more front end coding, something I actually wanted to do after college with the major I have.

I took what I learned from my past company and applied it, however, I didn’t quite make it a goal or anything to change this aspect of myself, it happened and I believe it happened subconsciously.

The reason I think this is was because I knew that inside I wanted a deeper connection with others at my workplace than simply “business”. My aim wasn’t to just do work and go home, but to make friends, connect, network, laugh, and sometimes cry depending on who that person is. You know who you are ya babies.

My aim wasn’t to just do work and go home, but to make friends, connect, network, laugh, and sometimes cry depending on who that person is.

Now I’ve become the opposite of what I once was in college. I became this talkative, social butterfly at work who enjoys sitting down at someone’s desk and just asking about their weekend, talking about the importance of napping, their kids if they have any, food, and possibly the good ol’ weather forecast of the day because, well, small talk.

After some warming up though, we get into deeper stuff, maybe some small drama, then even more fun at our happy hours. Good or bad, connection is what makes the job much more fun and less mundane for me. If there was indeed one thing that I would take away from the experience that I have at my workplace, it’s the people.

This is why I write about my perspective and the psychology of introverts.

I know that deep inside we all yearn for a connection with others and deep inside, there are things about us that we’d like to change but the only way to do that is to first realize that we may need to change our mentality first.

I realized that connection is the most important thing to any human being in spite of having originally hated people for no reason. Yet in the end, people are around us all the time. We work with them, live with them, eat with them, we all share the same world together and to not have that connection only deprives us of a life truly worth living.

As an introvert, take advantage of your one on one connections. Make each one on one be as deep as you can. You don’t need to be the loud one in the room, just the one who can connect with others.

“To change yourself, you must begin with your thoughts.” – Someone Wise.

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