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9 Struggles Only Introverts Can Relate To

9 Struggles Only Introverts Can Relate To

In a world that often leads us to believe that extroversion is the norm, it’s not always easy to be an introvert. You may feel like you’re the only one who feels the way you do right now, but don’t worry. You’re definitely not alone in your struggles or feelings!

Trust me, there are millions of introverts around the world that can totally relate to your feelings and experiences. Introverts are everywhere, but they often go unnoticed. If it feels like no one around you can understand introversion, check out the following 9 struggles and take heart in knowing that there are millions of introverts who experience the same things you do.

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1. You feel under-appreciated

You usually don’t talk much. Sometimes you don’t know what to say, other times you don’t have anything to say, and still other times you just don’t have the energy to talk. Regardless, you still wish people would take more time to get to know you, or you wish you had more energy to talk to them.

2. You enter a group and become invisible 5 minutes into the conversation

When meeting a group of new people, you try your best to give a good first impression and appear sociable. Eventually, however, you lose people’s attention because small talk isn’t your strong suit and you can’t think of anything good to say. As you continue to feel invisible, you beat yourself up or feel you’re uninteresting or lack charisma.

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3. You hate throwing parties, especially at your own house

You don’t like to be in the spotlight and letting people into your home is a big deal for you. It almost feels like they’re invading your sanctuary. As a result, you rarely, if ever, throw parties at your place. When you do, you’re reluctant to invite people you aren’t extremely close with. When your friends ask if they can bring a guest, you’re forced to say yes even though it makes you anxious.

4. You feel lonelier at social events than you do when you’re by yourself

You could be standing in a room full of people but you still feel isolated and out of place. You crave deep conversations, but all you get is small talk. You consider yourself lucky if you find someone to talk to in the corner of the room.

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5. You feel totally exhausted when you have to spend significant amounts of time with a large group of people you don’t know

If you have to spend a day or more with new coworkers or classmates you feel completely wiped out by the time you’re done. By the time the day ends, there’s only one thing on your mind: going home and enjoying some alone time. Finally! You often wonder why these situations are so much more draining for you than they are for other people, and you wish you were more outgoing and energetic.

6. You find it hard to think when you’re in a group

You can’t keep your thoughts straight when people around you are talking. You think before you speak and often need silence to gather your thoughts and offer insights. You find yourself frustrated at the completion of group projects because you don’t feel you contributed as much as you could have.

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7. You feel like everything you say must be invaluable and perfect

You don’t raise your hand in class or speak up at work because you think that everything you say must be profound and flawless. You carefully filter your words and feel enormous pressure to say the right things.

8. You hate phone calls

You hate receiving phone calls and you absolutely dread making them. You frequently ignore a ringing phone and call the person back later or wait for them to call you back later on. You relax if you see that the caller is someone you’re close to, because it’s less draining to talk to someone you know well.

9. You secretly wish you were an extrovert

On many occasions, you envy the energy and social prowess that your extroverted friends have. You wish that you could share more of yourself with other people. However, group situations are so draining that you rarely have the energy to talk to someone for long enough to get their attention.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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