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13 Small Struggles Introverts Are Too Familiar With

13 Small Struggles Introverts Are Too Familiar With

Being introverted can be a struggle at times but with research saying you have a 50% chance of being an introvert, there are many people feeling the same way you do.

Introvert problems tend to transcend into social interactions (or lack of them) and so, to others, introverts can come across as being rude or anti-social. This isn’t the case though – while introversion can mean spending a lot of time by yourself, there is no malice or rude intent in any of your actions – it’s just your love of enjoying your own company in your own environment.

There are several struggles an introvert can face on a daily basis or even just occasionally. But if you’re truly introverted, then you should be able to identify with these 13 introvert problems.

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1. You Are Able To Identify Awkward Moments

If you’re in a room with people and the conversation runs out or there’s an awkward silence, you notice it instantly. In fact you probably feel the awkwardness more strongly even though you aren’t the reason for the awkward atmosphere. Most other people don’t even notice it. Since you’re more of an observer in these situations, you also notice when a person is being fake or insincere. Being an introvert means you’re highly aware of social interactions more than others.

2. Party Problems No.1

You are invited to a party or a gathering but you’re more fixated on who will be going rather what the party will involve. Whether or not you go is entirely reliant on which of your close friends are going. You hesitate when you find out none of them will likely be there and you start the inner struggle of thinking of ways to decline the invitation.

3. Party Problems No. 2

You decide you’ll show your face with friends in tow but even before you leave the house, you’ve come up with at least two or three excuses as to why you have to leave early. You might end up having a good time and staying until the end but you never make that assumption! The assumption is always that you’ll start to get that itching feeling to leave at some point during the night and clock-watching is your main activity of the evening.

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4. You Decline Invitations Because You’d Rather Be Alone

This is one of the most common introvert problems. A lot of the time you decline invitations purely because the thought of socialising for hours either bores you or overwhelms you and you’d rather stay in reading a good book or watching Netflix with your dog who never questions your actions.

5. You’re Not Good At Initiating Contact

Despite having many close friends and family, you find it hard to muster up the need to call or initiate contact because it feels like a lot of effort and not talking is sometimes just better than talking.

6. You’re Anxious At Starting Conversations With Strangers

The thought of having to start a conversation with someone fills you with dread. The pressure of it stresses you out and you worry it’s suddenly your responsibility to carry on a conversation you didn’t even want in the first place. What if I end up talking nonsense? What if they don’t make much conversation back? The anxiety of it all just makes you avoid initiating conversations in the first place.

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7. You Avoid Eye-Contact At All Costs

You don’t mean to and sometimes you don’t realise until after an exchange that you made no eye-contact whatsoever. Not only is this a problem when talking to people but you actively avoid eye-contact to stop anyone feeling like they can approach you. Anything to stop an awkward conversation.

8. You Hate Small Talk

Parties, gatherings, your friend’s mum, the postman – you dread anyone starting small talk with you. Period.

9. You Hate It When Someone Sits Next To You On The Bus

You like your space and you love it when you can get to sit by yourself on any mode of transport like a bus, train or airplane. That’s why you get a pang of annoyance every time someone decides to take the seat next to you especially if they had a huge range of other perfectly good seats to choose from. Even worse if they try and start a conversation.

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10. You Avoid Answering The Phone

You hate talking on the phone and always avoid answering a call even if it’s from your closet friends. Texting is a much safer and less anxious way of communication for you every time.

11. You Cancel Plans At The Last Minute

You said yes to plans with friends made a couple of weeks ago – you even may have been looking forward to it, but the day before you start to wish you weren’t going, you’d rather finish that book or try out that new recipe you’ve thought about making – suddenly going out and socialising just seems too much. You feel guilty but that feeling of relief when you cancel makes you feel better.

12. You Struggle Between The Love Of Staying In And The Feeling You Should Be Out Living Your Life

You have an inner conflict that on one hand you love your alone time and avoiding anxious, awkward social situations is your favourite thing to do but on the other hand, you feel you should be pushing yourself more to go out and experience life, meet new people and gain more experiences. But you always conclude that you are who you are – why should you conform?

13. Some People Assume You’re Shy Which Isn’t Always The Case

Although some introverts are shy and anxious about many interactions, being shy and being introverted are two different personality characteristics. Introverts enjoy being by themselves and can happily entertain themselves for hours but that doesn’t always mean they don’t like talking to people generally. Often many introverts can be mistaken for being shy when really they are just happy with their own company.

Featured photo credit: kaboompics.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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