I want to start this off with a secret that many don't know about me. It may shock many of you and to be honest I am not proud of this at all. When I was in kindergarten I was held back for being too shy. (WHAT NO WAY RIGHT?) While I am sure this revelation may surprise many of you, those who know me well, know me to get anxious in crowds, quiet amidst the noise, and very reserved in social settings.
When I finally understood what the true meaning of an introvert was, everything made sense, but prior than that, I felt inferior and somehow less than my extroverted peers. I rarely tried to make myself stand out or be flashy. I didn't strive for attention, attend parties, or concerts and really didn't enjoy being around large crowds. This always delayed me from getting recognition, and promotions. Later on though, I was able to learn that my calm demeanor would reach people in a way that an extrovert could not. That gave me a renewed sense of purpose, but unfortunately all of the jobs I had were led by extroverts. These extroverts never took into account introverts and how we operate best, but it is not really their fault because by their very nature they say what they think and process later. Meetings were not great because the introverts in the room would not have time to prepare, and so we wouldn't speak up until the moment was gone, and then maybe not at all leaving a ton of great ideas unsaid.
I have been able to learn so much about myself over the last couple of years and my self awareness has provided a new understanding about people in general. This understanding allowed me to discover that I also suffer from Social anxiety in large crowds. When my social battery gets drained, I become hypersensitive to every rude thing every single person does. I describe it as seeing everything at high speed but every mean or rude thing slows down to slow motion. It is quite fascinating when it happens but My social self completely shuts down, and needs to recharge somewhere quiet and with not a lot of movement. Once that happens I am good to go and can take on the world again.
Why do I tell you this? My hope is that when we can understand each other better, we can communicate better, we can appreciate each other for the unique gifts each of us possesses and elevate each other to the greatness levels we all hope to reach. What makes us, well us is what we should appreciate about each other. Has this part of my personality stopped me from doing anything, NO! It may have delayed me a bit like in Kindergarten but never stopped me from doing the things I love to do. Whatever obstacles you face, never let them stop you, use them, understand them and make them work for you. If any of you suffer from this or any other obstacle that people may not know about you, please share I would love to know the REAL you.