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5 Ways to Survive Uncomfortable Work Situations as an Introvert

By | Julian Brüne |

When faced with an uncomfortable work situation as an introvert, look for coworkers who feel the same way you do to become your allies.

As an introvert, it is very likely that your workplace is not like the cozy, low-stimulant environment you’d prefer to have around you. For instance, if you work in an open-plan office with people constantly walking by or wanting to make small talk, it may be a nightmare. 

As a product manager for consumer goods, one of my responsibilities is the design of our products. We work with a design agency and meet once a month for a big meeting. Over the years, I’ve managed to get through these meetings — but one part of it was just plain uncomfortable: Presenting first drafts of new products. It’s exciting, yet terrifying (like being forced to do group projects in school). There was a more or less an unspoken rule that the responsible product manager (in some cases, me) had to speak and evaluate the drafts first. Literally seconds after I saw the drafts for the first time, 20 people would be looking at me. An introvert in the spotlight? No thanks.

The next time the meeting popped up in my calendar, I grew nervous and self-conscious (as usual). I decided I’d find a good excuse to skip or delay it — and eventually called in sick. But the next time, I knew I’d have to attend and thought of some ways to make it more manageable. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some ways to survive uncomfortable work situations as an introvert.

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