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Shhh! 3 Frequently Misinterpreted Introvert Behaviors

Source | LinkedIn : By Blake Griffin Edwards

In the midst of a career in which I have found myself speaking to groups and managing people, I routinely avoid small-talk and spontaneous gatherings, where I find myself short on words. Sometimes I let down my guard and unleash a torrent of hyperactivity and pranksterism, but that is behavior I typically reserve for my daughters and wife. I’m socially slow-to-warm-up yet an organized, focused thinker, dependably conscientious, and privately creative. I listen more than I talk, and I think before I speak. I am generally quiet. I literally do not process thought at the speed of social conversation, and my silence can easily be mistaken for disinterest or worse.

Here are a few examples of commonly misinterpreted introvert behaviors—

#1 – Small Talk

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit, shall we? If you’re an introvert, this one rises to thorn-in-the-flesh magnitude proportions. Make no mistake: introversion does not mean one is averse to human connection; for many introverts like myself, it’s quite the opposite. Yet, for introverts, small talk is a means to serious conversation; it is not an end in itself. Many introverts have a very strong aversion to small talk.

It isn’t that we introverts don’t want to talk to you (necessarily). When it comes to thinking, introverts must think it out before they are very well able to talk it out. On the other hand, extraverts must talk it out in order to think it out.

Folks ask me, “How was your weekend?” and I’m apt to respond, “Fine,” just as I did when my mother asked me about my day when she picked me up from junior high. Yet I enjoy time one-on-one with a friend having deeper conversation over coffee or a pint of beer. In small talk, I wince, writhe, and wither; in more isolated and focused conversation, I can be direct and even, I am told, disarming—we are a confusing sort.

Read On….

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