Tales of a Professional Introvert: You are not an introvert!

“No way! You are not an Introvert!”. Does that sound familiar to all you introverts? I get that a lot when I admit that I am exactly that. Although I do add that I am an “Outgoing Introvert”.

It is easy to think of the classic view of what an introvert is; nerdy, hermit, depressed, shy, basically a silent weirdo. Although yes that is could be one type of introvert, serial killer comes to mind more thought, but not the majority. Outside of these perceptions, and those who know me, I absolutely loathe to label things, or to generalise or to neatly categorise people up into boxes. What I do see and what I have however are characteristics that can be attributed to being an introverted person. It is those very characteristics however, that I personally see as strengths above those who live to shine in the light.

Being Mentally Drained

With any kind of social interaction, be it professional or casual, I am mentally exhausted after it. Coffee helps. Not sure if you knew but I do like a cup of coffee now and then. Networking in particular was exhausting, constantly exerting my mind to ensure I remembered my message, come across as credible, to be engaging. Not only were energy levels drained, but then the mental stress further debriefing the day afterwards.

Having Alone Time

I travel a lot for work, which means a lot of time being alone. Be it at the airport, hotel, exploring, eating etc. For a lot people, they find it depressing and frustrating not being around others. Me, I need it. I actually thrive on it. Its not just a necessity to recharge oneself, but also the reflective and planning phases and… and this is the important one, I enjoy it.

Thinking, Thinking and Thinking

Some may consider this vain, or even narcissistic, however I focus more internally and inwards. Sometimes those thoughts turn into doubts or fears. Which is fine, as long as you convert those uncertainties into something productive, think how to use the information thats been soaked up during a period of time, and apply it.

Maybe you have some of these qualities, maybe you’re talking to your screen right now saying, “Oh Ali… you have no idea..”.  I purposely stated these are qualities. It may also seem you have a split personality, which by the way is an awesome thing. Next time i’ll share how I used these secret superpowers professionally. Peace & Love.