Are you an extrovert or introvert?
I hate that question.
Over the last few years I had days when I used to constantly ask myself that question. ‘What if I am being seen by the others as an introvert?’, ‘What do I need to do to become an extrovert?’, How can I prove that I am not an introvert?’. No matter what questions I was asking myself, I refused to answer that I am an introvert. In fact, I don’t even know. I have met a lot of different people, especially through work, some seemed to be more introverted, others total extroverts. Yes, I was even analysing the others in order to compare myself with them.
In my case, I realised that I got into asking myself these questions because it became a requirement clearly stated by most of the employers out there. Therefore, I got to the stage when I used to say that I cannot be an introvert otherwise my career is ruined. But the reality always proved me that I was wrong in saying that. In reality I have had the chance to work with professionals who are excellent in their jobs, doing it in their own way, some of them more outgoing than others. How boring would have been if all these professionals were extroverts? I am sure that when they had their interviews for these jobs, they had been asked the same question: ‘Would you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert?’ Yes recruiters, we know what you want to hear, we know how to answer to that. I personally feel that the question has no meaning and it is misleading. Let’s face it, we got to the point when the majority of us consider that ‘introvert’ is bad and ‘extrovert’ is good, that an introvert is not capable of doing his/ her job, while an extrovert will help the company flourish. I am not even saying that an introvert can be as good as an extrovert, but I strongly believe that these two labels shouldn’t be used anymore in the professional world. We are all unique, with plenty of other strengths and weaknesses that make us suitable or not for a job.
I am not asking myself that question anymore. I got tired of it because I do not have an answer. Or whatever answer I find, I realise that it is not a wise one. There have always been people more outgoing than me, but also people that are more reserved in different social contexts. I just hope they are not comparing themselves with me because I like them the way they are.
As a last note on the subject, during this pandemic, many of us realised that we are not as extroverts as we thought. Many of us managed to adapt to busy lifestyles which does not mean that we enjoyed it. We just forgot how nice it can be to give ourselves some more time.
Do not try to be an extrovert just because you think it is a strength. Forget these two words!