INTROVERSION & SOCIAL ANXIETY
Work functions, birthday parties, presentations–to some these are simply events of the day. But for you, they’re a nightmare.
We’re not all designed for all that stimulation, and maybe that’s ok.
Maybe there's nothing "wrong" with you.
First and foremost: stop apologizing.
People don’t decide to be introverted or experience social anxiety–who would decide that?
Some people are born with a greater capacity to experience external stimuli. Maybe it’s your nervous systems or the environments in which you were raised.
Regardless, this is your reality now, and you aren’t doing anything wrong.
You’re not “supposed to be” outgoing.
We all know the caricature of the schmoozing salesperson who works a room and seems like the master of all networking–constantly ready with a polished smile and unlimited social energy.
This is only one version of a human being.
You can be introverted, anxious and successful.
None of these words are mutually exclusive. Plenty of people have achieved professional success through more than their ability to work a room and personal success without closing the bars down nightly.
We are who we are.
You look at others and envy their lives – why can’t you be like that?
Maybe you’re wired for more frequent periods of quiet downtime, or forced social activity and small talk are exhausting for you. Perhaps part of the reason you’re miserable is that you’re asking your body and mind to do and be something they’re not naturally built for.
Don’t move to a remote island just yet.
You may not be wired for the same amount of action as some other people, but this is not a justification to break up with society.
Plenty of people around the world who are just like you find ways to thrive.
Find your balance.
There’s always a middle path–the answer may be as simple as finding a more effective rebalancing of social and private time.
Maybe you can network, but in smaller doses and less frequently. You likely won’t spontaneously combust giving a speech, but it might take different planning, preparation and support to get through it successfully.