INTROVERSION & SOCIAL ANXIETY
Maybe there's nothing "wrong."
Work functions, parties, presentations—to some these are simply everyday events.
You however dread them, find them to be a total drain and avoid them when possible.
We’re not all designed for high levels of social stimulation, and that’s ok.
First and foremost: stop apologizing.
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 an extrovert who works a room and seems like the master of all networking—constantly ready with a polished smile and unlimited social energy. This is merely one version of a human being—there’s room for all kinds.
You can be introverted, anxious and successful.
None of these words are mutually exclusive. Famous artists, politicians, athletes and more identify as introverted and/or socially anxious, and they're still living full lives doing what they want to do.
We are who we are.
There’s no shame in needing periods of quiet downtime or for being exhausted by activity and small talk. Perhaps part of the reason you feel 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 the world. Plenty of people around the world who are just like you find ways to thrive in a largely extroverted society.
Find your balance.
Find a more effective balance of social and private time. Network, but do it in smaller doses and less frequently. Give a speech, but take time for planning, preparation and support. Together, we can find your middle-path solution.