380: How Being an Introvert is Actually a Strength



Introverts tend to get a bad rap in social situations. They can be viewed as slow decision makers or socially awkward. I know because I’m an introvert.

Holley Gerth, author of “The Powerful Purpose of Introverts,” joins us to share her insights as an introvert herself. She shares that there is a spectrum of introversion (she’s 96% introverted).

You’ll learn that your introversion is actually a superpower (not a weakness to overcome) and how to use how you’re wired to your advantage and excel in your life.

Unknown Speaker 0:00
And that's what introverts do. They get behind a person, a project of cause a team, and quietly faithfully and with great effectiveness, make things happen.

Unknown Speaker 0:17
This has to happen for your for your podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow.

Unknown Speaker 0:22
We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit. You figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it.

Unknown Speaker 0:30
If you're ready to make a change. Keep listening. Here's Scott, you're Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 0:41
introverts tend to get a bad rap in social situations, they can be viewed as slow decision makers or even socially awkward and extreme cases. I know this because I'm an introvert.

Unknown Speaker 0:55
And I think that extroverts and introverts are complimentary pairing that our world really needs right now more than ever, and I hear from introverts all the time, that they're telling themselves things like, I want to be a leader, but I need to change who I am. And I kept wanting to say, No, we need you to be exactly who you are.

Scott Anthony Barlow 1:15
That's Holly girth, author of the powerful purpose of introverts why the world needs you to be you. She and I get to have a conversation. And we get pretty deep into what it's like to be an introvert and how can this be not just not just, you know, something that you deal with, but instead something that you really, truly leverage? Also, listen close, because we actually talked about how there's a spectrum of introversion. It's not just, yeah, you are an introvert or you are an extrovert, or whatever the 50 million terms that have popped up over the last 10 years that are describing the in betweens, instead, it really is a spectrum. And you can use that to your advantage. But also, you're going to learn that if you happen to identify more as an introvert than an extrovert, then it's not some kind of weakness to overcome. It really is a definitive competitive advantage. It really is learning to operate with what you're given in a way that really allows you to be more of you and bring that to the table. In fact, you can use how you're wired to your advantage to excel in both your life and career. Pretty cool, right? Here we go.

Unknown Speaker 2:33
My grandparents had a little book store and a town in South Texas. So I grew up being that little girl with a big stack of books one day dreaming of being a writer. And I actually became an intern for dayspring cards, which is the Christian subsidiary of Hallmark when I was in college. And so when I was 19, I started writing greeting cards, and ended up doing that all through college and stayed on for about a decade afterward as a writer and editorial director. And then around 2010, I felt like I was supposed to step out and start writing books, which seemed like a crazy thing, because I had a stable career. And I thought I'd be there forever. I love the people. And I made that leap about a decade ago and have been writing books full time ever since.

Scott Anthony Barlow 3:22
So let me ask you about a couple of those pieces, then, first of all, compared to what people think it's going to be like writing greeting cards. What's something that people might not realize or might not know? When you've been on the inside of that experience?

Unknown Speaker 3:35
People always get really curious about that. It's kind of mystery. So it's actually a very sophisticated process. So for like every card I wrote, I would get a sheet for marketing thing. Here's the age range of the center. Here's the age range of the receiver, here's how close the relationship is. Here's how like all these different factors. Now right to that. So I think a gift I took from that season was a lot of empathy and ability to put myself into other people's shoes, including my readers, because I had to do it all the time. I had to think what would someone who's entirely unlike me, and a completely different life stage want to say to someone in this situation. And so that was the fun part, doing a lot of research. And I actually ended up getting a master's degree in counseling to help me figure that out even more and kind of diving into the back end of it. So it was a lot of fun. And when people give you cards he wrote for them. My first anniversary card. My husband was like, here you go. And I was like I wrote that. I wanted to hear

Unknown Speaker 4:38
Yeah, it was a really fun, fun season.

Scott Anthony Barlow 4:41
That's hilarious to be. I never even crossed my mind about the possibility of receiving one of those cards. Yeah, that's

Unknown Speaker 4:48
good job.

Scott Anthony Barlow 4:51
Yay, we're good. Yeah, the master's degree in counseling and tell me more about that. What prompted you to go Get that in the first place, I can definitely understand a bit about how that might help you dig further into or be able to further emphasize or understand what people are going through. But what caused you to want to do that in the first place?

Unknown Speaker 5:15
Yeah, well, I was always drawn to the field of psychology and just understanding how people are wired and that kind of thing. And I did do it partly for work, they had a program that helped me do it. And I also knew that I was probably looking at writing books. And so for nonfiction, the kind of books I wanted to write, I thought it would be helpful to have that kind of background. And it really turned out to be especially I did an internship for that as well. I practiced for about a year, and just sitting face to face with people who are similar to my readers was invaluable. I still think about that. And I also became a life coach for a similar reason. And I do still practice coaching. And I think there's just something about connecting one on one with the people that we write for, or work with, or whatever it is, our chosen career might be getting that face to face time is so helpful.

Scott Anthony Barlow 6:10
That's been something that has been on my mind a lot as we've grown as an organization, because one of the things I've heard over and over and over again, from our listeners, and the people that we get the opportunity to be able to help make big transitions in their lives, is Hey, it feels like you know, me, it feels like you get me even before we started working together, I you know, with our team and I have been a little bit worried about potentially losing that as we add more people to our team. And I so love that you point that out, because I think it that is something that has been so helpful is being able to sit and hear from the people who it's impacting in many different ways and help you understand how how do you think and I never want to lose that in many different ways. So we've gone into some great pains to try and retain that even though I'm in a different role than I was when I was doing the direct one to one on coach. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 7:01
yeah. And I think that's so valuable. And they're related practice that I recommend to a lot of my clients is create a collage of the people that you serve. So in my looks like a few reader faces that I've grabbed from social media, plus, some friends in my life are similar to the people I serve. And when I start feeling like I'm doing my work into the air, instead of directing a person I pulled up on my computer, I keep it on my desktop, and I look at it again, I'm like, Okay, this is the why I'm that I'm doing what I'm doing. And so that's kind of a little hack to someone, whatever field they're in, just put together a little collage and look at it from time to time, we actually do something really, really similar. So I love that for a variety of reasons. But did you know there's actually some really good research to indicate that when you do that, you actually make better decisions about what your whatever you're creating. So they tested

Scott Anthony Barlow 7:53
it over a variety of different industries and found that when you have, it can't just be written words or anything like that, or names or anything, you have to have the pictures of the people.

Unknown Speaker 8:06
And fascinating.

Scott Anthony Barlow 8:07
Yeah, I had no idea. I happened upon that probably several years ago. And it's like, oh, my goodness, we've been we've been doing this a little bit, but we need to double down in this area. Yeah, it really does help make better decisions that serve the people you're trying to serve much better. So very cool that you do that. Very cool that you found that out into the research. You know, one of the things that I am also curious about for you, you mentioned moving into books. So first of all, before we go down that road and hear more of that story, you had also mentioned you were growing up as a person with a stack of books and always reading what what did you read when you were a kid?

Unknown Speaker 8:47
Well, my grandparents had a little Christian bookstore and so I was reading all the psychology books kind of in that genre. I actually when I decided to write my book about introverts, I told my mom and she was like, of course you're writing that book in fourth grade you read this birth order book I got from my grandparents store, came up with my own assessment analyzed all my friends and did it as my science project was nine I advanced regionals. I was like I have no memory whatsoever. But yeah, so ever since I was nine just kind of that personal growth how are we wired? What makes people thrive all those kind of things even when I was a little kid apparently has been what I've been drawn to That's hilarious that makes me happy.

Unknown Speaker 9:36
I'm sure my friends were like, what am I on the plane? Is this

Unknown Speaker 9:40

Scott Anthony Barlow 9:44
so then I says not such a far leap in any way whatsoever because clearly this has been something that in some ways you've been doing for quite a while. Tell me more about what caused you to decide hey, no, I'm I'm going full on into this. This is this is happening. What were some Yeah. For that,

Unknown Speaker 10:00
I think as far as writing books it did a lot of it came out of that counseling and one on one time, because I started hearing the same things over and over, like people saying, I'm not enough, or I have a lot of self doubt, or I'm not sure what my purpose is. And they were things that I sometimes said to myself too. And I thought, you know, I want to speak to this in book form, because I think that's a different way that people can process it when so that really turned into my first book, which is called, you're already amazing. And it walks people through figuring out their strengths, skills, purpose, and a lot of the things that I've had those one on one conversations about and done research in, I just ended up turning it into a book,

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:45
what caused you I your mom, obviously was not surprised that you need to write a book about introversion. However, what caused you to move down the road to where I know I need to write, to some degree a book where this is pretty much the main topic in one way or another? Tell me what led up to that?

Unknown Speaker 11:05
Well, I'm an introvert.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:07
So there's that and that's a prerequisite. Almost positive.

Unknown Speaker 11:12
I learned that in college. And it was one of those moments where I remember exactly what I was what I was wearing, like one of those snapshots in your mind when I heard the word introvert for the first time. And I was like, oh, other people process the world the way that I do. And it was this big aha. And yet, for so many years, I mostly understood introversion as what it wasn't that I didn't love small talk. I didn't feel thrilled about being in big crowds all the time. But the more I looked into the actual research, the more I discovered, there's this whole untold story about the strength of introverts and how it's really not about personality, or how much we like people at all. It's about our brains and nervous systems are wired. And I think that extroverts and introverts are complimentary pairing that our world really needs right now more than ever. And so I just felt like no one's telling that side of the story. And I hear from introverts all the time, that they're telling themselves things like, I want to be a leader, but I need to change who I am. And I kept wanting to say, No, we need you to be exactly who you are. And in my own career, I published my first book and several more ended up speaking a lot doing all the things on the list of things that you think you have to do. A lot of those involved acting like an extrovert, though, and I, I burnt out, and I had to pull back and say, I have to learn how to do this in a way that fits how I'm wired, that's sustainable, because I think almost anything is doable. But what we really want is to find what's sustainable. And so as I did that, as an introvert, I wanted to help others do the same and not make the mistakes. I did like, not get to that burnout phase. Plus, it was just really fun. I mean, I geek out about that stuff. I, you know, collected hundreds of articles and read every book, I could get my hand on and use all my background for it. But

Scott Anthony Barlow 13:11
yeah, so like I read that part that researching and geeking out and being able to like dive full on in. Yeah, one of the things that I know from writing, and I would say I'm not a natural writer at all, I have learned to write well, when I need to write well, in a way that works for me. However, it's not an easy task by any stretch of it for myself. That said, one of the things I've discovered from writing over the years is that it forces you to question how you're thinking about something. And it also forces you to kind of crystallize what you think about a topic or anything else. So I'm curious, you know, now, after writing a number of books and thinking about this for quite a while, what's the definition that you use for yourself and others for introversion versus extraversion or anything else?

Unknown Speaker 14:04
Yeah, well, I think Susan Cain did a good job. In her book quiet. She said that it's a preference for minimally stimulating environments. I would add to that, that I think an introvert is someone who is at their best when they can fully focus on one thing at a time, whether that's a person, a project, they're passionate about their inner world use, again, it's not so much about personality, but how we engage with our environment. So I think just shifting more toward that strengths perspective in recognizing that what introversion is about it's people who listen really well, who do their best work and quiet, more independent environments who are observant and catch a lot of things that others often miss. There's a lot of things that I actually have a little one minute quiz on my site, where people can see what percent introvert they are, but I so often hear I had no idea that that had anything To deal with being an introvert because we do tend to look at what it's not more than what it is.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:05
What's an example of what it's not when you say what it's not? What do you mean by that?

Unknown Speaker 15:10
Well, I would say we tend to talk about Oh, introverts don't like small talk, introverts don't like, like I was saying parties, introverts don't like this, or that, or I can't this or that, if you are an introvert and said, just focusing on the flip side of that, which is a strength, you know, we have very observant, sensitive nervous system. So that means actually, statistically, introverts are a little more likely to struggle with anxiety. But the flip side of that is that we often have deep empathy and capacity for reflection. And so the way I laid it out in my book is if we think about the core characteristics of who we are, whether introvert or extrovert, on the left side, it's a struggle, right, and we fall, we can drift toward that into it. But on the flip side, the other side is a strength or even I like to say, a superpower. And so I think growth comes not from trying to change who we are, but learning how to move away from the struggle into that continuum and toward the strength and superpower. And so that's what I started telling my clients, they come in and say, I want you to get rid of this part of who I am. I said, That's not the goal. Let's figure out the strength that's attached to that thing that you're struggling with right now. And let's take some small steps toward that instead.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:29
I love that concept, when you're talking about it not focusing on it as a problem. Those are not the words that you use, but instead focusing on how can I leverage this, I almost think about how, how can I work with this rather than against it. And I think that that's true for a lot of areas, but especially introversion or extroversion for them too. And I also really like what you're talking about in terms of looking at it for minimally stimulating environments. And some of the other pieces that you mentioned to it. Here's one of the interesting things I've noticed about myself. I'm curious what you've noticed. But as I have begun changing how I'm spending my time over the last 10 years, but especially in the last eight years or so, I am now now that I intentionally go well out of my way to take away a lot of the stimulation when I'm focused on something and spend large amounts of time with less stimulation. I'm even more sensitive to it by a long shot when I go back the other way. That was not something that I thought he would ask me five years ago, yeah,

Unknown Speaker 17:36
I almost become numb to it in a way. And it's still draining, but we just think this is normal. Like I don't have an option. And then all of a sudden, it's like, oh, life can be different. No. Yeah. So and I think a lot of people are going to experience that as we come out of the season of kind of quarantine and pulling back. And so it's I've been having conversations with people, I say, pay attention to that, like we've gotten to lay down so much in the last few months. And if there's something you pick up, that feels heavy, and it's optional, put it back down.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:11
Like we're getting a chance to evaluate so many things in our lives that yes, some things we will want to take forward. But some things we will want to let go. And I read an article where a guy said yes, we never want to repeat this ever, ever. But at the same time, in a way we are free in a way that we haven't before that if we want to let something go, we probably can. And he said no one will probably even notice or care. So I think like even with stimulation thing, what has been draining me that I can let go of and move forward without. That's really interesting. And I love that perspective. And I took first of all totally agree that the in many ways, this is a huge opportunity for people it's been rather terrible for for some folks in a variety of different ways. I don't want to underscore that. But it's also a huge opportunity. Because it allows us to have that almost do over it. Those weren't the words that you use, but that's what it made me think of that we pretty much never get in many different ways. And I think that's super cool. And especially with this topic of introversion because you know, people who were surrounded by the day to day norm of office life, if you will, and working and then all of a sudden are now at home or in a different environment where they get to experience life and work differently. That's pretty cool to be able to see what the differences are. And that's a that's a rarity that yeah, that type of change, I think begs another question for you, which is what advice would you have specifically for introverts out there that might be looking at Hey, noon now that well take an example from somebody that we're working with right now her she's been at home for five months, and she works for the university. Like she's getting ready to go back like now and Just kind of kind of dreading it. She also identifies as an introvert. Now, we've been working with her for a couple of months to identify something different, but she's not quite there yet. And she's going to go through this, what advice would you have for somebody who's in that situation that is cognizant that, hey, I actually like the less stimulation better. But I still need to make this happen for a period of time,

Unknown Speaker 20:20
right? I think one thing that can be helpful is doing an energy audit. And so you write down everything you do in a day and put a plus by what energizes you and a minus by what drains you. And so that just increases awareness. And then the goal isn't to never have minuses, we all have minuses, but just to be aware of them so that you can counterbalance them with things that fill you up. And so she's all of a sudden going to be having more minuses in her life, because she suddenly in an office with a lot of noise, then she's going to know that I'm going to need some more pluses. So that might look like going for a walk. When she gets home in the evening. Instead of doing social media or being in front of a TV that's more stimulation, or negotiating to say, Can I still work at home one day a week or communicating with her family to say, you know what, I'm going to need to just go out on my own for an hour on the weekend. So just coming up with whatever strategy it is, that's doable in this season. And trying that and then adjusting, I just say, do this, try and adjust until you figure out what works for you. But I think the first step is awareness. And even of energy drains like social media notifications, or drains for introverts, anything coming at you from the outside, even clutter in your home, is a drain. So anything that's coming in at you as an introvert is going to take energy. And so eliminating what's optional. And then having strategies for what is it can be helpful.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:57
It's been really interesting. I don't know what kind of phone you use or anything. But I've got an Apple iPhone and realized that I want to say about six months ago, Apple started changing the way that notifications happened now, on many of their phones, they will ask you Do you still want to get these notifications. And I thought that was a kind of a weird, first of all, it's amazing thing for introverts around happened to use Apple products. However, I thought that was a pretty cool thing as a company too, because that has such a profound impact, because so many of us have that type of device. And it now is defaulting to Hey, do you want this as opposed to anything else? But I think the lesson that I took away from that is like, wow, you know what, even the things that we think are sort of built in or packaged in or whatever else it might be, we can actually influence a whole lot of those in one way or another. And people are actively looking to do that at this point in a way that haven't been before. So I'm curious, what are some of those other things that you found that can be draining that we can do something about instantly? That could fall onto that minus list? For for many introverts? Yeah, yeah. We can actually, you know, in the next 24 hours, or 48 hours do something about

Unknown Speaker 23:13
Yeah, well, I do social media now. vacations, just really thinking about turning those off. I have mine off all the time. And so far, the world hasn't ended? Well, you're sure. And I take one day a week where I'm just off completely from anything digital to kind of reset. So that's one thing. And then I mentioned clutter, but looking around your home for anything that's extra clutter. If the volume is too loud on music, I mean, just looking around and saying is there anything extra that's kind of pulling me out of this calm that I need right now? And then looking at your calendar in saying, What have I maybe said yes to out of obligation that isn't really essential? And taking some of those things out or minimizing them? I say ask, what can I minimize? What can I eliminate? What can I delegate? So what can I minimize? What can I delegate What can I eliminate, that will often kind of bring things to the surface? And I do think it is you know, you said in the next 24 hours, I think that's really important because it's not about this big sort of throw everything out at once. If we just ask those questions every day and do one tiny thing, then over a month or a year that's gonna add up to a huge shift. And then on the flip side, just making sure that we're adding back in the things that do fill us up, whether that's being outside or having meaningful connections with people is important to introverts or solitude, of course, and knowing what activities creatively or otherwise are gonna keep our teams more full.

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:57
What are some of the things that for you personally? are on that plus list that fill you up. What are some of your go twos, especially if you're experiencing a lot of minuses for one reason or another?

Unknown Speaker 25:07
Yeah, I need to exercise be outside, go for walks to think and just move that's really restorative. Like I said, meaningful conversations where I'm connecting with people, especially one on one are energizing to me, I need solitude where I have time to process because our nervous systems as introverts are like nuts with tiny holes. And so we catch everything, but it also means our nets get full. And so when we need solitude, it just means we need some time to empty some things out of our net, which we do by processing, which we then use to add value. When we come back to conversations and decision making and all of that it's actually one of the best things we can do as an introvert is take that time because we end up contributing more because of it. So solid to doing things creatively writing is my work. But it also is a form of processing that restores me. And I've talked to other introverts that say baking is that for them, or woodworking, or often something creative is really restorative to introverts. And so I think even making the list and keeping it close by and saying when I start feeling depleted, I'm going to go look and pick a few things. And repeat. It has like can, is really helpful. And I think especially now because we're all in flight or fight mode, so we're starting at a level of being drained, that is more so than in normal times. So just recognizing our baseline looks different right now that if we feel like we're getting tired faster, and I think this applies to introverts and extroverts, we need to be gentle with ourselves, because it's just because we're starting out from a place with less, because we're in fight or flight mode so much more often,

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:54
I have a good friend, his name's Dave Kovacs, he runs the coaching for leaders podcast, really great guy, but I talked to him every morning. And we're accountability partners. And we kept finding ourselves having the same conversation over and over again, it's like, Hey, we, we well, both, and we actually started having that conversation. So we could get more of the most important things done during the day. And then eventually, as COVID hit, we kept finding, you know what, we actually need to be encouraging each other to keep this in the front instead of a list of three most important things, probably even less, and probably encouraging each other back and forth to be okay with that. And that's really what's needed and take more of that time. And one of the things that was really profound for me, that you alluded to just a few minutes ago is that introverts especially need that need that time for processing. And you said something about, you know, when you come back, after you've had that time for processing, you can add even more value like you can you can contribute differently when you have allowed yourself that time. So I started thinking about that. And I realized, you know, what, if I'm not allowing myself that time, if I'm not intentionally taking that time, I'm actually denying the rest of the world, my contribution in one way or another, and I'm not showing up in the way that I actually can be. And that started to feel really polar opposite because at first, I almost felt selfish taking that time. And then when I started thinking about it that way, it's like, wow, it's actually selfish not to take that time. Yes,

Unknown Speaker 28:27
I say that it's not selfish. It's an act of service. And someone asked James Madison, who's a retired general, yeah, what's the biggest challenge in our age of leadership today, and he said, lack of reflection. And this is a guy who spent his career making decisions that have to be done quickly and literally, lives are on the line. So for him to say, you know, the best thing you can do is pull back and think is, I think, really powerful. And so I hear introverts get frustrated, because they want to be able to think on their feet, more like extroverts do, which a quick note why that is, is introverts use a longer, more complex brain pathway and extroverts, extroverts primary pathway is shorter and faster and more focused on the present. And so when we need a little time to respond in a conversation or need that reflection, it's because we are using that really powerful brain pathway. So I say introverts are not slow thinkers, we are deep thinkers. But to access the best of who we are, we need to give ourselves permission to take that time and then trust that we will have something really great to come back with an offer. And I think learning to say to extroverts, you know, what you just said to me or what you need for me matters so much that I need just a little bit of time to think about it. Because I found extroverts it's they aren't necessarily looking for an answer in that moment. They're looking for a response. They want to know they're heard, especially I think in work situations, and so knowing it's okay. To communicate to other people to that, you know what I'm at my best when I can have this bit of time to process. And I will absolutely get back to you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:09
Thank you for going a step further and adding language for that, that's really helpful. And I would highly encourage everyone listening to, if you find yourself being more towards the introverted side, start using something like that tomorrow, like immediately, because you'll find yourself in countless situations where that's needed. And I don't know how you felt about this, Holly. But I have found myself in many situations over the years where I feel compelled to respond. And I don't give a great response. Because I need to reflect and I'll come up with something amazing or Ah, you know, figure out what I need to ask or what I need to know or what I need to do or whatever if I have a little bit of that reflection time. But if I don't allow myself that that's usually a pretty terrible result for me, but I still feel pressured in some way able to do it anyway. So I appreciate you sharing that. And one of the things that leads to for me is when you're thinking about being introverted in a work environment, where you want to leverage more of that, rather, and you want to work with it, rather than against it, like we were talking about earlier, what else can I do to be able to make that happen, especially when the goal is, as you said earlier, to be more that compliment to extroverts, rather than? I don't know, whatever the opposite of compliment would be, I suppose. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 31:35
What do you think? Well, one really interesting thing I found when I was doing the research was there's a 10 year leadership study of CEOs. And they found that introverts were actually slightly more likely to exceed the expectations of their boards and investors. So it'll America Yes. Interesting. And I love that I think extroverts absolutely can be amazing leaders. But I love that example. Because the assumption often is that it would be flipped, you know. And Jim Collins in his classic book, Good to Great, he talks about level five leadership. And when he describes those leaders, he uses words that describe introverts, self effacing, humble, more focused on the cause, then personal attention, different things like that. And so I think a lot of the assumptions that we make, especially around leadership just aren't true. So for introverts first recognizing that, that your introversion at work is an asset, not a liability, second, giving yourself permission to be the introvert you are because that's what research has found to introverts who thrive at work are those who give themselves permission to be who they are, because then they can access all of their strengths and gifts and bring those to their teams or to their projects. And so I think, being aware of what your strengths are, and then, you know, recognizing just how do I do this a little bit differently in a way that you said is a compliment to extrovert. So, for example, I say introverts are great at leading from behind. And by that I mean, in our culture, we often equate visibility with value. But when I ask people who is the most impactful person in your life, it's usually mom, Coach manager who really mentored me, it is not the person who is loudest or more most outwardly successful, it's the person who has empowered us to be the most successful. And that's what introverts do. They get behind a person, a project of cause a team, and quietly faithfully and with great effectiveness, make things happen. And do they get as much PR for it not always, because they're probably not the loudest first voice in the room. But when you look at results introverts delivered in so again, I appreciate my extrovert counterparts. I'm glad they are who they are to, I just never want my fellow introverts to discount what they have to bring, especially at work.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:15
Help me understand. I've had a lot of questions over the years. And I have, I'm a bit of a data junkie and research junkie. So I have delved into a lot of it. But I've seen a lot of conflicting research over the years, particularly as it relates to falling into both categories to some degree or you start to bring in other I'm going to call them labels for lack of a better word, you know, like ambiverts, and there's about 15 other new ones do more recently. However, I'm curious, what are some of your thoughts from what you found in researching this and then also, what do you see in reality for you know, even what you say earlier, the quiz that you have Is your percentage introvert, are you? That's part of the reason that makes me a little bit curious about your thoughts in this area?

Unknown Speaker 35:07
Yeah, well, I think it's a continuum that we all fall on an introvert extrovert continuum, but none of us are 100% one or the other. But I do think we land on one side or the other. After looking at the research and different things. I am not a big believer in ambivert, because there have been studies that have followed kiddos from the time they're babies through adults, and that introversion extroversion piece stays consistent. And because it is related to our which primary neurotransmitter we rely on, that's different for introverts and extroverts, which side of the nervous system we rely on most parasympathetic or sympathetic, and then which brain pathway like we just talked about is different. So because it's wired into us, I think we're one or the other, even if it's like, I look at it like being right or left handed. So we use both our hands all day, every day. But there are certain situations or tasks that we naturally use one hand or the other, and it's a little bit stronger. And so I think introversion and extraversion work that way. Can we access the other hand? Absolutely, especially for short amounts of time. But is there one that we're naturally going to gravitate to and have a little bit more strength in? Yeah, and so that's how I've learned to look at introversion and extraversion. And I often find people who say they're introverts are introverts who have misunderstood what it means they'll say, but I'm a people person, so I must be an ambivert, not an introvert. But introverts are absolutely people, people. We just want to connect in different ways like we would enjoy a meaningful one on one conversation more than a networking event. And some extroverts will probably say the same. But yes, those misconceptions can have a say, Oh, I'm an ambivert. But when it really gets down to it, I think almost everyone falls on

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:00
one side or the other. I appreciate you clarifying that. And I love. I love the writers perspective, because you have samples to go along with it, which is fantastic. That makes me happy. Where can people find out more about you about your books about anything else that where can they do that?

Unknown Speaker 37:21
I think the best place for this would be hollinghurst comm slash introvert. So there's resources on there, as well as information about my new book, The powerful purpose of introverts, why the world needs you to be you. And the quiz that I mentioned a little one minute quiz, so people can take that and then share the results if they want to. And I will keep adding a lot of new things to that page for introverts, and also for extroverts who love lead or share life with one. So either time, I'd love for you to stop by

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:51
very cool. I so appreciate it. And just one final question for you. You know what, for somebody who is in that space, where they're about to make a big change right now. And they're really considering what they want, and what they need as a next environment? And they happen to identify more as an introvert, what advice would you have for that person, as they're just about to embark on this change?

Unknown Speaker 38:14
I would say, think of a moment when you felt most fully alive and fully yourself and unpack that. Why did that make you feel that way? Were you with people or on your own? were you doing a task or engaging in relationship? were you doing something long term or short term that you could get out quickly? Just every little detail that you can think of? Write it down? And let that be a filter? And is there ever going to be a perfect fit? Probably not. But are there a lot of things that you should pay attention to on that list? Probably so and it's okay if what comes to mind is when you were 10. Because often, before we learn to be self conscious about who we are, we have more access to our true selves, I would say use that powerful introvert brain of yours and capacity for reflection and self awareness and intentionality. And get really, really specific about one moment in your life and see if there's a way that you can replicate what brought you that kind of joy. As you make decisions going forward.

Scott Anthony Barlow 39:26
I very much appreciate you taking the time and making the time and coming on the podcast, and for all of not just the great advice, but the things that people can start doing right now. If that makes me happy, and I know that that's going to help everyone that's listening to this. So

Unknown Speaker 39:41
thank you, thank you for having me. I

Scott Anthony Barlow 39:44
would if there was a simple way to develop determination, as opposed to, you know, white knuckling stressfully through difficult circumstances which you may have done a time or two. It turns out there actually is a way to develop up what many people might call grit. And it gets easier with practice, if you know what to do,

Shannon Polson 40:06
going back into your own story and remembering the times that you have either pushed through or navigated through something really, really difficult. Go back. And remember those times, remember what strengths you either demonstrated or developed in the course of that, and then pull that into the story that you're telling yourself now in the midst of hard times,

Scott Anthony Barlow 40:26
that's Shannon Huffman, Paulson, make sure that you're subscribed to the podcast, so you don't miss next week's episode, I think you're gonna love it. And if you click the subscribe button, then it shows up automatically, even in your sleep. All right, by the way, if you're looking to make a change in your career, and you want the type of help that you've heard so many other people talk about, on the happened to your career Podcast, where we've had the opportunity to not just sit front row and see it happen, but also have the opportunity to really help people through their career changes. And if that's something you're interested in, find out how we can support you through your career goals. Well, then just text my coach, m y. Co, a ch 244222. That's TEXT micoach 244222 just do it right now. And we'll send along our coaching application where you can tell us a little bit about your situation. We'll get on a call with you have a conversation to figure out how we can help in the very best way that's right for you. All right, all that and more coming right here next week on happen to your career. I'll talk to you then until then I am out adios

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Ready for Career Happiness?

What Career Fits You?

Finally figure out what you should be doing for work

Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!