The life story of an introvert
Once upon a time, across the Mediterranean, on the beautiful country of Greece, there was an introvert named Roxani. Of course, she was too young then to even know the difference between an introvert and an extrovert, let alone being able to figure out that she is one.
What she did know, was that, unlike other kids who are loud and always gathering into groups to play, she would rather stand back and watch quietly. She had a couple of close friends she played with, but was equally happy when she was alone.
I was alone.
The most common words in her report card were ‘lacked confidence’, ‘quiet’ and ‘shy’.
‘Why are you like this?’, some adults would say to her – as if a kid would have an answer.
But, she started to believe something was wrong with her anyway.
Growing up, she was always told by adults to speak up, so she wouldn’t be shadowed by others. She actually never really cared if she was overshadowed. She never craved being the center of attention.
Thinking and speaking on her feet was never her strong suit, especially when she was put in the spotlight. For her, that’s when anxiety took over, before she shut down completely, occasionally triggering nervous giggles and unhelpful comments.
Maybe it’s because of that, she likes listening more than talking. To her, people are much more interesting, like puzzles, and hearing their stories is much more fun than her own monotonous life.
She also didn’t feel like anyone needed to know her thoughts and opinions, because…why would they?
It was around the time she started working, that she realised she’d been an introvert all this time (yay, internet quizzes!).
Turns out, she might not be that strange after all. Just different. It kind of validated her, but in a society that values extroverted skills at work, (like acting and speaking quickly, and being able to ‘sell yourself well’) she soon found out that much of the world is still the same.
So, why am I sharing this story with you?
I’m nearly 53, next week I have my birthday.
It was almost, when I was at my 40s when I started my self-awareness journey, my ITHACA, that period I moved with my two sons to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece and here, I’ve actually been given plenty of space to grow and chances to be heard, to show the doubters in my life what I can actually do.
I started educated myself to various fields e.g. to learn foreign languages, to be a tourism winery developer, and parallel decided to learn more about the nonverbal cues.
What a person communicates with their body and how to build Gravitas even if he/ she was an introvert.
What is Executive Presence and what are the cues, in order to seen and heard at Work, in order to influence as a Leader.
I turned up to be a Micro expression, Trainer.
For the last two years I train TEDx Speakers in front of global audiences, how to perform with balance, keeping their warmth , yet being competence at the same time.
I want to use my new-found voice and draw some attention to difficulties introverts might experience during their childhood and work life. I wish someone had told the adults in my life to consider the introverts a bit more.
I’m just grateful that my awesome teammates the Coaches of “The Leadership Hub “Galina, Jorge, Sofia genuinely understand that there’s a need for demographic diversity (gender, age, ethnicity), but, there’s also a need for diversity of thought. It’s essential in our quest to build the right thing. And because of that, we’re always conscious of the need to adapt to different working styles, focusing on getting the best out of each other, the BEST OF OUR LEADERS that by choosing our Methodology in Leadership, they know that there’s also their growing movement and making their effort to self-development.
Sometimes we’ll reach out to participants after a meeting to see if anyone has thoughts, they didn’t get to express face-to-face.
I’ll be the first to admit that social events are also exhausting for me sometimes. It’s not that I don’t want to join in, but sometimes I’m just not up for it and want to stay at my desk to decompress.