Quiet, not silent. Resources and life coaching for introverts.


Walk in like you own your life

You’ve probably heard the expression “walk in like you own the place,” or some variation like it. I like to interpret it not as “walk in like you can boss everyone around,” but “walk in like you have every right to be there.” Although the phrase is usually used to describe a feeling of confidence when walking into a physical space, we can also use it to describe feeling confident about our lives.

Do you walk into your life like you own the place, like it’s yours and you have every right to be there? Or do you walk into your life like you rent the place, like you can’t hang up pictures on the walls for fear of losing your deposit?

Good friends and family don’t keep running tabs on your metaphorical rental deposit, and whether you conform to their ideal person and ideal personality. But the truth is that we most likely have some crappy friends or family in our lives, people who see it as their job to put people down. It can hurt to have friends and family who don’t understand you. They don’t understand the way you see yourself, and don’t understand the way you want to be seen. But there’s a huge difference between good friends who don’t understand but still care, and crappy friends who don’t understand but judge. And it’s much easier to tell the difference between these two kinds of people, and not let the crappy “friends” get you down, when you own your life and your decisions and your actions.

There’s a difference between well-meaning advice and ill-meaning advice. A difference between not caring what crappy people think and not caring what anyone thinks. A difference between knowing that you are in control of your responses and knowing you’re not in control of other people’s actions.

Walk in like you own your life, even if you have to take baby steps to get there.

Do you have shiny new object syndrome?


Oh look! A new idea! Something different than what I’m currently doing! I certainly have shiny object syndrome, a propensity to want to do something other than what I’m currently doing.

But for the past 6 months I’ve been doing pretty good in terms on concentrating on life coaching and Introvertology, and I owe a lot of it to my decision workflow diagram. Occasionally someone will ask me to do a gig related to a previous career, and I’ve been able to turn them down with only fleeting regrets.

Decision workflow diagrams aren’t just helpful in terms of career decisions, they can also help with getting enough downtime, whether to accept social invitations, etc. If there’s a certain kind of decision that you struggle with or that keeps you up at night I highly suggest you create a workflow diagram to make your decision as easy as possible. You can download a blank copy of my diagram shown above in Pages form, or in Word form (I don’t have Word, so apologies if the formatting is messed up). My version of the diagram has a lot of “Maybe” and “Use intuition,” but yours can be clear cut, like this one.

The guilt of waiting

There are some emails I don’t open right away, some voicemail messages I ignore for a few hours, and some texts I don’t rush to read. This doesn’t mean I don’t get back to people or that I ignore most communication, I promptly read and respond to the vast majority of emails and texts. But, there are some texts, etc., which I won’t look at until I’m ready because I’m afraid the contents will disrupt the rhythm of my day. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. I’m also guessing I’m not alone in feeling a little pang of guilt when I do this.

We live in an age that’s increasingly instant – instant car quotes, streaming movies (we don’t have to wait for movies to download!), breaking news on Twitter that’s so instant it hasn’t yet been fact-checked. So when I postpone responding, I sometimes feel like I’m not holding up my end of the bargain, like I’m breaking a rule. And then I remember that the person contacting me does not own my time, and cannot dictate my pace. The pace of my life is mine alone, built up from my choices and priorities. The pace of your life is yours as well.

Introversion 101, the webinar.

Join me for a 30-minute live webinar (my first!) on Saturday, May 30th, at 11 a.m. Pacific, 2 p.m. Eastern. Registration below.

Ever wondered where the concept of introversion and extroversion came from? Although Carl Jung popularized the word introvert (in the psychological sense) in the early 1920s, humans have been writing about personality for thousands of years.

What did people believe about personality before the 1920s? How would your personality have been described in, say, ancient Greece? And has the concept of introversion and temperament changed since Carl Jung’s time?

In this webinar I’ll be sharing with you a short history of personality. We’ll begin our exploration with Ayurveda, a ~5,000-year-old system of medicine that originated in India, and end with the currently held theory of personality referred to as the Big Five.

I hope this webinar helps you see your introversion and personality in a new light.

See you there!

Do you write better than you speak? It’s not all in your head… or is it?

It’s not uncommon to hear an introvert declare they are better at writing than they are at speaking. I certainly include myself in that camp. While writing, my mind may draw a blank when it comes to finding the perfect word or phrasing, but while I’m talking my mind sometimes draws a blank on any word. And I’m not the only introvert who blanks out on words. It might be tempting for some to assume we’re just making this up, that we say we’re good at writing so we don’t feel like complete failures at every form of communication. After all, in the grand scheme of things we humans learned to write fairly recently, but we’ve had the capacity for verbal language a very long time. But a new study suggests that writing and speaking are actually supported by different systems of the brain.

A research team at Johns Hopkins University recently studied five stroke victims with aphasia (language disorders caused by damage to the brain). Four participants had difficulties writing sentences but not speaking sentences, while one participant had trouble speaking but not writing. They found that a participant may say “The man is catching a fish,” but would write “The men is catches a fish.” According to the study’s co-author, Simon Fischer-Baum, “If written language does depend on spoken language, then one would expect to see similar errors in speech and writing. If not, one might see that people don’t necessarily write what they say.”

Brenda Rapp, the study’s lead author, told the website Futurity, “it’s as though there were two quasi-independent language systems in the brain.” This finding may sound familiar if you’ve read Marti Olsen Laney’s book The Introvert Advantage. She theorized that “Written words use different pathways in the brain, which seems to flow fluently for many introverts.” In her book, Dr. Laney also mentions that difficulty with spoken word retrieval, or being “brainlocked,” can be particularly difficult for an introvert who is overstimulated, or is in a group situation where there is conflict.

While I’m certainly not happy when I brainlock, it is a comfort to know that it’s possible for me to be better at writing than talking, and that it’s not just all in my head.

Copyright © 2014. Introvertology.