Revenge of introverts
When I bounced this title off a few people, there was a smile on their faces. In some cases, I received a thumbs up on WhatsApp with a smiley face. To my delight, the reaction was quite spontaneous!
It was like a feeling of identification with a context that I didn’t even need to elaborate.
In recent times, a number of people who have no problem with the introverted tag, were satisfied in their autonomous zones – no more physical meetings and long coffee sessions to endure, no unnecessary ties over coffee with office colleagues.
“I just want to do my job and come home. I’m not really interested in a long lunch session or a drink with the boss. Save me the effort and let’s focus on the work ” are common complaints. Interactions beyond a certain point can be exhausting for this set of people. A Gulab Jamun Friday party involving office colleagues may give them a momentary sense of joy, but they can be without it.
Not all of these people are necessarily introverts but have been classified as introverts. With a group of close friends, they can go on and on with endless conversations.
Unfortunately, some of them take a step back from the world of physical interactions that favor extroverts. The typical extrovert who is able to perform well in the office, bouncing confidently with every interaction, stays ahead of these introverts.
Fortune favors the extrovertt
Ashwin Sanghi in his book, ‘13 ways to be lucky‘, shares that people who interact more with others, attend more parties, have more friends, etc., are more fortunate than the average population. In this process, they also make the necessary contacts that allow them to have better luck.
The competitive world prefers the lion to the quieter breed
Face-to-face aggression in your body language can allow you to get your point across in many discussions. The less you speak, the less you are heard.
So let’s get to the point.
How does working from home benefit the introvert? For this we need to understand the semiotics of working from home vs office environment
- A video call with an option to turn it on or off whenever you need it
- A room that offers you a cocooning universe so that you can be yourself
- Consumption of homemade meals at home and not in an outdoor environment
- No constant physical monitoring of the work
- No one literally sitting on your head
- Regulate noise and distraction from the outside world and operate in an environment that enhances your focus in a way that benefits you
- A little afternoon nap that can also just be the best “Me” you need to refresh your brain cells.
Also, the video call setting forces us to pause and try to listen to the other person. Interruptions can completely disrupt a video call and therefore everyone seems to slow down a little bit, to give the less aggressive voices a chance to speak and get their point across. The body language advantage that perhaps the most outgoing guy has in physical interaction is slightly toned down in a video calling format.
This actually allows video calls to become a level playing field between the mildly moderate introvert and the more powerful extrovert.
Some introverts also seem to be very attentive to the people they want to spend their time with. Getting dragged into meetings that you don’t have to attend is another bane of the physical world.
Work in a cocoon environment that gives you the flexibility to opt out of a conversation for a few minutes or seconds whenever you want. BRB (be right back) allows you to switch off when you need to and change the pace of the conversation to your liking.
Let’s be a little flexible in defining an introvert.
An introvert doesn’t have to be shy but may just want to withdraw from a conversation and conduct it at a pace that makes him more comfortable.
Often in a group or gathering, people were asked why they were so quiet. Why they weren’t in their element. Physical interactions can be inflexible for a person who just needs time to collect their thoughts. Typical stereotypes classify this breed as introverted.
Many introverts like to be in their self-sufficient areas. Their near and dear ones may be the only interaction they need. While we can all miss our mall visits, our Friday night sessions, the constant chats with relatives and friends over the weekend, this group seems quite content to lead a calm and happy existence.
Perhaps the frequency of this new world matches their frequency, and it can be seen that they are more in tune with their true selves than ever before.
It will take some time for the world to return to a regular office routine. Additionally, there are conversations about a hybrid working model that might be a better fit for introverts. With a little flexibility to work from home and commute to the office a few days a week, they might outperform their peers in both professional and personal aspects.
It looks like the virtues of an introvert will be celebrated in a more flexible world order in the future.
Hopefully the introvert tag can be glorified as referring to self-sufficient and content people, not really looking for the frills and fringe benefits of the physical work environment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
This guest post was written by Aditya Jaishankar, founder of Voxbox – a playground for your child’s imagination.
Aditya is an advertising veteran with over 20 years of experience in branding and communications. He can be reached on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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