In a perfect world, you would make a living staying at home all day, working from the safety of your lounge with your home comforts. You would be left to your own devices and be able to keep your batteries charged to do other things. But unfortunately, not all of us are making money off of our hobbies painting, writing, etc. Speaking from experience, it can be difficult for an introvert being in an extroverted work environment. That being said, here is a guide for introverts on how to survive working in an extroverted environment.
1. Be healthy
You might roll your eyes at me now, but hear me out:
Eating healthy food will keep your energy on a steady level throughout the day and ensures that you won’t be too cranky or irritable.
Being healthy obviously comes with a lot of benefits, but the best one is to have the energy to deal with being overstimulated on a daily basis. Exercising is another way to build up and maintain your energy. Try to work in at least 1-2 days for exercising if you can. It makes all the difference in the world.
2. Create habits
Work in customer service?
Make it a habit of smiling and seeking eye contact when you meet someone. Making a habit out of it means that you will automatically do your job right with much less effort because your body is doing the job for you. Plus, you will come off as nice and outgoing when really you just want to hide from everyone (and you won’t scare people off with your frown).
Next time you have to do small talks? Let your habits do that for you.
3. Get enough sleep
I know, it’s such a classic thing to say; getting enough sleep. Easy to say if you’re not the sort of person who likes the feeling of being awake on your own at night while the rest of society is asleep. But we need to be well-rested in order to cope with things that tire us out. And you will need the energy to squeeze in that gym session to release some endorphins, remember? Okay yes, now you definitely hate me.
But honestly, get enough sleep because for us introverts, we need that bit of extra energy so we don’t get drained too quickly from all the extroverted related-social activities.
4. Take breathers
Let your mind and body rest when you get the chance. If possible, have lunch by yourself in a quiet staff room or outside, away from people. Enjoy the break, breathe, and then go push through the afternoon. Taking solitary breaks like these help to recharge your social battery and helps to calm your mind before re-entering the extroverted hubbub that is your job.
Yeah, find your alone time or secret space where you can recharge. Away from all the extroverts.
5. Even sneak away if you’re desperate
If one or two breaks isn’t enough for you (which I’m sure it isn’t), take micro-breaks by sneaking off for a moment. Go to the bathroom, sit quiet and shut everything out by going into your head or take an extra 15 seconds in the stockroom. Again, little breaks like these make quite a difference.
Just don’t get caught by your boss or manager. But of course, don’t over do it too cause you are getting paid for your time.
6. Plan your tasks
Organize your day according to your mood. If you feel up for it, do the tasks that take more energy from you. And when you feel tired or overwhelmed, choose to take care of the tasks that have you sitting down concentrating for a while.
Another very helpful tip is plan your day in advance. Visualize the daily activities so you are more prepared. I’ve found it helpful before meetings to simply visualize what would go down so I don’t come unprepared. Who knows? It might save you a lot of energy for later meetings in the day.
7. Be prepared for the fall
Warn the people you live with that you’re on your way home and about to crash any second. Your head is spinning, you feel confused, dehydrated. As if you’re running a marathon, all you can focus on is your bed, its arms open for that comforting embrace. You might not even have time to take your shoes off. Have a rest, collect yourself and then start dinner. If you’re busy with kids or other priorities after work, you will just have to run for a little bit longer until you can collapse for the night.
8. Allow yourself to be ‘the quiet one’
You can still be hardworking and good at what you do, even if you’re an introvert in a job that’s more suitable for an extrovert (most of them are nowadays). Choose quality over quantity when speaking, and work hard in silence. Let your success speak for you.
8. Get to know your colleagues
Once you’re more familiar with your co-workers, it can feel easier to interact with them without much effort or thought put into it. And the more they know you, the more okay they will be with your silence in turn. It’s okay to not always make small talk.
9. Aim for the Oscar’s
Because you deserve one for all the acting you do every day for the sake of being what your job needs you to be. You put on a role every morning as much as any actor does (where is your hefty check?!) and work really hard. Congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself!
Let us know what you think of these tips! Feel free to add your own!
Edited by Viveca Shearin
Edited by Psych2Go (April 19)