If you are an introvert who is feeling isolated, stay with me. I’ve got a story for you that you might have experienced yourself at some point as well.
I am sure that extroverts will have difficulties understanding the essence of my narrative, but I am just simply looking to share my deep feelings with other people who are feeling isolated and are hiding their introversion.
I am used to hiding my feelings from the others because most people do not understand my introvert nature. When I tried to open and share my feelings during the teenage years, most of the times I received confused looks and pretend smiles. The same result persisted into an early adulthood as well.
For example, what is wrong with telling people that I don’t want to stay after the working day to go to an office party because I prefer to do other things? Nothing. What is wrong with wishing to have an honest conversation with just one person who understands me rather than a dozen persons, some of whom do not even pretend to care? Right, nothing!
My ‘Sweet’ Office Life
Let me tell how I started my professional career. I sent out a bunch of resumes and got several responses. When I finally got a job as an office worker, my main responsibility was to call people on the list and offer them to invest in Facebook applications developed by our company. Sounds easy, right? Not exactly. You should be that crazy sales person who can sell ice to Eskimos. I am not one of them, so my lead generation efforts were a little bit less successful compared to my colleagues.
In addition to this, I started to notice the change in my colleagues’ attitude towards me. Apparently, some of my colleagues thought my working style was strange and even “inappropriate.” My results can be explained by one thing: I had trouble adjusting to the new workplace. I am an introvert, for God’s sake, I hate change! Naturally, only a few people understood me and most of my colleagues did not appreciate that I avoided being gentle and having a small talk with them at every opportunity.
What is the point of that small talk?
What can I possibly discuss with them that would get me interested? Talking about conversations with clients and other job-related stuff got old really quick for me. As the result, I felt like a stranger in a strange land because of feeling isolated and different than others, so my actions must have seemed unnatural for my colleagues. I wish I had just one more introvert in the office, I really did.
Can you imagine how hard it is to work with people who think that you are ‘strange’ instead of trying to make a simple attempt to figure out why you act this way? Smiling to them every day and trying to focus on the tasks to avoid thinking about how left out I feel in the office is what I really did at that job.
Sometimes, my colleagues would laugh about something during the break without even telling me what was that made them laugh. I was an outsider, so they got used without having participating me in conversations and discussions. Well, I was completely okay with that and I was even glad I didn’t have to do that. It just showed me once again that I was feeling isolated and disconnected from the surrounding world because I was an introvert.
At that point, I realized how difficult it was for me to maintain an office job simply because I was feeling isolated from my colleagues and could not connect with them. Clearly, they did not want to connect with me as well, so I needed to find another job that would keep me happy. I needed the right people to work with me because it would really make me super productive. That meant only one thing: another change…
Even though I intuitively knew that office work would result in me going crazy and feeling isolated from others, I tried a few times more. The result, however, was almost the same every time. The best option to go was an entrepreneurship, but I did not have sufficient funds to start my own company (it would be cool, though. I have lots of ideas). So I had to find that golden mean. And I did.
I currently work as a freelance writer. I found that it plays to one of my strengths, plus it helps to avoid an overload of interactions every day (no more small talks!). I can write plus I get to communicate much less (and electronically, which is more comfortable for me). Also, there is no forced interaction with colleagues and most of the times, the interaction is initiated by me because I needed to find clients. And, most importantly, I got to spend more time interacting with people who understand and support me. That’s priceless!
I am comfortable expressing my feelings to people I am close with because I believe they are the only ones who trust me. I am not used to interacting with lots of people because I don’t feel comfortable.
Of course, I realize that keeping things to myself has become a habit but that’s just the way I like it. Hiding my feelings every day and smiling in the office in order to fit in is not for me. I think about how the listener would feel about my words, but no one in that office did the same. Can you imagine what that did to my extreme sensitivity?
The Bottom Line
Whether it is an inability or a choice I made, it was much better to express myself with a small group of people who understand what I mean. I doubt that a single person on my first job understood how I felt because most of them did not really think about the feelings of others. Even though I sometimes think of myself as the only person who feels this way, it is my way nonetheless.
Are you an introvert who is feeling isolated from others? We would love to hear your story. Please share it in the comment section below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diana Clark has gone a long path from being a teacher to an office manager, but now, living a charmed life working and freelancing from home in Philadelphia. She loves guiding people through their daily routine inspiring and helping others reclaim their power. Diana’s faith motivates her to use her unique writing gifts providing writing assistance at admission-service. Feel free to follow Diana on Twitter.