Are You An Introvert? I Won't JudgeYou

When you're an introvert (as I can be), in an industry where everyone is expected to be an extravert, some people think you have an attitude. Some do I suppose, but the majority, I suspect, don't. 

It can be hard to change their mind when you're in any public or work environment. After all, we often make a snap judgement of a person within minutes, or even seconds of meeting them. 

I like what Bob Newhart once said, “I am a minimalist. I like saying the most with the least.” But I think author Susan Cain hit the nail on the head: “[Introverts] listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror for small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

I find myself talking to hundreds of thousands of people each week...from a tiny room I share with one other person, talking into a microphone. I'm OK with that most of the time. Now, get me up in front of a crowd of more than a dozen people, in a big open space, and I can get very uncomfortable. Go figure.

Would I want to do anything else in life other than radio? Probably not (well, there are some days I think it would be fun to own a cheese shop). I do find it ironic that so many people I know in this business, who have such outgoing personalities on the radio or in front of the TV, are in fact, very shy, sometimes insecure and and very uncomfortable when they step away from that microphone or camera. 

I read an article in Psychology Today that asked "How is it possible that 40 to 50 percent of Americans--some of your friends, no doubt--are shy (or perhaps an introvert)?" The author summed it up like this- "Because while some people are obviously, publicly shy, a much larger percentage are privately shy. Their shyness, and its pain, is invisible to everyone but themselves."

Dan Mitchinson

Dan Mitchinson

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