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  • #2191221

    personality and social skills development


    by lumbergh77 ·

    I was reading the thread titled “Managing a Brilliant Employee” and can certainly identify since I am introverted myself. I actually have good social skills in business situations. I can speak to management, do job interviews, talk to customers, deal with tech support issues, and attend meetings without a problem. But I’m not too good in unstructured group situations (i.e. at a banquet with more than a few co-workers when the topic of discussion is not business related).

    It seems to me that the quiet introverted are the ones who are sh*t on in both the working and non-working world. Women don’t want to get involved with shy guys. Promotions usually go to the extroverts while the introverts end up doing twice as much work as everybody else. And when times get tough, the introverts are usually the ones that are laid off.

    While I’m good with computers, I’m no genius and I figure that I’ll be better off in the long run if I extrovert myself. I figured this would come with age but while my social skills have improved a bit, I’m still a LONG way from being the life of the party. It doesn’t help when you sit in front of the computer at work all day and then have to go home and spend a few more hours studying for certification tests.

    How does one go from being an introvert to being an extrovert (or become more social) without going through therapy? Certainly, some of you have undergone the transition. What are some techniques you’ve used to change your personality?

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    • #3073862

      Old tip but a good one

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Get away from your desk. If the person you need to talk to is close, go talk to them instead of emailing. If you need a record of a decision, send an email for confirmation of the conclusion of the discussion. A lot of being introverted is habit, break as many as you can, nothing to do with personality, everything to do with confidence. The thing that helped me most was my years in support, whether I felt comfortable with it it or not the job meant I had to go out and interact with total strangers and I needed the job.
      Introverts are just socially bruised extroverts.

      • #3073038


        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Old tip but a good one

        I disagree rather strongly with that. Being an introvert isn’t about confidence at all. I’m about as introverted as can be, and have also been called “justifiably arrogant” on many occasions.

        Introversion isn’t about being shy or socially unskilled. It’s about where your focus lies, and from whence you draw strength. If you have a high level of focus, get bored or annoyed easily by chaotic social settings, and engage in a lot of self-analysis, you’re probably an introvert. If, on the other hand, you need breaks at the watercooler every twenty minutes, can’t stand to be alone for long periods of time, and spend all your mental energy memorizing trivia that is useful in small-talk and figuring out what social activity to pursue next, you’re probably an extrovert.

        From an outsider’s perspective, a simple way to identify a person as either introvert or extrovert is to examine how they carry on conversations. For example, while both an introvert and an extrovert might seek out conversation about computer performance, an introvert is more likely to discuss principles of system performance like operating system architecture, symmetric multi-processing, and the role of lossless compression algorithms in protocols, while an extrovert is more likely to to discuss details of system performance like processor benchmarks, hard drive seek times, and data channel throughput.

        Introverts tend to make better inventors and implementors, while extroverts tend to make better directors and salesmen. The current structure of the business world doesn’t take note of that, and overlooks the value of introverts to a fair degree. For instance, the usual career advancement path for an IT professional starts in technical fields that are crossover points for introverts and extroverts, such as support technicians, progresses through innovative activities that are introversion-specific like program design and code development, and ends with the brass ring of management and executive accounts support, which is all extrovert-oriented. The structure of the common advancement path in IT is broken, because it doesn’t create paths of advancement that capitalize on the strengths of the careerists’ tendencies toward introversion or extroversion, and instead tries to make everyone fit a mold. A lot of extroverts falter in that intermediary stage, and make a lateral move to some sort of administrative job within a company where they can then continue to progress to upper management and, ultimately, end up in charge of the introverts, while introverts just get channelled into middle-tier technical jobs and are never given the opportunity to advance from there, since the upper-tier technical jobs are all filled from middle-tier management.

        Treating introverts as broken or deficient is a good way to earn their resentment. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of the people who work for and with you, you need to learn to value their strengths and what they can offer, rather than classifying people as “socially skilled” and “not socially skilled”. The common perception that introverts are just socially unskilled people by definition is entirely wrong: the fact of the matter is that introverts only [b]tend to be[/b] socially unskilled, usually because they’re not interested on a personal level in engaging in the sort of social activities that make extroverts happy. The only impetus a real introvert has to learn social skills is to succeed in an extrovert’s world, which is a frustrating and often miserable task for an introvert.

        As famous introvert Jean-Paul Sartre once said: “Hell is other people.” This isn’t an attitude born of being a “socially bruised extrovert”: it’s an attitude that arises because introverts often have to deal with extroverts and, to put it unkindly, get sick and friggin’ tired of all that empty prattling. I mean, seriously, what’s the point of all that nattering on about stupid crap that seems to dominate the conversations of extroverts?

        Intellectually I understand that the “small talk” of which extroverts seem so proud is a sort of communication protocol, wherein they establish channels of data exchange and note points of intersecting expertise, but the signal-to-noise ratio of such a conversation from the point of view of an introvert is absurdly high. Get two extroverts together to discuss the architecture of an enterprise LAN that has to be put together, and it will be peppered with personal anecdotes about an upcoming Labor Day barbeque, sports scores, hirings and firings gossip, and so on. Get two introverts together to discuss the same thing, and it will be peppered with opinions on cabling (twisted pair or solid core), comparative strengths of failover server redundancy models, and possibly some consideration of how to best to represent the finished plan to the extroverts with whom they have to work.

        If you’ve got a two-person job, all else being equal, get two introverts to do it: they’ll get it done faster, with more attention to detail. If you’ve got a thirty-person job with two people planning it, at least one of them should be an extrovert, because someone’s going to have to explain it to all those other extroverts.

        If I was inclined toward offense, I’d be offended by your statements that introverts lack confidence and are “just socially bruised extroverts.” Instead, however, I simply feel a bit of pity for someone with such a clear lack of understanding of what makes people tick.

        • #3071450

          It worked for me

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to disagreement

          and it sounded like it might work for him, so I offered it.

          The first step in being confident in front of others is to be confident with yourself, whether the lack of confidence is justified or not is beside the point.

          I wasn’t happy with myself, this guy doesn’t sound like he’s happy with himself. If you are fine, Now I am and once he is we can all be arrogant together.
          It’s just a different way of thinking about the situation not a f’ing character assassination.

        • #3069288

          Whoa There!

          by blitzsonik ·

          In reply to It worked for me

          Since when does being happy and confident have anything to do with arrogance?

          I simply cannot stand arrogance yet I am happy in my environment and confident in my abilities both soft and hard!

          Confidence ≠ Arrogance my friend!

        • #3070455


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Whoa There!

          Confidence is often seen as arrogance.
          I’m often percieved as arrogant because of my confidence and I must admit a lack of reticence in displaying it. To be quite honest I’ve no idea whether I’m an extrovert or an introvert and resist being labelled and categorised as anything except male and human.

          Confidence can easily be percieved as arrogance by those who aren’t confident about what you are.
          I’m confident that I can learn how to accomplish any technical business related IT task. People say can you do something, I respond yes unhesitatingly, they go away thinking arrogant prick. What I am meant to do, say yes if you hold my hand?
          It’s about how you percieve others percieve you, what they actually think, who knows, maybe they’ve been socially bruised or perhaps hiding their own self percieved inadequacies behind a loud gregarious facade.

        • #3069164

          arrogance or timidity ?

          by tom ·

          In reply to Perceptions

          I don’t totally agree with you, there are many ways of handling questions, myself I’m quite introverted, also because i’m diagnosed asperger. The way I’m handling it, is that I’m quite confident in my abilities when it comes to computers, but always with an open ear to other possibilities. When somebody askes me if I can do somthing, i also say of course, but I also ask if I have any questions about certain points, where i can go to find the answers. I’ve experienced that people now see me as less arrogant, but still a source of many information. People say I’ve got a good network, and always know where to find the right answers. I’m still introverted, but I’ve noticed that people don’t see mee that way very much these days, just because I’ve studied the ways people like to be treated. I’m still myself, but also a lot more confident about how i fit into the organisation.

          just my 2 cents.

        • #3069145

          Doubt anyone would ever describe me as timid

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to arrogance or timidity ?

          at least I hope not.
          I see myself pretty much the way you see yourself. I aren’t particulary bothered what people think of me as long it’s not as a twonk or timid.
          My comment on perceptions was not me masking my timidity as arrogance or even vice versa.

          One of the ways to tell an extravert from an intravert is an extravert has more acquaintances, I used to think they had more friends.
          It’s little shifts in the way you think, they don’t make you an extravert, but they do stop you worrying about whatever you are, which is actually the real problem.

          Another 2p

        • #3066206


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to It worked for me

          Why are you so offended? I pointed out flaws in your use of terminology. I didn’t accuse you of character assassination. Don’t blame me if you can’t handle my disagreement.

          Frankly, if anyone here was going to be offended, it should have been me. You as much as called all introverts defective, using the phrase “just bruised extroverts” to describe them. I’m not offended, though. I realize it was just an unthinking mistake. We all make them. Don’t get upset just because I pointed it out, though.

        • #3070166

          Well Done!

          by sfc byte ·

          In reply to So?

          I thought your rebuttal was clear, conscise and well organized. It was a pleasure to read. I suffer from the duality of being an introvert but in order to keep my job I have to force myself, on ocassion, to “socialize”. I work for the government. We are going through a centralization process, which equates into down sizing. In my office alone (the systems support) we have gone from 12 technicians/administrators to 3 in less than 6 months. No one was fired or laid off but people have quit, passed away, been reassigned or been sent to support the GWOT (Global War on Terrorism). The slick part is management (the extroverts)do not plan to refill the positions. So I suffer from the duality of being an introvert but in order to keep my job I have to force myself, on ocassion, to “socialize”. Some people may call this brown nosing, kissing ass etc.. However, with technician to management ratio 1:1, the reality is if I do not go along with the group dynamic I will not last.

        • #3070037


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Well Done!

          You have my sympathies. That’s gotta really suck.

          If it was anything but government, a management to technician ratio of 1:1, that would mean a bunch of managers were about to get laid off. In the public sector, though, you’re likely to just end up with a bunch of useless managers hanging around managing their desks and drawing a salary, while you and your peers will likely end up with all of them looking over your shoulders since they’ll probably have so little else to do.

          You might think about brushing up the details in your resume.

        • #3069888

          Don’t mean to hijack this thread but…..

          by lsmith1989 ·

          In reply to ouchie

          Don’t mean to hijack this thread but…..

          Yes, I have been in the same spot and have since left Government service. There WILL be useless managers that will sit around sucking tax payer’s money at useless meetings, I can almost guarantee it. I find that I’m better off not knowing where my hard earned tax dollars are going to.

          I may get a whole bunch of angry replies about this remark but I’ve worked in government long enough to say that state and federal government is extremely inefficient at doing anything.

          One of the problems is that Gov. IT professionals are most of the time union represented. While I dont have anything against Unions, I believe it can hurt almost as much as it helps when it comes to IT. It can promote laziness and the “Duds” will never get fired because that requires paperwork. Government managers will more likely douse themselves with gasoline and run into a bonfire then go through the process of getting a union represented employee fired even if that particular employee screwed up big, multiple times.

          I know there are a few legitimate government workers out there that really is worth every penny they get, but the rest of the folks ruin it for them.

        • #3070487

          worked for state of NE

          by jeffersnet ·

          In reply to ouchie

          I used to be a government employee, 14 years, and I can tell you that those placed in management positions in IT know nothing about IT. Each one of the IT managers I met could not do anything past pressing the ON/OFF button or typing an email. If you know how to kiss butt and nothing else you can get a job as a government IT manager. Introverts need not apply.

        • #3070454

          Yiou know as well as I do it’s not so much

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to So?

          what you say it’s how you say it.
          Read your last paragraph again now you are not offended, because I got the distinct impression you were.

          Something I wrote touched a nerve, you reacted and touched one of mine , so I reacted …
          I coming to the opinion that TR’s message limit was to stop people descending to
          **** you
          No **** you

        • #3116636

          sounding inferiority complex

          by n_jayper6 ·

          In reply to It worked for me

          This reflects the inferiority complex which was build upon a period of time…never mind what others judge us. End results matter.

        • #3069510

          Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          by holdupmaster ·

          In reply to disagreement

          What a complete load of garbage! Your underlying skills have nothing to do with whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. I have met people that have worked in the games industry, writing code that is HARD, that can do multi-dimensional mathematics in their HEAD, as well as talk about average instructions persecond CPU throughput and could give you an in depth (at bus level) analysis of performance bottlenecks with various system boards. These guys were off the wall funny, and could make small talk with the best of them.
          Personality and skill sets dont correlate, granted introverts tend to spend a lot more time reading and studying. That doesnt mean that extroverts dont.

          Introversion is not a bad thing, but if you feel like you would like to have better social skills, the best thing to do is to take up a hobby that involves interacting with people.
          My advice would be to take up martial arts, its a great stress buster, you get to meet lots of people, its great for confidence and you will be interacting with people in a non-work environment. It will also add to your interests that are not IT/work related. Which will benefit you when you have to talk to people back at work.

        • #3069481

          Yes, but how???

          by the_queen ·

          In reply to Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          Everyone says get out there, try harder. HOW? You can’t get more introverted than me, but I have tons of confidence, except in social situations. What do normal people talk about? All the books say, ask about the other person, be interested. All that does is give the other person a chance to talk. We introverts just plain don’t know what to say. If you end up talking to a group of extroverts, your lost from the get go. If you end up with introverts, your long gone, cause the true introvert, not the shy person, just doesn’t know what to say to people, and then when we do talk, we end up shocking people (introverts who read alot, have lots of opinions). So where do you learn to talk???

        • #3069473

          Practice, practice, practice…

          by erichealing ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          This thread is taking the defensive route of the pros and cons of various character types. The fact is that most organisations are structured on as a pyramid and require the movement of people up that pyramid to allow people to move out at the top (retire) and come in at the bottom (get hired). Organisations like this kind of movement and it is often referred to as “up or out” syndrome.

          As you move up the ladder interpersonal skills become more important as you need to clearly lead the people lower down the pyramid. Verbal skills and character type mirroring are key success factors in this communication.

          My advice is to stick with the earlier advice to get yourself out of your comfort zone into more social situations and try hard to make small talk. Just because this is hard does not mean you should not try. The more you try the easier it will get.

          To free enough time to do these activities you will need to lose some other more solitary activities. My advice would be to stop doing some activities that require lots of concentration and little face to face interaction. Our skills develop to meet our environment and deep technical skill are developed usually to the detriment of social skills. I believe that our character types are 10 nature and 90 nurture.

          Don’t sweat losing your technical skills too much, as you progress up the ladder you will find them less important.

        • #3069449

          Don’t sweat losing your technical skills?

          by susan_h ·

          In reply to Practice, practice, practice…

          Your comments had me nodding in agreement-until the last few
          sentences. Not everyone who enjoys interacting with others
          socially wants to dump their technical skills and move into
          management. I’ve been to the edge and back (did everything a
          manager does except the budgets.) I had excellent reviews from
          my direct reports, client groups and upper management but I
          much preferred problem solving to managing others and I finally
          left the company so I could get back on a technical track.

          I’ve also known many people who were very happy to leave the
          technical behind–until they were downsized and found that
          comparable positions were much harder to come by.

          As other postings have suggested: get away from your desk and
          talk face to face; before you jump into the business issue, make
          a little small talk. At the very least say “good morning”; if the
          person just returned from vacation, ask how it was (most people
          do like to know you care); comment about the lastest ‘art
          posting’ from the 5 year old. Of course you’ll probably have to
          limit small talk if you are dealing with another introvert.

          As long as your technical skills stay sharp and you have placed
          yourself above the radar your job should be a bit safer–barring
          the mass outsourcing or business downturns that render many

        • #3069264

          Your answer is actually easier than you think.

          by bernman93 ·

          In reply to Don’t sweat losing your technical skills?

          You are looking too hard for outside ways of changing your personality. Introverts do not have to take up a new hobby just to learn to become more extroverted. Interpersonal skills are learned by having to deal with other people, hence ?interpersonal?. Most introverts lack these skills only because they are driven by the challenge of ?problem solving? which tends to be a very cerebral way of dealing with the world. The easiest way to gain the skills you are looking for is to take on the types of duties that REQUIRE you to have to look outside of yourself and deal with other people to complete.

          This does not require you to look outside of your own workplace. What is does require is that you look for opportunities to manage projects. When you are the problem solver for a project, you can take the requirements given, figure out the answer by working with the small group of people you are comfortable with, with a very specific goal in mind, and stay focused on that goal. When you manage a project, you have to deal with forces that often seem completely irrelevant. However, failing to deal with those outside influences will be essential to your completing your project successfully. For instance, do you know who your CFO is, or what the budget for your department is? How much did your last project cost your company to complete, and did your boss have to change is budget to complete it? When you are looking for a technical solution to a problem, these questions may seem irrelevant. But I will bet you money that when your boss was talking to other members of management, these subjects of ?small talk? were discussed often. Small talk does not have to be mindless drivel, and that misperception is one of the things that cause introverts to “shy away” from learning it. A person that is good at small talk will actually have something substantial to say, however it is usually dealing with a topic outside of their obvious area of expertise or the apparent topic at hand. Introverts have the problem that we are “to the point” people. When we have a conversation, we are usually trying to either convince someone of the merits of our intended solution to get it approved, or looking for input on a problem we need a solution to. What is often not considered is that the solution we are proposing might be too expensive, or too time consuming, or any other number of factors could effect its viability. When we are taken ?off topic? into other areas we do not see as relevant, we tend to quickly get bored and frustrated. Once you have managed projects, you will learn to understand these diversions and your frustration should go away. You will also come to understand why your boss sometimes gets that ?deer in the headlights? look after about 10 minutes into your extremely important, highly detailed explanation of why he absolutely needs to?.. When you have time and budget deadlines you are trying to meet, you often do not have the time or available attention to hear long explanations. Learning to “surface skim” a topic is probably the hardest thing introverts can learn. I still can sometimes look at people I am talking to and see the glazed eyes when I get too in-depth on a topic. We tend to assume other people need to understand and are interested in the minutia of problems we are working on, when in fact they do not have the time to get that in-depth, because our issue is only one of several they have to manage. The better you can do that, the more valuable you become to your company as well. Most companies are looking for a person that can approach a problem from several angles to find a “good” general solution, rather than the one that tends to overlook those solutions in favor of the “right” solution as they see it.

          I was as introverted as you could be. Anyone familiar with the military’s MBTI personality test will understand what a “48” introvert means. However, I now look at myself and to the outside world, everyone thinks I am extroverted. What changed me was my 10 years as a naval officer. When you are an officer, you are not allowed to “specialize” in your job. I had more collateral duties than most people had as their primary job. Those duties required me to get involved in a wide range of areas, and that is where your “small talk” comes from. It is not necessary to give up your knowledge to be more extroverted. Indeed, you will need to learn to expand the areas you have interest in over time , and learn to discuss broad topics, instead of talking on the finer points. One other method you can use to do this is to read the front and local sections of you newspaper everyday. Not the whole thing, just pick a few articles and read them. While these may have nothing to do with you field of expertise, what is happening in the world around you should interest you. If nothing else, it will give you something to talk about besides the job.

        • #3069395

          Reply To: personality and social skills development

          by charliespencer ·

          In reply to Practice, practice, practice…

          “Don’t sweat losing your technical skills too much, as you progress up the ladder you will find them less important.”

          And that, kiddies, is why I don’t want to progress u the ladder. I got into Information Technology for the “technology”. Once you start doing ROIs, performance reviews, strategic planning, you’re just another manager, with job responsibilities no different from any other department head, further away from the technology that drew you into this field in the first place. Sure, you’re making more money, but are you still having fun?

        • #3070149

          Very good points, hit the nail just right.

          by bishaw ·

          In reply to Practice, practice, practice…

          You bring up some good points that I used to get myself motivated on conversing with other staff in the office. I took the challenge one step further by joining an organization outside of work and took on a role of moving up to become the chairman or president of the organization. By doing this I was forced to interact with everyone since I had to give speeches in front of a room of people and running meetings by using Roberts Rules of Order. This with joining Toast Masters improved my ability to speak in front of a group of people and take charge when something needs to be said in a staff meeting or anytime. I now speak up pointing out issues that need to be addressed with tack. Plus this helps put that person who has the big mouth that does not know what there talking about in their place if you hold your ground. I know most of you have one in your office. If done correctly it will earn you the points for moving up but there is a down side is you don?t do it correctly so think before reacting. In my case my confidence is much greater but I admit when I do not know something and when I am wrong to keep myself in check.

        • #3069428

          Where do you learn?

          by blue-knight ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          Contact a local toastmaster’s group and attend one of the meetings. The social skills for business are slightly different than the ones for asking someone out on a date. Toastmaster focuses on the skills needed to suceed in a professional setting. It addresses many areas, it has structure, practice, a guide explaining the details, plus very good feedback. It is not for everyone, but after one or two meetings, it will be obvious if they are a good match.

        • #3069357

          How? Try Toastmasters

          by borgmac ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

 is a great organization with a local group likely to be located close by. Provides a laboratory for your communication development. Everyone should attend one toastmasters meeting and learn about this organization. Someone you know can benefit and your referral will make a difference.

        • #3069273

          Yes, Toastmasters Helped me!

          by jjs ·

          In reply to How? Try Toastmasters

          As a “Techie” I found it difficult to talk with others. I wanted to expound in-depth on one topic once started (for an hour if someone would listen) and the rest of the world just wanted to “Skim” the top.(They just wanted to know a small bit about me) I was also struggling with being able to make concise presentations. (Managers are bottom line people) I joined a Toastmasters group. Not only did I learn about making presentations more concise, but I also learned more about how to interact with others in the world. At first it doesn’t seem like you are working on anything more than how to speak, but before you know it you’ve learned to listen and organize communication better. I’ve learned leadership from running meetings and how to mentor others in a positive way. Toastmasters is a working laboratory that is safe to attend (I went to a community club outside work at first) and participate in. Now, I’m a techie that is able to bridge the gap from the way the managers communicate to the way the techies communicate. It has been a great evolution of my career.

        • #3069757


          by ldyosng ·

          In reply to Yes, Toastmasters Helped me!

          Toastmasters ROCK. You get to know everyone in your group, and it’s not a big deal. Yes, it’s still a little scary getting up in front of a room full of people, but they are all there to support each other. You’ll be thrilled at how quickly you improve and become more comfortable. And it’s an excellent networking opportunity.

        • #3069330

          Relaxation is the Key!

          by buschman_007 ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          Fellow introvert here. Like many Introverts have to make an effort to be more social. It’s an important skill that has many benefits in life. I also agree that I’ve noticed two kinds of predominant introverts. The shy and well let’s call them the imaginative. I’m more of the shy sort so that’s who I’ll speak about.

          In my opinion shyness is just a lack of confidence. But if you’re like me it’s only certain situations where you feel your shyness. Women is a typical tough spot. I think a lot of this is learned response. If your Father, Mother, older brother or what have maybe was a little shy, then you didn’t have a key role model to learn from. Then when you start out you get a few negative reactions at those key moments and your defense mechanism will pull you back to protect you from hurt. Personally I think that’s all it is. So now you’re gun shy or lack confidence in that situation, where maybe at work you are very confident because you are smart and a hard worker and it has been noticed and you have received the positive reaction you need to build your confidence.

          I think the key is to realize you can be confident in any situation if you are mentally relaxed and in the right frame of mind. If talking to certain people, coworkers, women, bosses, groups, etc is your weak spot then there are techniques to help you with this. Meditation and/or hypnosis is one. Now you don’t have to go in for the whole dangling watch deal. but they are good techniques to relax you and get you envisioning a positive outcome.

          If a situation makes me nervous, like asking for a raise. I try and envision a situation where I feel very confident, like asking a vendor a question about an order I’m making. Who’s nervous around a vendor? You’re about to spend you’re money with them and they always want to kiss your @$$ and make you happy. So reach a very relaxed state and try and envision yourself asking your boss for a raise, but replace your anxiety with the feeling you get when asking your Vendor a question.

          Nervous about asking a girl for her number? Well reach your relaxed state and replace that feeling with the confidence you feel talking to your best friend or a close female friend. (disclaimer: if you do use a guy best friend, remember not to get so relaxed you comment on the nice rack that girl walking by just had. 😉

          It doesn’t have to be restricted to single question. You can relax yourself for entire conversations and use that euphoric feeling throughout to improve your conversational skills. Think about it, how many times have you thought of the perfect thing to say in a conversation you just had on the car ride home? yet when it’s Thanksgiving time and you’re with your family you are quick witted and the right thing to say always seems to just pop into your head. You never think of what to say on the way home because you said it or just don’t care. In my opinion all this deals with your level of relaxation. The more relaxed you feel the more conversations just flow and the right thing will come to mind.

          I’m certainly no pro, cause this is something I still struggle with. But I have found this method to be very helpful. Hopefully it will or is already is helping someone else.

          Good luck,

        • #3069312

          Just DO It [to coin a phrase] ;-)

          by jonathanpdx ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          Ah, semantics…aren’t they wonderful?

          I used to be quite shy and actually still am. (I’m not going to say “introverted” because that’s a completely different state of mind.) I realized that if I was ever going to get anywhere in a social-centric profession, I was going to have to alter my state of mind. So I started talking to strangers. On elevators, waiting in lines, wherever I was able, I’d strike up a conversation. Nothing specific, just small-talk. It didn’t have to go anywhere, but I always kept in mind that if I made a fool of myself, I would most likely never run into that person again, or if I did, they probably wouldn’t remember me, and I would LEARN from that experience. I’ve actually made more really good friends from doing that than I ever had before. I’ve been doing it for over 20 years and it has made so much difference.

          Many people are in the same situation. Sometimes they are shocked that someone actually talked to THEM, and respond positively. Some are simply [put in a colorfully descriptive word here] and wouldn’t acknowledge you if their life depended on it (their loss!) but you go on and keep practicing. Most people actually WANT someone to talk with, but are themselves too shy to initiate contact.

          A number of people have asked me how I can just walk up and start talking to complete strangers like I do. I say “I just do it.”


          – “Your” is not “You’re”
          – “Their” is not “There”
          – “Its” is not “It’s”
          Attention to detail can make all the difference!

        • #3066198

          more depth

          by joe.canuck ·

          In reply to Just DO It [to coin a phrase] ;-)

          I’ve found that many professional “extroverst” are actually very shallow and have ADD. While I am sometimes initially drawn to the salesy type due to their apparaent ability to be glib and fluid socially I am most often quickly turned off by their superficial lack of focus and inability to engage in meaningfull conversation. Most sales people are pathological in my opinion and emulate in the place of building real relationships. You can learn to act like them to benefit from exploiting peoples vulnerabilities. But in my opinion the reason techies tend to seem more introverted is because they have more depth and integrity. How many techies are so frivolous as to develop “personal” relationships with others simply for their own gain? well thats what professional extroverts do all the time. In short, deeper and more thoughtful people tend to value the person and relationships more highly than the bottom feeders who skim the surface of life using and abusing the lives of others. Rather than feeling less confident about the having character I feel more confident. I can learn to act like a gadfly, but they can’t learn to do what I do because they lack depth and discipline. It’s probably the lack of discipline more than anything as that points to a lack of character as well.

        • #3066066

          Talking to strangers

          by lisa545 ·

          In reply to Just DO It [to coin a phrase] ;-)

          An insurance company had a software development analyst course. Not only were we supposed to know how to program, but we also had to learn how to talk to people. For a couple of weeks, we were expected to talk to strangers. I can remember how scary it was at first. Creepy even. I hated “bothering” people. But after a while, it got easy. I used to practice in grocery store lines. Strangers are actually perfect to practice on because you don’t usually run into them again. Even better if you’re on vacation and in a strange place. You’re right. I seldom got a negative reaction. My nervousness was the worst part of it. How do you start? You smile and say, “Hi.” Of course, it does help if you have a second line in mind before you do that.

        • #3069307


          by jrw_ssc ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          Kirk & Blue_knight have a great idea about Toastmasters. I may give it a try myself.

          What helps me at times is to have someone “pry” the information out of me. Sometimes, it’s my wife. Sometimes it’s a trusted friend or coworker who is willing to wait to hear my answer.

          It often takes me a while to formulate answers to things. By the time I feel I have something to contribute, the opportunity is gone or someone else begins to talk.

          Participating in a study group or adult education class can help. For me, it is a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) group. You have a lesson where you write out your answers first and in the discussion group, the facilitator (leader?) can call on you to have you share your written answer. No pressure on having to have the “right” answer. In a school setting, you will have opportunity for classroom discussion. A really good teacher can help draw you out and speak up.

          Don’t like to talk but love to sing? Join a community chorus or church choir. I guarantee that you will have something to contribute there!

          What do normal people talk about? The weather. Katrina. The local sports team(s). Something they heard on the radio or saw on TV. A joke or light-hearted story. Work. The commute back & forth to work. Their family (kids/spouses/parents/in-laws etc.) A party or concert or other event that they recently attended.

          So someone gets shocked at something you have to say because you have read a lot and have an opinion on a matter. If the other person is truly interested in what you have said (or just being “polite”), they may ask you how you came to your opinion. And feel free to not have an opinion on a matter, too.

          I hope that this helps.

        • #3069245

          small suggestion

          by accuracycounts ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          I just heard a speaker a few weeks ago suggest a way to keep a conversation going. Its not always perfect, but can help. When a person makes a statement to you, take the last 2-3 words and restate it as a question. For example: he says, “I’ve been to the store.” You say, “The store?” “Yes, to PC’s R Us” “PC’s R Us?” “The store that sells all that stolen computer equipment” “Stolen computer equipment?
          …….etc, etc, etc,
          Can’t guarantee results, but it’s worth a try.

        • #3066185

          three things, and my own take on it

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          1. Asking the other person, thus prompting them to do the talking, is great. The point there is not that it somehow magically makes you extroverted: it’s that people tend to love to talk about themselves, especially extroverted people, and by letting them talk you learn more about them and gain some insight into how to interact with that person in particular. You find points of similarity and things that interest you, and eventually you may be able to use that to advantage by, perhaps, knowing who to ask for help on something, or fostering goodwill by offering to help with something that bothers the extrovert in question. Again, the point isn’t that listening makes you more outgoing: it’s that outgoing people like you because you’re a good listener.

          2. Don’t ask what normal people talk about. That’s self defeating. What you mean, of course, is “What do extroverted people talk about?” and it betrays a certain lack of understanding of what separates extroverts from us introverts. Extroverted don’t talk about anything in particular, as a class of people: they just talk as a means of filling up the silences so that they can live in their comfort zone, which involves a lot of chatting. An extrovert talks for the sake of talking: an introvert’s conversation tends to be more goal-oriented, and tends to begin only when a specific need to discuss something arises.

          3. Opinions aren’t bad things. Neither is shocking people, necessarily. Just know who you can get away with shocking, and who you can’t — then keep your opinions to yourself unless and until you know what effect they’ll have on your audience if shocking this particular person in front of you would be a bad thing.

          I’ve solved the problem thusly: If I have something to say, I go ahead and say it. If I don’t, I figure it’s as much the other person’s responsibility to engage in conversation as it is mine. I don’t have to initiate conversation if there’s nothing in particular for me to say to them, and I’m comfortable with silence.

          I think the biggest problem introverts have in dealing with extroverts is that we tend to have problems figuring out what extroverts expect of us, and extroverts don’t know how to interpret the actions of introverts. Extroverts get information from people by prodding them into reacting, and introverts get information from people by observing their actions, generally speaking.

          If you want to make an extrovert comfortable with you, just give him or her the opportunity and excuse to talk. Then, the pressure’s off you, and you don’t have to do the talking.

          On the other hand, if something comes up that interests you enough that you’ll hold forth on the subject at some length, just remember that how you phrase your opinions can have an effect as well. Extroverts tend to look for agreement, and introverts tend to look for information. If you’re dealing with extroverts, maximize your phrasing for finding points of agreement. If you’re dealing with introverts, maximize your phrasing for giving information that the introvert doesn’t already have.

        • #3066013

          not all

          by avid ·

          In reply to three things, and my own take on it

          ” An extrovert talks for the sake of talking: ” some of us actually have something to say.

        • #3070170

          Yeah, but . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to not all

          I never claimed otherwise. The motivational focus is generally more on the interaction and less on the transport of information for an extrovert. Talking is easy and comfortable for an extrovert, and people like to feel comfortable. Yes, you have something to say, but even if you didn’t you’d still want to talk (if you’re an extrovert). An introvert that has nothing in particular to say, though, would just tend to hope they’re not expected to say anything.

        • #3070452

          Those horrible gaps in the conversation

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to not all

          where you feel you should say something but you don’t know what. I now only have problems until I decide sometimes incorrectly whether the person I’m with is comfortable with an amicable silence.

        • #3066089

          Social interactions

          by codecurmudgeon ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          One thing many Introverts (especially smart ones) don’t realize is that in the vast majority of social interchanges people are basically reciting scripts which are set in advance.

          Nope, people are not composing everything they say during the conversation. Indeed most social interaction is more like looking up the appropriate form letter and filling in the blanks.

          For an introvert to live in an extrovert’s world it helps a lot to imagine social situations and work out what you would say. This helps improve your repertoire of things to say.

          As I understand it, this is pretty much what the “Dale Carnegie” course was about. (That and teaching folks how to sound like care about the other person whether they give a bleep or not. . .) HMMM – I wonder if they still do those?

        • #3066016

          just talk

          by avid ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          you have already stated that you read alot and have opinions. express them. so what if you shock people. i love to be shocked or suprised. i was somewhat introverted a few years ago. i was this way because i was too concerned with what people might think about me if i expressed myself. what i learned is that people will think what they want to think. if you do not talk or express yourself, then you are forcing them to form an opinion with out really knowing you. and when you do that, you are forcing them to guess about the small characteristics that really make us who we are. human are social animals. we are usually at our best when we collaberate. you seem like a very candid person. most people will like that about you.

        • #3069082

          Hire a Coach

          by joyb ·

          In reply to Yes, but how???

          I’m going to do some shameful self promotion here. As an introvert myself, I’ve built a successful Career & Life Coaching practice for the past 15 years by getting out of my own way and learning what I needed to learn. I stopped making excuses for myself, hired my own coach, and gained the skills that help shape my self confidnce. No one ever guesses I’m an introvert now, and yet I am. I always will be. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. A lot of introverts I know (including myself) are very sensitive people. Plus, I’m a “Thinker” and I like to process information. Once you have the skills to mix in social situations, you’re world opens up wider. I joined Toastmaster’s, joined the Chamber of Commmerce, and became a board of director for a local non profit that I believe in. If I did it anyone can. Now I get to reap the benefits. I’ve learned how to be bold and opinionated . . . yet tactful. One of the most important components for being good at communications is “listening.” Most people don’t get how important that is. Now, as a Career & Life Coach, I teach others how to do what I did and I love it!

          I’ve been right where you are, and I know first hand how frustrating it can be not to know where to start. If you’re interested, you can find me on the web @

        • #3069375

          extraverted hobbies

          by wyldwezl ·

          In reply to Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          As I’m an “all of the above,” you are quite right that one needs a hobby or some activity that puts you in a social situation. Two that happen to work for me are choir, both church and community chorus. Also, I play a number of instruments and have been in community band (flute) and a couple rock and country bands (bass guitar). Those work for me. And believe me, there’s not much more that can help boost your confidence and satisfaction like musical performance. Of course, one would have to be so inclined musically, but I suspect (I don’t have facts on this, though) that introverts are more musically inclined. (We were the geeky kids who would always go home and practice!)

        • #3069896


          by dak1010 ·

          In reply to extraverted hobbies

          that’s pretty funny. Church, community chorus and band practice? Great advice!!! LOL. Especially “And believe me, there’s not much more that can help boost your confidence and satisfaction like musical performance. Of course, one would have to be so inclined musically, but I suspect (I don’t have facts on this, though) that introverts are more musically inclined. (We were the geeky kids who would always go home and practice!) That’s a real gem!! Keep up the good work Wyldwezl!! I truly look forward to your next post with nail-biting anticipation!! LOL

        • #3066196

          typical extroverted attitude

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          I’m talking about whether or not introverts enjoy developing social skills, and you’re talking about whether or not extroverts can do everything better than introverts.

          I’m great at small talk when I want to make the effort. I don’t want to, though. My enjoyment lies more with analysis of the principles behind social interaction rather than actually pursuing it for its own sake.

          I never said extroverts can’t be technically skilled, or that introverts can’t be socially skilled. In fact, I went to some pains to say the opposite. The difference is in what aspects of social interactions and technical activities interest someone. Introverts tend to be more interested in theory, and extroverts in surface detail. Extroverted physicists tend to enjoy talking about when the next physics symposium is going to happen and who will be there, and introverted salesmen tend to talk about the psychological pressures that can make a person more or less susceptible to a sales pitch.

          Do I need to give you more examples of the tendencies, or are you going to keep claiming the exceptions are the rule?

          I’m an introvert. I’m a martial artist. I’m a funny guy. I’m a professional computer geek. All these things coexist in one person. I learned my social skills by observing other people, though, and not by emulating them.

          You don’t have to defend extroverts. I never said anything insulting about them. If you think I did, you’ve misread something.

        • #3070810

          Prescription drugs

          by mguglielmi ·

          In reply to typical extroverted attitude

          Find someone with a prescription to aderal. Typically prescribed to patients with Attention Defifit Disorder (ADD) or go to your local doctor and tell him you have trouble focusing (they give it out like candy). You will notice an immediate change in your social behavior.

        • #3068838

          Er, no, thanks.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Prescription drugs

          I don’t think I’ll do that.

        • #3068677

          Street drugs then

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Er, no, thanks.

          Or even legal, a few belts of good scotch is always good for opening up the vocabulary and removing the inhibitions.

          If not, try a board meeting on acid, you’ll run the room. When I was a punk snot nosed kid, I did som epretty heavy drugs and would continue my daily routine with only those who knew me well would know I was absi=olutely wrecked.

          I’ve held sales meetings on acid, sold cars on coke, etc. No, I’m not proud of it at all really, in fact I often wonder how I’m still alive when I reflect on my past, I would go from biker parties to sales meetings (if I was still awake at 8:00 AM), it was a good learning experience and at least I got it over with and out of my my system while I was young. I started in sales at 15 and was a sales manager at 16, so I wasn’t even a young adult.

        • #3066095

          Martial Arts

          by lisa545 ·

          In reply to Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          Loved your martial arts idea. Not all of them require yelling and jumping around. Am currently in a really great class with a bunch of people who would have qualified for this introverted status. Not only can martial arts give students a physical representation of what happens in relationships, but it gives them something to talk about right away. Students HAVE to communicate in order to learn. It keeps me in shape and helps manage stress. It cultivates calm. It makes it more comfortable to be introverted, which in an odd way allows me to be more extroverted. I probably struggle with myself less. I feel more confident. And that confidence is something that extroverts pick up on. So I get pestered less. Of course, smiling at a bully who is standing in your space makes them uncomfortable. And that’s kind of cool. After all, he wasn’t standing in my space to make me feel cozy to begin with. It was a power thing. Martial arts teaches you how to work with that stuff and it does translate well into business. Plus it stretches your comfort zone in safe ways.

          As for the topic at hand…

          I’d have to be medicated to be “perky”. For most of my life, I’ve felt pressure to be extroverted, “nice”, chatty, etc. Why don’t I get to be just me? Why do I have to be an extroverted clone? It’s a myth. I don’t have to be one. I think it’s the “comfort” or the confidence that makes the real difference. Most of the people I admire have the confidence. They’re not all extroverts. Remember all that stuff about how important listening skills are? Who would be listening if we were all only talking?

          Find what makes you happy and comfortable and start from there. The more comfortable I got, the better things became. I can converse. I get my points across. I can build relationships. But I still love my quiet time. I love my introverted friends. Give me their sharp wit and outrageous ideas anytime! I’m finally past the phase where I want to drown my gushy, loud, manipulative, fund raiser sister-in-law. Nor do I care that she’s disappointed I’m not more like her. Like I said, I’d have to be medicated.

          Rather than trying to be so “other” than what you already are, find that comfort zone and then find ways to stretch a bit. All of this happens over time and does take “practice”. You can cheat by “pretending” the way actors do, long enough to learn new skills. Sometimes new skills catch more quickly that way. But I wouldn’t do that at the expense of my own values. I can do a convincing imitation of the dreaded sister-in-law’s gush, but most of my friends would be watching to see what I was up to. That’s just not me. It will never be me. I know it. My friends know it. They’d all be trying not to laugh until they found out what was up. I think you do need to be authentic. People notice.

          Best of luck in your search. None of this is easy. It is easier when you don’t sweat it too much or have to try too hard. Force doesn’t work with this stuff. Don’t be afraid to fail. Most of us fail. A sense of humor makes the process easier. Best of all, you’re in excellent company. Look at all of the posts you’re getting!

        • #3066033

          Well of course!

          by mgordon ·

          In reply to Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          “Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s” — naturally, that is the purpose of this particular topic. Why do these cliches exist? Do they exist in a vacuum of observation; or are we, collectively, intelligent and able to observe things that seem to me to be obvious?

          In my experience, it is the extraverts that denounced the existence of this division between introverts and extraverts. Introverts see it clearly, because that is what introverts DO — think about self and mind.

          But holdupmaster and others are correct; an introvert must work extra hard to learn to mimic extravert behavior. The bad jokes and so forth happen when an introvert mimics what he THINKS is extravert behavior, when in fact it is not. Extraverts use language as a secret code, sort of like dogs sniffing tails, to establish a pecking order from the alpha male to the omega — introverts aren’t even in the PACK. Choose carefully, all you introverts, whether you even want to BE in the PACK, because that’s where the extraverts run — and the money, for that matter, insofar that money is a social representation of labor.

        • #3070055

          Could not agree more – holdupmaster

          by necessaryevil ·

          In reply to Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          I could not agree more with your position. Being a genius and socially competent are not mutually exclusive. Learning to be more social can complement your skill set because it allows better understanding with people outside of the technical realm; The people that we are all working to support. Being a natural introvert myself, I have found that I can learn to be more social at work because I am comfortable with the subject matter. Outside of work is still a struggle. Start small, very small. Try just remembering to say hello to people you pass in the hall. You may be one of those people who are usually deep in thought at all times and don’t do that. If so, that is a good place to start. From there, maybe start adding a question or complement but only if you mean it. From there, maybe go out to lunch with people you have now built a rapore with. Attend company social functions, if there are any. Each time you get more comfortable in social settings, the better you will communicate with those who are not IT professionals and this will only serve you better in the end. If you understand the people you are supporting better, you will be better armed to provide solutions to their business dilemmas. If people know you want to know them, they want to trust your judgment. Best of luck in your endeavors.

        • #3070453

          Or you could just go for a beer

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Never heard so many stereotypical Clich?s

          Not only is it seen as social, after five or six you forget you are meant to be concerned about what people think of you. While taken by the drink you tell them about the teutonic bird with the strap-on, there’s little else you need to be concerned about them knowing.

        • #3069482

          Right on!

          by ryan.williamson ·

          In reply to disagreement

          You’re dead on right, Apotheon! Thank You!

          -Another introvert

        • #3066118

          quite welcome

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Right on!

          Ah aimz ta pleeze.

        • #3070449

          I’m an introvert too !

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Right on!

          I’ve just learnt to deal with extroverts without showing my discomfort.
          Instead of coming out of my shell when I’m comfortable, I go back in it until I’m comfortable again.
          You’ll have to believe me, because there’s no way of judging our version or lack of it in this remote format.
          After all an introvert would never blurt out ‘Right on’ in the middle of a conversation between two complete strangers, or would he ?

        • #3069461


          by that it man over there can tell you ·

          In reply to disagreement

          In my chosen career I have come across (and managed) plenty of introverted techs. One of the main similarities with all the ones I’ve come across is that they consider “extroverts” to be intellectually challenged. The main reason they seem to believe this is because extroverts don’t discuss the latest Hoary Hedgehog developments with the receptionist by the water-cooler. They (introverts) display a total lack of understanding of normal human social interaction and because they don’t understand it they dismiss it as pointless time wasting. People discuss “Labor Day barbeques” & “sports scores” because these are subject matters, like the weather, that can be discussed with anyone. I’d imagine there would be a sharp decline in the birth-rate if all men tried to discuss the pros and cons of x.400 over SMTP with the boss? brunette secretary!
          There are definitely misconceptions on both sides but, in my experience (and I believe these posts demonstrate this), introverts fail to acknowledge the different, but still valuable, skill-sets extroverts have. Whereas extroverts generally appreciate that IT introverts have excellent technical knowledge and expertise.
          This appreciation of others skills is, in my opinion, the reason why you find so many extroverts progressing to management whereas introverts find themselves hitting a glass-ceiling because of their lack of ?people-skills?.
          With regard to the two-person job analogy – it depends what the “job” is – if you get two techie introverts to build a company social-club web-site do you think you’d get better results than if you asked one extrovert techie to do the same job? I don’t.

        • #3069369

          your “pointy haired boss” is showing

          by spinner of websites ·

          In reply to Misconceptions

          “I’d imagine there would be a sharp decline in the birth-rate if all men tried to discuss the pros and cons of x.400 over SMTP with the boss? brunette secretary!”

          What a sexist “pointy haired boss” remark! So much for posting a positive “this is how I over came my problem” response.

          As to drago762 – I would reconmend being friendly to all you meet in a day – a smile, a quick nod in passing with the smile, a friendly “hello” in general with good eye contact. Be cheerful! (yes, I know that is hard when you’ve got deadlines) Yes, do get up and do face-to-face if possible. Also, eat your lunch with others in the lunchroom. You don’t have to really talk on the subject, just look interested in the on going conversation. If you do have a comment, be polite and positive. These little things will go a long way to help you to develop social skills.

        • #3069271

          Dilbert Eater

          by that it man over there can tell you ·

          In reply to your “pointy haired boss” is showing

          Just offering some advice on what to chat about at the water-cooler. The guy mentioned women not liking shy guys – I was offering some topics of conversation, thats all!

          (Walks away flattening his hair)

        • #3069320

          You demonstrate the misconceptions

          by c-3po ·

          In reply to Misconceptions

          Reading your post, I couldn’t help but feel that you were demonstrating the misconceptions you were talking about in the text of your post. Yes, there are misconceptions, but you obviously side with the extroverts. Extroverts can sometimes be so full of themselves that they butt kiss their way to a good position. They can obtain a good position based on the fact that people “like” them without having anything to do with their skill set – that is not to say that they are not intelligent people and that many of them have skill sets possibly surpassing introverts, but they get the positions because they are boisterous and extoverted, not always because they know their stuff…

          It’s an age old debate. We’re human. We judge on outward appearances and have a hard time digging to the core. Introverts merely feel the pressure and are put down because they have a hard time “expressing” their abilities.
          I think introverts NEED to get out there more… I find it hard to do this personally, but it is necessary to show what you’re made off to be recognized.

        • #3069277

          “Butt-Kissing” IS a skill-set

          by that it man over there can tell you ·

          In reply to You demonstrate the misconceptions

          I agree that sometimes people get the good jobs because people “like” them over their counter-parts but “liking” someone isn’t enough to give them a skilled technical position – they have to show ability in the role too. Technical Ability + Likeable-ness (is that a word?)= more suitable for the job than someone who just has the technical ability. Fact of life I’m afraid.

          And yes I’m an extrovert, sorry (he shouts).

        • #3066148

          Same thing…

          by c-3po ·

          In reply to “Butt-Kissing” IS a skill-set

          An Extrovert would say that… as an introvert, I get tired of the extroverts hollering over us introverts and being heard simply because they are louder. I simply don’t want to have to shout, and I find it offensive when my opinion is ignored. It is valuable. It has proven to be valuable when people have stopped to listen.

          Extroverts “speak over” intoverts and get the positions – it’s an “edge” and as you say, it’s a fact of life – like women being trod upon or slavery – STOP IT! (please?)

          I suppose the moral of all this is: Introverts, speak up. Extroverts, stop and listen!

        • #3066116


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Same thing…

          Extroverts wish introverts would stop being so antisocial (never mind that we’re not antisocial, just less noisy about our social proclivities). Introverts wish extroverts would listen with their ears rather than their mouths.

        • #3066168


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Misconceptions

          Being an introvert, I don’t tend to feel like I have time to do a lot of hand-holding when I explain something. I don’t spend more time on soothing words to eliminate the possibility that extroverts will feel “talked down to” just because I’m telling them things they don’t already know. As such, extroverts misunderstand my intentions a lot of the time.

          Even introverts can misunderstand my intentions, because they’ve been subtly indoctrinated by life in an extroverted world. Introverts internalize knowledge (while extroverts externalize it) and, when in a position to disseminate it, tend to do it without frills. What we pass out to the extroverted world is “just the facts, ma’am”, whereas extroverts tend to spend more attention on the presentation than some of the specifics of the message. As a result, extroverts also tend to expect others’ presentations of information to be well-formatted to be more friendly, rather than simply informative. There are common assumptions that extroverts apply to the information they’re given to sort it by its presentation and, because there essentially isn’t any presentation format aside from raw data in the introvert’s default form of communication, the extrovert will often misunderstand the intent by misapplying those assumptions.

          In other words, you’re assuming a lot of negativity in my previous comment that wasn’t in any way intended.

          I never dismissed “normal” human social interaction as pointless time wasting, as you seem to be accusing me of having done. In fact, I went to great lengths to explain the contrasted value of introverted and extroverted methods of communication. If you overlooked the positives I described to the “small talk” methodology of interaction, that’s on you, not me. If anything, it’s you dismissing the way an introvert tends to operate by calling the extrovert’s way of doing things as “normal human social interaction”. You’ve essentially said that introverts aren’t normal humans, but the extrovert’s common assumption is that the extrovert’s way of doing things is “normal” and the introvert’s is “shy” or “socially unskilled” or otherwise deficient in some way. It’s not: it’s just less dominating.

          Introverts don’t tend to fail to acknowledge the different, but still valuable, skill sets of extroverts any more than extroverts do those of introverts. In fact, you’ve just made a great case for the extrovert being the less understanding of the other party, in saying that extroverts appreciate the skills of others and thus progress to management while introverts hit a glass ceiling. Are you even reading your own words?

          Introverts have to fight every day to remember that there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, because in this extroverted world only the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Being good isn’t good enough: you have to be loud, too. People who don’t go out of their way to make buddies with the extroverts’ club find themselves passed over and ignored, or even branded “unfriendly” or “difficult”, just because they are as happy to sit at their desks working as to stand around the water cooler talking about work.

          With regard to your clear disdain for my two-person job analogy, you clearly didn’t pay enough attention. I contrasted a two-person job against a thirty-person job. Maybe you should have read more closely and noticed that I contrasted a job that would probably get done quicker by two introverts with one that would definitely need extroverts to get the job done more quickly and smoothly.

          It looks like you’re picking sides, and I’m just trying to explain where the sides are divided. I never said either introverts or extroverts were better overall, though you’re acting as though I had. I think perhaps you noticed that I was identifying myself as an introvert, calling someone on his mistakes that declared extroverts superior, and started looking for reasons to disagree.

          Take an introvert’s approach to what I said for a change, and look for the data, not the disagreement.

        • #3070447


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Misconceptions

          I think you justified a lot of introverts discomfort with you.
          Introvert = nerd, unathletic, unable to charm the opposite sex AND abnormal.
          You come from the planet Brash I presume. I’d advise going back.
          I’m a tech I don’t do website look feel and hook, there are people who are much better at that sort of thing. I just convert their ideas into a web site.

        • #3069403

          what if

          by kahlesit ·

          In reply to disagreement

          What if I memorize a lot of trivial information that might be useful for conversations but instead keep it to myself? What am I then?

          …probably an introvert.

        • #3066167


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to what if

          Probably so.

        • #3069400

          Reply To: personality and social skills development

          by diana o ·

          In reply to disagreement

          The statement “If, on the other hand, you need breaks at the watercooler every twenty minutes, can’t stand to be alone for long periods of time, and spend all your mental energy memorizing trivia that is useful in small-talk and figuring out what social activity to pursue next, you’re probably an extrovert” sounds somewhat negative to me (I’m sure you didn’t mean that, after talking about the introvert definition being negative). It’s also somewhat inaccurate (but not completely).

          The definition that I have gotten from a Master in Social Work therapist is:

          Introverts recharge their batteries by having alone time, and lots of people contact tires them.

          Extroverts recharge their batteries by having lots of contact with people, and long stretches of alone-time tires them.

          It’s all about where you get your energy, more than anything else.

          Pretty simple. And there’s no mention of social skills either–extroverts can have poor social skills just as equally as introverts can.

          For recommendations about being more “extroverted” I would recommend anything that helps raise comfort levels in conjunction with talking in front of groups and meeting new people, such as Toastmasters, volunteer work, committee work in organizations you belong to, etc. At work, try to talk to people more, even if it is just telling the building guard “good morning” every day and saying “hello” to people on the elevator, if you have one. Comfort comes with practice, for ANYBODY, whether you are extrovert or introvert.

          I am an extrovert, but was extremely shy when I was younger–doing temp and contract work cured me of that in time. I kept having to introduce myself over and over! Practice makes — comfort.

          Good luck!
          Diana O.

        • #3066161

          descriptors, not motivators

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

          The “battery recharge” idea is a common one that is bandied about in every first-year college psych course. It’s the commonly accepted means of trying to identify a clear distinction. What I’m discussing here isn’t just the clear distinctions, though: I’m also addressing the muddy, unclear trends and tendencies in how introverts and extroverts deal with the world.

          In any case, I never said that anyone can or can’t have social skills. What I did say is that introverts don’t tend to care as much about social skills because they don’t have as much use for them. As you noted, protracted social interactions can really wear an introvert out, but alone time is pretty much always welcome. You don’t need social skills to spend time alone. The differing focus of introverts and extroverts makes social skills more important to the latter than the former, and that [b]tends[/b] to lead to better social skills on the part of the extroverts, but it doesn’t in any way indicate that introverts are less able to develop those same skills. They’re just less likely to.

          You make the same mistake many others make about recommendations for being more extroverted:
          You assume anyone should try to be extroverted.

          Some of us are introverts. Some of us are extroverts. Stay what you are, learn to love it, and use its strengths to your advantage. Cultivate skills for dealing with the other half, but don’t try to become them. [b]That[/b] is [b]my[/b] advice.

        • #3066046

          Reply To: personality and social skills development

          by cometopapa ·

          In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

          That was a great response, Diana O. I agree with what you say. I don’t think it is as simple as introverts have problems with socializing, extroverts have great social ability. I know plenty of people who are extroverted who have terrible social skills, and I know people who are introverted who have good social skills.

          That definition of introversion and extroversion is right on the mark. It is an aspect of your personality that will lead to you choosing what you do with your time. People tend to enjoy doing what they are good at. A person?s personality helps determine what they are good at. So, introverts, who tend to be thinkers, tend to be good at things like programming, so they do it and tend not to be so good at social interaction, so they don’t do it. It is a self-feeding cycle. You’re good at programming, so you spend more time doing that, you’re not so good at socializing so you spend less time doing that. The key is to force yourself to practice socializing. I see it a lot like exercising. At first, it sucks. For the first few times, you don’t feel so good. But, you start to get used to it and it isn’t so bad. Plus, the main benefit is that you feel good afterwards.

          There is a reason they are called social skills. While you may not be born with great social ability, it is a skill that you can acquire just like any other. I think of it like sports. Some people are born athletes and some people are born klutzes and most are somewhere in between. While a klutz may never become a professional athlete, they can develop some athletic ability through practice.

          I, personally, need time to myself to recharge. However, I have decent social skills. They didn?t come naturally to me – they were something that I had to work on.

          Based on my quest to develop my social skills, there are two key points I would focus on. First, start small. If you want to be a programmer and you don?t know much about it, you start out with a ?Hello World? application. You don?t try to build an enterprise wide system. Then, you slowly build up. I think you need to do the same things socially. Start out with little things. Say hi to people. Smile. Ask about a picture they have in their cubicle. Remember, you?re not going to become a social butterfly overnight. It takes time and practice.

          The other big thing is to not take thing too seriously and don?t worry about how you come off. Don?t analyze everything you say before you say it. Chances are you?ll say some stupid things, but that?s part of learning. Just like making studpid mistakes when you?re learning to program. Also, don?t overanalyze what people are saying. Most of the time a cigar is a cigar and people are not trying to secretly insult you or something.

        • #3066020

          Reply To: personality and social skills development

          by is girl ·

          In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

          “The definition that I have gotten from a Master in Social Work therapist is:

          Introverts recharge their batteries by having alone time, and lots of people contact tires them.

          Extroverts recharge their batteries by having lots of contact with people, and long stretches of alone-time tires them.

          It’s all about where you get your energy, more than anything else.

          Pretty simple. And there’s no mention of social skills either–extroverts can have poor social skills just as equally as introverts can.”

          This is a great definition. I consider myself an introvert because I love to be alone and my preferred hobbies are solitary. But, most people I know would say I am an extrovert because I can and do socialize. I think it’s important to have social contacts – we all need friends and lovers once in a while. However, I consider the time I spend socializing time that I must be “on” and the time I spend pursuing my solitary hobbies my recharging time.

          From a woman’s point of view, I can say that I prefer introverted men because I find them to be deep thinkers who are capable of intense, interesting conversation but will give me enough space to “recharge”. However, he mustn’t be so introverted that we never have our first conversation !!

        • #3065983

          What about you?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

          All the focus on dating and introverts always seems to be on the male going out and making an effort to approach women. Even the extroverted women never approach a man, though. At best, they try to make it obvious the man should approach them, usually.

          Why is that?

          I figure that if the man in question is too introverted to have considered making the first move (busy reading, perhaps), and you sit there staring wishing he wasn’t too introverted to initiate conversation, it’s as much your fault as his.

        • #3069774

          About women approaching men

          by firestar1 ·

          In reply to What about you?

          I was told the exact same thing that you were talking about in “What about you?” I prefer a man who is more introverted. It has always been easy for me to talk to most people, but when I am interested in someone, attracted to him, it’s always been hard for me to start a conversation, especially now. I haven’t been around people much in a good while. I had to care for my mother as she was diagnosed with cancer a few years back, she’s well now and has moved just recently to s. Florida to stay with my sister. I am tired of being alone, but I don’t know many people. The ones i do know are married and have families, and it’s just hard to meet people. Is it possible for an extrovert to have become and introvert? I’m afraid that may be what happened to me.

        • #3069634

          the problem

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to About women approaching men

          I know it can be tough when one fears rejection. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any easy answer for that. You’ve simply got to realize that if you never ask, you may never know the answer. If you let an opportunity go by without at least finding out whether you’d be accepted or rejected, you’ll get the same result as if you’d been rejected to your face.

          The second girl I fell in love with had me the day she greeted me by kissing me. We were acquainted before that, and I was aware she was interested, but I wasn’t sure. Once she did that, though, I had a sudden realization that I’d be a fool to pass upthe opportunity to date the woman.

          Of course, it turned out I was a fool anyway, but that’s another story entirely.

        • #3069758

          Brazen Hussy

          by ldyosng ·

          In reply to What about you?

          Well, OK, maybe not. But if i want to get to know a guy, I walk up and try talking to him – about whatever is in the environment to talk about. The book he’s reading. The moron in line ahead of us. Gas prices. His tie, or shoes, or screen saver, or glasses. WHATEVER. If he doesn’t warm up and respond, he’ll just think I’m one of those kooks who want to talk about trivia to strangers. I’ve been shined on before. It’s better than being shot at. Trust me.

        • #3069753

          You’re right

          by firestar1 ·

          In reply to Brazen Hussy

          I guess I just need to take a deep breath and just walk up and start talking. It’s been a while since I have been so brave, but like you said, I have nothing to lose. The more I do this the easier it will get. Thanks for the words of encouragement. I really needed that!

        • #3069637


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Brazen Hussy

          You, then, are a very rare breed indeed.

          I prefer people who are direct over those who play stupid games, like most women are trained to do from birth. If you want something, ask for it.

        • #3070444

          So, how was your day ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development


        • #3060236

          Diversity is Good!

          by trambo ·

          In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

          I’m working on my social skills. According to Ken Blanchard and Associates my visible self is a C (Conscientious Thinker.) I have no secondary preference under visible self. My inner self pattern is I (Interacting Socializer) with a secondary preference of C.

          I recently attended an offsite seminar my employer was kind enough to provide at a very swanky resort. We all shared our profiles, which were derived from an extensive survey we participated in about ourselves. The main thing I took away from this was that companies and the world in general need all types. Diversity in personality is as important as diversity in the gene pool. There are roles in every company and society for all of us. Let’s face it, you can design the most advanced automobile with the best engineering in the world…someone still has to sell that automobile and bring home the bacon that pays your salary. Try to value everyone until they prove to you that they are, indeed, extraneous and shallow. Another important thing I took away from this was that according to various studies, whether us thinkers or introverts like it or not, whenever you interact with someone they derive most of what they get from this interaction from your tone and body language. This is why email and IM (and these postings)are relationship killers. People will assign a tone and body language when one can not be perceived. They will do this from there own personality styles, prejudices and opinions. This was totally the opposite of my beliefs, which is “words mean things.” To me the rest was just fluff. It is easy to get caught up in your knowledge and talent and think of yourself as a “Superstar.” Believe me, when I was younger, I thought my talent would carry me, regardless.I did a pretty long stint doing third party work where I learned that fixing the customer was as important as fixing the problem. I always gave them ten or fifteen minutes to vent their frustration and actually listen to their concerns (even though I wanted to begin work and get to my next call.) I found that if I did this, the customer felt good about me and the situation and as long as I assured them their problem would be resolved and that I cared, I could leave without fixing anything (like when I needed a part or a software package) and they were happy and confident I would follow through. Half of my job was “fixing” the customer.

          Back to the Blanchard Seminar: What we learned was the best way to interact with each other after we learned what our individual profiles were. Each type has “hot buttons” you shouldn’t push and ways to get them onboard with whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. I know what you cerebral techies are thinking at this point. What a “touchie, feelie bunch of hogwash.” What a waste of time and resources that could be better spent on solving “real” problems. I felt the same way going in. I am amazed at how the day we spent on the seminar allowed us to see each other, really see each other, and learn how to interact with each other for optimum results. Believe it or not, there is a science to this “touchie, feelie” business and people make big money conducting these seminars because they produce results, workplace harmony and better teamwork.

          In closing I’d just like to say “IS Girl” you sound awesome. If you’d like a friend come see me at For everyone who feels that I used this whole posting as a way to “connect” with IS Girl, guess what, that was the point of this post. You can get what you want at the same time you make a valuable contribution, but it has to come in the right package.

        • #3069365

          Speaking of useless babble

          by itengineerguy ·

          In reply to disagreement

          Speaking of useless babble. Any way, I would think that just getting to know people by starting off with a hello. You don’t have to spew out garbage, because most people don’t care to hear junk. Ask how they are and listen to the other person. You can be a introvert and still have social skills such as politeness and listening.

        • #3066155


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Speaking of useless babble

          I never said anything that contradicts that.

          I’m glad you’re so sure of your perfect understanding of all things that you don’t need to read others’ views, but perhaps you could refrain from calling it “useless babble” when someone offers explanations to those who are not so omniscient as you. You appear, by your contentious and abrasive manner, to lack social skills yourself, whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert.

        • #3069339

          You’re confused

          by kontrolsphreak ·

          In reply to disagreement

          Don’t confuse being an introvert with being anti-social.

        • #3066154

          Say what?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to You’re confused

          You’re a prick. What’s your point?

          I’m an introvert, and you’re apparently antisocial. I know the difference quite well, thanks.

        • #3069332

          Reply To: personality and social skills development

          by Anonymous ·

          In reply to disagreement

          Awesome! I am not on either extreme of the personality swing of the pendelum, but I can’t agree more. Indeed, what should be looked in any team is balance of personalities, as you have aptly illustrated. Soon the introverts group would have to be designated as an other employment equity group, as it is unjustfiably descriminated against with impunity.

        • #3066151


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

          I appreciate the expression of agreement.

          I don’t think we really need to introduce any more grounds for frivolous litigation in the workplace, but it would be nice if people simply stopped equating “introvert” with “socially stunted, emotionally traumatized, antisocial misfit”.

        • #3069294

          Well Said!

          by blitzsonik ·

          In reply to disagreement

          I have to agree with apotheon on this one! I am an introvert in a support environment with three extroverts. I get more work done in the 2 hours before they get into work then I do the rest of the day because of their bantering, joking, or just plain idiocracy!

          They call me grumpy most of the time when in fact, I am just trying to focus on my work. I am a very focused person…hell bent on getting the project done on-time or ahead of schedule.

          …and just to show you that leaving the desk has nothing to do with your social skills, the extroverts in my office use remote control software (DameWare) to fix problems while I venture out to the users desk.

          Just my 2?

        • #3066147

          good example

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Well Said!

          That seems to demonstrate fairly clearly the difference in attitudes of introverts and extroverts. Each side tends to lack understanding for the other side. While I sympathize with your complaint about bantering and joking that might interfere with your ability to concentrate, the term “idiocracy” really does exemplify the disconnect between the two personality types very clearly, and indicates that both introverts and extroverts could benefit from more understanding of the others’ perspective.

        • #3069278

          Completely disagree with disagreement

          by jim.rossi ·

          In reply to disagreement

          I’m extremely introverted. It’s completely about being shy. And I have no focus. (I’ve got ADD).

        • #3066143

          about being shy

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Completely disagree with disagreement

          You might be shy, but I’m not. Unless you come over here with a psych degree and give me an intensive personality test battery that declares me extroverted because I’m not shy, I’m afraid your claim that being an introvert is all about being shy won’t hold much water with me.

          Being both shy and introverted doesn’t mean the two are necessarily connected. I’m both male and blue eyed, but I wouldn’t suggest that all blue-eyed women are actually transvestites, or that all brown eyed men are actually ugly women.

        • #3070442

          I’ve always considered introverted and shy

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Completely disagree with disagreement

          to be different things.
          I’m introverted but not shy.
          After being guilty of a generalisation myself and witnessing some even worse examples later, I’m a bit wary of more. But I always thought shy was wanted to say something but was uncomfortable with doing it, where as an introvert was uncomfortable with the feeling they had to say something.
          The ADD is something completely different.
          It doesn’t matter how long you take or whether you respond in this forum.

          When you feel the need tell me I’m a complete twonk who knows nothing.

          However small steps at first are best so perhaps you should leave out ‘complete’

        • #3070427


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I’ve always considered introverted and shy

          Your comments about introversion, shyness, and ADD all ring true. I have no idea what the rest was meant to be.

        • #3070322


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to indeed

          This forum is very different to real life but if the fella can learn to cope with the likes of us on line, then maybe off line communication with less opinionated insufferable egomaniacs, will become more palatable.

          OK your not insufferable, I withdraw the characterisation.

        • #3069247

          Your answer is actually easier than you think

          by bernman93 ·

          In reply to disagreement

          You are looking too hard for outside ways of changing your personality. Introverts do not have to take up a new hobby just to learn to become more extroverted. Interpersonal skills are learned by having to deal with other people, hence ?interpersonal?. Most introverts lack these skills only because they are driven by the challenge of ?problem solving? which tends to be a very cerebral way of dealing with the world. The easiest way to gain the skills you are looking for is to take on the types of duties that REQUIRE you to have to look outside of yourself and deal with other people to complete.

          This does not require you to look outside of your own workplace. What is does require is that you look for opportunities to manage projects. When you are the problem solver for a project, you can take the requirements given, figure out the answer by working with the small group of people you are comfortable with, with a very specific goal in mind, and stay focused on that goal. When you manage a project, you have to deal with forces that often seem completely irrelevant. However, failing to deal with those outside influences will be essential to your completing your project successfully. For instance, do you know who your CFO is, or what the budget for your department is? How much did your last project cost your company to complete, and did your boss have to change is budget to complete it? When you are looking for a technical solution to a problem, these questions may seem irrelevant. But I will bet you money that when your boss was talking to other members of management, these subjects of ?small talk? were discussed often. Small talk does not have to be mindless drivel, and that misperception is one of the things that cause introverts to “shy away” from learning it. A person that is good at small talk will actually have something substantial to say, however it is usually dealing with a topic outside of their obvious area of expertise or the apparent topic at hand. Introverts have the problem that we are “to the point” people. When we have a conversation, we are usually trying to either convince someone of the merits of our intended solution to get it approved, or looking for input on a problem we need a solution to. What is often not considered is that the solution we are proposing might be too expensive, or too time consuming, or any other number of factors could effect its viability. When we are taken ?off topic? into other areas we do not see as relevant, we tend to quickly get bored and frustrated. Once you have managed projects, you will learn to understand these diversions and your frustration should go away. You will also come to understand why your boss sometimes gets that ?deer in the headlights? look after about 10 minutes into your extremely important, highly detailed explanation of why he absolutely needs to?.. When you have time and budget deadlines you are trying to meet, you often do not have the time or available attention to hear long explanations. Learning to “surface skim” a topic is probably the hardest thing introverts can learn. I still can sometimes look at people I am talking to and see the glazed eyes when I get too in-depth on a topic. We tend to assume other people need to understand and are interested in the minutia of problems we are working on, when in fact they do not have the time to get that in-depth, because our issue is only one of several they have to manage. The better you can do that, the more valuable you become to your company as well. Most companies are looking for a person that can approach a problem from several angles to find a “good” general solution, rather than the one that tends to overlook those solutions in favor of the “right” solution as they see it.

          I was as introverted as you could be. Anyone familiar with the military’s MBTI personality test will understand what a “48” introvert means. However, I now look at myself and to the outside world, everyone thinks I am extroverted. What changed me was my 10 years as a naval officer. When you are an officer, you are not allowed to “specialize” in your job. I had more collateral duties than most people had as their primary job. Those duties required me to get involved in a wide range of areas, and that is where your “small talk” comes from. It is not necessary to give up your knowledge to be more extroverted. Indeed, you will need to learn to expand the areas you have interest in over time, and learn to discuss broad topics, instead of just talking on the finer points. One other method you can use to do this is to read the front and local sections of you newspaper every day. Not the whole thing, just pick a few articles and read them. While these may have nothing to do with your field of expertise, what is happening in the world around you should interest you. If nothing else, it will give you something to talk about besides the job.

        • #3066141


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Your answer is actually easier than you think

          I think that you accidentally responded to me with that when you probably meant to respond to the original post in this discussion.

        • #3069231


          by mfurman ·

          In reply to disagreement

          Seems to be an analytical type. If you preffer to sit in the server room coding away, then be an extrovert. If you want to get paid what you are worth, or perhaps paid more than that, then you need to communicate with people. Being a “Nick Burns” will just get you looked at as an arrogant S.O.B. and you will never be appreciated except by others that think like you. So I look at it this way: I can sit down in the server room and do exactly what they think I’m doing, deploring the stupidity of my users and act like I have no interest in them, or I can come visit and spend some unproductive time making them feel like I actually like my job which involves getting them to do their job. I was an introvert until I realized that if I wanted to get paid and keep any semblace of a stable career I needed to connect with those that can help me achieve that. If that means flirting with the boss’s secretary so she puts in a good word now and then so be it. I have a montra and I’m sure it’s over used but in regards to my boss and the VP’s ….. “Perception IS reality”. if they see it one way and it is actually somethign else, it doesn’t really mater does it?

        • #3066140

          I think you missed the point.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Hmmmmmmmmm

          You’re describing social skills, butt-kissing, and antisocial attitudes, not the differences between introversion and extroversion. I have no idea from your post whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, but simply making a decision to go “hang out” with others more doesn’t change who you are. It only changes how you interact with others.

        • #3066135

          The point

          by mfurman ·

          In reply to I think you missed the point.

          I’m an x-introvert. But my point is you don’t have to change who you are to reap benefits from interacting with people more than an introvert would normally. Butt-kissing? Isn’t that showing interest for the sole purpose of getting ahead? I’m talking about interacting with people so they don’t think you see yourelf as too good to be social with them. The origional poster seemed to want to ensure they were not passed up for opportunities or laid off simply because they were too distant with co-workers. So my point is ……. don’t be distant. You can still be an introvert.

        • #3066120

          Reply To: personality and social skills development

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to The point

          “[i]Butt-kissing? Isn’t that showing interest for the sole purpose of getting ahead? I’m talking about interacting with people so they don’t think you see yourelf as too good to be social with them.[/i]”
          Isn’t that a form of “getting ahead”? It all depends on what your goals are. Schmoozing is schmoozing, butt-kissing is butt-kissing, et cetera. Your ultimate goal in doing so is up to you, but if you’re making an effort to interact with people with an eye toward ingratiating yourself to them, whether it’s for career advancement or merely self-validation, it’s still butt-kissing.

          “[i]So my point is ……. don’t be distant. You can still be an introvert.[/i]”
          That’s basically the sort of thing I was saying: that you can interact successfully with extroverts without feeling like you’re defective if you don’t become one. You’re the one that said something about going from being an introvert to being an extrovert, here.

        • #3066056

          Brilliant analysis

          by mgordon ·

          In reply to disagreement

          Several related schools of study and thought exist on this topic and it starts with the ancient Greeks. The thread that I respect is one codified by Carl Jung called “archetypes”, which was modernized by Kiersey-Bates (if I remember correctly); the 4 archtype personalities identified by the Greeks and Jung expanded to 8 types by K-B, by considering the impact on a “thinker” if he/she is introverted versus extraverted. Myers-Briggs takes this one step further and recognizes that all people have, in varying quantity, all four archetypes; and hypothesize certain predictable relationships among them — adding a new category that defines whether you use a sensing function (obervation versus imagination) or a judging function (you think about what you have sensed, or you experience feelings as a consequence of what you have sensed).

          Introverts do not become extraverts and vice versa. However, a person that was compelled to behave in an introverted way by his environment, may eventually revert to his natural type. Also, as we get older, we usually develop our weak capabilities and become “bi-lingual” so to speak, able to function alone or in groups.

          A natural introvert, even when acting in an extraverted way, can be detected by his or her lack of social network. Conversely, a pretend-introvert can be revealed by his or her large social network and commitments.

          A more difficult barrier is not introvert/extravert per se, but the “feeling versus thinking” gap. “T” persons use words to communicate information, facts and so forth, and expect to receive it. “F” persons use words to communicate how they feel. An “F” person says, “I feel blue”, and the “T” wonders what “blue” feels like — how can it have a feeling, it is a color!

          Another communication barrier exists on the S/N axis. “S” means sensing the world — sight, sound, touch; these things define “what is.” An “N” person has a strong imagination, and while we do not say the “N” is not in touch with reality (although he/she can be quite out-of-touch), reality has little motivating power.

          What all this means is pretty simple. If you want a “deep think” computer programmer or network engineer, you want an “INT”; comes in two flavors — “P” or “J”. The INTP is the most esoteric of all and consequently the most difficult to manage — what exactly is he doing right now?

          For a middle manager whose job it is to incorporate goals and company policy, the ESTJ is your best bet. This person is extraverted, he or she senses the world as it appears to be, is rational with regard to thinking, can hire and fire because of a depressed “feeling” function, and the “J” actually speaks to the extraverting function “T” but can also be considered to be decisive or judgemental. The ESTJ is very unlikely to imagine the “next big thing” and may not even see the value of the Next Big Thing when it sits on her desk.

          Different kinds of people exist; all have a place though I have yet to actually find the correct business place for INFP’s — this type is perhaps the ‘soul’ of a corporation, if it has one.

        • #3065979

          Thanks so much!

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Brilliant analysis

          I’m personally an INTj. I make the J lower-case to indicate that it actually varies between P and J (I’ve taken Jung typology tests like the MBTI personality sorter many times), but is J most of the time.

          I appreciate the kind words regarding my own post.

          INFPs belong in charitable nonprofits, I think. They shouldn’t be the managers of the things, perhaps, but make great volunteers at least, licking stamps and stuffing envelopes. They also tend to make great artists, though not so much in the “marketing department graphic design” sense.

        • #3070070

          Good to know

          by abanerji ·

          In reply to Thanks so much!

          Good to know you are an iNTj. I am too (

          You may not believe, but going through your posts I sensed the iNTj flavour, and then your confirmation! Just had to share.

        • #3070036

          I believe it.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Good to know

          I don’t tend to hide my personality proclivities much, and your previous post demonstrated a fairly thorough understanding of Jung typology, so it makes sense you’d be able to pick up on it. No reason to disbelieve.

          NTs are usually the people I get along best with (ENTs for shorter stretches than INTs, if only because I need a break more often).

        • #3065921

          Need a hug…

          by willy macwindows ·

          In reply to disagreement

          Someone sounds perplexed and somewhat disgusted with the ability of others to carry on a converstation not involving calculated data, repeated articles or third party information. But, if your situation is that you’re working under an extrovert I can understand your disdain, I’m sure he/she only holds the position because of their empty prattling, nattering and stupid crap. I’m sure in no way it’s possible they have any skill or creativity.

        • #3070169

          And we thank you for your dismissal.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Need a hug…

          What perplexes and disgusts me is comments like “introverts are just bruised extroverts” and your implication that I lack the ability to carry on purely social conversation.

          The president/founder/owner of my company is a rather severe introvert, actually, and many of my coworkers are introverts. I’m one of the more socially outgoing people there when in the midst of other people in a friendly setting.

          You read bitterness where my purpose is only to be informative. Maybe you saw something in what I said that described you and you took it to be unflattering, whether I meant it that way or not. Is that why you’re lashing out against me like this? Maybe you’re just a prick.

        • #3065920

          When being “introvert” is a choice

          by garocris ·

          In reply to disagreement

          when you made up your mind, since you were a child, and you decided to enjoy life “your way”, decide to study a career by yourself, never beacuse you?re told to do this or that. When you follow nothing but your vocation, then you may be called “introvert”. Because you go to parties and realise that there is a streem behind the joy, they catch the joy, and it is good, very good, but you see the streem, and it is better than good. People who work with computers, as the only machines that interact with you with your senses, and nothing can explain more this feeling but surfing the web for hours, days. Again, people who work with computers seem to others introvert, because they (others) don?t get to experience the feeling. It?s the “Matrix” paradox. But I made my choice, and decided not to expose to everyone, every little experince of the joy I get from interact with the computer and with my peer who is behind the end of other side of the web, amazingly, my peer at the other side can be a million of them… Could it be named “introvert”? Any way, it?s not up to me to judge what is better: being introvert form being extrovert. Being introvert is a state of mind.

        • #3070168


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to When being “introvert” is a choice

          Who says one has to be better than the other? They’re each just “better” or “worse” for a given individual, and it varies from one person to the next.

          The world needs both, I think.

        • #3069893

          Thank you

          by kboeker ·

          In reply to disagreement

          I couldn’t agree more.

        • #3069877

          You’re welcome.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Thank you

          . . . and thank you.

        • #3070409

          small talk may be considered talent

          by firestar1 ·

          In reply to disagreement

          I realize that small talk is a lot of jibber jabber and for many introverts is considered useless and annoying. It can be useful, however as far as relationships go and can be considered a talent. I am and have always been an extrovert. I am above average intellegence but by no means a genious and am sure, as you suggested, many introverted individuals would find my chatter irritating.
          I’m just curious, do introverts who feel this way prefer not to be bothered with people for the most part? What I read earlier suggested introverts have a hard time attracting the opposite sex because girls aren’t interested in shy guys. My first love was an introvert, we were very young,and his family moved many years ago.

          I don’t really socialize these days, but I am still extroverted and have no problem meeting new people or talking with anyone.

          I agree with the fact that there are areas where the introvert would excel where the extrovert would not. Just because someone is not the life of the office party or may not even show up at one of them means nothing. The employer or upper management can and should utilize the skills of all of his or her employees. Not to do so could prove to be a very costly mistake.

        • #3069199

          Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

          by cornwell ·

          In reply to disagreement

          I’m going to print this out for all to read, and only a few to comprehend! Right On Brudda!

        • #3068904

          many thanks

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

          For a moment, there, I thought that said “Buddha”, not “Brudda”. I was confused. Heh.

          Maybe I should rewrite that someday to be more comprehensible and perhaps a bit gentler. A number of people seem to have gotten some use from it here.

      • #3066029

        Introverts are NOT “socially bruised” extroverts

        by lauracs ·

        In reply to Old tip but a good one

        Introversion is a viable, fully healthy and functional trait. It is not synonymous with social ineptness or shyness. All introversion implies is that a person gains energy from alone time, instead of from interaction with other people, and that we may not seek out social interaction as readily as extroverts. There is nothing inherently better about being extroverted than introverted, except that extroversion is considered the norm of behavior in our culture (approximately 75% of the population is extroverted). That being said, as an introvert, I have found it to be to my advantage to learn to use extroverted behavior, when necessary, to effectively communicate with business peers and customers. This is no different from any other behavior, preference, tendency, etc., that many of us taylor to the particular environment in which we find ourselves. Many of us dress, talk or behave differently at work than we do in our personal lives. If you are an introvert, you don’t have to become an extrovert. You just have to learn to act in an extroverted manner when the need arises.

        • #3065977

          good ‘un

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Introverts are NOT “socially bruised” extroverts

          It’s about time someone else said that. I was beginning to feel a little left out in the cold, particularly with all those extroverts giving me hell for daring to suggest that introverts weren’t inferior.

        • #3070102

          My own experiences and view

          by andreas biernat ·

          In reply to Introverts are NOT “socially bruised” extroverts

          Oftentimes two major differences between introverts and extroverts are mentioned: At least statistically, extroverts talk more and are more often with other people, while introverts say less (in quantity) and are rarely in groups. This is not supposed to be a classification, but rather a general description of these two differences, I am aware that there are quite some individual exceptions.

          The reason why I talk less is, that I don’t use words (of whatever language) when I think about something. The same is valid for feelings, I do not try to put them into words, because I simply cannot find an appropriate match. IMHO, human language can only express 0.1% of feelings or senses, because the latter are so vastly complex and multiformed. There are words for “sweet” and “bitter” and dozends more, but if you emphasize on as many small details as possible (for whatever reason, maybe just because you like it), there’s no match to express the billions of varieties.

          When I think about a technical or mathematical issue, I also don’t use words, but symbols or something else that has no linguistic counterpart. I “feel”, when I understood such an issue, then I have several ways to form it into a written description. Internally, inside your own head, its easier and faster to communicate using these symbols or just thoughts, words are always slowing that process down because of the translation overhead. That’s why I use words less often than others.

          When verbally communicating with others, there is the same slow-down, which is annoying if you are in a hurry, but this is typically an exception. Moreover, if you feel tired about only having 0.1% (or whatever small ratio) of your feelings involved into a discussion, you may lose interest. There may be several other ways to receive input from the world, in order to get more of your feelings triggered, which gives you more satisfaction. Imagine a thrilling movie in a nice movie theater. You feel safe and comfortable in the soft chair, experience the story, amplified by fitting sound effects, optionally having a snack… For some people this is more that just reading a book, although the opposite (being thrilled by a book and finding movies lame) can be equally stimulating.

          I would like to read other opinitons about how you value feelings in favor of words, how you value emotional stimulation, do you connect simulation and conversation at all?

          Another thing about being introverted or not is childhood experience. I think it is much harder to separate children into introverts and extroverts as compared to adults. But if a child is oftentimes ignored or experiences failures quite often, it seems to be a likely candidate to becomming an introvert, if it loses interest or just “gives up”, due to lack of support, education or whatever. These may be cases, where action is recommended to change the behavior.

          Well, the devil lurks in the details, that’s why there are so many responses to this topic, which can only be expressed generalized or for a single instance. There is no “generic formula” for identifying character types. That makes the whole story so interesting.

          I fully agree that neither introverts nor extroverts are better, smarter or whatever. Many comments apply only for a small part of the whole life. There is no single solution for any part of a life, in fact there is not even a need for such a solution, because the individual circumstances and the environment are just too versatile. It’s up to each one to make up her/his own principles or to follow other’s.

        • #3070727

          A Matter of Preference

          by darinhamer ·

          In reply to Introverts are NOT “socially bruised” extroverts

          It’s unfortunate that this discussion got pretty nasty along the way, but it shows that there is a huge lack of understanding between people with different backgrounds.

          Anyway, I think lauracw is right on the money and those comments are supported by Myers-Briggs. I encourage you to take a gander at Myers-Briggs and maybe do a personality assessment to see where your comfort zone is. You can do this at .

          In a nutshell, what MBTI proclaims is that we all have a comfort zone. One of the techniques they often use to show you this is to have you pick up a pencil and write your name. What hand did you use? How did it feel? Pretty natural and comfortable. Now, put the pencil in the other hand and write your name. You probably found that you could write your name and it was somewhat legible. But it was a little messy and uncomfortable. With practice, you can get better and it can be much more comfortable. With enough practice maybe it will become as comfortable and neat as using your primary hand.

          This is the same thing with personality. If you are an introvert, that is what is natural and comfortable to you and there is nothing wrong with that. It takes all types to make the world function. Introversion carries a lot of strengths with it. But, success depends on being able to be somewhat comfortable in different environments, so you sometimes have to “act” like an extrovert. This may be uncomfortable and you may be clumsy at it at first, but with practice you get better. Note, however, that this does not make you a “better” person, just more versatile.

          To all those extroverts who think that introverts are just “socially bruised extroverts,” you are just dead wrong. It is equally important for extroverts to learn how to be a little introverted at times. Otherwise, you can make a mess of things.

          All personality types have strengths and weaknesses. We need to appreciate the strengths of each. We also need to work on trying to improve on our weaknesses and try to integrate with people who have different personality types than us.

      • #3070038

        Some tricks

        by stalemate ·

        In reply to Old tip but a good one

        Here are some tips that have helped me along in my career as an introvert. I’m of the “hell is other people” pursuasion. :p

        – Make eye contact and display facial expression during verbal communications. The person you are interacting with will appreciate the non-verbal feedback. If the conversation warrants it (instructions, plans, etc.) paraphrase the main concepts back to the othe person(s).

        – Shake hands with your co-workers when you greet them in public or after a long absence. This was a new one for me which I “stole” from a sales representative at my current job. It will make you stand out without necessarily being an attention whore.

        – In communications, abide by the following rule: Face-to-face > phone > email. Try it whenever possible.

        • #3070438

          You can’t go around

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Some tricks

          showing your teeth and grabbing people willy-nilly you know you’ll make all your fellow introverts uncomfortable and that’s before they realised that they are expected to respond.

      • #3060539

        Fake it till you make it

        by harris.julie2 ·

        In reply to Old tip but a good one

        I can soo relate to this one.
        BUT over the years I have learnt to fake it (and yes I am a woman so I’ve had practice!)
        If you are friendly and have a smile plastered on your face usually people are so desperate they practically shake your hand off.
        Read some books on small talk and social interaction. And you are right about the extroverts getting the promotions. Tech skills will only get you so far then its your networking skills which will propel you further.

    • #3073809

      Bad news and good news

      by amcol ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      First the bad news. You can’t go from being an introvert to being an extrovert. There’s no such thing as a personality transplant. It’s not like converting to a new religion, or changing your political affiliation. You are what you are.

      Now the good news. You can learn new behaviors and thought processes.

      Now more bad news. It ain’t easy, and it requires eternal vigilance. You have to be willing to make the commitment, up front and every single day, day after day after day.

      BTW, you’re wrong about introverts and extroverts. The bad experiences you attribute to introverts are not due to introversion. An introvert has to do the same things as anyone else to stand up for himself/herself in order to avoid being at the bottom of the dump pile, it’s just that many, many introverts have a self-defeating attitude that comes from also being passive/aggressive perfectionist control freaks. I’m not saying we’re all like this (before someone jumps all over me) I’m just saying those personality traits are often connected. It’s invalid to pull one out of context and blame it for everything.

      Trick number 1: don’t try to “extrovert yourself”, learn to act as if you’re an extrovert. Two different things. If you try to “become” an extrovert you’ll fail, for the reasons I said. Observe extroverts’ behavior and emulate them. It’s the best you’ll be able to do, and it’s plenty good enough. Oh, and stay away from self-help books…you’ll find maybe one out of 80 gajugazillion that’re worth the paper they’re printed on, so the effort/reward ratio is pretty small.

      Trick number 2: don’t make this a goal oriented activity. If you assign yourself a date by which you’ll succeed in your quest, or a series of events that have to happen in order for you to judge yourself successful, you’ll fail. Be content with waking up one day and realizing you’ve made incremental improvements, and make that your ongoing motivation to continue to change (your behavior, not your innate personality).

      Trick number 3: Lighten up on yourself. Just because you want to exhibit different behavior doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you right now. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot RIGHT with you. What you call getting a lot of additional work I call being regarded as dependable. What you call appearing to be unapproachable to women I call being discriminating. Turn negatives into positives. I’m a lifelong card carrying introvert who was incredibly lucky enough to marry one of the most beautiful and extroverted women you’ll ever meet, and that was 28 wonderful fun filled years ago. It can happen to anyone.

      Trick number four: learn how to be whole brained. You like working in IT…great, just don’t do it all the time. You don’t like going out in social situations…fine, just understand that practice makes perfect and you need as much practice as you can stand to get better. Push yourself.

      I could go on and on but I’d be breaking my own rules. Start small, take it easy, make incremental improvements. Don’t defeat yourself. Wake up every single morning and tell yourself, “Just for today…and today only…I will revel in my successes and ignore my defeats”. Then do that again the following morning. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

      Oh, BTW, one more thing. Ever listen to the music of Billy Joel? He and I have the same philosophy in life…don’t take any $%*!@# from anyone. That helps too.

      • #3072655


        by lumbergh77 ·

        In reply to Bad news and good news

        “As a matter of fact, there’s a lot RIGHT with you. What you call getting a lot of additional work I call being regarded as dependable. What you call appearing to be unapproachable to women I call being discriminating. Turn negatives into positives. ”

        I didn’t think of it like that. I’m glad you pointed that out.

        “I’m a lifelong card carrying introvert who was incredibly lucky enough to marry one of the most beautiful and extroverted women you’ll ever meet, and that was 28 wonderful fun filled years ago. It can happen to anyone.”

        I’m sure that helps to have an extroverted wife. Sometimes I’ll be really social after I’ve been socializing awhile. But then I’ll spend time alone and lose the momentum. I’m looking into getting involved in more social activities.

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it.

      • #3069478

        well said

        by ryan.williamson ·

        In reply to Bad news and good news

        Nice post, Amcol!

        I’m ‘way over’ into the introvert category according to the MBTI test I took, and I definitely find myself dealing with it on a daily basis.

        It’s funny that you would point out: “many introverts have a self-defeating attitude that comes from also being passive/aggressive perfectionist control freaks”, because that is my to a “T”. I find no offense in that statement at all.

        You’ve also given me a new motto to work with: “Just for today…and today only…I will revel in my successes and ignore my defeats”.


        • #3069295

          No extra charge

          by amcol ·

          In reply to well said

          My statement about the self defeating attitude comes, I’m sorry to say, from years of personal experience trying to overcome that very problem.

          The “just for today” speech is not original. It’s an adaptation of something you’ll find in almost any twelve step program. However, if it works…it works. And I do find that it works. Think of it in terms of the old standard “slice of baloney” time management technique…you can’t eat the whole baloney all at once, so attack it in slices. Same with this. Take life one day at a time…so much easier.

      • #3069383

        Try Toastmasters or other speaking group

        by dave.schutz ·

        In reply to Bad news and good news

        I’ve been an introvert my whole life, it was not caused by failing in social situations, it is what I prefer. However to be successful we all need to communicate. I can talk about technical issues forever, in fact I’ve taught classes in electronics and computers with no problem.
        My problem comes in talking to groups of people about non-technical issues. Like many introverts I just run out of things to talk about.
        However, groups (like toastmasters) teach you how to speak in public, often about subjects you are unprepared for. It is a great way to learn to communicate with others.
        You may never become an introvert. Changing your personality requires professional help and lots of time. But you can become more comfortable communicating with others.

        • #3069291

          You said it

          by amcol ·

          In reply to Try Toastmasters or other speaking group

          I’m a graduate of Toastmasters myself. Outstanding program, I highly recommend it for everyone.

          Interesting comment…being an introvert is what you prefer. Not sure I agree. We’re all born with certain personality traits, it’s not something we choose. Your statement implies you’ve chosen to be an introvert, rather than accepting the fact that you are one. I think in your case you’ve chosen to be comfortable with what you are, which is wonderful.

          Maybe I’m just splitting hairs.

        • #3069282

          Practical suggestions

          by minion ·

          In reply to Try Toastmasters or other speaking group

          Well, you’ve certainly recieved a ton of responses! Some sound great.

          -I especially love the suggestion to approach beautiful women. The key to any relationship is to listen well. It may take a while, but eventually you find something in common that you can talk about. Which brings me to point 2.

          -ask questions. it shows the other person you are interested in them and not self absorbed. when you find a common interest start talking about that. It may take a while, but talk when you have an opportunity. If you’re tying to get to know someone and it seems one sided, or you’re getting short answers that don’t really help, move on. if they’re showing signs of disinterest don’t spend all you energy trying to get to know someone who doesn’t want to be friends.

          -listen to talk radio, read the newspaper, or watch the news. that way you can at least casually talk about current events, and relay interesting stories.

          -the Houston Chronicle has a daily joke in the “Star” section. i read them daily. the good ones go in my wallet, or on a list that i use for my email signature. just under my name is a new joke, proverb, one-liner, or quote each week. this way people actually read my emails… the really good ones i practice over and over while i’m alone so that i can say it right whenever i get an opportunity.

          -from Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – make a note of people’s birthday’s. then send them a card, note, call, or e-card. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

          -we are good at something, and somethings we can fake. i fake it. i still like to be alone, and be left alone. but when i’m at work i fake it. it’s fun to tell joke and talk to folks. but developing that is like flexing a new weak muscle. the more you do it the easier it will be.

          since you’re seeking advice, you’re obviously interested in improving yourself and that goes a long way. Keep applying that desire to action and you’ll do fine!


          “Never let the fear of stiking out keep you from swinging.” Babe Ruth

      • #3069368

        Introvert Advantage, The

        by jims ·

        In reply to Bad news and good news

        For more tips on how to succeed in an Extrovert world without changing who you are and for a physiological theory that explains the differences, get the book _The Introvert Advnatage_ by Marti Olsen Laney.

      • #3069334

        I somewhat agree

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to Bad news and good news

        Once again I agree with a lot of what you have to say amcol. I disagree on a few points though.

        First, to say that someone “is” a certain way and that they can’t change who they are is ridiculous, in my opinion.

        But then you correctly go on to contradict yourself (unknowingly)by saying that you can change behaviors and thought processes.

        I say that one can’t define oneself at all. That every person “is” who they are at any given moment BECAUSE of what they are thinking and their behaviors. An extrovert is an extrovert because they choose to be at any given moment. Just the same with an introvert.

        People get labeled as introverts and extroverts because they have chosen particular habits (usually ongoingly and unconsciously) that convey to the rest of us “introvert” or “extrovert”.

        I often exhibit habits of an introvert, I read alot, don’t like small talk when I am trying to complete a project, I forcus on details, etc. Yet on many occasions I like to be with people and stop thinking so much and just enjoy people’s company. So I don’t label myself as an introvert OR an extrovert. And I think it is dangerous for anyone to do so. All it does is re-inforce in your own mind, a stereotype that may limit you in life.

        And to state something that you believe (in other words your opinion) as fact is just another way of closing your mind and limiting yourself. It just doesn’t work for me.

        But that is my opinion. Take it for whatever it’s worth to you.

        • #3069284

          You’re on to something, but…

          by amcol ·

          In reply to I somewhat agree

          I like the idea of rejecting labels, which can become self-fulfilling prophecies. I have all the qualities of an introvert, therefore I am an introvert, therefore that’s all I’ll ever be. How depressing.

          On the other hand, I’m not sure “being” an introvert or an extrovert is purely a matter of labeling. There are definite traits and qualities associated with each, ingrained in our synapses where we can’t affect them. If you exhibit the qualities of introversion you are, ipso facto, an introvert. As I said in a previous post I don’t think it’s a question of having “chosen particular habits”…that implies we have more control over our own brain chemistry than we actually do.

          In your case you appear to be somewhere in the middle in that you are capable of introversion or extroversion depending on which is situationally appropriate. I agree that as far as it’s within your power to do so this IS a matter of choice. For many, many people there is in fact no choice since they are so far to one extreme or the other that they can’t get back to your middle ground.

          Notice I didn’t say you’re capable of BEING an introvert or an extrovert. I still say you are what you are. What you’re doing is overcoming your natural personality proclivities and exhibiting behaviors you’ve consciously chosen. That’s a skill requiring strength, determination, and patience. I admire your ability to do so.

          I think it all boils down to a question of becoming comfortable in your own skin, and knowing what parts of yourself you have control over. If you don’t like your hairstyle you can go to the barber. If you don’t like your weight you can go on a diet. If you don’t like constantly being excluded from social gatherings, or feeling uncomfortable when you’re in one, you can work on giving more of yourself and being more open. If, on the other hand, you’re perfectly happy going home to a beer and a ballgame every night with little to no social interaction, that’s fine too. One should never allow the expectations and judgments of others to govern one’s behavior, nor one’s feelings about oneself.

        • #3069229

          Ok I definitely like to argue with you… heh heh

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to You’re on to something, but…

          You are definitely an intellectual, Amcol and I respect that immensely. So I would like to challenge your preconceptions.

          You said “If you exhibit the qualities of introversion you are, ipso facto, an introvert.”

          If that were true then I would never be able to be anything but an introvert at any time in the present or future.

          Just because I am BEING an introvert doesn’t mean I AM one. I know I know, it doesn’t seem like there is any distinction between the two, but there is.

          Consider this: If I were an extrovert that suddenly decided to spend time alone, avoid small talk with people, focus on problems without alowing distractions, and did this for 2 months straight without deviation, what would you call me, an extrovert or an introvert?

          You said that we don’t have much control over our brain chemistry. Well the consensus of the psychiatric community is that we can indeed change our brain chemistry, but what we’re talking about doesn’t have to do with brain chemistry, it has to do with examining why we think the way we do.

          There is a technology, like psychology is a technology, called Ontology. It is the study of what it is to be human, or the study of what life is from a human point of view. It’s all about examining the beliefs formed at different periods of life that have us be a certain way.

          Most people assume that we as individuals just ARE a certain way. That we grow up and develop as individuals from experience and just are who we are. In my work with Ontology (specifically Landmark Education’s Forum) I’ve discovered that I don’t HAVE to be a certain way. That the limits the past put on me don’t have to determine who I am.

          You say that some people are so far to the extremes that they don’t have a choice. You’re right and wrong at the same time.

          Without the means to recognize that they have a choice, or that there are things unknown to them that they are doing that are making them be introverts or extraverts, yes, it would seem like they just ARE one type or the other and that they don’t have a choice. It would seem that way. And for all intensive purposes that’s just how it is for them.

          But if they found out (like I found out) that they have a choice, that they are just being a certain way (like being happy or frustrated) and that they can choose to be a different way, then no, it wouldn’t look like they ARE an introvert or an extrovert. In fact you might see them being one way or the other quite frequently. I have witnessed this myself on many occasions.

          I appreciate your compliment when you said it took strength, determination and patience for me to choose to be an extrovert. However, in my experience it didn’t take any of those things. It took a weekend and an evening for me to see what I didn’t know that I didn’t know about myself (mainly that I even HAD unconcious, self-limiting beliefs, let alone figuring out what a large number of them were). And while it WAS work (like any seminar and class is work if approached with the purpose of getting something from it) it was infintesimally easier than trying to learn it on my own from life experience.

          And I am usually being a skeptic; A die hard, scientific method skeptic that has to have things proven to me. In fact I refuse to believe most of what I see on the news, what I read in the paper, etc. It has to make logical sense to me and have a LOT of evidence.

          I realize that this technology may seem completely foreign and strange to you. And I would welcome you to check it out for yourself rather than dismiss it, as I have found the benefits of it to be incalculable.

          The thing is, it is an experiential technology. It doesn’t work by examining it, the course actually has to be taken and experienced to determine its worth. And unfortunately, this causes some people to avoid it simply because they are afraid of the unknown 🙂

          And the funny part is, most of the course is about discovering the unknown. It is without a doubt the most enlightening thing I have ever done. Since doing the work I have changed myself and my life to where i don’t even recognize myself anymore and it is a very very good thing because now my life works, I am happy more often, I am satisfied with my accomplishments, I like the people I spend time with. I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want. My life is extraordinary.

          Your last paragraph is brilliant. You are saying some of the concepts of what gets learned studying ontology without even knowing it.

          You are truly a smart person Amcol and I enjoy days like this when I can just slack off and debate you.

          If you’re at all interested in discussing this more, feel free to email me.

        • #3066158

          Aw, shucks

          by amcol ·

          In reply to Ok I definitely like to argue with you… heh heh

          Would you do me a favor…call my kids and tell them that stuff about me being intellectual and smart?

          A couple of years ago they gave me a London Fog sweater for my birthday, and for some reason the designer had put a giant “FOG” on the front. I didn’t quite get it at first (being, actually, far from intellectual and smart) and asked them what it meant. My son informed me it was an acronym meaning “Fat Old Guy”.

          So much for my fan club. And before you go giving me any more credit, although I might sometimes sound like I know what I’m talking about what I don’t know I just make up as I go along. Say anything with authority and you sound like you’re a genius.

          To your first question…as an extrovert who decided to be alone, I’d still call you an extrovert. That’s what you are. You may be exhibiting alternative behavior but that doesn’t change your innate makeup.

          I haven’t studied ontology as deeply as you but I have a passing familiarity from casual reading. It’s interesting stuff.

          I think you’re being modest in saying one weekend and an evening was all it took for you make changes. I suggest in that short time you actually had an epiphany in which you realized a cosmic truth about yourself, as a result of a great deal of conscious (and unconscious) reflection. Furthermore, I suggest you’ve spent a very significant amount of time since then working on achieving your personal vision. This isn’t an event we’ve been talking about, it’s a long journey.

          I’d be delighted to debate, converse, hobnob, discuss, argue, confabulate, or otherwise interact with you on this or any other of a number of topics…you have interesting ideas and articulate them well. However, I’m about to go out of the country for a while to a rather remote location in which establishing and maintaining a reliable Internet connection will be problematic, so it’ll have to wait until I get back. But thanks for the offer.

        • #3066124

          Heh heh

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Aw, shucks

          Right on, FOG 🙂

          I wouldn’t have known what it meant either.

          Course you could also have it mean Full Of Greatness

          Anyway, I guess we’ll just debate as we have in the past. In here when we feel like it.

          Take care and have fun on your trip.

        • #3066109

          not to interrupt . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Ok I definitely like to argue with you… heh heh

          “[i]If I were an extrovert that suddenly decided to spend time alone, avoid small talk with people, focus on problems without alowing distractions, and did this for 2 months straight without deviation, what would you call me, an extrovert or an introvert?[/i]”
          Are you avoiding talking to people because they wear you out and you just need some alone time for a couple months? If so, you’re an introvert. If you’re doing it to prove a point, or because you’ve been emotionally traumatized and developed a phobia, or because you have a communicable disease, or any of a million or so other reasons unrelated to your fundamental proclivities related to introversion or extroversion, I’d say you’re probably not an introvert.

          Being an introvert isn’t about being alone. It’s about why you’re alone.

          I’m probably somewhere between the two of you on this one, in terms of my beliefs re: the ability to change who you are. I absolutely believe that introverts can become extroverts, and vice-versa, but I also believe that it’s not just a decision you make one day and boom, it happens. At least, not if you’re anything like the rest of humanity.

          It’s possible to alter your fundamental personality type such that you go from being exhausted by prolonged exposure to crowds to being energized by it, but as far as I’m aware there’s no simple “I’m going to find crowded places for thirty hours at a time energizing!” decision. You’d need to cultivate an appreciation for the opposing personality type and cultivate its underlying characteristics to achieve that sort of change. It’s something that can take decades.

          I’d rather spend my time using my introverted personality as a path to being a better person than using my talents for self-improvement to become simply a [b]different[/b] person.

    • #3073698

      some keys to success

      by surflover ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development


      I am certifiably “introverted”, but anyone who knows me would luagh hysterically if you told them that…

      There’s only one thing you have to get over:

      the fear of failure


      1. Sports. You dont have to play rugby, just get involved with some sport that looks interesting to you, and dont worry about being good… I’m a very BAD surfer, but I did it for years, and loved it… It made me meet new people (many of the Hawaiian freinds I made were because they were much better and would come up to me and give me pointers (especially after a major wipeout, of which I had more than my share :-))…

      2. Hot women. I know this sounds crazy, but it works… Find a girl who’se WAY out of your league and become friends withe her. Be honest with her and ask her to help you improve socially (you may have to make a few attempts at this, as some will blow you off laughing hysterically) but most of the women I know would take you on as a “project”, changing your hair, your clothes, telling you what’s in style, etc… (Women LOVE to change men :^O)… I did this (and still do it), it’s a great way to meet women… and the side benefit is, if they like what they’ve created, you might get some ;-)…

      3. Practice. As others have said, you have to put yourself in social situations often, you’ll find you become more comfortable each time you do.

      4. Patience. don’t expect a miraculous lightning bolt of change. Slow your pace on you certifications to give your more time to go out and meet people. Approach new encoutners they way you would try to solve a computer problem… they’re really not that different.

      5. Video Games. DO NOT, under any circumstances engage in them. They will usurp your free time, focus your spirit inward, and distort your ability to relate to others.

      6. Humor. Read jokes constantly. NOTHING breaks the ice like making someone laugh. The more jokes you have on hand, the easier it is to “strike up” a conversation… just avoid ones that are too off colour 🙂

      7. Never take yourself seriously. Be Irreverant. The less you care about being serious, the more lighthearted you are… which usually translates into the more likeable you are. If I wan’t to meet a pretty girl at a party, I talk about a humorous event from my past where I did something stupid that had a humorous outcome, I never talk about my successes (don’t try this at first, you have to develop an understanding of the difference between what will be taken as funny, vs. making you look like an idiot :-).

      8. PRACTICE. I can’t say it enough…

      …sorry for being long winded… I hope this helps 🙂

      • #3072798

        You forgot something.

        by tonythetiger ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        Do all this before you hit 40 🙂

        • #3072660


          by lumbergh77 ·

          In reply to You forgot something.

          I’ve yet to hit 30 but would hate to see in the same position at 40. Sadly a lot of people are.

      • #3072661


        by lumbergh77 ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        Thanks for taking the time to respond. Great idea re finding a hot woman to help. How would you go about asking for her help though without coming across as a total geek?

        “Hot women. I know this sounds crazy, but it works… Find a girl who’se WAY out of your league and become friends withe her. Be honest with her and ask her to help you improve socially (you may have to make a few attempts at this, as some will blow you off laughing hysterically) but most of the women I know would take you on as a “project”, changing your hair, your clothes, telling you what’s in style, etc… (Women LOVE to change men )… I did this (and still do it), it’s a great way to meet women… and the side benefit is, if they like what they’ve created, you might get some …”

        • #3073101

          That’s just it…

          by surflover ·

          In reply to question

          don’t worry about being taken as a geek… just be up front about your objective, (most don’t bite) B-)… remember, you want to ply the sympathy gene (but there are a few women who don’t have it, hence my last comment about some will “laugh hysterically and blow you off”)… don’t be afraid to fail a few times… You should try to find one whose “nice” (but still hot)… and it works best if it’s a girl with whom you do not have mutual friends (in case it’s a flop, you don’t need all your buddies on your case about it :-))… Most geeks have a hard time approaching women socially, so approach her as if you’re solving a complex technical problem, and the girl is the maintenance manual :^O

      • #3072937

        Good points

        by raven2 ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        You have hit a lot of the basics, but you have to have a social network that will support you and give you real feedback.

        Most of the spirtual teachings say “know Yourself”. That is the real work you are talking about. You need to build a network and not just accept what shows up. Your beliefs run your life.

      • #3069505

        Best Tips. Thanks a lot

        by arunkrawat ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        These are the best tips, I ever got.
        Easy & Practical.
        Thanks a lot

        • #3069301

          Best Advice I could give…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Best Tips. Thanks a lot

          The best advice I could give you about changing habits from being an introvert to being an extrovert (and to live an outragreous life that you love) would be to sign up for Landmark Education’s Forum.

          It is not a simple fix like toastmasters, it will actually give you the tools to live your life any way you want to. For me it was more effective than all of tony robbins’ books and CDs, the dale carnegie course, toastmasters, and the hundreds of other self-help books I have read combined. And I can say this with authority, as I have listened to tony robbins’ CDs, taken the Dale Carnegie Course, been to toastmasters (it’s not bad, but it doesn’t address WHY people have trouble in social situations), and read hundreds of self help books.

          I used to think I was an introvert. I used to think I was shy and awkward and couldn’t talk to people or express myself. In my mind, I WAS shy and awkward, a repressed introvert.

          After taking the Landmark Forum everything changed. I now can speak about ANYTHING in public without stage fright stopping me. Without ANY fear stopping me. I’m not saying the fear isn’t there, I’m saying that it doesn’t stop me now. I can approach ANY woman (and often do) and ask her out now, without being stopped by fear of rejection. I live my life on my own terms now and I have never been happier.

          No I don’t work for Landmark, no I am not trying to sell anything. I’m simply spreading the word about a program that ACTUALLY works. No Bullsh|t.

          If you’re interested go here:

          Enough said

        • #3069261

          Landmark not necessarily a good a solution…

          by tick ·

          In reply to Best Advice I could give…

          I suggest reading about Landmark before entering the gates. Do a quick search on “landmark” here:

        • #3066117

          Just remember not to always believe everything you read…

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Landmark not necessarily a good a solution…

          I’m the first to advocate checking things out first. And Landmark is definitely NOT for everyone. It made a profound difference in my life so I am going to tell people about it.

          Go ahead and check out the links that tick posted, but know that you’re just reading people’s opinions, not fact. The only way to know if it’s right for you is to go check it out for yourself. And honestly, I would hate to see people miss out on something this powerful just because a few people didn’t get it and had to bad mouth it.

          Anyway, here is the link:

        • #3069936


          by tick ·

          In reply to Just remember not to always believe everything you read…

          Especially Landmark’s disclaimer for possible mental health problems, including psychosis as a result of participation. If you want this type of motivation, you should seek out a psychotherapist instead.

      • #3069453


        by asg58 ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        i like it!!!… im an IT Guy in a comp. with abt 450 emps. most of them HOT WOMEN!. now i have the ultimate plan to approach them, tho im dont hv problems…but hey whateva it takes to get to know

      • #3069417

        Good stuff…

        by jrod86 ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        But, I would also add that you might want to join a group the forces interaction with others. Some have mentioned other things, but a group like the Toastmasters that engages you to speak in front of crowds may also help. They do also engage in other activities and are a very social group.

        Where I work, they have meetings and get-togethers and people who are struggling in communication and speaking to people outside of work are encouraged to give it a shot.

      • #3069344

        …and in addition…

        by kenedi ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        Join a Toastmasters club (a very supportive environment for getting comfortable as the center of attention).
        Participate in a small role in a community theatre production (or even start by working backstage; it just helps to feel a part of a cooperative effort).

      • #3069324


        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to some keys to success

        This is just brilliant. I agree with everything said. Well put surflover 🙂

        • #3069266

          thanks Key

          by surflover ·

          In reply to Brilliant

          It always works for me 😉

    • #3072829

      “Shy” isn’t the issue

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      It’s not true that women avoid shy guys. What they don’t like is lack of self-confidence. (And even at that I’m overgeneralizing. For every epsilon there is a delta, as we math majors used to say.)

      As you’ve been told, it’s not easy to become extroverted, and it’s definitely not something you can just set out to do; it’s more likely something that will just happen slowly as you get older if you’re patient with yourself. But you can do something about your self-confidence.

      Participating in bulletin boards is a great thing to do, like this one. Go find some others that interest you. There is always somebody out there with a question you have the perfect answer to. After you’ve helped a few people and they’ve thanked you, you’ll feel differently about yourself. Sometimes you have to do some research to come up with the answer, and you end up being smarter. That doesn’t hurt either. Or better yet, wiser!

      Women differ from one another just as much as we do. There are bunches of them who find life-of-the-party guys to be downright threatening. (If they find them at all since they probably don’t go to parties.) Who are somewhat introverted themselves and don’t want to be overwhelmed. Who have more internet correspondents than face-to-face friends. Who genuinely enjoy reading and playing with their pets and don’t want to lose that just because they find a guy they get along with.

      The problem with introversion is (duh) that you people don’t run into each other because you’re not out there running into anybody.

      So try an internet dating site (e-Harmony is well recommended) or simply the personal ads. You can go into all the detail you want to about what kind of person you are and what kind of person you’d like to find. Just don’t start telling people what they have to be like in order to like YOU. Let them make that decision for themselves, they might surprise both of you. People usually start with a short phone call or perhaps even an e-mail exchange, then graduate to half an hour in a public place in the daytime where the main activity is eating lunch or something like that that takes the pressure off. If they feel comfortable, then they take it from there, as slowly as they feel like going.

      I know a guy who met his wife in a poetry chat room. They lived in different cities. Eventually they started having phone conversations, but it was a year before they ever actually met face to face. They’ve been happily married for several years now, it’s working for them.

      You’re fortunate to live in an era when technology provides people who aren’t socially assertive with several painless, easily-bailed ways to find each other.

      Good luck!

      • #3072658


        by lumbergh77 ·

        In reply to “Shy” isn’t the issue

        Thanks for the tips. I’ve tried the online personal thing for a few years and had no luck at all. The girls seem to vastly outnumber the guys and it’s difficult to stand out. I thought about contacting other GUYS via the personals to hang out with and pick up women.

        Never tried e-harmony. Have you had luck with that one?

        • #3066078


          by dc guy ·

          In reply to thanks

          I was doing my usual online thing one evening. My eyes have been trained to not even see the pop-ups. But one came up that I couldn’t NOT see, because in giant flashing orange letters it said, “WE SCREEN OUT FELONS AND MARRIED PEOPLE!!!”

          Whoa, I said. We married people have been discriminated against enough by the tax laws. What have we done now to warrant being combined into a demographic group with felons???

          Turns out it was an ad for e-Harmony. ^_^

          So no, I don’t personally have any experience with it. But I know a couple of people who do. They both say that while not every “match” was their dream date and many of them didn’t even have enough spark to proceed beyond e-mail to a phone call, they all were nice enough and they did indeed have enough in common to not regret having put the time in. The sort of people that if they worked in the same office they’d probably end up having lunch in the same group.

          I don’t know a lot of people who date, but we all know one or two and it seems to be a consensus that e-Harmony is a good company.

          In my day you had to just go out and do the things you like to do and meet other people who like those same things. If they were female you’d ask them out, knowing that you’d have something to talk about. That’s why I never took everyone’s advice and hung out in bars. It seemed like an absolute guarantee that I was going to meet women who like to hang out in bars.

          You get the virtual equivalent of that on special-interest bulletin boards. You know you have something in common with people you meet there.

          I assume that was a typo and you were trying to say that there are more guys than girls in the personal ads? That just means that you have to take the initiative and be the one to make first contact. Duh. Life has always been like that, except for a brief period in the 1960s and 70s. The guy has to make the first move. Just remember that you have no reason to feel at a disadvantage. The women are there for the same reason you are, there’s something that makes it difficult for them to meet people of the opposite sex in the more conventional way.

          You don’t have to “stand out.” All you have to do is connect with one person. You don’t want to convince a woman that you “stand out” by talking or behaving in a way you normally don’t, and then when she gets to know you she finds out that you’re not the person she thought she had met. What’s the point? Be yourself!

          There are just about as many women on this planet as men, so one will find you if you’re patient.

          And here’s something that will help you cop the right attitude about the whole thing: You don’t get the relationship of your dreams by FINDING the right person. You get it by BEING the right person.

          If you would really rather kick back and let the law of averages work in your favor, then come out to D.C. Single women outnumber single men 3:2. But you have to put up with the weather, the traffic, and the fact that the whole region feels like one giant endless civil service job.

      • #3069472

        can’t really BECOME extroverted

        by ryan.williamson ·

        In reply to “Shy” isn’t the issue

        DC Guy –

        You said: “As you’ve been told, it’s not easy to become extroverted, and it’s definitely not something you can just set out to do; it’s more likely something that will just happen slowly as you get older if you’re patient with yourself. But you can do something about your self-confidence.”

        While I agree somewhat with what you’ve said, I think it’s important to realize that an introvert will never truly become an extrovert. It’s just not gonna happen.

        We “I’s” tend to live in our own little world’s, and we like it that way.

        Can I “put myself out there” and carry on discussions with the “E’s” that I work with … sure. But, when I get home at night, the only noise I want to hear is the gentle hum of my PC’s fans.

        An “I” is an “I” forever – it’s the way our minds are wired. All we can do is try to be more comfortable….and exhaust ourselves at the same time.

        Improving self-confidence I agree with – sort of. Being an “I” makes it awfully difficult to put ourselves in positions where we are able to gain confidence.

        I actually find that I gain more confidence by challenging myself with a project, doing it well, and feeling proud of myself for figuring it out. No one needs to know, and that’s OK!

        Just my .02 worth…


      • #3069287

        Once again I disagree…

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to “Shy” isn’t the issue

        You may not be aware of technology that can indeed give someone the ability to be an extrovert any time they want. It’s called the Landmark Forum ( and in one weekend and an evening, I changed myself from a total introvert to an extrovert. It is possible and I refute your claims to the contrary.

    • #3072643


      by jaqui ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      since I’ve never been shy can’t say how to change that in you.
      but being sociable has it’s drawbacks also.
      I’ve had to learn to shut people down when they want to chat, cause otherwise it interferes with getting work done.

      I’ve actually groown to enjoy being alone / at home far more than with a group.

      a couple of things to keep in mind about being more comfortable in public, when you are feeling like you don’t fit:
      1) their sh|t stinks too.
      2) they put their pants on one leg at a time also.
      3) what has this person done to EARN the PRIVILEDGE of having their opinion matter?
      ( yup, no-one’s opinion matters unless YOU think it does. [ employer being the exception, he is paying you to have his opinion matter ] )

    • #3073110

      “Let’s do lunch!”

      by charliespencer ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Are there other employees where you work whose company you enjoy, regardless of gender? Consider going out for lunch together a couple of times a month. Non-work subjects will invariably come up on their own.

      If you’re not ready for a one-on-one, suggest your department go out together monthly, or chip in and have pizza or Chinese delivered to a conference room.

      Try attending professional groups or organizations related to a hobby or non-business interest you may have.

      Is there anyone where you work who might be willing to mentor you?

      You’re not alone. I hate the traditional office Christmas “party” where everyone is expected to attend and find something to talk about with spouses you won’t see again until next Christmas. My wife is also a wallflower and hates trying to develop new relationships. She’s not anti-people, she’s actually quite compassionate and empathic. But she’s physically small and feels intimidated in crowds.

      • #3057526

        be yourself

        by rayc ·

        In reply to “Let’s do lunch!”

        Be yourself dude.

        Don’t try and model yourself on a seeemingly confident person such as a salesman, they are often even more “shy” than you but mask it with bravado and being a loud arrogant nobend. People need the quiet types as well.

        Take up a sport, go running or cycling, learn stuff, be better at things, be nice to people, read a book, eat fruit and veg, travel to new places and gradually you will become somebody you love, then others will love you too. Confidence begets confidence. But life is a real big long journey, and it begins with a single step. Start today. But above all: don’t worry, relax, everyone is just as “shy” as you, they just get on with it better.

      • #3069380

        Me too …

        by ymatlosz ·

        In reply to “Let’s do lunch!”

        Ugh! This is how I know I’m an introvert. I find unstructured social gatherings to be a challenge. In the past, I’ve made a point to seek out other introverts (they are the ones who look slightly bored or fidgity) and strike up a converstation. Seeking out fellow intorverts is easy because they are usually grateful that someone has approached them!

        One of my friends is and extrovert and I’ve started paying attention to how she handles people in social situations. (I have to laugh because it seems so funny to take on social skills as if it was a scientific project.)

        I figure I have depth, now I need to work on breadth.


        “You’re not alone. I hate the traditional office Christmas “party” where everyone is expected to attend and find something to talk about with spouses you won’t see again until next

    • #3072944

      Build a Social Network

      by raven2 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      May be you need a coach.

      Learning almost anything is easier if you have someone teach you. You probably did not gain your technical expertise through trial and error by yourself. Why expect social skills to be the learned by that method?

      If you are open to the idea, check out the following website, she deals well with techies,

      • #3072917

        Check the URL please

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Build a Social Network

        I get a “domain name does not exist” for I Googled “joy brought”, but none of the first twenty results looked appropriate.

        • #3069484

          One more suggestion…

          by nazarene ·

          In reply to Check the URL please

          I know where you are coming from and am undeniably an introvert myself. I also have some issues with self-confidence, but these are being dealt with, as you’ll see soon.
          I have not seen this mentioned specifically so I will do so.

          I started going to the gym (some cardio but focusing on bodybuilding) about 5 months ago, being a little overweight and very pasty skinned and just overall not in good shape. Socially I just always felt out of place (and still do sometimes…) and was just pretty much unhappy with myself in general. Then I decided that I have to do something about how I was feeling, since no one else was going to magically resolve my situation.

          Anyway, 5 months ago I weighed around 240 pounds (I’m 6ft4 tall) and now I weigh around 220 pounds, but much much leaner and more muscular. I go to gym 3 or 4 times a week for no more than an hour to an hour and a half per evening and I watch what I eat a lot more. My self confidence has gone up 200% since I’ve made some friends in the gym and met some very nice ladies there as well, some of whom have very specifically mentioned how great my arms and shoulders are looking (their words, not mine).

          Point is, if I had stayed at home playing games all the time (which I still do a lot of) and not got out there to work on myself then I would not have met a bunch of nice people and not have been invited to go clubbing, etc.

          It really had changed my life considerably. I’m not saying it will work for everyone… but it certainly is worth considering… and once again (I know I sound very contrived… but I don’t mean to) the ladies love it 🙂 .


        • #3069265


          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to One more suggestion…

          Way to go Nazarene! Physical exercise can make a huge difference. I know because I started doing the same thing. 3 months ago I had a medical condition looked at and corrected and so I had much more energy and a better outlook. So I started boxing at a gym nearby. It was a total departure for me, as the workout seemed impossible. But I just took it at my own pace and never gave up. Since then I have also quit smoking. I am now in the best shape I’ve been in since I was 17. I have much more confidence (on top of another program I took called the Landmark Forum) and have completely transformed my relationships with people. I love to be out in public now.

          I think most people are introverted because they are afraid of, and don’t understand other people.

          Exercise and physical activity can produce results in strength and confidence that can translate to better outcomes in social situations.

        • #3066031

          Dislexics of the world untie.

          by raven2 ·

          In reply to Check the URL please

          That should be sorry.


    • #3069487

      How about Keirsey?

      by abanerji ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Introversion and extroversion are interpreted differently in “personality theory”. An introvert can jolly well be most talkative on a favourite topic, or on one of those days. On the other hand, I have seen a real extrovert get into a shell in a tough situation.

      Personality theory says an introvert is a person who derives energy being alone, and an extrovert gets her energy being with people. I don’t think this core can be modified at all. Only good actors can probably mask their true self.

      There’s a nice online test at A few years back I found I am an iNTj. Sadly, I am in a non-NT profession. Would have done well in infotech.

      I like to be with myself, but can be at ease with people. The “beauty” of small talk remains an issue though 🙂

      • #3069397


        by talentonloan ·

        In reply to How about Keirsey?

        I agree with the distinction made in Kiersey – introversion vs. extroversion being where one gets one’s energy. Another aspect of this is the multiplicity of types when you throw in the the other factors. (intuition, thinking, feeling,etc.)

        What I’ve found, being a heavy duty introvert for years, is that as I develop skills in working with others, and get to downright enjoy others (in the workplace and elsewhere) the influence of introversion shifts and it is no longer a crippling deficiency. I think this is part of maturity, where we become what we were not in our youth, hopefully rounding ourselves out a bit in the process.


      • #3069394

        Maximize your energy

        by techwritergirl ·

        In reply to How about Keirsey?

        It’s true that introverts derive energy from being along and it can be hard for an introvert to find alone time in a tech field (unless one is a programmer). Still, there are things introverts can do.

        1) Take lunch instead of working through it. Make sure you spend it by yourself. Also take breaks if they are allotted.
        2) If you have a roommate or significant other who is home in the morning or right when you get home at night, explain to the person that you need 20 minutes down time to regroup before discussing your day or family issues, etc. Spend the 20 minutes by yourself.
        3) Try to get your “social” time at work in when you have the most energy, specifically right after breaks, in the morning or after lunch when you’ve rejuvenated.

    • #3069483

      Just the facts

      by jimpepitone ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Since the introversion/extraversion trait was identified by Carl Jung, much has been learned about this genetically defined aspect of our human nature. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and The Big Five, both intruments that measure the strength and specific nature of a person’s introversion/extraversion, have led to substantial research on this topic.

      While many of the experiences and suggestions mentioned demonstrate a reasonable grasp of the reality regarding introversion/extraversion, you may want a more factual (i.e., science-based) understanding. If so, let me recommend the following factual yet readily accessible sources:

      1. The book, Please Understand Me II, by David Keirsey, a clinical psychologist and professor now retired from Cal State is available at most any bookstores.

      2. Keirsey’s website is a treasure trove of further information.

      3., website for the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, which was founded by one of the authors of the MBTI to support continuing research, offers many fact-based resources on introversion/extraversion as well as the other three scales of the MBTI instrument.

      Of course, you are welcome to dive into Jung’s book and other writing on introversion/extraversion, however it is much less accessible.

      Introversion/extraversion is an important and deeply personal subject that effects all of us, and it generally has substantial impact on our career success and personal happiness. It might be worth your while to get some more factual information on the subject.

    • #3069480

      Reply To: personality and social skills development

      by eyecrawl ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Being an extrovert is nothing complicated, it is just getting other people to feel comfortable around you and open up to you.

      Becoming more social can be difficult, but it can be done. One of the easiest things to do is to try complimenting someone. It doesn’t have to be a big compliment, but just telling people that you think that ‘they did a great job handling an issue’ or you think that ‘their suggestion at a meeting was great’ is a good way to get other people to open up to you.

      Try to find common ground. If you can find something in common with people other than computers, even better. More importantly, Listen to people. This is somthing that can take work. My mind tends to wander a lot, and I have to force myself to pay attention when someone is talking. If people think you are not paying attention, then they will think that you think they are not important. If you can come back in a couple of days and ask ‘how did your kids soccer game go?’ or ‘is your dad doing ok after his surgery?’ then people will see that you were really listening and are making an effort to get to know them.

      Also don’t forget that sometimes it is more important to be around other people than to be monitoring the network or debugging that last few lines of code. If the boss and/or some co-workers are hanging out after a meeting discussing something (either work related or not), don’t be in a hurry to rush back to work, try to make a relevent comment or two (listning is very important here). If you don’t know anything about the topic, you can do some research and see if it is something that interests you, then next time you will have something to say. For example, I never cared for auto racing, but the 20 guys at my work LOVED it. I finally broke down and watched a race, now I watch racing most weeks and even go to a couple of races every year.

      Being in IT can be hard to develop social skills because we are often stuck in a cubicle and studying to keep our knowledge current. Think of it as another ‘certification’. It can be just as critical to job advancement as that next set of initials on your resume.

    • #3069468

      Something out-of-the-box

      by morti ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      May I suggest you consider something that may sound completely off-track? Start your own network marketing business. Why do I say that? Many of the good companies who use network marketing to distribute and sell their products have great training systems. Those systems help people develop. In your case, you are not looking for an extra check in your mailbox every month but you are looking for the growth that comes from the training. So, forget about the money aspect and focus on the training and personal development. I heard a speaker one time say that one of the best things about becoming a millionaire is not the money but about the growth one goes through along the way to becoming a millionaire. Why not tap into that growth?
      Hope this helps.

      • #3069450

        keep it simple

        by tmcgrath24 ·

        In reply to Something out-of-the-box

        Like some of the posts said, get up out of your desk instead of sending an e-mail, be observant, notice something personal on someone?s desk and make a polite compliment about a picture or a decoration on their desk. Compliments are always good to start a conversation. Learn how to read people. Take notice what some people are interested in. If it is a group of “jocks” mention a game…..”small talk” I feel is about knowing how to read people. Their sense of humor their interest and so forth. Try to be observant Social scenes are usually uncomfortable for me…I put on the fake grin and the BS begins. Has worked very well for me. Been able to get along with the “techies” the “jocks” and “the desperate house wives”!

    • #3069457

      This is what i did

      by catfish182 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      This is what i did. I would see what shows are popular and learn the basics of them. When people would talk about it in passing i would stop and just ask “isnt that the show about superman” (for example) and i would be honest in saying i never seen it and start talking. I did the same with movies and music. Music was the hardest due to my love of heavy metal and the dislike of pop music. But paying attention basic coming and going helped it along quite well.
      What i also did was put myself in the conversation with out saying anything. In other words i would stand there and listen. Kinda boring and annoying but people do now think im a funny guy (which im not) and include me into thier circles while i still get to be the geek. I am refered to as the group geek also but i dont mind.

    • #3069454

      Here’s What I Did/Am Doing. . .

      by msyi ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I’m in a similar situation–I’ve reached the point where I’m not going to advance (or at least continue to enjoy my job) unless I get better at developing work relationships, discussions at meetings, convincing people to help me with with various projects (i.e., project coordination), etc.

      A couple things that are helping:
      *I became a Girl Scout leader. What I’m finding is that kids are “real”–they’ll talk to you (and expect you to talk back) and you have to be real with them–you can’t just nod your head a couple times and disappear into the corner. On the one hand, you might find them a little less intimidating because of their age, but they also don’t give you any leeway–the second you lose them, they’re off pulling the fire alarm or something! It’s certainly been one of my biggest challenges, but it really forces you to improve your skills and gives you lots of opportunities. You also have to do a lot of interaction with the parents, and it gives you something outside of work & computers to talk about at parties and in the office. I think any job working with kids–mentoring, coaching, refereeing, etc., is going to enhance your skills.

      *I joined Toastmasters, which I originally thought was teaching you just to make speeches, but it also teaches how to conduct meetings, give and receive praise and criticism effectively, and project confidence (which is different than & completely unrelated to being–or not being–confident). I’m just a little ways into the program, and it’s really made a big difference.
      *Learn to praise people effectively–don’t just say, “Great job!” (which doesn’t involve any thought). Be specific and you will come across as “genuine” (because you are). Say exactly what they did that was so wonderful and find ways to praise people even when their overall performance wasn’t so hot. For instance, after a scouting meeting in which we didn’t have that good control of the kids, a parent told me how much she appreciated my typing up notes to the parents every week to tell them what we were doing. This helped build me up and made me feel I was doing something right, and I really appreciated her and began feeling comfortable going to her for advice, etc. (which is what you want to happen to you at work).
      *I think a lot of it comes down to projecting confidence–whether you feel it or not. These are a few things that have helped me in that area.

      • #3069367

        Reply To: personality and social skills development

        by ymatlosz ·

        In reply to Here’s What I Did/Am Doing. . .

        Me too! I’ve made an effort to become involved in my daughter’s activities and it has helped me come out of my shell in the process. Having children gives you a common interest with just about everyone there.

        Almost every volunteer organization needs someone who is internet-savvy and can find resources/opportunities/ideas for the group. They also need people who know how to construct basic websites.



        “A couple things that are helping:
        *I became a Girl Scout leader. “

      • #3069293

        Self-Development, Networking and Time/Energy

        by magicmei ·

        In reply to Here’s What I Did/Am Doing. . .

        Regarding the discussion on “Personality and social skills” I agree that Toastmasters and participating in kids’ programs are great for one’s self development and networking.
        I am trying to find ways to have the energy to participate because these activities require commitment of time/effort over a period of time. After daily work time that can extend to overtime/weekend (I’m in system support role); spending quality time with family becomes challenging leave aside finding time and energy for self and other groups.
        I do some exercise (Pilates) whenever I can find some spare minutes and drink green smoothies; however over a while they seem to fade in their energy boosting capabilities.

        Hoping to find less stresses and more time/energy for what I’d like.

    • #3069441

      This will definitely help

      by glennlnrs ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Joining a toastmasters group near where you are, will enable you to talk to more people, and make new business relationships as well. Also, you will learn lots of things like presentation skills, listening skills, and also benefits such as impromptu speaking, which is great in social situations or interviews where you have to answer a question with no idea about the topic till the person announces it.

      Hope you are still reading and the last part didn’t frighten you away, though is a great organisation, to develop your presentation/social communication skills and also leadership skills too.

      Previously, I have been very introverted and now not so much though once I have finished university in a couple of weeks, probably will go back to toastmasters as well.

    • #3069431

      Dale Carnegie course

      by jvromant ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Best investment I ever made in myself! You will be amazed how 12 evenings will enhance your people skills.

    • #3069430

      It’s about connecting …

      by ymatlosz ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I’m introverted but most people think I’m an extrovert.

      Being introverted means that you don’t have a strong need to affiliate with others. It really has nothing to do with shyness or confidence.

      My daughter is extremely extroverted (don’t know where THAT came from!) and it’s been eye-opening to see how the other half lives. She has a real social intelligence that I didn’t start to grasp until after I was out of college.

      I also think that as a female, I’m more often in the position of building relationships with other moms through PTA, scouts, church, etc. Men as a whole don’t seem to need relationships as much as those of us with the double X chromosomes. I’m still introverted by nature, but have gotten better at making small talk, being approachable, etc.

      I would venture to guess that most of our really great leaders have been intorverts who have acquired the ability to connect and align with others.


    • #3069409


      by sir_kardis ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Being a very bad intravert myself, even going so far as being officially “diagnosed” as such, I can very much see where you are coming from. My best bit of advice I can give on this matter is to simply get to know some of the people. Get out of the cube/office/back room and go around and talk to people. Even going so far as to clean up a system here and there and just talk to who you are doing work for. You’d be surprised how quickly you go from that guy in the back room who doesn’t know what he’s doing to the guy that actually cares about the users. You don’t have to go out and hit the bars or drink up a storm but just get to know the folks out there. Baby steps is the key. It’s likely that everyone knows your name but do you know theirs?


    • #3069407

      Go on the Social offensive

      by rmccaa ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Try to organize “outside of work” gatherings. Many times, it is easier for everyone to relax and communicate outside of the workplace. Plan a night to a restaurant, or out for a picnic. Try to pick something that fits your personality, yet doesn’t alienate others – a more “middle of the road” approach.

      Sweeten the deal and surprise the attendees by picking up the bill. Concentrate on having a good time.

      When you’re back in the high pressure workplace, you’ll find that you’ll reference the good times in anecdotes and inside jokes.

    • #3069401

      Some Simple Things to make it better

      by ctos ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Myself, I am basically and extrovert, but have an underlying introvert hiding inside!
      My simple suggestions are: Make a point of talking to one other person at work each day at break time or such. Ask how THEY are and listen. Ask them if they have a family and listen. During this time, put a smile on your face and try to make it go to your eyes as well. Then take notes on what you gather, because basically that is what it is about…their name, family, what interests them when NOT thinking of work and being able to ask/remember these facts the next time you talk to them. Smiling with warmth will surprise anyone at the workplace that thinks you are self-absorbed or a loner or anti-social. Remembering who they are, or that their dog had surgery will absolutely blow them away!
      In the meantime, just be yourself and add that tiny task to your day…you will be the best person there!

    • #3069366

      becoming more extroverted

      by librarygeek ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      It seems like there is a lot of conflation between an introvert, a shy person and social ineptitude.
      The three can go together but they are not the same.
      An introvert is simply a person who gains energy from alone time. If you come away from interacting with people feeling *drained* even though you have no anxiety — you are an introvert. Introversion and extroversion are personality traits — not skills. However, you can learn to be more out-going. Myers-Briggs testers say that if you’ve already had the test and remember your results the test is not as accurate. You can bias your answers without realizing it. However, my scores have become more extroverted compared to my scores 10 years ago. However, in the end I *need* my alone, down time to recharge. If I don’t do that I get edgey and just crash. On the opposite spectrum an extrovert needs social interaction and will crash without it. Of course this is all on a spectrum and so there are extremes and all shades of grey. I

      Shyness corresponds to anxiety about social situations — not to the point of social anxiety disorder — but to the point of worrying about what to say and how to act. When you are shy it is hard to get beyond how you are coming across to everyone else. You may always be a bit shy, but can improve shyness by dealing with the anxiety. Depending upon how anxious you are, you may need some degree of therapy. I tend to freeze when thinking about going into a new social situation to meet people — for ex. a group is getting together to meet others at a coffee break. They have something in common but you have no way of knowing if there is enough in common.

      I am much better than I used to be, but there are times I need a friend or S/O to go along that first time so I know *someone*. This is shyness, not introversion. There are many ways and methods of dealing with anxiety. There are introverts who have no anxiety about meeting people — they just don’t really want to do so.

      Then, there are poor social skills. Any type of personality can also have poor social skills. Your personality type may affect how you display those skills. Your personality type may effect which types of situations you get more practice and so which types of situations you are most likely to be weak. These are the part that can be learned.
      I have had to conciously make sure I get out of my cube several times a week to visit people in other areas of the agency. My job requires some interfacing, so I know people to go visit.
      I do much better with networking with others that are librarians and techies because we do have something beyond chit chat to talk about. Someone did say learn to small talk. I agree that sometimes you need to do so. I had to learn as a young adult that people say somethings b/c it is expected — not b/c they actually want a real answer. For example “Hi, how are you?” rarely means that they really want to hear how you are!
      These little quirks took a while for me to grasp b/c I was not practiced. However, I can meditate and focus b/c of my introversion.

      However, I do have some extroverted traits. For example, I am an extroverted thinker. This means that I tend to “think out loud” Some extroverts will do this in conversation; I tend to need to need to write notes and ideas, and “bounce ideas off of a trusted someone”. My S/O is a VERY introverted thinker who will not share an idea or provide an answer until it has been turned every which way. Both of our styles can drive the other crazy. Negotiating that is like negotiating any other difference. I need agendas prior to meetings if I am going to be my most productive. THat gives me a chance to “think out loud” in a comfortable environment. So, I ask for an agenda and I deal with meetings well now. Of course, there will always be those times you have to interact “on your feet.” I am learning that it’s ok to say — “You are saying…bla bla bla ok, I need to think this over and get back to you. This is dealing with larger issues — not the the system is down something needs to be done now!
      Neither extroversion nor introversion are good/bad. Both have strenghts and weaknesses.

    • #3069362

      Understand Thyself…

      by lampman55 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development


      Accept and understand yourself before you try to undergo such a dramatic personality change. If you ‘become’ more extrovert, aren’t you just acting – playing a part that you are not? This will add stress to your workday as well as free time that will impact your job performance.

      What may help you become more confortable with who you are, and thus more ‘stable’ in the eyes of others, is the Dale Carnagie Course on Public Speaking and Human Relations.

      This will push you outside of your confort zone in a controlled environment with people just like you. It is a 10-16 week class that IS life transforming. While it won’t make you what you are not, it will allow the real you to be more exposed, making it appear as though you are more extroverted.

      Good luck. I have been there. With age does come acceptance of oneself, but who wants to wait!


    • #3069361

      Sounds familiar….

      by el guapo ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Couldn’t agree mor on that statement that introverts usually get the ax first during leaner times.

      Two jobs back, I got laid off from my department. Being the only developer in a department full of medical personnel, I really did not have anything in common with the rest of the staff, plus I was the only guy there. Despite most of their applications in use now were developed by me, and I’m the only knowing how to debug and modify these apps, they still laid me off.

    • #3069360

      You can?t change your core personality …

      by andy3626 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      You can?t change your core personality but you can learn to play a role while you are at work, but you will have to have quiet time at home to recover.

      Carl Jung summarized the extrovert as someone who was energized by interacting with people, and an introvert as someone whose energy is drained by dealing with other people. The converse is true: Introverts gain energy away from people.
      Introverts can learn to deal with social interaction adequately. However because of the negative rewards (loss of psychic energy) introverts don?t practice social interaction and thus when it is absolutely necessary their unpracticed efforts are like those of a child or someone from a different culture.

      There are pluses and minuses, as with any normal personality characteristic. Learn to like yourself the way you are, use your assets to the fullest and learn how to compensate for what you don?t do well. For example, extroverts think while they are talking and later may change their mind; who knows? Introverts quietly collect information before making a decision and rarely change their well thought out decision once it is announced. Introverts can?t trust anything an extrovert says and extroverts are impatient to get the introvert?s opinion.

      As some have said extrover/introvert isn?t the only personality characteristic to be considered. Carl Jung?s theories summarized most personality characteristics into three categories Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/iNtuition and Thinking/Feeling. The mother-daughter research team of Myers and Briggs introduced a fourth term – Judging/Perceiving. Each of these are graduated scales and each of us is somewhere between the polar opposites. No one is a complete extrovert or complete introvert. Anyway, go Google Myers Briggs, take the questionaire and do some reading about yourself and those you work with and for. I’m an InTP and proud of it, but I’ve been a chief engineer, a supervisor in QA and in tech support.

    • #3069354

      Just talk to people. Look them in the eyes

      by gnx ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      The problem today with people is they are emailing or chatting online and there is no person to person interaction. This seems to be getting worse. I ride the train in every day and see it all the time. Almost everyone is looking down at the floor when they are walking or staring at the ceiling. I do tech support for 3 offices in my company and I have to interact with people. Some are unsociable but I manage to get them to speak. It’s like moving to a new neighborhood. Some of the neighbors have been there 30 years and don’t know who lives next door. I think it starts when you are a kid and your parents never taught you the “social skills”. Just like when you are at a ball game and you talk to the stranger next to you about that hit or homerun or out.

    • #3069352

      Start by showing up to functions

      by patopp ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      We have a brilliant person that works here but he is very introverted. HOWEVER – he does show up to work functions. He JUST shows up. He’s not the life of the event and he does not mingle but people expect to see him there. They do, however, notice when he doesn’t show. Even if you’re not heard, if you are seen you will be included. So at the very least, just show up. Once you get comfortable with that, you will begin interacting more. Good luck.

    • #3069349

      It’s good to be an introvert

      by ordinarysoul ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      You don’t have to become an extravert. You just need to reach out to people and start being aware about how you are being perceived, how people respond to you. Being an introvert has its own advantages in social settings.

      Introverts tend to be more thoughtful than most extraverts. Introverts have an easier time processing their words through the brain before saying anything. A lot of extraverts have to work hard at this, but it’s natural for most introverts. This is a very important skill to master. Nobody can ever take back one’s words.

      Introverts tend to be more perceptive of people’s motivations and emotions. This gives us some additional wisdom in making decisions.

      Many introverts I know are also more responsible and conscientious. It’s probably due the tendency to think in broader terms about how our decisions and actions affect others.

      What makes introverts less social is usually our energy level. We get tired with all the outside stimulations when the extraverts just get more and more excited. So we need to learn to manage our precious time and energy more carefully.

      There are more strengths introverts have that I don’t know about and didn’t list here…

      So start slowly, maybe make an effort to become aware of people’s perception, motivations, and decision process for just an hour a day. You don’t have to appear like an extravert, or to change your personality. You just need to reach for your full potential.

    • #3069341


      by maecuff ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I haven’t read all these posts, so forgive me if I repeat anything. First of all, I think it’s great that you can see something in yourself that you would like to change. Most people can’t or won’t do that. It’s easier to defend who you are than take an honest look at yourself and admit that there are things you would like to change.

      I used to be horribly shy. I couldn’t even call out for a pizza because I could NOT bring myself to talk to a stranger. Whenever I met someone new, I was convinced that they disliked me. I don’t know what flipped the switch, but age 22 or there abouts, it dawned on me how completely ridiculous that was. And even if it were true, why should I care?

      I started to FORCE myself to look people in the eye when I talked to them, it was uncomfortable, but I did it. I PRETENDED I had confidence, I just faked it until it became natural. I learned to really listen to what other people said, people LOVE to be heard.

      And while looks SHOULDN’T matter, they do. Take a look at yourself, what can you improve? The better you feel about yourself, the easier it is going to be social.

      Put yourself in a situation that forces you to deal with this. Join a theatre group, even if you don’t want to act, they always need set builders. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, or any other organization that would put you in the situation of working closely with others.

      It won’t happen over night, and you might have some failures, but learn from that and move on. Watch how people react to you and try to gauge from their reactions if you are coming off as fake, or worse, creepy, and make adjustments from there.

      Perhaps it isn’t shyness that is your issue, maybe you just don’t like being around people. I feel that way now sometimes, but even then, faking it will work. Be an actor. We all have it in us to that. Sooner or later, it will become second nature.

      Good Luck

      • #3069908

        Be Yourself!!!

        by itguyy ·

        In reply to Wow

        Hey if you are a true Introvert then be yourself. There is nothing wrong with it and it is an asset to IT jobs where deep concentration is required (IE Programming or Data Analysis).

        Most people I’ve met are on the slidebar somewhere right or left of center though. You may be more introverted then not, but not a complete cave dweller.

        Learning about and working on yourself is always commendable. Might want to take some time and figure out what your personality type is (Myers Briggs, and others are good starts) and go from there.

        Everyone is different, you’ll never be happy attempting to be someone you are not, especially just to keep a job. Know thyself!

        An slightly introverted, yet still successful person.

        • #3069880


          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Be Yourself!!!

          However, it’s never a bad thing to try to change something you are dissatisfied with in yourself.

          The changes I made happened at least 20 years ago and I am much more comfortable in my own skin now than I was back then..

    • #3069336

      What works for me…

      by mhasf ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I use my technical prowess as my Ace Card. First off, in your work environment, use this to your advantage and be super helpful to those who are not. They will elevate you in their minds, which ultimately will elevate your self esteem.

    • #3069326

      Skills Development

      by jared.ochs ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Personality Development –

      Quit being an a$$&#* to people. Treat them like you would like to be treated.

      Social Skill Development –

      For this I would suggest taking the Dale Carnegie course. This will not only help you in business to achieve the things you want, but also in life.

      What do you do when people come ask you “Hey my computer at home . . .”

      That is your chance to shine and become an extrovert. Smile more often and just be yourself.

      Good Luck

    • #3069296

      Believe that your opinions matter

      by busy_bee ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Many of us are good at what we do because we have expertise in some area. Chances are, we have all built some institutional expertise in how a specific piece of our organization runs or fits into the whole. This knowledge that we have goes beyond what we all learned in school or read in books, and deals with your how particular piece of the company works, and is of particular value to your organization. How many of us have people lining up at our desk or are tied to a pager? Why? Because what you know and think matters!

      It probably isn’t the whole recipe, but recognizing that what you think is valuable and of interest to others is a good first step. Volunteering your thoughts – taking the chance to speak up – becomes easier when you realize this and believe it to be true. This is the one thing that most stands out in my journey of getting out from behind the terminal and moving into management (8 years now).

    • #3069290

      I started teaching.

      by rbolman ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I’m an introvert and darn proud of it.

      I suffer from a slight case of social anxiety disorder. I literally get sick when put in a situation where I’m surrounded by people I don’t know. Restaraunts, airports, movie theaters, they are all heck for me.

      I recognized that my problem was a psychological problem with physical symptoms. This was all before anxiety became the new vogue disease that everyone seems to have according to the television commercials.

      To overcome it, I began teaching PC related classes at a local community college. Since I was comfortable with the content, it allowed me to focus on the communication aspect of it. I’ve been doing it 2 nights a week for about 3 years now and it’s going great. Students consistantly tell me that I’m one of the best teachers that they have had. My evals come back very favorably. And, as a side benefit, it’s also opened up some doors for future job considerations.

      5 years ago if you told me I’d become a teacher, I would have laughed in your face (and probably puked on your shoes), but I’ve enjoyed it immensly, and it’s helped me out considerably.

      Good luck.

    • #3069285

      From an introvert to an extrovert

      by coderipper ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Hi drago762,

      I’m a technical person (a software engineer to be exact), and by nature I’m an introvert — or at least used to be. I used to be the one who stands quietly in the corner and smiles to everybody else’s comments — unless when the topic of the day switches to technical subjects.

      I’m now a business owner and like it or not I’ve to go through the transition from an introvert to an extrovert. I realised this when I’ve decided that being self-employed is my preferred career path.

      Changing from an introvert to an extrovert is no easy job (at least in my case). What I did is that I start “learning how to talk” all over again. I pay great attention to specific words public speakers use, and the style of presentation public speakers practice. I went for professional events (i.e. product conference, technical road shows such as TechNet, OTD, etc) that has speakers making presentations to a large group of audiences. I pay attention to the way they speak. And of course, going out more with friends that are extrovert would help a lot as well. Paying attention to how your extrovert friends response to certain surprise questions and how do they approach people.

      Those are what I’ve gone through. Today, people who just got to know me, never thought I was an introvert, as quoted by an interviewer to me, “…if you never had mentioned that you are a technical guy, I would never know. You speak very well”.

      I hope these would work out for you as well. Good luck there!


    • #3069270

      Take an Acting Class

      by placidair ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      If there’s an acting school near you, go take some classes. If 6 months of that doesn’t rip the shell right off and make you more comfortable in a group and under focus, chances are not much will.

      • #3066059

        Acting classes

        by lisa545 ·

        In reply to Take an Acting Class

        All of my Humanities classes were acting classes. This is actually a good idea because you learn how to control your own mind and body language and you get feedback. You also learn how to control your own voice. It did increase my comfort in groups. It gave me skills. It gave me a method for learning skills I admired. But at heart, I’m still both shy and introverted. And I do think that’s okay. That’s part of who I am. It’s actually helpful in my job. It’s not something I regret.

    • #3069256

      Recycling a Tech Genius to an Outspoken person

      by oisleach9 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I have been classified as a nerd, a geek, and dweeb, and most other names from “That 70’s Show” you can think of. In Highschool I carried a slide rule, and actually knew how to use, I was the head of the science club, and took electronics class in High School. I knew more chemistry and math in 10th grade than anyone else in the high scchool, I was constantly persecuted by Jocks, and abhor such people to this day. Enough about the past.
      The process to becoming an outspoken individual, that seems friendly, and caring is practice, practice, practice.
      Step 1: Act like the others
      Step 2: Never ever present information as your own, instead read the trade journals and always present the information, opinion and facts as coming from them.
      Step 3: If you have a good memory, and many of us do. Don’t show off, it only causes jealousy acrimony and others will gang up on you. instead I have learned to merely ask questions

      If this all seems like subterfuge, hiding, putting up a facade you are exactly right. But I had enough training, through being bullied, beaten, and simply intimidated by less capable more socially adept individuals to know the way things work.
      The only time I am truly free to express myself, my opinions, and my training is when I visit centers of higher research. Sandia, SRI, Los Alamos etc etc then i am one of the boys.

    • #3069255

      Books are a good source

      by sschafir ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I liked the ideas of joining groups such as Toastmasters and getting more socially involved with people. These are great. But can be intimidating for some. I used to be a programmer and was really introverted. Could only relate to other programmers. But then I switched to desktop support and network administration and had to learn to be more extroverted. Now I am doing tech support and speaking to clients on the phone where you have to be REALLY extroverted. It is difficult to just throw yourself into it if you are introverted.

      My suggestion is to try the following books, first Personality Plus which will teach you about different personality types including your own and give you a better understanding of yourself. Then Talk is not cheap which will give you insight to how other people should be approached and perceived. Then How to win friends and influence people which will teach you how to relate to other people. You will still need to get out there and relate to others in the real world but these should help with the process.

    • #3069246

      Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself !

      by johnofstony ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      A maths lecturer at college told us:
      “When you get older, you realise that you spend much of your life making a fool of yourself and once you can accept that, you’re well on the way to success”.
      In other words, don’t be afraid to talk to people or make your views known. The worst that can happen is that you’ll be fired, and since you said that introverts are the first to be fired, you can’t lose! Get on out there and make yourself known – and have fun doing it.
      Although I’m an extrovert, one thing I had a real phobia about was (me) singing in public. A friend of mine who’d heard me sing in the car with her convinced me that I’d got a good singing voice and I “went for it”. I am now an active participant in musical evenings at a local pub instead of just being a listener and I really enjoy it. So it can be done.

    • #3069239

      Let go and Let God

      by jtalston ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Have you tried Jesus. You will find that it will cost you nothing and it will change your life for every. Find you a bible teaching and believing church and watch your life change. What he has done for many he will also do for YOU.

    • #3069238

      Couple of other thoughts

      by echtej ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      There have been a lot of good suggestions. A couple more:

      1. Think of “networking” not as social interaction, which can be scary, but as obtaining information, Q&A, and give and take. It is a lot easier for introverts to think of it this way.
      2. Realize in meetings that most extroverts talk about obvious things. Introverts think they have to come up with new, insightful comments, when what is usually expected is just status and explanations of what you are doing. Remember, people don’t know what you are doing unless you tell them – just like you don’t know what they are doing until they tell you.
      3. Look at an online news service right before you go to a social function and then talk about a news story you read about. “Did you just hear…” makes you look informed and gives you something to bring up in conversation. Only exception – if you are not naturally a sports nut, then don’t try to fake it. Just say you don’t really follow sports and let it go. You can still listen and ask appropriate questions, or wander over to a different group of people.

      Good luck!

    • #3069234


      by dobbinsm ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Try being spontanious. I have surprised a lot of my coworkers by being spontanious

    • #3069233


      by activated ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Oh. I am an introvert, oh oh, woe is me. I cant get ahead in business ’cause I only like to talk to myself, oh, me, oh my…

      Try changing your gender, then you will have something real to worry about.

    • #3069228

      Good Social Skills!?

      by don’tquityourdayjob ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I wouldn’t associate good social skills with being extroverted. There are plenty of extroverts out there that are complete jerks and everyone knows who they are. You know what I mean – the guy that shows up at the party and everyone starts finding a reason to leave.

      I don’t mean to be harsh when I say this but… “Get a life!”

      There’s got to be something other than computers that you are interested in such as sports (football, baseball, golf, etc.).

      It sounds like you have good social skills already and maybe YOU are having difficulty relating to things other than your work.

      Go to a local sports bar and watch a college or NFL football game Saturday – try not to talk about business or computers. Get out of your comfort zone!

    • #3066210


      by werner ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development


      I highly recommend Toastmasters. To find a chapter near you, go to It helped me get over my fear of public speaking. Best of luck!

    • #3066208

      A few simple steps

      by wally_z ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Step one: Read the book “How to Make Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie ISBN: 0671723650. It is also available on audio CD.

      You will find some of the information useful and most of the tips you will find intimidating to try. Nevertheless, you will pick up several good ideas and make them your own as well as learn how extroverts think.

      Step two: Join Toastmasters International ( or take the Dale Carnegie course ( to learn serious communication skills.

      Speaking from personal experience the DC class is exactly what I needed to be successful in the corporate IT environment. In addition to learning some much needed interpersonal skills I met others who shared my struggle. Five years after I completed the class I still trade email with the support group I formed while taking the class.

      Good luck!

    • #3066201

      You can’t teach an introvert to be an extrovert..

      by is girl ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      While you can’t change your personality, you can learn a new skill. If you put as much effort into practicing and cultivating social skills as you do computer skills, you would quickly fool those you interact with into believing you were an extrovert.

      Start small and work your way up. Smile at people and make eye contact. Talk to a stranger every day….not a deep conversation, just make some small talk in the elevator or something. Try “wasting time” with co-workers when they are talking about last night tv shows or a new restaurant. Join into a small talk conversation around the proverbial water cooler.

      You will be surprised at how easy it is once you try a couple of low risk social interactions out. Compliment people on small things….a new tie, cool shoes, a picture on their desk. Ask about the new puppy, child or car. People love to talk about themselves, so ask them to talk. Then, while they are talking, pay attention, make eye contact and ask another question or make a small comment about a similar experience you had. Keep it light and friendly. Then, congratulate yourself on your accomplishment !

      Before you know it you will find that you are bored with those who want to talk computers at parties and you will find yourself wanting to mingle and meet some new people.

      • #3066182

        True, but…

        by hatguy ·

        In reply to You can’t teach an introvert to be an extrovert..

        Having been there and done that for many years, your advice is absolutely correct. I didn’t find out until recently (maybe 5 years) that the stress of working to seem extroverted was added to the stress anyone deals with regardless of in/extroversion. I’d been married for many years by that time (still am), but I’ve pulled back from almost all ‘opportunities to seem extroverted’ and pay much closer attention to my stress level when I’m at one.

      • #3065935

        I agree

        by ward ·

        In reply to You can’t teach an introvert to be an extrovert..

        See my post “You don’t have to juggle”, which I unfortunatly wrote before I read IS Girl’s post. I agree… People skills are all about ACTION. People continually comment that I am really very much a “People Person” for such a hardcore technical person, as if this surprises them that the two attributes could exist together. But the truth is that I make an effort to ACT a certain way, rather than follow my natural desire to isolate. Act your way in right thinking, don’t try to think your way into right acting.

    • #3066183

      Wrong Premise

      by mchall ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      One common misconception of introversion vs. extroversion is that they are measures of how social a person is. They are really more a measure of where one gets his/her energy from.

      Are you energized when you are around a lot of people or do you find yourself drained and in need of some “alone time”. The former are extroverts. The later are introverts. It is possible to change a person’s socialization habits, but they are still going to “recharge their batteries” in the same way.

      Encourage your quieter employees to get involved in things that are critical to their future, but give them plenty of alone time as well to compensate.

    • #3066181

      Dale Carnegie worked for me

      by fdominczak ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      You may want to take a Dale Carnegie course. I was amazed at how much it changed my life. Now I can talk to anyone and any size group of people.

      • #3066067


        by acousticnut ·

        In reply to Dale Carnegie worked for me

        I too consider myself an introvert, but am very strong in social situations although it is uncomfortable for me.

        Just reading Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” gave some terrific pointers on how to interact in social situations. It’s a proven method that has been around for over 1/2 a century. I picked the book up at Staples for about $6 I believe.

        Good luck.

      • #3070059

        Is it worth the cost?

        by lumbergh77 ·

        In reply to Dale Carnegie worked for me

        I see it costs around $2000 and I doubt I’d get my employer to pay for it.

    • #3066152

      “Introvert” <> across-the-board-failure

      by tkc, ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development


      It sounds like you are agonizing over the issue of being more awkward in social situations than you would like. Two mistakes not to make:

      – Being awkward in social situations <> being an introvert. “Introvert” is a psychological term, not a summary term for a collection of habits and skills. As others have said here, being an introvert does not equal being shy, being awkward, being a loner, etc. I think Jungian psychology would say that it means you place more validity in your own inner experience than in the world’s outer experiences. (The same school of psych might even name you an extravert, then, because of how agonized you feel about not getting sufficient confirmation from the outer world that you’re an okay dude. And I’m sure you are. You certainly write well!)

      – By wrapping up several distinct (and individually, addressable) problems under one title (“I’m introverted”), it gives you only one course of action: “Become Less Introverted!” But being introverted is like being left-handed, or caucasian, or carbon-based. There’s no “flipping the bit” to change it. And you shouldn’t even try; instead, back up and address each problem on its own. Don’t throw the wrong summary over them, and paralyze yourself.

      You seem to have named three problems:
      a. you feel passed over for promotions, more *likely* to be passed over in the future
      b. you feel women don’t want to be involved with you
      c. you feel insufficiently “social” in social settings

      Can you see how, if you keep those distinct, they’re much more malleable?

      Regarding being passed over for promotions: Make sure you talk to your boss about what your promotion options are. What skills do you need? (Sounds like you’re working on certs at home already! Do they know this?) Do they *really* promote your outgoing boisterous peers BECAUSE they’re outgoing and boisterous? Probably not, but then…why? Perhaps they are more able to present a strong argument (note: not a *loud* argument) for their ideas. That’s not introversion/extroversion, it’s just being able to think clearly, weigh options validly, and ground your assertions with real life examples.

      b. You’re worried that women aren’t interested in you. I have no greater insight into the minds of women than I do into Early Medieval agriculture. However, my wife seems to think I’m not a total dolt. One thing that helped me was to work at loosening my own enthrallment to The Female, and remember that as much as I want them to judge me interesting/attractive/whatever, I’m actually still assessing them, too. They have to pass MY criteria. I was surprised how often I had forgotten that, and suddenly realized the woman I was pursuing was…unremarkable. Even uninteresting. For me, I guess it was a matter of learning something that true “introverts” probably have a leg up on: the order of events is (1) “I am valid” followed by (2) “Are you interested in me?” — rather than (1&2) “I’m valid if you’re interested in me.”

      Strangely, something that helped in all of that was learning about anger. I got mad at myself for being so enthralled to all things Female, and that started it. I began to resent *them* for MY lack of a center-point. And when I was angry at them (really, just the slightest bit; not outright anger), then I was back on my own feet. THEY had to impress ME, too. It had to be fun and engaging for us BOTH. So now it’s not anger, more an ability to be detached as I get to know someone (man or woman).

      And regarding the “social situations” issue…perhaps a bit of the same. If you really trusted yourself, you might look around the room and say “There’s nothing going on here that at ALL interests me! This just isn’t my milieu.” Reserver the right to judge the *situation* — rather than just judging yourself against the situation. Perhaps the situation is fine; no one’s behaving wrongly, no one’s being belligerant or over-the-top — but it just doesn’t suit you. Trust that. Don’t sell out your own validity just because some random combination of folks happen to be in some random room tonight.

      Ahhh…I always write too much once I get started! I hope some splinter of this helps. Best of luck with it all!

      – Tom

    • #3066139

      Say Hi.

      by blarman ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Introvert is as much perception as reality. No one I work with nowadays would think it, but I’m an introvert by nature. Here’s how I changed my attitude:
      When I went off to college, my mom told me to say hi and smile to everyone I passed.

      Simple, yet incredibly effective. Now, I go up and introduce myself to those I don’t know at social functions – where before I was behind the wallflowers. Another key is to find something the other person has in common, be it a favorite sports team, hobby, or other interest.

      Good Luck.

    • #3066136

      Here’s Some Good Advice

      by richardb ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      You have a very sound concern here, and judging by the responses there are a lot of people out there who empathise with your situation.
      I will not attempt to be the amateur psychologist, just direct you to the real thing.
      Read “PsychoCybernetics”, he will explain in simple concise terms why people are introverted. With that understanding, making changes to your view of yourself and your potential to be different become suddenly very clear.
      Not a new book, but a classic!
      Good Luck!

      • #3066096

        A good book

        by it lifer ·

        In reply to Here’s Some Good Advice

        Yes, an interesting book, Richard. I read PsychoCybernetics in the early 70s (or 60s?) and various people (who didn’t know I was reading it) said I suddenly seemed inexplicably different. I liked what it was doing for me – maybe I need to re-read it!

    • #3066099

      Reply To: personality and social skills development

      by it lifer ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I’m impressed at the talent and wisdom of some in this forum. It’s good to see.

      As a nearly 60 yr old extreme introvert (many see me as far more confident and outgoing than I feel inside), I would just warn introverts to be thoughtful about where you may be in a few short years if you constantly mold yourslef to other’s wishes. I’ve spent 25 years working in IT and have always hated it because each position needed me to be “out there” as a person i.e., behave in ways not natural or desireable to me. Even though I became somewhat good at doing that, it was never “me” and I hated it. I cannot express how I regret staying in such jobs for the money.

      There were brief times, of course, when the jobs were sufficiently okay that I could go to work without severe depression and loathing etc, because I’d developed some good friends at work and was seen as one of the inhouse system gurus etc. Here’s the tragic part though. When work was basically okay, I ignored the misfit aspect because I could – and when things went the other way and became unbearbly difficult for me I gave it all I had to make myself “rise to the occassion” and perform according to how I thought I must to keep the job I thought I needed. So now… there are two horrendous results of that:

      First, I feel I sold out most of my life for wages. I might have spent those years quietly as a writer or a stained glass artisan or an animal trainer or a gardner or any other myriad jobs where I might have begun each day with a more grateful heart (not just the “at-least-I-have-a-job” sort) and with enthusiasm that comes from loving what you do. Of the many regrets one might have about their life, I assure you, feeling like you’ve sold most of your life for rent money and wasted yourself trying to be someone you really aren’t is a terrible one.

      The 2nd tragedy? Since losing my job in a layoff, I now spend all my time practicing and rehearsing and refining my presentation to be what the IT interviewers want so that I might get a job that I’ll most likely hate. My family needs me to make that income, and now I have very little choice but to continue trying to do the only thing I know. It is pathetic to be in this situation.

      Yes, we all can and should be mature enough to stretch our capabilities when it makes sense to do so; and sometimes we should sacrifice our dreams for those we love; and reshaping ourselves to fit the desires of others is sometimes unavoidable – but, I think it’s possible do that so much, and for so long, that you one day realize you’ve spent most of your life molding yourself to the sage advice and “needs” of others who certainly meant well, but who aren’t you. No matter how wise or true or logical they may seem, they don’t have to lay awake with you in the night, or look into your face in the morning.

      But what do i know? :c)~

      • #3065993

        Time and tide

        by womble ·

        In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

        My friend!
        I can see your point of view, and those of us who have been in the high tech industires for a long time often feel the same

        I have been Telco for 25 years now, and have worked on everything from manual telephone exchanges with remote battery (“wind the handle, number please 42M”) and 3 channel open wire systems with valve amplifiers to WCDMA mobile installations. I have sprung out of the apprenticeship systems that used to exist.

        We get into this work because we are good at it, and no matter how much we long to give it up and take up something we long for, be it stained glass artisan or rutabaka farmer, we cannot, for 2 main reasons
        1/ we need to eat, and such a change often requires starving
        2/ we are not enherent risk takers. we contemplate all possibilities before making a move

        in addition, managers are enherently seen as extroverts, as they need to present and manage staff. they also find it easier to market themselves to others, displaying the skills they have, (as well as some they do not!) and displaying a can do attitude. This results in being passed over for promotions, when we know we have the skills and drive to achieve the work.

        I attended Dale carnege courses to assist me in this area, and it means that when I prepare presentations, I can knock ’em dead. I have done Pastoral Care courses, which means I can counsel employees well. I can do Stat analysis, and data mining, as well as quality management and project management. If I try to sell myself as having done this to people I do not know, it sounds as hollow as a drum.

        What I leant was, as you said, you have to know who you are, and accept it. Being content and happy is more of a marketing tool than any training you can take, or any pretence you make

      • #3065961

        I agree with a lot of what you said

        by blueknight ·

        In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

        Sorry to hear you’ve not been really happy in this field IT Lifer. I can relate to a lot of what you said. My job was eliminated at age 47 and looking for another one was very challenging. Qualifications weren’t the problem, it was age discrimination, but that’s another topic.

        I began as a real introvert and still am for the most part. As mentioned in a number of posts, being an introvert is good. We can out-think just about anyone else, and are able to come up with the best solutions to problems/challenges. I don’t have to get credit for what I do, but if my manager notices and acknowleges a job well done, that’s all the better. Otherwise I’m perfectly happy knowing I accomplished something and did a job I’m proud of.

        I never tried to become the “life of the party” -heck, I don’t even like parties… just a bunch of loud people who get louder the more they drink. If you’re single and want to find a quality “significant other,” bars are not the place.

        Somewhere along the line during my 39 years in IT, I became a little extroverted. It’s not something you learn per se. Maybe I’m not even a bit extroverted, but learned how to appear extroverted. Who cares, it works either way.

        I suppose I gained a bit of “extrovertism” through things I did in life like volunteering at the suicide prevention center. Later on, my position at work required that I interface with customers. Since that required me to speak about something I knew intimately (the software we wrote for them, jobs we did for them etc.) I was very comfortable conversing with them.

        Immersion is really effective at bringing you out. I became a Reserve Police Officer and the public contact helps quite a bit.

        Generally, I will engage in a bit of banter with others in my group. This wasn’t that easy early on. I enjoy ribbing one in particular. Since the personality mix is really good, we all get along very well, so it’s pretty easy. If you’ve heard a good joke, or funny story, tell it to those you work with closely… that’s an easy way to get used to speaking to others.

        I’ve also been drafted to be the department Safety Coordinator, so that helps in that I have to hold meetings and occasionally speak during department staff meetings.

        I would recommend activities of this type for drago762, maybe even join Toastmasters as one suggested. Someone suggested I join, but I’ve never found time, but since you speak when you’re ready, about something you’re very familiar with, it shouldn’t be too difficult or stressful to do.

        When I get home… yep, I’m very good company.
        I’m very happy with my music, using the PC (or building one), or any of a number of other interests, or just watching some TV. I’ve never had to have other people around to be happy.

        The bottom line is, just concentrate on being yourself. It’s not about shyness or lack of confidence… I am neither. In fact I am very self-confident and I’d venture to say most introverts are too. Take the opportunity to speak when you have something to say and when you’re comfortable. And remember, other people don’t perceive you the way you do… we can be too critical of ourselves.


      • #3070163

        Thanks for you words of wisdom.

        by raven2 ·

        In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

        You post is very heart felt. And I for one understand your feelings. My turning point came when I owned up to taking care of myself and really started working on who I was being.

        Have you really worked out what your real needs are? You can get those met only if you know them and express them. There are a lot of Dilbertesque jobs out there, but there are people in every profession that have jobs they mostly love. I say mostly because I know of few things that are perfect. It is never too late to make changes.

        Not that much younger than you.

      • #3070618

        Lifer, I’m there too…

        by surflover ·

        In reply to Reply To: personality and social skills development

        at 46, I had to resign my last position as CIO due to the CEO demanding I falsify documents for a VISA audit (I refused and that was that)… My first degree is in fine art, and I have been a semi-professional artist as a sideline for over 30 years… Although, unlike you, I actually loved my IT jobs, I’m thinking it might be a good time to change direction and see if I can support myself with my “1st love”… selling all my property to wipe out my bills, figure no time like the present

    • #3066094

      Be proud of it.

      by systemfx ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Be proud of your introversion. Introverts are “interior thinkers”. I am a introvert and a extrovert. I started out with just being an Introvert, but soon discovered that I required other social skills.

      It’s more a matter of realizing the limitation of being just a quiet and thoughtfull person. If nobody knows what your thinking, how is anybody going to benefit from your brilliance?

      Now on the other hand, I know many people who are completely extroverted, and thier lame. They don’t have any of the thought processes set up to be “brilliant”. Sure, some of them are the “LIFE OF THE PARTY” when it comes to jokes and talking to people, but thats very shallow. The extroverts never bother to develop any interior thinking and thats what makes them seem quite shallow and not very effective with inanimate objects (especially technology).

      I am proud of my geekhood/introversion as it has made me quite effective with NON human interaction
      (ie: computers).

      The extroversion part came later. You just have to realize your power. The power here is your probably 100 percent more effective in NON human activities and iteraction, than a pure extrovert.

      I know this, cause I have studied human/tech interactions quite extensively.

      Extroversion in application is listening and responding to humans. When you realize that most extroverts can’t even theorize or abstract about pulling thier pants up in the morning, then you will know what I mean.

      Cheers/ my two cents!

    • #3066062


      by mustang221 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      You may as well try to turn lead to gold as flip between introvert and extrovert. Some people try to imply that being introverted is somehow evil, when it is not. Being introverted means you take in a lot of information, then think about different outcomes. I think of it like as an extrovert is great at putting out the fire in a burning house, while an introvert makes sure the fire never starts. Extroverts would probably be likely to lay off introverts never seeing how the thought process prevents events from happening, like buying a ton of new hardware that goes into the trash in less than a year.

    • #3066018

      Look for a life coach.

      by raven2 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Have your ever been seated next to someone on a flight and ended up hearing not only their life story but stuff that seems to belong in a confessional?

      Eveyone needs coaching, even the coaches who are helping others will have coaches that they employ when they need the help. It is many times much easier to talk to a “professional” than your nearest and dearest. The professional can push you in ways those closest to you cannot, they can hold you accountable for your language, beliefs, actions, and habits. If you really are honest with your self, most “problems” are of your own making. Trying to change a lifetime of reaction rather than action is like trying to remove your own appendix.

      Theapy is needed by some, but most of us just need someone who has another, unbiased view of what we are doing to help us correct those “bad” habits we have developed.

      The joke that coaches tell is “When you tell a theapist that you are stuck, they will ask “And how do you FEEL about that?” Coaches hand you a shovel and make you dig yourself out.”

      If you want to make changes in your life or career; look into finding a coach to help you dig through all the issues, problems, and beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your goals and dreams. A good coach will help you make those changes in days and weeks rather than months and years.

      Yes, I am a fan of coaching. I am not a coach myself. Coachville USA has listing you can research, you might be amazed at the number of collegues and friends who have employed a coach.

      This time I will get it right. I recommend Joy Broughton, she is a member of Tech Republic, her site is

      Good luck on your journey of self discovery.

    • #3066017

      Tips to changing your support style

      by amberhaze ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Having been in the business a long time, I have come across a few tips which I find make a huge difference when providing support / troubleshooting.

      1. Remember that what you are fixing is the client’s problem, not what you find wrong with the system. Make sure you talk to the person having the difficulty Before you do anything… and then make sure you follow-up with them after.. (An old boss once told me, you are fixing people, not machines…. the machines are just a means to the end)

      As a bonus, doing the above can often save a lot of work by ensuring you are fixing the “right” problem.

      2. Make a point of being human with your clients. Get to know your clients and at the same time let them get to know you…. If you are having a bad day, say so… it’s funny how letting the personal side show makes people more interested in you… and equally, show an interest in your clients lives.

      3. Teach rather than do things for your clients. By talking to your clients more, and talking them through problems rather than behaving as a “Knight in shining armor”, your clients will usually appreciate your support over someone who just does things for them as this helps them feel you are willing to help them learn.

      I have many other techniques, but these are probably the 3 biggest which have served me well over the years.. I hope they help someone else

    • #3065964

      …don’t change…

      by atan ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Look, let’s face it – there’s no point in pretending to be something you’re not. The discomfort and pretense is very noticable. And if you’re faced with an interview type situation it could prove disasterous.

      If you recall the words of Genie in “Aladdin” – “Beee yourrrself!”

      The employer (and the women) are looking for genuine people. Someone who is comfortable being themselves in all situations. Someone who doesn’t try too hard. =)


    • #3065937

      You don’t have to juggle

      by ward ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      People skills are simple, just not easy at times. Simple like a smile, direct eye contact, taking effort to memorize names, and USE them. “Thanks” when someone holds a door open is acceptable, but “Thanks, Jim” works so much better. People like to hear their names, and it is positive reinforcement to that person that you know WHO they are in this world of strangers. Start small to break out of the isolation egg.

    • #3065929

      IT Helps

      by david_amashaw ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      From my experience, if you can talk your way out of a difficult situation without getting flustered you can go a long way in business. being an extrovert is simply being able to rise up the ladder faster.

      be loud, be heard, be exposed. it helps you get where you want to go.

    • #3070159

      MS Bulletin 75-2238745

      by raven2 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Please go to the download section of our site. You will be able to select the update for your current Personality System. Check the hardware list and be sure your system meets all minimum requirements. Hardware that has not been tested and approved may cause you system to become unstable and erratic.

    • #3070091

      Suggested reading

      by sdalek ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      “How to talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communications” by Larry King, ISBN: 0-517-22331-7.

      You may not necessarily need to change from being an introvert to an extrovert. You may just need to spruce up your conversation skills. Personally, I think socializing takes up as much effort as studying for a cert but has as much pay-off. Perhaps create a “study” plan to improve your socialization skills as if it were a cert.

      This may also help. “Teach Yourself NLP” by Steve Bavister and Amanda Vickers. ISBN: 0-07-145208-7.

      Also, try the Socratic method in your conversations. You don’t necessarily set out with the intention of learning/teaching but you can always use the “Help me understand why…” or a variation of it to keep a conversation going in a social setting. You’ll have to experiment until you hit on a comfortable combination (for both you the the subject of your conversation). Kinda like doing an informal informational interview. Act like you’re gathering user requirements for a business justification document. 😉

      For me it’s been hard, but I keep trying. It’s a constant learning experience. Like everyone’s comments to this thread, take my suggestions with grain of salt, and look for something positive to take out of all the comments.

      Hope it helps.


    • #3070066

      don’t sweat it

      by pwor ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Maybe the key is little steps – and also don’t worry about it too much. I don’t think u will lose a job for being a quiet achiever; not everyone can be a celebrity.

    • #3070043

      Hey drago its Show Time

      by j alley ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I haven’t been through all the posts ’cause there are lots of long ones. Many tie a bunch of labels together and make introverts sound bad.

      It sounds like you are starting your career and if that’s true, it may help to know that experience helps.

      I spent a long time in school and getting started in a career and I too found it hard in social situations. The light bulb went on for me when I realized that the introver/extrovert dimension had nothing to do with other dimensions such as confidence, skill, etc. I think it was Bob Fosse in All That Jazz who drags himself from bed, looks in the mirror and puts on a smile saying ‘It’s show time!’. Until that point he appears as an extrovert. I realized that I enjoy listening to others and don’t really feel the need to be the life of the party. And, people like talking to me because I am interested in what I can learn from them. Everything I learn gives me something else to talk about with the next person.

      My message is that being an extrovert is not the goal – being happy is. If you aren’t happy where you are then you may want to find your interest. Find what excites you, try a wide range of different things (all work and no play …). And, if nothing else gels – try acting. You can learn to put on another personna and try it out for a while, and it will give you something else to talk about.

      Good Luck!

      • #3070406

        response to “Show time”

        by firestar1 ·

        In reply to Hey drago its Show Time

        What a positive attitude! I do hope everyone has taken the time to read your reponse. You have really come up with some very constructive ideas. I think it will be very helpful to a lot of people.

      • #3070320

        well put

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Hey drago its Show Time

        Good examples. Good points. Well phrased.

        I’m impressed.

      • #3060223

        He who knows.

        by raven2 ·

        In reply to Hey drago its Show Time

        and knows he knows is wise.

        Follow him.

        Very well put.

        Small addendum, do not compare yourself to anyone else.

    • #3069962

      Tough Thought

      by n3bu1a ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I don’t think you can “make” yourself an extrovert. The idea of an introvert/extrovert personality type stems from the idea of where a person gets energy. Do you typically draw a lot of energy from large crowds, or do you feel more energized when working solo? Both types (as I’m sure you’re aware) have their advantages.

      If you’re concerned about being perceived as someone who would much rather be locked away, left to your own devices, then may I suggest starting small. Ask co-workers out for a cup of coffee to discuss current projects or work situtations, or chime in with a thought or two when discussing things at a meeting and color those thoughts with (related) personal experiences. In that fashion, people will not only value your expertise, but will get to know you as a person and begin to rely on your abilities and expertise.

      In my opinion, the toughest part about becoming more outgoing, are those first steps. Don’t worry when people decline invitations or look bored when you’re discussing personal experiences. It’s not personal unless the other person makes it.

    • #3070495

      I’m with you on this one

      by lovely ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I have worked for government and you are definatley right about the ‘duds’ not getting fired. I once go told I could burn down the building and all I’d get was an Employee Family Assistance Pamphlet. The moral is generally low and it was hard not to find myself getting sucked into being a dud. Now I work for a private company and my motivation has sky rocketed. We may be slightly over worked but somehow more work gets done with fewer individuals. People are more movitvated because they know their job and their clients depends on it!I would never go back to a union.

    • #3070214

      Dale Carnegie training????

      by lumbergh77 ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      There were a few posters who mentioned Dale Carnegie training. I looked it up and there is a class close to my hometown but it costs $2000. Is it worth the money? Does it make that much of a difference? I doubt that I could get my employer to pay for it.

      • #3060224

        Dale C

        by raven2 ·

        In reply to Dale Carnegie training????

        Try the book first. It was mainly sales oriented when I took it.

      • #3069559

        Former DC trainer

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Dale Carnegie training????

        I actually used to teach a couple of DC courses, [b]How to Win Friends and Influence People[/b] (the book the last poster was pointng at) and the DC sales management course.

        In YOUR case, the first is an excellent idea.

        The book is a course book, it does nothing by itself but offer a positive read; unless being incorporated in the course.

        For example; One thing you will get from the class and not the book is learning how to speak in front of groups. First they teach you WHAT to speak about, how to build your self confidence by only speaking on topics you are QUALIFIED to discuss.

        The other is the plain experience of standing infront of the class every other week and giving impromptu speeches (2 minues that seem like 10).

        You will not gain these skills from the book, it is designed to compliment the course, not as a stand alone self help book. Imagine reading through a grade 12 science book and not taking the class.

        The first course, How to win friends…, is excellent for self esteem, building the skills and confidence to become more assertive and speak up. When I taught it, there were sales reps, managers, buseinss owners and even housewives taking the course for personal reasons.

        Yes it makes a difference if you apply yourself, drop your guard, stay positive and learn from it. You will develop these key skills that you desire.

        WARNING: An extroverted personality can be unleashed but an introverted person will not become extrovertedt, in your case I feel you need to unleash your drive and DC will work wonders for you.

        This is a human trait, some people are born extroverted and become introverted as life progresses, others the other way around and yet others never change.

        The DC course will open up hwo you really are, if you are an introvert, you will become a confident introvert but unless you have the natural drive and enthusiasm, you will not become an extrovert. It’s somethng you either have inside you or you don’t, your issues seem to be self confidence related, I personally think the first course will help you trmendously, you’re exactly what it’s designed for.

        The first course I took cost my 2 grand in the 80’s, it was worth every penny, I was aksed to stay on as a drop in confidence builder and ended up becoming a FT trainer, but I am VERY extroverted by nature.

        The trick is to MAINTAIN the skills they teach you, use post-it notes everywhere, little captions and reminders posted all over the place. You’ll get it, you’ll feel better about yourself, in which case any natural extroverted personality will come out and become the forefront, right down to your walk that will automatically become more confident as you feel better about who you are.

        Best of luck.

    • #3069771

      Intro/Extroversion is not a social skill

      by hillwalker ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      It looks like everyone is missing something really important. Introversion is a personality trait, not a measure of social skills. I’ve run into extroverts who had the social skills of a lamprey! (It was not a positive experience.)

      (Forgive me if I’m repeating, I haven’t read all two hundred messages… )

      What makes a person an intro/extrovert is how they spend and recharge thier energy. An extrovert is energized by dealing with people, by interacting and bumping ideas. They get drained by solitary times. An introvert is the opposite. Social interaction drains them, and they recharge by being alone.

      I’m about as solidly on the introvert end of the spectrum as you can get. But I love the rush of putting on a class or presentation. Some people like skydiving, I like public speaking. However, I’ve got to go have a quiet, solitary break to recover afterward. Compare this to an extrovert who quails at the thought of speaking to an audience. (They exist, I’ve met them.)

      Social skills can be learned. And it’s important to be able to deal civilly and professionally with you co-workers. But it has nothing to do with how introverted or extroverted you are.

      One of the most powerful tools to learn about your own personality (and get insight into other personalities) is the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. Do a web search for MBTI and all sorts of resources will come up.

      • #3069741

        Reply To: personality and social skills development

        by firestar1 ·

        In reply to Intro/Extroversion is not a social skill

        I agree that exroversion is not a social skill, it’s a talent of a sort. The gift of gab, if you will. A skill is something you learn, a talent being something you are generally born with. It is true a lot of extroverts are not so great at conversations, but can easily, readily talk with people. They need to develope the talent of coversation, that’s the key. An introvert could do the same if they are interested in socializing, however if they are introverts because they are shy, they must first overcome that obstacle. It has come to my understanding, for what I have read here, that some are shy and others just find small talk boring and aren’t interested in socializing. We cannot, or rather should not try to fit everyone into a certain mold or catagory because we are all different.

      • #3069625

        re: repeating

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Intro/Extroversion is not a social skill

        I rather gathered you hadn’t “read all two hundred messages” when I noticed that you said “everyone” is “missing” the fact that extroversion isn’t social skill. The third post from the top makes that point, among other things. Yes, one that I posted, titled “disagreement”. There’s also been some discussion of MBTI and other Jung typology testing and the “recharging” classification of introverts and extroverts.

        That aside, your post was pretty good. I don’t think anyone has mentioned stage fright amongst extroverts, particularly, and it is something worth mentioning. Of course, I could be wrong about whether it has been said: I haven’t read all the posts either. I’ve probably read 85% or more, though.

        I just tend to ignore discussions that try to fix problems by sending people to $800+ seminars where you pass a beanie baby around the room and repeat “I can do it!” over and over again.

        • #3069143


          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to re: repeating

          I just tend to ignore discussions that try to fix problems by sending people to $800+ seminars where you pass a beanie baby around the room and repeat “I can do it!” over and over again.

          Group reinforcement = peer pressure.

        • #3068903

          Yes, but:

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to ROTFLMAO

          Peer pressure works. It’ll make people more outgoing in public, if properly applied.

          My problem with them is that most of these seminars treat symptoms, and not underlying causes. As a result, people come out of those seminars seeming to be happier, even to themselves, and seeming to be more functional, but in ten years or so they tend to wake up and realize they’re miserable and emotionally broken.

          I’m sure some of these things are better than that, but most are wastes of time and money, and possibly harmful besides. Masking the problem with a bunch of slogans and the like doesn’t solve the problem, and in fact can prevent you from seeking to fix its underlying causes if the mask is good enough to fool yourself.

        • #3069113

          Relevant suggestion

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to re: repeating

          in the case of several including myself that have recommended Dale Carnegie courses, these do not fit into your beanie baby example, if that’s what you are referring to.

          In order to learn trig, you spend years in school. IN order to learn a trade, you spend years in school. In order to learn sales (PROPERLY), you also need to spend years in school/training seminars. In order to boost your publis self esteem, ability to speak in front of groups etc. you need to also attend training.

          There are natural salesmen, they pick up these techniques in training very easily, as do born public speakers, others do not and need to work harder on developing these skills.

          Believe me, I’ve seen excellent natural salesmen make horrendous mistakes in the sales process, costing time and money. I’ve seen extroverted speakers make massive mistakes in their oral presenations.

          These are learned skills, just as everyone feels you need a college education and certs to get ahead in the IT world, you need the same to get ahead in areas of public speaking and assertion. Yes there are some that will get by without, but they are the exception, not the rule.

          Sure the Stewart Smalley, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me” mantra won’t help, but professional speaking and self confidence training is an asset in most cases. No beanie babies and cuddles involved.

        • #3068896

          Reply To: personality and social skills development

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Relevant suggestion

          “[i]Dale Carnegie courses, these do not fit into your beanie baby example, if that’s what you are referring to[/i]”
          Yes and no. I haven’t actually attended the DC courses, or even personally known anyone to have done so, so I can’t really comment on them with any authority. My experience is that most such seminars are a very expensive scam, though I’m sure there are a few that are good and worth every penny. I just haven’t seen them. Maybe the Dale Carnegie courses fall into that category. See my further comments, though.

          “[i]In order to learn trig, you spend years in school.[/i]”
          . . . or with books, or inventing trigonometry (as some very smart mathematicians did centuries ago). In general, however, I agree with you.

          “[i]IN order to learn a trade, you spend years in school.[/i]”
          Sorta. Experience and apprenticeship of some kind (and no, I don’t mean getting some label slapped on you by a union based on how many dues you’ve paid over the course of your life) tend to be far more effective instructors. Books can help here, too, though there’s no substitute for “field” experience. Still, I get where you’re going, and school can help.

          “[i]In order to learn sales (PROPERLY), you also need to spend years in school/training seminars.[/i]”
          In the sense of suit-wearing corporate sales executives and anything peripheral to that culture: [b]absolutely[/b]. Formal training is far more useful and even critical in effective sales than most people realize. The training is not 100% necessary, but it’s close enough so that most of us will never know the difference between “necessary” and “highly recommended” in this case.

          “[i]In order to boost your publis self esteem, ability to speak in front of groups etc. you need to also attend training.[/i]”
          I disagree with this one, I’m afraid. It can help. It can also harm. The problem is that most such training is based on some theory (or collection of theories) of social interactions that is derived from some observations of nonrepresentative demographics. There’s a big difference between becoming truly comfortable and effective in public social circumstances and faking it convincingly. The latter can be used to build a career and enrich your wallet, but only the former can be used to build your internal sense of self-worth and enrich your life. Even the best professional seminar, in my honest opinion, would have a hard time being able to reach more than 20% of the populace in a way that enriches their lives. Still, if it markets itself in a way that primarily attracts attendees who fit within that target demographic, it can conceivably enjoy very high rates of success, and more power to ’em.

          “[i]just as everyone feels you need a college education and certs to get ahead in the IT world[/i]”
          Not quite everyone, though anyone with a realistic perspective on the IT industry will at least concede that it typically takes certs and college to get past Human Resources in a major corporation.

          “[i]professional speaking and self confidence training is an asset in most cases. No beanie babies and cuddles involved.[/i]”
          With that, I can definitely agree, assuming a good training course.

    • #3069672

      Art of Team building

      by tniast ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      sometimes works in or out of the projects. Pick a subject(non-work) related, ask questions, learn about their background, socials. Give your suggestions, blend in your experience.

      Try it out.

    • #3069090

      Extrovert Training 101

      by joyb ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Years ago before I got into IT Recruiting my mother had a saying for me, “She’s too backwards to go forwards” and yes! I have mother issues. Well, I decided to go into sales to change myself from an introvert to an extrovert. It worked! I wouldn’t recommend this for everyone, but if you look at it symbolically, this type of decision can apply to you too. And since you asked for advise, I’m going to give you some. Make a list of 3 things you’re willing to do to stretch yourself. IE: Join a club or professional group that meets on a regular basis and make it a point to meet new people and develop new relationships. You can take seminars and/or hire a coach to teach you how to network. I joined a Toastmaster’s club (one of the most scary and yet beneficial things I’ve ever done) and was amazed how quickly my self confidence grew. So, what I’m suggesting here is to basically set 3 goals for yourself with the intention to improve your social skills. These are skills anyone can learn, and when you have the self confidence you need it becomes a lot easier to socialize. If you’re interested, I teach a free class on the phone called “How To Work A Room”. Here’s the link.

      When I tell people I’m basically an introvert, they don’t believe me. I’m now known as the networking queen. You can do it! Once you learn the skills, no one will ever guess you’re an introvert.

    • #3060108

      Find an open-mic comedy night

      by wordworker ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      If you can’t afford or are put off by the formal speaking training options (like Dale Carnegie or Toastmasters), here’s how to squeeze the old adrenaline gland and get a serious surge of excitement and confidence: find an amateur night or open-mic[rophone] night and get on the schedule. They’ll give you as a newby two or three minutes. It’s great fun, and the first time you tell a joke that gets a big laugh, you might just locate that “inner extrovert” you’re looking for.

      Also, if you’re physically able, start doing push-ups — 5 to 10 per day to start, and then work your way up by adding 5 or 10 push-ups per day. You’ll feel better and eventually you’ll start looking a little stronger too. (Similar to the suggestions to learn martial arts I guess.)

      Every morning before you leave the house, look in the mirror and say, “Go get ’em, Tiger! Udamang!!”

    • #3070572

      just an idea

      by itgirli ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      For me, I got into theater, started doing improv. it helps you learn to think on your feet and opens your mind to different areas.
      It only helped me so much. eventually I just got tired of being in the background and shoved my way to the front. realize that your life is what you make it and you are free to be whoever you want to be and should have no one to answer to.

      • #3071049

        not as easy as it sounds

        by firestar1 ·

        In reply to just an idea

        I know you are right, life is what you make it, but events of life, people and many other factors are involved and can almost dictate so much of it. Notice I did say almost. Certain events can alter or postpone indefinately a persons life, plans. I was once very outgoing, had a lot of friends, but certain events, illnesses and deaths in the family among other things took me away from all of that as I was needed elswhere, to care for certain family members. I practically became a recluse for a number of years and now it is hard for me to meet people, to talk to them. It would be nice if it were as easy as just doing what we want with our lives, to just jump back into the world. Years ago I would have said the same thing to anyone, life is what we make it, and I didn’t understand the difficulties an introvert would have talking to people. It has been a learning experience I suppose, because now I can relate to that. Now that I have time for myself I find it isn’t so easy as it sounds, getting out and meeting people, talking with people.

    • #3068812

      Does your org have a good culture?

      by jrathjen ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Group cultures and people vary. Generalizations are dangerous.

      That said, I’ve found that “the life of the party” at most organizations I’ve been in are the same people that *don’t* get the promotions nor make the most. (Except in Sales) They may be popular, but are usually in a career rut.

      Those that prattle on are often discounted. The best “listeners” are seen as the smart, capable and empathetic.

      Now, let’s ask a different question, “Are you a good listener?”

      • #3071783

        It depends

        by ndcold1 ·

        In reply to Does your org have a good culture?

        From what I have seen its not always the life of the party nor the introvert who always get anything, it all depends on the company/management. I consider myself to be an extrovert but do like my alone time to. if you have the knowledge you will succeed, maybe your just not working for the right people. Just my thoughts.

    • #3116600

      What about the rest of the personality?

      by info ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      Orthodox personality assessment deals mainly with behavioral features, like the introverted vs the extroverted type.
      A full pers.asessment should also deliver the inborn prefered career path, missing abilities, outstanding characteristics as a behavioral feature, the inner self, the kind of motivations a person needs to feel the drive – just to name a view.
      An excellent site giving professional advice is .

    • #3120420

      Amazing Easy to Use REAL Help

      by lraymond ·

      In reply to personality and social skills development

      I’m not sure if you have ever heard of Dale Carnegie training, but it changed my introverted brother’s life! Great tips, quick to read and REVIEW in “How to win friends and influence people” This is a good link to a summary:

      Once he learned these basic skills, socializing was not so agonizing! Good Luck to you!

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