Human Psychology

Talk About Introversion

I am an Introvert, I am proud to be. Why would I not be? A third of the total world population are classified as introverts. The term introversion is popularized by Carl Jung, which is now part of the personality theory. They say that people who are introverted are focus more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seek from an external simulation.

I remember a professor said, “If you want to know what an extravert is thinking, just listen. If you want to know what an introvert is thinking, ask them.”  — Although these statements may be a little extreme, there is a modicum of truth to it.

Susan Cain, an author of the book about introverts: Quiet- The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, explains the response difference of an introvert vs. extroverts. She pointed out how an introvert can be successful in this world. While a lot of people are confusing themselves about introvertism and shyness, I am reposting this article I read a long time ago about the top 10 myths on introverts. Good read I must say. 🙂

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

Changing Lanes

Change is a powerful optimistic word, so when someone says that you’ve changed a lot, you must see it from a perspective of someone trying to compare your previous self to the new you. There will be people who will even try to drag you to the past, and this form of manipulation, whether in benevolent approach or drastic, is just too self draining. Why do you even need to bother what they think about your life?

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And whenever you felt that nothing is going right in your life, always remember that you have a choice of moving to the other lane. There is always a better place. Change is something that you need to embrace, for life must be progressive and not stagnant. Live your life based on the decisions YOU choose, not others.

Imperatives of being a leader

bossesquotesEarlier we had a quick huddle, some work concerns were brought up like salary increase and support operations, I thought that our local boss must take note of those concerns, & most importantly, he should have addressed it. I felt that it was mishandled and that co-workers even noticed how defensive our boss was. As a pioneer, I felt the urge to acknowledge and even offer alternatives, and had to speak to boss privately. I was told that a co-worker was complained by a very important client, that’s why he couldn’t say anything about salary raise, now that boss neck is on the line. Told him that he has to deal with those separately: (1) co-worker issue (2) salary increase, which was raised a long time ago. The only thing I am against with is the idea that he is willing to let go of a co-worker, as opposed to give chance and correct the mistakes. I realized I shouldn’t be teaching him management 101. He trusted me so much that I am always the second to know on what’s going to happen on the next few weeks/months, but sometimes I get fed up with the entire process, most especially letting people go just like that.

I hate to think that firing people is the best option. I always see that attrition rate has something to do with building team culture. There’s no such thing as perfect roster, agents or employees. These people need to be led by someone they look up to. For me it’s more of identifying whether its an attitude or aptitude issue, and being able to punch that problem away. Firing them wouldn’t make them become better person on their next jobs. I felt that something is lacking, like a sense of direction, sense of leadership.

Honestly I do not fear being fired when worse comes to worst, I’m afraid that my boss is becoming dependent highly of us, (3 pioneers left) but what about the rest? A part of me is happy to know that he sees me like that, he respects the kind of contributions I am giving, but the other side of me, tells me that a lot of things were overlooked because of that ideology.

And so it begs the question, are you the boss you need to be? This question does not seek perfection from your management style, (yes we all suck at one point) but more of being able to influence the people around you. What entails in being a great leader? How are you getting the best from your people? As equally important as how are you setting your personal benchmarks as a leader? Are you making your employees happy?

Homebase Job Pitfalls

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In the United States, the percentage of people working from home had increased to more than 35%. This change is gradual for the past two decades. Home-based jobs are trending and it gives equal opportunity to working moms, part-timers, technical people who use computers to deliver daily tasks. Yes there are many perks in working from home and I can name a few: No gas expense or fare fees for commuters,  you don’t have to deal with traffic or rush-hour stress, and you can work at your own pace. Though these perks may sound awesome, the home-based job setup is still not bullet proof.

I’ve been working from home for the past three years, (prior to that, I used to work in a corporate environment for many years) and the first quarter is a tussle, because of the adjustments I had to do. So let me share with you the common pitfalls and how I am continuously beating it:

1. Overwork. This is the part wherein a worker can no longer identify the boundaries of being at home and the workload itself. Without a natural stopping point like timeout on a regular office work, the day gets longer and it’s harder to put aside work. You tend to check emails on a regular basis, check work related articles, without noticing that you are doing overtime, except not paid.

What I did when this hits me is to regulate my time, by setting my mind on my shift hours, example 8am-5pm, just like any regular office work. So I make it to the point that I step away from my computer and do other “home routines” after my shift hours. This helps me sustain energy & balance my work and family time.

2. Too many distractions. Well those who work from office are not 100% focused, so much more burden to those working from home. The TV is there, the unlimited food from the fridge, or the noise from your kids, are some elements that can keep your brain off from your workload. This is a hard transition especially to those who are beginners in working at home, because they still mind the dishes as opposed to sending reports to the boss.

In this pitfall, what I did is to have a dedicated office room, and explain to the rest of the family that when the door is closed, it means I’m on shift. I also use multi-tasking skills, like there are some hours  of the day when you’re not doing anything at work, so I turn those valuable minutes to doing other chores at home. Doing this will help you create your own work structure, self process and time versatility.

3. Isolation is fatal. This is the physical separation of yourself from social environment resulting to a form of isolation. Working remotely limits the face-to-face interactions and the opportunity to connect with peers. You get to miss the professional insights due to isolation.

The solution we implement to this barrier is to do regular meetups with peers, who like you, are also isolated at one point. We make transition reports and huddles before and after the shift, and yes we use real-time communications like skype, messengers, etc just to get everyone in the loop. We share common hobbies which are not necessarily work related and we talk about it. So far so good, I never felt choked by isolation and I always find ways to kill boredom.

Yes it is exciting to work in a home-based setup, as much as working in a corporate world. There will be pros and cons that you have to work on to be able to venture out on your own as an independent worker. Most importantly, you must enjoy what you are doing regardless where you are working at and always take pride in your work.

A fight with ego

While talking with a friend, I remember her saying “I don’t know” about something, and initially it sounded as if she lost interest on it nor nothing smart thing to say, but as the discussion goes on, she gives wonderfully insightful responses. And that is how I admire her ego.

So why call it ego? Sigmund Freud’s “The ego is not master in its own house.” will greatly explain that to overcome ego, you must know the boundaries of what you can and what you can’t do. The negative connotation on ego lies only when you see yourself rising all the time, and not noticing your pit falls. The ability to say the phrase “I don’t know” does not mean stupidity, but it’s being humble with what you know, and becoming comfortable with some form of discomfort. These kind of people will seek help when necessary, as they believe that there is no shame in not knowing or failing.

The phase called “rebuilding”

We all went through the lowest points of our lives where we lost our loved ones, may it be physically or emotionally. The time when a sudden crisis hit us that we don’t know what else to do or how to get started. We must come to understand that there is a thing called “rebuilding phase.” This is the period where you collate your thoughts, realize the things that you can control and think about the things you need to let go or forget. You are never alone in this kind of fight, there is always a way to seek help within, but it is imperative that you don’t lose yourself in the process.

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Walk with Integrity

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People associate integrity with honesty…adding to that, it is one’s wholeness  & authenticity of who we are and what we do. It is about knowing our values, the discernment, our passion and understanding about living in a deeper sense. One can never learn integrity from others, because we only get that within.

Do you think that in this modern society where politics is horrendous, capitalists are putting money at the core, business ethics are fluctuating, you can still name people whom you have high regards in terms of integrity? When was the last time you check yours?

In life we have to prepare to be part of minority from time to time, and swim against the tide to stay true to ourselves. This is the simplest way we can do to build up integrity.

Traumatic Growth

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We are all aware and heard about the natural calamities that took place in almost every part of the world. Strong typhoons, tsunamis, earthquake, volcanic eruption, and the likes had been experienced, and made everyone aware of it. The survivors of these calamities had proven to develop positive and psychological changes. They are more appreciative of life, more flexible, has better world view on the new possibilities, more strength and had improved relationships with family or spiritually. This was associated with the psychological term called “Post Traumatic Growth.”

But did you know that there’s one person who had seen this explanation, a long time ago? Yes it’s Friedrich Nietzsche, where he had written, “that which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Apparently he is right.

I believe that it’s a choice though, to improve ourselves after a hardship, and that we make ourselves better by coping up with the different degrees of suffering. We need not to wait for another calamity to hit us, everyday we are surviving life changes from pain, heartaches, disappointments, domestic violence, etc. We can all have this mindset to continuously improve ourselves, after all, that’s the only thing we have control over.

Discovering myself as INTJ & you’ve just undressed me!

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Now that I have your attention on the “undressing” part, let me share that I took up this personality test years ago, I remember having the same IN part, not sure if its the same variance, but who cares really? So this post is pretty much about being an INTJ, we will not go down as to how accurate it is and all the blahs. If you’re an INTJ like me, read on:

intjbadge_attrThe INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population (INTJ females are especially rare–just 0.8%), INTJs are often seen as highly intelligent and perplexingly mysterious. INTJ personalities radiate self-confidence, relying on their huge archive of knowledge spanning many different topics and areas.

INTJs are analytical. Like INTPs, they are most comfortable working alone and tend to be less sociable than other types. Nevertheless, INTJs are prepared to lead if no one else seems up to the task, or if they see a major weakness in the current leadership. They tend to be pragmatic, logical, and creative. They have a low tolerance for spin or rampant emotionalism. They are not generally susceptible to catchphrases and do not recognize authority based on tradition, rank, or title.

As an INTJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things rationally and logically. INTJs live in the world of ideas and strategic planning. They value intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which they continuously strive to fulfill. To a somewhat lesser extent, they have similar expectations of others.

However, their primary interest is not understanding a concept, but rather applying that concept in a useful way. Unlike the INTP, they do not follow an idea as far as they possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully. INTJs are driven to come to conclusions about ideas. Their need for closure and organization usually requires that they take some action.

INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren’t working well. They are the supreme strategists – always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency.

INTJs are ambitious, self-confident, deliberate, long-range thinkers. Many INTJs end up in engineering or scientific pursuits, although some find enough challenge within the business world in areas which involve organizing and strategic planning. They dislike messiness and inefficiency, and anything that is muddled or unclear. They value clarity and efficiency, and will put enormous amounts of energy and time into consolidating their insights into structured patterns.

INTJs have a tremendous amount of ability to accomplish great things. They have insight into the Big Picture, and are driven to synthesize their concepts into solid plans of action. Their reasoning skills gives them the means to accomplish that. INTJs are most always highly competent people, and will not have a problem meeting their career or education goals. They have the capability to make great strides in these arenas. On a personal level, the INTJ who practices tolerances and puts effort into effectively communicating their insights to others has everything in his or her power to lead a rich and rewarding life.

INTJs have a thirst for knowledge and a passion for improvement. Constantly working to better themselves, they are often perfectionists. INTJs are also focused on finding ways to improve processes, always open to possibilities and new ideas. They enjoy taking the time to truly understand ideas or systems, and using their analytical skills to solve complex problems. INTJs often have a broad vision for what is best for an organization, and are driven to implement these ideas.

INTJs prefer structure and order, and expect others to follow the rules and procedures. Once committed, INTJs go to great lengths to fulfill their responsibilities and typically can be trusted to get the job done. Independent and forward-thinking, INTJs tend to be visionaries and are often found in leadership positions where they can apply their well-developed organizational skills to systems and people. Typically confident in their abilities and their insights, INTJs often have a unique ability to clearly and concisely express their vision and goals.

INTJs are idea people. Anything is possible; everything is negotiable. Whatever the outer circumstances, INTJs are ever perceiving inner pattern-forms and using real-world materials to operationalize them. Others may see what is and wonder why; INTJs see what might be and say “Why not?!” Paradoxes, antinomies, and other contradictory phenomena aptly express these intuitors’ amusement at those whom they feel may be taking a particular view of reality too seriously. INTJs enjoy developing unique solutions to complex problems.

In forming relationships, INTJs tend to seek out others with similar character traits and ideologies. Agreement on theoretical concepts is an important aspect of their relationships. By nature INTJs can be demanding in their expectations, and approach relationships in a rational manner. As a result, INTJs may not always respond to a spontaneous infatuation but wait for a mate who better fits their set criteria. They tend to be stable, reliable, and dedicated. Harmony in relationships and home life tends to be extremely important to them. They generally withhold strong emotion and do not like to waste time with what they consider irrational social rituals. This may cause non-INTJs to perceive them as distant and reserved; nevertheless, INTJs are usually very loyal partners who are prepared to commit substantial energy and time into a relationship to make it work.

As mates, INTJs want harmony and order in the home and in relationships. The most independent of all types, INTJs trust their intuition when choosing friends and mates—even in spite of contradictory evidence or pressure from others. The emotions of an INTJ are hard to read, and neither male nor female INTJs are apt to express emotional reactions. At times, INTJs seem cold, reserved, and unresponsive, while in fact they are almost hypersensitive to signals of rejection from those they care for. In social situations, INTJs may also be unresponsive and may neglect small rituals designed to put others at ease. For example, INTJs may communicate that idle dialogue such as small talk is a waste of time. This may create the impression that the INTJ is in a hurry—an impression that is not always intended. In their interpersonal relationships, INTJs are usually better in a working situation than in a recreational situation.