Introversion is not something that needs to be fixed.
The words we use say a lot about how we perceive the world around us. I was in a training session on training with other trainers (let that settle in your mind for a bit), when one of the online participants said something to this effect:
“Oh I don’t use those techniques because it freaks out the introverts”
I turned to my innocent colleague and quietly, but firmly commented:
“Extroversion bias! Introversion is not something to be overcome, cured, or fixed. Listen to the language. FREAK OUT the introverts? Why are we never worried about freaking out the EXTROVERTS?”
It was a remark that my colleague absorbed (I assume) out of the kindness of his heart with a chuckle that said, “yeah, that’s a good point but I really want to listen to this so stop”. It wasn’t his fault I sat next to him. It wasn’t his fault I chose to unload my thoughts at that particular moment.
All of that being said, I get it. It’s easy to put people into categories. You there, introvert! You are quiet! You freak out when asked to participate!
No, not quite.
In fact, people are a trillion times more complex than we give them credit for in our online seminars and conference workshops. But hey, simple sells and complexity doesn’t.
Want to do better?
I recommend the work of Susan Cain, who’s book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” is an excellent read. She is also co-founder of Quiet Revolution where she is an advocate for a more balanced perspective on introversion and extroversion. She is a great resource for introverts living life in a world designed for extroverts, and for everyone who just wants to bring out the best in what amounts to approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the population.