I’m an introvert. No, I’m an extrovert for sure. No wait, I’m an introvert with extrovert tendencies! Yeah, that’s it…definitely…well, maybe…?
The truth is, I had no idea where I fell on this spectrum, and I'm learning that a lot of creatives and boss ladies are right there with me.
Recently, I listened to an episode on the Being Boss Podcast where hosts Emily and Kathleen talk about an ever present theme in the entrepreneurial, small business world—labeling yourself introvert or extrovert. It seems that a lot of work-from-home creatives have pledged themselves to the side of the introverts, almost as if it’s a stereotype that us small business entrepreneurial folk have all too readily bought into. This got me thinking—as creative entrepreneurs, are we just introverts by default? Is this why we’ve decided to pave our own paths? Why most of us work from home, alone? It’s definitely an interesting theory, but I’ve come to a conclusion. Conclusion being: there is no predetermined category for us boss people, and anyone who says there is, is well, ultimately full of crap.
I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert until I really started thinking about it—mulling the idea around in my head and analyzing myself. Let's see, I’m shy, I’m kind of socially awkward sometimes, and the thought of mingling and keeping a conversation going with people I don’t know gives me a mini heart attack. It’s safe to say a lot of the time I’d rather be in bed, in my pjs, with a big-ol' glass of wine (or beverage of choice) watching Netflix. You know that shirt that says, “I’m only talking to my dog today”? Yeah, that pretty much sums up my life most days. So I’m obviously an introvert, right?
Mmmm, wrong. I’m starting to see that my shyness and social anxiety do not define me as an introvert, and they don’t really define me as a person either. You’re probably thinking, ugh, yeah they kind of do…
Well, what if I told you sometimes I absolutely crave social interaction? That I get super amped and excited when I’m working and collaborating with other creatives (cause let’s be honest, working at home by yourself all day can be, well, rather depressing at times), that I absolutely LOVE being adventurous and going out with my boyfriend or my friends, or that I cannot stand being by myself for longer than a day. Sure there is that part of me that needs to be left alone to re-charge in my blanket cocoon, streaming yet another episode of this month’s British TV obsession. However, on the flip side, there’s that other part of me that re-charges being surrounded by people, by their energy. Sometimes I crave being busy and on the go and the thought of being stuck inside, alone, leaves me completely sad and deflated. Then, I’m an extrovert, yeah? Mmmm, not really.
So what the heck am I? I’ve discovered that I’m…both. I’m an introverted extrovert, or an extroverted introvert? However you want to put it, in the end, I’m uniquely me. Humanity is beautifully complex and a simple label can’t define you. So, to all my girl boss friends out there, to all you badass creative entrepreneurs working from home, I challenge you to dig a little deeper, past any potential stereotypes that may have shaped your initial pledge to one side or the other of the introvert/extrovert controversy, and ask yourself, are you living by the confines of a label?
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