@NancyAncowitz: May I ask you some questions about your world view as an introvert author and blogger who enlightens other introverts?
@SophiaDembling: Ask away. I love being short-winded here on Twitter. I will pontificate at short length.
@NancyAncowitz: Yes. Short-winded is ideal. What inspired you to write the book?
@SophiaDembling: I learned tons about introversion thru my blog; reading, thinking, and esp. comments. I wanted to share insights & strategies.
@NancyAncowitz: I can't wait to hear more about your insights and strategies. To get started, how did you realize you were an introvert?
@SophiaDembling: I always knew I was but didn't realize how much that affected my life until 2008, when I read Laurie...
@NancyAncowitz: Dr. Helgoe, le flâneur?
@SophiaDembling: Oui. There are so many interesting introvert voices writing today, just like there are so many types of introverts.
@NancyAncowitz: Agreed. Yes, like grains of sand. Except on a quiet beach. In the autumn. What’s your favorite activity for recharging?
@SophiaDembling: For everyday recharging, walking. Definitely. Alone or with the dog. Sometimes with music, other times even that is too much.
@NancyAncowitz: How do introverts and extroverts define fun differently?
@SophiaDembling: Extrovert fun is a Mountain Dew commercial. Introvert fun is an International Coffees commercial. Noisy vs. peaceful.
@NancyAncowitz: What tip can you offer introverts who live inside that Mountain Dew commercial each day at work and at home?
@SophiaDembling: There is tremendous empowerment to understanding & respecting your own introversion.
@NancyAncowitz: Yet misperceptions about introverts abound. What have you learned from your research about shyness and introversion?
@SophiaDembling: My fave definitions: Shyness is behavior (fear in social situations), introversion is motivation (we can take it or leave it).
@NancyAncowitz: Well put. I know that many people find it baffling that extroverts can be shy too.
@SophiaDembling: Exactly! And that introverts can be not-shy. I think it would be terrible to be a shy extrovert. To fear what you crave.
@NancyAncowitz: Conversely, you can be a social introvert (in doses) as well as highly sensitive. How do people communicate best with you?
@SophiaDembling: Communication is evolving for me. Now that I feel OK not liking the phone, I've grown more comfortable w/phone calls.
@NancyAncowitz: Yes. You were gracious with me on the phone. And not a word wasted.
@SophiaDembling: I love text for imparting information, email for chitchat. I love face-to-face for real conversation. Phone is a necessity.
@NancyAncowitz: You compare some extroverts trying to communicate with introverts as "tourists mangling a foreign language." Say more.
@SophiaDembling: Did I say that? Extroverts mean well, trying to draw us out of our shells, but sometimes are too insistent and don't hear us.
@NancyAncowitz: Yes. And at the same time, you make a big point of not bashing extroverts.
@SophiaDembling: Absolutely. If we want our introverted ways respected, we have to give the same respect to extroverts. We are yin and yang.
@NancyAncowitz: Well put. What can extroverts learn from introverts?
@SophiaDembling: Sometimes people listen more if you talk less.
@NancyAncowitz: Yes. I'm a fan of the "three-second rule" in which you count to 3 (silently) to let the other person finish their thought.
@SophiaDembling: I struggle with that three-second rule when I'm really interested in a conversation! I am a terrible interrupter.
@NancyAncowitz: Yes, interrupting is hard for many introverts. I reframe it as interjecting so you can contribute to a discussion.
@SophiaDembling: Interjecting! I love it. It's all in how you frame it.
@SophiaDembling: And sometimes, you just have to draw on your inner extrovert and speak up loudly and forcefully.
@NancyAncowitz: What can introverts learn from extroverts?
@SophiaDembling: That you have to ask for what you want! Body language alone won't cut it. Sometimes you just have to speak up.
@NancyAncowitz: On that note, what advice do you have for introverts who struggle getting heard at meetings (business or otherwise)?
@SophiaDembling: Sometimes the trouble is the discussion moving too fast to jump in. Don't be afraid to say, "Returning to an earlier point..."
@NancyAncowitz: That's another good point. I also like saying the name of someone at the meeting to get their attention.
@NancyAncowitz: What have you learned about introverts and happiness?
@SophiaDembling: When you really look at the definition of happiness used in the research, it sounds very extroverted. It's energetic &...
@SophiaDembling: A lot of research about happiness tells us introverts are less happy than extroverts. But is that really true?
@SophiaDembling: I propose that introvert happiness is different and could be measured differently. On the other hand, we do tend to ruminate.
@SophiaDembling: And rumination can make us unhappy by any measure.
@NancyAncowitz: Good point about ruminating. And that can turn negative. Any tips for managing those nattering voices between our ears?
@SophiaDembling: Boy, if I could teach people how to stop those voices I'd be a billionaire. I'm learning to meditate & practice mindfulness.
@SophiaDembling: And self-compassion. We are so much harder on ourselves than on anyone else.
@NancyAncowitz: I find that particularly true in working with clients on their presentation skills. They think they look worse than they do.
@SophiaDembling: Can you convince them of that?
@NancyAncowitz: Yes. I videotape them rehearsing and/or doing mock interviews. And we look at the evidence of what is actually working.
@SophiaDembling: Yes, and I find that the more true to myself I am, the less stressful being out in the world is.
@NancyAncowitz: When you are out in the world and want to read, write, or just be a flâneur at a cafe, how do you ask to be alone?
@SophiaDembling: Honestly, it has never been much of an issue. I must put out a leave-me-alone vibe. But a book or earbuds can help.
@NancyAncowitz: How about this comment from your book? "We may develop prickly defenses to protect ourselves from onslaughts by extroverts...."
@SophiaDembling: I think that when we are comfortable and respectful of our introversion, we can deflect overzealous extroverts more calmly.
@NancyAncowitz: Sounds like it starts with being comfortable in our own skin, despite the stigma around needing to refuel quietly.
@SophiaDembling: If we are comfortable and open about needing to refuel quietly, others will get used to it and the stigma will fade.
@NancyAncowitz: On another note, what have you learned about introverts, extroverts, and creativity? Are introverts more creative?
@SophiaDembling: Nothing has convinced me that introverts are inherently more creative. We may just spend more time in a creative head space.
@NancyAncowitz: I'm with you on that. We just go about our creative process differently than extroverts - more internally than out loud.
@SophiaDembling: Exactly. And creativity is no good without action, which extroverts can bring to creative collaboration.
@NancyAncowitz: Thanks so much for sharing all these insights. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
@SophiaDembling: This is introverts' moment. People are recognizing, learning about introversion. Soon we won't have to fight for respect.
@SophiaDembling: This has been really fun, Nancy. Thank you.
@NancyAncowitz: Likewise. Thank you for our exchange. May your quiet star continue to twinkle brightly!
@SophiaDembling: Back at you!
© Copyright 2013 Nancy Ancowitz
Minor edits were made to the exchange above.