Being an introvert or extrovert is not just about our impact and interaction with others. It's much more about how our feelings create an internal experience. This pod explores when introverts and extroverts feel uncomfortable, and how they naturally try to 'adjust' the interaction in very different ways.
Melissa Albers 0:00
Hey everyone, you are listening to the self awareness journey podcast. This little bander is about a car ride long and features your hosts JJ Parker. And Melissa Albers. JJ owns a tech company. And Melissa has been a coach working with influencers for the last 18 years. JJ, as you know, this week, we completed a workshop on introversion and extraversion and knowing your style. And wasn't that so much fun. We had les was great over 50 people, right. And it was just a really cool. It was really a cool event. And I think it'd be kind of cool for us to talk about that today on our podcast and do sort of a abbreviated version. kind of tell you about what we learned. Yeah.
JJ Parker 0:45
Well, I would say that our one of our favorite topics, between the two of us is talking about introversion and extraversion. Yeah, because we're both on one. The listeners can guess who's who? We'll find out shortly. But I love this topic, because it is one of those things that I some people might know about themselves. And they probably have an inkling anyway. But I find it's one of the more I know, obvious are out there. personality traits. Like when an introvert meets an extrovert. It's almost like sometimes you're meeting someone from Mars, he can't even understand. Yeah, like, why they're acting the way they are. Yeah. And, and vice versa. Right. Yeah, it can lead to misunderstanding, but and it's, in some ways it can lead to, you know, like, really great relationships.
Melissa Albers 1:46
So and I think to that so often when other when people are talking about introversion and extraversion, I mean, there's millions of books and workshops and stuff out on this topic. But I like the angle that we're talking about this because it isn't just how you are on the outside, like showing up in that way, like letting people know you're introverted or extroverted. It really is talking about how after conversations, you feel inside, you know, if a discussion or interaction with someone went well, or if it didn't go well, the differences with introversion and extraversion are wildly big, right, the differences inside how you feel how you process all of that. And then how those feelings sit inside of you. And then come out later. So yeah, I think that's really great. So what let's just get started. Let's Yeah,
JJ Parker 2:32
I mean, let's Yeah, let's jump in just to give some baseline on Yeah, introverts and extroverts. And yeah, and I'll say for, for me, learning about, like my own style has had like a huge impact, both personally in my personal relationships. And at work, like once I started talking about my introverted traits with my colleagues, like work got so much better for me. Yeah, it's amazing. Talk about that. Yeah. So later,
Melissa Albers 3:06
so we we started, and I think this would be a really good place for us to start today. What are some of the there are some primary markers that we can help identify? So you want to start with the Yeah, insulation markers?
JJ Parker 3:21
As an introvert, I have lots of experience with this part. So the first one we talked about is energy, right? Like Where do introverts get their energy from? Like, what kind of recharges that right? And for us introverts. Oftentimes, it's spending time alone, right? Being alone recharges us. A lot of times, like, for me, like I like to eat alone, right? Sometimes I'll be eating at work alone. And basically hoping the whole time no one comes in, sits down next to me and starts chatting, because I'm like trying to recharge from a next meeting, right? whereas an extrovert might look at that and be like, oh, that Oh, poor JJ is at the load.
Unknown Speaker 4:10
I'll go sleep.
JJ Parker 4:12
I'm like even things like traveling or load I like I really enjoy traveling a lot. I actually like traveling a lot so much that I had an admin years back and when we would go travel for work like as a as a sales team. She'd booked me on a different flight from the team. Wow. What a sweetheart. Yeah. It was awesome. And then with work, often, I like to work independently, right? That doesn't mean that I can't function in a team or group setting, right? But when it really comes down to like, Okay, I need to really produce some of my best content or output. I like to do it independently by myself. I don't like to have to try to interact with other people to get the work done, right. And then, you know, kind of going back to that being alone thing, just like sitting quietly and thinking, right, like, just this whole idea that like the calmness and the solitude recharge, right? Yeah. Yeah. So next, that kind of like dovetails into how introverts interact with people. Yeah, right. There is a big myth. I want to bust a myth right now, introverts don't hate people. We're not necessarily liars, haters of people. Right? I really like I like people. But as an introvert, I just don't really get a lot of energy from big groups. Right? Like, Melissa, when you and I talk. I love it. One on one. Yeah, awesome. Yeah. I'd much rather go have coffee with one person, then do the whole like, hey, let's get a group of 12 people and go to dinner. Right? So I like to interact with people on a smaller scale. And when it comes to communication style, right, a lot of times I prefer written, right? I'd rather have a text or an email than a phone conversation. Obviously, texting over the past, you know, whoever decades since it's gotten invented, has been awesome for us introverts. This one This one I introvert so hard on sometimes, that actually changed my work voicemail to say, you've reached the desk of JJ, please send me an email.
Melissa Albers 6:54
I thought I thought you had that just to me. No. So I really I really like I really like what you're talking about with how you're getting your energy. And then you know, that second marker of how it how you interact,
Unknown Speaker 7:11
Melissa Albers 7:12
yeah. So what what do you what do you how do you respond? If something in that interaction doesn't go well for you? Like, what's that, like, for introversion side?
Unknown Speaker 7:26
JJ Parker 7:28
So, like, when you're introverted, right, you're, you're generally a little bit more reserved, I would say, no want to stereotype all introverts, but generally, it's like more a little bit more reserved. And the other thing about introverts is that we have to think in order to talk. Right? So you actually probably even hear it in my cadence a lot, even on the podcast, where like, I'll put more pauses between things, because I'm actually trying to think it through quick before it comes out of my mouth. Now, we're in like, a group setting. It's, it's hard it or harder for me to engage a lot of times because people we like to talk talk, talk, talk, talk, talk talk, right? And I'm just like, trying to process trying to think, right, like, things aren't actually coming out of my mouth very fast. So I actually, a lot of times feel like I'm not able to share my opinion, I'm not able to get in the conversation. Or I won't feel like heard right, or, or it almost goes down to like, a respect thing. Like why do these people not stop talking? So I can add to add my piece to this conversation? Right? Yeah, that's interesting. So that actually turns into almost like, like, disengagement, right? Like, I'll easily get disengaged in a conversation if I like can't, if I'm not really, like allowed space into it. And because of my more passive nature, I'm not gonna really insert myself into that I feel uncomfortable just inserting myself into a conversation, even though that'd be very natural for other personality types.
Melissa Albers 9:16
Yeah, no, yeah.
JJ Parker 9:18
The other the other sort of feeling odd of us was
Melissa Albers 9:21
specific. I was just gonna comment on that. I like that because I think there you know, as we just reflect, and people that are introverts listening to this call, it would be really interesting to have them sit on this for just a moment like, you know, when their needs aren't being met in a conversation or an interaction is that the experience that they also have, you know, is that as that sort of pulling in pulling back, becoming even more quiet or more introspective, that's really interesting.
JJ Parker 9:51
The, the other thing that will happen with me, especially when it starts getting into is like bigger group settings, right? Because if if you're like running with a more extroverted crowd, you know, it's a lot like, hey, let's all go do this and like, pump it up the energy and all of that what I want to kind of go the opposite way. So it makes me sometimes feel like a misfit. Like, I don't, I don't quite fit in with the group. And it causes like, even a little bit of insecurity, right? Like, why don't why don't I get excited to go out to dinner with everybody?
Melissa Albers 10:39
Am I so different?
JJ Parker 10:40
You know? Yeah. Right.
Melissa Albers 10:43
So I think that's really, really critical feedback. I think that's such good feedback. And I would ask you, as you're sitting in this space right now, and you're having these feelings as an introvert, when interactions are feeling hard for you, what kind of vibe are you kicking? Are you aware of what sort of physical our external vibe you're kicking off in those moments when your feelings are like that?
JJ Parker 11:11
Yeah. That's a great question. Because, like, at first, I didn't, I didn't really realize, you know, years ago, I didn't really realize I was like, kicking out that vibe, right? I actually had one of our old sales managers. Once you were having, I don't know, I know exactly what's going on. But I remember like, he made a comment about, like me being arrogant. Oh, right. It's like, What on earth? Is he talking about? Like, I? I don't feel like I'm arrogant at all. And actually, what he was misreading was me being quiet. Was his he was interpreting or interpreting that or perceiving that as like me being kind of like smug or arrogant and not even, you know, like, recognizing him. So obviously, his needs weren't getting met. I didn't realize I was putting out that kind of vibe, right? It wasn't until I learned about the other side of the coin, the extroverted side, which Yeah, which maybe was like, Oh, I need to interact with an expert differently are also going to give off this weird vibe, right? Yeah. But what I'm really not, like when I'm feeling like I'm not being heard, or I'm really overwhelmed by the group. I will definitely just become disengaged. Right? Either either just physically disengaged, like straight up leave, or just like emotionally disengaged, right. Yeah. It's like, well, stop caring or trying. Right? Yeah. Yeah, I might get like, short with people are a little bit flippant. Yep. Right.
Melissa Albers 12:57
Yeah. Yeah, that's really and I see that this piece right here is the piece that I'm really interested in as we're talking about communication styles, because we so often talk about all these external things that we can, you know, take tests and everything to say which one we are, but seldom do we go into this level where it's like, how does it actually affect us? And how does it affect out the people that we're interacting with? So is it is it okay, if I switch over to that? Oh,
JJ Parker 13:23
yeah, I was just gonna say one other like, key work tip on that one? Yeah. Is for me as an probably detailed introvert. In work situations, if I don't feel like I'm being heard, or my opinions, I will go into, like, technical detail, right? I'll lean on expertise. Right? I'll kind of like, it is a weird act out, right? Like, where I just had to, like steamroll or people with like, how much I know about like computer software or something like a stupid, like, but there's clearly like, I'm not being heard. So I want to tell them how to get in there. And that's how I do it. I bet other people recognize that behavior because I see it in the other introverts, too.
Melissa Albers 14:09
Yeah, yeah. Oftentimes, just in my work with introverts what often that's exactly a marker is that they don't feel comfortable speaking on a lot of generic things, but they'll usually feel comfortable on whatever their expertise is. So they'll add to add to it in that way. So that's pretty that's pretty normal. Actually, it's interesting.
JJ Parker 14:27
Alright, enough about introverts. We already got too much attention and we're uncomfortable. Go,
Melissa Albers 14:33
let's do so.
JJ Parker 14:33
Let's go x go extrovert.
Melissa Albers 14:37
Let me just get a party hat out. So let's contrast so the first thing that you talked about with introversion is where you get your energy from and, and extroverts and I'm going to use and we kind of are using some more expanded examples. And I want to make sure that we say again, you already did once but this doesn't mean that you're all of these things. If you're an introvert or all of these things. If you're an extrovert, these are we use it expanded examples because I think it's easier to understand. I think a lot of energy for extroverts comes from people activities, being around people communicating, talking, you know, you use that phrase, you have to think, to talk and extroverts have to talk to think. So they may not know a decision, and they just want to riff on it, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, go back and forth. And that, that juices them up and makes them feel, you know, really excited. And a lot of energy, even for me, I really enjoy being with people, you know, like, being able to just talk about a feeling or talk about something and, and I love that feeling of everybody laughing and engaging, you know, I just, I really love that, that energy and interacting with people, I much prefer face to face interactions. It's a more immediate read, you know, a lot of extroverts are very empathetic, very empathic, so they're picking up on the vibes of people to choose how to understand the group or to choose how to interact is they want to pick up on the vibes of everybody around them. So obviously, face to face interactions are being in person is much easier and the easiest for extroverts, which, you know, talk about the pandemic, and this last year, it's been really challenging for a lot of people. The other way, if you can't do it face to face, it's like I love just getting on the phone, like, let's just talk it through, you know, and, and an email would be my least interesting way to interact. Unless there's details, of course, but just generally speaking about the interaction piece, it's like, that part feels like I don't get to pick up on people's vibes, it's really hard to read energy from an email. Sometimes it's hard. And it's just so much easier with the people side. So I would definitely say the interacting with people is much more of that. Sharing energy so that you can really kind of get a read on folks.
JJ Parker 17:07
So yeah, so like, when, when we ask you, so when, when you're not interacting the way that you prefer? Yeah. How How does that affect? Yeah, you feel about that?
Melissa Albers 17:20
That's a great, that's a great question. It's really funny, because extraversion is so much about weighing in on other people's energies and participating that way. If the interaction doesn't have good energy, like if there's discord in the group, or if there's an introvert in the group, that me as an extrovert senses is not feeling good. It's very common for me to amp up my extraversion, to try to make it better. So and you'll see this a lot with extraversion, where they will were extroverts where they will try to carry the room, they will see that something's not quite right, they'll feel that people aren't quite getting where they need to be. And they will jump in and try to make it better they take it on as a personal responsibility.
Unknown Speaker 18:20
Here's a tip for all you extroverts that doesn't help.
Melissa Albers 18:25
And again, this isn't, this isn't in the awareness piece. This is just our natural need to make everybody feel good. You know, extroverts want everybody to feel good, and at their own expense. So a lot of times extroverts, especially when they're not, excuse me, very aware, extroverts will absolutely over blow a situation they'll, you know, just do things that are uncomfortable because they are, they are feeling so uncomfortable, and they don't know what else to do. So it's almost like a reaction. So that's kind of it that's kind of what happens is that person goes into overdrive, you know, becomes more extroverted talks, Mark tells jokes, you know,
JJ Parker 19:09
yeah, like I described as like, they become like a caricature of themselves. Yeah. Right. It's like, everything's a little expanded.
Melissa Albers 19:17
Yeah, exactly. And they're, they think they're being helpful. So it's, it actually, oftentimes looks like like they're really seeking more energy. It's like they're seeking attention. But it usually isn't as much that as it the the person just doesn't want to feel uncomfortable. Mm hmm. So they think that by acting that way that they will make it less uncomfortable. And but what the but that doesn't actually happen that way. It usually makes it a little more uncomfortable. So it's sort of a cycle. Yeah, um, but for me, like that's what I would say is, especially before I did much of this work, I would like it would break out in a sweat if I felt like something wasn't going well in a meeting or even if I was just talking with a person and I felt that that person was starting to go a little sideways or wasn't in agreement with me or didn't like something, I would want to just make everything okay, like, oh, what do I need to do? I'll shift it up. I can I can do anything to make this okay. When I didn't need to take on that type of obligation and duty at all.
JJ Parker 20:25
Yeah, like you're trying to take that responsibility on yourself. And then you felt like you were like, failing if everyone wasn't isn't having a good time.
Melissa Albers 20:32
Yep. Exactly. And so, so yeah. And, and it is so much. extroverts take on so much more obligation and duty in interactions. They don't need to, but it's that's their natural way, instead of how the introvert pulls back, the extrovert leans in, so it just creates more of a wobble. Yeah. Yeah. So. So it's funny, because when that starts to happen, you know, another marker that we talked about is kind of what happens on the inside. And I was sort of alluding to some of it, like the activity that happens, but the, what happens on the inside is oftentimes I in situations where something isn't going, right, I feel like I need to pretend like it's okay. Like, I feel like I need to pretend that it's okay. And, and act more bright, or act more, you know, relaxed, like force, sort of a sense of relaxing and, and, and, and so my feelings are really wonky inside, like, I'm not doing a good job, I'm not good enough to fix this. It's my responsibility, because everybody else is so much quieter. Like these are the feelings that will often happen inside of extroverts when things aren't feeling very good. And it's, it's interesting how those feelings like sit with you long after that exchange. It's like why why can't I just notice everybody? You know, why? What did I do wrong? Did it? Why didn't I change something in that room? Because I sense that the room wasn't right before anybody else did. And the feeling in there is the sensing is probably true. Like, they probably were picking up on a lot of those cues way before other people were. But where it went sideways was the level of responsibility about what to do with those cues. Yeah, so then that feeling of I didn't do this, right. I could have done this, why don't I ever you know, and then sort of those feelings inside create this insecurity like this really deep insecurity. So you talked about introversion, x insecurity, I would say this is what the extraversion is, and that final markers. And I asked you that question, what are the cues that you emit?
JJ Parker 22:49
Like, what five are you putting out? Yeah,
Melissa Albers 22:52
and I think extraversion vibes come out, like, hey, notice me, I'm here, I can fix this. You know, I'm the class clown. I'm the team leader, let's let's rally, you know, this battle cry, to force things to be more what it should be air quotes. You know, so like, putting on that actor we talked about that is like trying to be the actor make everything okay? And those those, I think are the vibes of kickoff and and for other people in the room. It's like, oh, man, that just like, that's so strong, but extroverts don't recognize that those are getting those are the vibes that they're kicking off. Right. And but it creates more of that. discord almost.
JJ Parker 23:39
Yeah, it's like introvert repellent.
So we talked about this, like, I told this, this story on the workshop about how at my company we exhibit at this trade show called na be National Association of Broadcasters is like a huge thing in Las Vegas, right? It's 100,000 people gather the trade show. Like our typical day is like a 10 hour long interaction, you know, interacting with customers on the show floor, and then we like grab a drink a happy hour drink on our way to our hotel, and we change our clothes. And then we're whisked off to dinner with with customers. And then after that, like the crew wants to meet up for a karaoke, right? Yeah, we do this for four nights in a row. And to you, you're probably like, this sounds amazing. That actually sounds like
Melissa Albers 24:44
that sounds hard.
JJ Parker 24:46
But for me is like a nightmare. Like it was just a nightmare for years and years. Yeah. And I never really understood why my team loved this environment and like I just had a bad time, like, the whole week, right? And it was really like it would really start it. It really started to impact my job. I mean, like, sometimes I would just not show up for stuff, which was not super professional. Alright, up out with the sales team when a client for dinner and I just be super quiet and reclusive, right. So they're like, oh, something's wrong with him. And I just generally be grumpy. Yeah, like the whole show. So like, I felt really guilty about that, right. I felt like I didn't fit in with my own team. I mean, I was embarrassed, by the way, I bet would behave, right. And the the ultimate feeling was like, I didn't really feel like I was fit to be the CEO of my own company. Wow. Right. They just like felt like such an imposter. Right? And you see these like glamorized? Like, Oh, look at that guy's a tech CEO. And they're like, up on stage as they're doing the thing as a guy. That's just not me. Like, that's not me. Maybe I'm not fit, right. And it wasn't until we started. Lower. I started learning and you and I started talking about personality traits. And I started understanding my own wiring. Yeah. Right. And, and realize that like, it's okay to be an introvert. Right? And yeah. And it's okay to be uncomfortable in these situations. And I realize that being an introvert brings me certain superpowers. Yeah. As the CEO of my company, that may be an extrovert wouldn't have, right, yeah. So today, like, I'll still go do the trade show stuff, right. But I do it differently. Now that I know, like, where I get my energy, how I interact with people best, right? So that just means like, you know, I put a little bit more time between like the show floor and the dinner, and I maybe skip that happy hour, right? My team knows that I need this recharge time. And talking about how I need it, right? And talking about how my brain is wired versus how their brains wired. And it's just natural things. is awesome, because they're super supportive, right? And like, for the first time, in those situations, like, they'll even call out like, hey, JJ, we're gonna go do this. You go back to the hotel, we'll meet up with you later, they just kind of like, it all just works out and it feels so much better. feels so much better. I'm so much more effective during that week. And I feel so supported by the team. And it's great. Well, that's
Melissa Albers 27:45
it. So you're just saying like, just by being a little more aware, and then being able to articulate what you're learning about yourself to other people around you has made everything so much better. Well,
JJ Parker 27:55
yeah, like before, I was like, guilty, embarrassed. I thought I was like a misfit and like literally an imposter in my own role. And after being more aware of it. I feel confident. Understood. Yeah. Super Effective. And way happier.
Melissa Albers 28:12
Yeah. I think we are running out of time, unfortunately. Oh, no,
JJ Parker 28:17
this hopefully, we are running on a timer, right. hardly even got into this topic. I hate to say that i
Melissa Albers 28:25
i think what would be really cool is if you know, we both been on this journey for a while. And we have we did pay attention to certain key things about ourselves as we started to learn, right and get over some of these feelings of insecurities and not really feeling really good in certain spots. And I think maybe we could leave the listeners with some of the key things to understand in your own interactions so they can start to identify and begin to build on that self awareness that they're already gaining right from listening to stuff like this.
JJ Parker 28:55
Right. So we talked we talked about a lot like, Hey, you can sense it in your body before maybe you realize it in your head, right? Yeah, exactly. And I can tell you that that tradeshows scenario, yeah. At like five o'clock when that show was about to end. Yeah, I would literally start shaking. Wow. Right. I didn't know why. I just thought like, oh, why did they turn the air conditioner down right at the end of the show or something? Like I thought it was like, literally getting colder. But no, it was like I was having like anxiety about how I knew I was getting no break for the next entire night.
Melissa Albers 29:28
Yeah, so barbecues like on that negative side that you got you had that experience. There's like stomach aches, you know, like getting a stress headache or for me, what happens is my throat starts to feel like it's closing shut. Like I start feeling like almost like my voice is being cut off, which is, you know, an indirect opposition with an extrovert, right? So I think that's like a response. But there's also like great body cues that tell you when things are going really well for you. You know, just feel good. Everything feels light. Thanks very much. lighter, happier, you can feel your faces relax, you're smiling, and it's just easier. So body cues is a really, really big one. I think too, like, we've talked a lot in this part about our thinking, like what's happening inside, right the habits that we keep thinking, and you were talking a lot about beating yourself up, like feeling really guilty. And I think that's like, I also used in the exact opposite example, feeling really guilty. So you pulled back and felt guilty, and I as an extra, extrovert felt guilty leaning too far in so that story that we're telling ourselves that were wrong, or that there's something wrong with us, you know, and catching ourselves and thinking about what we're, you know, realizing what we're thinking about.
JJ Parker 30:45
Yeah, that judgment, when you have that judgment, and then it turns into our story, you keep telling yourself over and over. Yeah, you keep doing that thing, right? Yes. Yes. Don't be so hard on yourself. Yeah. recognize it? And then just, you know, try to move on from it. Right.
Melissa Albers 31:03
Yeah. Because then like, the last thing I would add in this is like that all of those thinking patterns in the moment of making yourself feel wrong and making yourself feel guilty, then they it actually stays in your system. You know, it stays in your system for a long time. And the question I would ask you is, Do you recognize when you have that stuff sitting in there? Like how long does it have to be in there before you realize that it's there and really bothering you, like just starting to build that awareness, and it takes some time, and it takes some practice, and it takes consistency to have the awareness of these things. So, you know, after a pot, I'm sure people are like, Oh, that was interesting. And seven minutes later, they're on to the next thing, but I would really be encouraging about getting in some sort of little practice to just check in with, you know, check in with my times
JJ Parker 31:48
to say that check in with your time to check in.
Melissa Albers 31:51
Exactly. Well, I've really enjoyed the conversation and the workshop was great. We'll be running network shop again, I really encourage people to hop in if they see that we're advertising for that.
JJ Parker 32:03
Check it out on the website.
Melissa Albers 32:05
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