Are you a self-described introvert? Bloggers are notoriously excellent at self-reflection, but, in a busy world filled with increasing pressure to communicate through social media, introverted bloggers may be overwhelmed by seemingly endless and ongoing conversations on multiple platforms.
Jessica Humphrey of Racing To Zen explored why it’s OK to be an introvert and provided tips on putting yourself ou there in blogging and in life.
“I’m so out of my comfort zone here. I though about skipping the ghost tour and going to room and reading a magazine last night. It’s hard to be social with people you’ve never met before.”
Jessica asked the group to say the first word that they thought of wheN they heard the word introvert: Shy, quiet, uncomfortable, reserved, hidden, anxious, misunderstood, alone time, internal, awkward, unacceptable
“Isn’t it remarkable that we all picked negative words that says so much. There’s great power in words.”
In 2006, Jessica took the Meyers Briggs test at work. They were told to line up from extroverted to introverted. “I put myself in most introverted. My coworkers moved me. I was the most introverted person of the group. I was mortified.”
The challenge in blogging is that you have to engage a lot.
Book recommendation: quiet the power of introverts that can’t stop talking.
Introverts listen more than they talk and express themselves better in writing than in conversation.
Jessica asked the group to think of positive words associated with being an introvert: observant, thoughtful, introspective, good listeners, choosier with words, considerate of other people’s feelings, raw, sensitive, unguarded, enjoy little things in life.
Even though we don’t like being in large groups of people we make very good friends.
There is a push for people to learn how to disconnect. We’ve got that down. We know how to take care of ourselves.
We have a natural advantage in knowing how to disconnect.
Leadership – makes it harder to be a good leader because you can’t make everybody happy, hard to be assertive
Think very carefully before we make big decisions. Took on a leadership role at work and walked away after 1 year. Didn’t work.
Good at being self sufficient and we don’t rely on other people to make me happy.
Why do you think the introvert is drawn to blogging?
It’s a way of talking about your life and expressing yourself without one on one conversations. An opportunity to be heard without being interrupted. Safe way to say what you want to say. It gives you more time to process and respond. Easier with slight anonymity.
It’s your chance to express yourself and edit, which you can’t do in real life. I’m far away from people I can edit myself and I can get what I want to out there and if don’t fumble my words.
I can shut the laptop I can shut the phone off and take the moments I need that I don’t get face to face with people.
When you’re face to face with someone they see you as you are right now. The blog is a good chance to talk about what I’ve gone though personally to get where I am.
Suggestions for blogging.
- An allotted amount of time to take for blogging and social networking. Check in, connect. I feel overwhelmed if it’s all day.
- Write a post you think no one is going to read. What would you say? I wrote a post about a breakup from running. It was unbelievable how many people responded. That’s the way that we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone.
- Read other blogs and comment on other people.s blogs.
- Keep Facebook profile private. Keep it just for people I care about. Twitter, Instagram and the blog are public.
Jessica is a member of the Ohio Bloggers Association. “It was Intimidating for me to first go there. I was shaking and felt like I didn’t belong.”
Suggestions for talking to actual people:
- Have an elevator response about what you write about and why.
- Have business cards.
- Find a person in the room who seems opposite of you and play copycat. Fake it til you make it.
- Keep a mental lIst of questions to ask people. Keep practicing what’s not natural for you.
- Have an exit strategy. It can be awkward.
- Give yourself the freedom to arrive a few minutes late. I usually arrive early, but then you’re there with the host. It can be awkward. That’s protecting yourself and give you more people to talk to.
Suggestions from the group:
- Force yourself to break the ice quickly. Then you don’t have to do it in a large, loud group.
- Compliment someone to break an awkward silence.
- Learning to accept myself more. Take care of yourself.
- Remember that your blog is for you. It’s a documentation of your life.
- Don’t apologize for yourself. There’s more of us than you think. We are just this way.
What do you do when you don’t feel like writing?
Suggestions from group:
- Sometimes I feel like I have a lot to say and I start drafts of many posts with generic notes containing ideas. The ideas haven’t formed, but when I get the inspiration I will write the posts. – Jessica
- It’s your blog, don’t apologize for not writing.
- It’s ok to say no to people.
- Journal for yourself.
- *you have to take impeccable care of yourself. – Jessica
Blogging tips from group
Tweetbot to limit what you see on Twitter.
Hoot suite to schedule posts and then you don’t have to keep posting all day.
Twitter land to see when most of your followers are online
*For more on this session, go to Jessica’s blog. Info below.
Find out about:
Common misconceptions about Introverts
Benefits of being an Introvert
Why the Introvert is drawn to blogging
Simple ways to engage your readers without feeling overwhelmed or drained
Creating strategies for “in real life” interactions