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Taryn Hughes


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What are some optimal professions for introverts?

Since introverts don't hate people, but merely choose to recharge and reflect by oneself, which professions allow plenty of room for solitary contemplation and reward the true innovation that rises out of that?


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  • May 11 2012: I think that there is still some confusion about extraversion/introversion here. I would agree that not all introverts are shy but most do not revel in social interaction for its own sake. Personally I had a tendency towards shyness but was encouraged to 'use my talents' by sensitive parenting. Being 'shy' was seen as self indulgent!
    An ideal profession for an introvert is one which requires a reflective individual who is paid to express an expert opinion and can spend time preparing the ground for each planned interaction. I would place myself in that category. I work as a paid consultant in a field which is in the public sector. I am working for the greater good am focused on the bigger picture and preferred futures and spend about half of my time alone preparing researching and marshalling the information and the other half working intensively with one other or with small groups coaching and advising on how to bring that about or counterintuitivley for those who believe that 'performance is ony for the extrovert' delivering training and development acivities which needs to be entertaining because some of the stuff I train on is difficult to deal with- get em laughing to open up the ears. The alone time which follows supports recovery from the intensive interactions and the 'being paid to give advice' ensures that the thoughtful approach is appreciated and contributions honoured. i can identify with the actors, the psychology professionals and counsellors - we don't do the small talk well - we like to deal with the stuff that matters and we need to know that we make a difference.
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      May 13 2012: Annette, interesting point regarding "shy" being seen as "self indulgent!" Care to elaborate?
      • May 13 2012: My family had an outward facing, 'make a difference in the world' , philosophy.Being shy meant you were focused too much on what other people might think. Family mottos:-
        "That which is held firmly within the attention of the mind will one day become actual in experience."
        "You are as good as anyone else, brighter than most and you have a duty to live up to that"
        And 'To succeed is to be different' Not much sympathy was on offer for the self conscious shy introvert ! For which I am very grateful- in retrospect.
        We grew up with ' Desiderata' on the kitchen wall and argued philosophy and morality over dinner.
        I discovered fairly young that getting out there and being 'part of the dance' was worth the discomfort of exposure. I would liken it to diving into freezing cold river water, it takes courage but once you are in, the water is lovely and the experience is worth the initial pain.Afterwards you need to recover and recharge ready for the next plunge. in my experience , nothing is worse than sitting back and wishing ' if only...
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          May 15 2012: Annette, I loved this. Actually I even used it in my women's workshop last night, proposing the question "Is shyness self-indulgent?" The women agreed it is. It was our gateway to deeper work regarding social responsibility to get our talents out in the world and practicing giving / receiving compliments. Ooooeeee there was some wiggling going on throughout that activity.

          Thanks for the expansion on this conversation.

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      May 13 2012: " we don't do the small talk well - we like to deal with the stuff that matters and we need to know that we make a difference,"

      Well put! I feel the alone time I enjoy as an introvert allows me to deeply analyze problems, and solutions. Any environment that encourages critical thought and mediation seems most suitable for introverts.
    • May 16 2012: Superb! Nothing better an opinion of someone commited with the subject. Agree enterily. Introversion or extroversion does not have anything about talent or the so called "success" (for me success is a state of spirit, not being admired by third prats, but by ourselves).

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