How a Highly Sensitive Introvert Held Strong in the Storm

Sometimes seeing the news about floods, hurricanes, fires, and all manner of disasters can really get to me inside, and I’m not even going through it myself!

My strength for empathy can be a real challenge at times like that. I can even feel it in my body as I write this. I had a good cry about flooding just the other day. Sometimes tears are just the thing.

I once lost my home in a fire, and escaped in the middle of the night, and that was a very hard thing to be sure. And I can’t imagine the horror of a whole region going through it at once. As a highly sensitive introvert and a “home-body,” I wonder how I would manage.

When one of many disasters had just happened and was on my mind, I asked people in my Facebook group for introverts to share their related feelings or experiences. One story came from Ksenia who had just gone through the latest hurricane and flood.

Hurricane Harvey flooding

I was inspired by her resilience and I think we all learned from her tips too. So I asked her for permission to share this more widely, to help others like us, so we can remember we are stronger than we think.

She gave me permission to share her story here. Continue reading

The World Is Changing Fast and Sensitive People Can Play an Important Role.

The world is changing at an accelerated pace, in unpredictable ways, thanks to climate disruption and other destabilizing forces that are all interconnected.

That acceleration and unpredictability is a scary thought to my human brain that craves stability. Sorry to bear this bad news but I think you already sense this, consciously or unconsciously. People with high empathy tend to feel it quite a bit.

Bear with me because I also have good news.

As I’ve been studying what is happening and likely to happen, one of the key things that wise people are suggesting, and I agree, is to know how to calm your nervous system so you can adapt and help others, in whatever scenarios we find ourselves in.

I know we can do that and it’s a good place to focus first. I’ll talk about how, and what about for highly sensitive people and introverts?

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What Do I Do with All These Emotions?

One of the most essential lessons for my well-being has been what to do with emotions. Whether it’s the ones that seem to have no reason, or from big tragic causes, or in joyful moments, it all comes down to some simple understanding of what emotions are and what to do with them.

resisting emotions

The topic of emotions keeps coming up in conversations with friends and clients.

In this crazy culture of ours, the topic of emotions, a simple universal internal system, has become foreign to us, and something we hide in the closet.

And yet, it is discussed frequently… in private. Or at least when people talk to me.

An acquaintance recently asked me on the sidewalk, “I hear I’m supposed to allow emotions, but how does that really work when I’m afraid it will just swallow me if I look at all this grief?”

Good question! I know that feeling.

I’ll tell you about our conversation and how I’ve learned to understand and manage emotions as a highly sensitive introvert. Along the way, I’ll explain some simple truths about emotions that can bring you so much freedom and joy.

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Simple Truths for Being a Great Leader – That Caring Introverts Are Great At.

Hey, leadership is not just extroverted male territory. Introverts and women make great leaders too. Some people know this but it bears repeating. This is proven by research. Many cultures, especially in the U.S., are still stuck in an outdated stereotype that leaders are extroverted men. Let’s look at the reality.

I’ve collected some of my favorite resources for effective leadership here. They are based on real-life stories and research, and they happen to be entertaining too. In each case, you can see what actually works.

It so happens that caring introverts are naturally great at the things that really work. Don’t worry extroverts, you can be good at leadership too. We need each other.

We all have natural gifts for leadership and we can all develop our talents even further. I hope these stories help.

women leaders collage

In any of the resources here, you’ll gain some inspiration for becoming (or allowing) the kind of caring and effective leader you want to be. These are some of the resources I have shared with my leadership coaching clients. Psst, you don’t have to have a leader title to be a leader.

 

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Do You Confuse Extroversion with Confidence?

I think we all tend to confuse extroversion with confidence. So let’s re-think it.

I’m an introvert and when I speak up confidently about something, people sometimes say, “You must be an extrovert.”

Hey, I can be an introvert AND be confident and out-spoken. Or confident and quiet. (I can hear my confident introverted friend Jenn saying “Hell yeh.”)

Do you think introversion and confidence can go together? Think about it.

I was painfully shy in the past and I’m not anymore… but I’m still an introvert.

I believe that no matter how shy or anxious you might feel in certain social situations, there’s a way to find more ease and confidence. And you can still be an introvert (which is not the same as shyness). Continue reading