Happy to be an introvert!

A very thoughtful blog post by Christina Hyun of the Seattle PI.  I, too, am happy to be an introvert!

Introverted?  Happy about it?  I am!

The first time I realized that the label “introvert” carried an inferiority complex with some people was at a work meeting years ago. All of us – brand new employees to the company – were led through an interesting get-to-know-you activity in which the introverts and extroverts were physically separated in a large room. The extroverts cheered and hugged one another as well as anyone new who was sent over to their enthused group by the moderator. And the introverts mostly observed – with wry expressions on their faces that varied from amused to pained. I was in the introvert group and was rather proud to be in that category to be honest. But then…

…I realized several people in our introvert group were NOT proud of their status at all. They were ashamed. They felt inferior to the “party people” cheering on the other side of the room. A couple of the introverts in our group even made comments about the fact that our group was doomed to lose whatever contest or activity was coming up that pitted us against “them.” The loud, expressive, “fun” group would obviously win.

I just stood there and listened to the mutterings, feeling a little sad, a little baffled. I remember wondering, “At what age do people ever get comfortable with themselves?”

As a classic introvert, I have of course experienced embarrassment and failure when forced into extrovert-required situations. I am not cut out that way. But even in spite of those kinds of situations, and the ridiculously self-righteous individuals who have pressured me in the past to “improve” to become someone I am not, I have never, NEVER been ashamed that I am an introvert by nature. I am GLAD to be one as a matter of fact.

Basically, I have learned over the years to just not concern myself if someone has an issue with my introverted nature.

1) I can’t change it at the core.

2) Why should I?

3) It’s really not ME who has the problem when someone apparently believes everyone else should be just like them, comfortable with the same roles, skilled at the same things, and interested in the same activities.

4) I have no interest in forcing extroverts to take pleasure in my introverted activities or to somehow become more introverted in general, just like me. What a total joke to think that you can “improve” someone to become opposite of who they really are, or persuade them to regularly and naturally engage in activities that are absolutely distasteful and draining to their personalities. What nonsense to believe you can introduce them to things they hate and realistically expect them to succeed!

I’ve heard it said that it’s an extroverted world out there. I disagree. Balance is needed. Everyone can have a meaningful, purposeful place without having to totally force self to be something other than who they are naturally. BUT…you have to get really comfortable with self to flick the judgmental morons away. 🙂

If you are an introvert and are ashamed to be, think it through. Everyone can certainly use some skills in things that don’t come naturally, and everyone has some level of obligation to stretch uncomfortably as needed sometimes, whether introverted or extroverted, but there is a limit to going somewhere you don’t belong. Temporary stays are fine, but to be told you have to live there is wrong.

I am glad to be an introvert. I am turned off by people who try to change me or place unrealistic demands on my personality. I will tolerate these folks for a while, but eventually, I feel full liberty to cut them out of my personal circle if they continue to pressure me unreasonably. Believe it or not, but there ARE things I cannot and will not do in life, as interesting and multi-talented as I am. 🙂 And the more someone tries to make me feel bad about who I am, and what I can and cannot do, and what energizes me or depletes me – and here’s the biggie – what I SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do (as if they could even know that FOR me), the more quickly I’ll tell them to shove off.

Hmmm? So what do you think? If you are an unhappy, ashamed introvert out there, feeling all inferior in this supposedly extroverted world and wishing you too were born an extrovert because life would then be easier or more successful and people would just like and accept you

What is Opportunity

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

                                                                    Thomas A Edison

What opportunities have you lost out on this week?

Made in China or Made in USA?

I just stopped into a delightful little shop in my community that was overflowing with retro, cowboy, antique reproductions all being sold at what the shop proclaims as ‘warehouse prices.”  And there were a large number of shoppers visiting the store.

As I wandered through the cute little displays and looked at the prices, I was impressed.  And THEN I turned over a piece that looked interesting and saw the label “MADE IN CHINA’  on the back.  Interesting, I thought to myself as I turned over piece after piece and saw the same label.  This was a shop filled with what had to be a container load of reproductions of early American arts and crafts — all MADE IN CHINA.  The prices weren’t warehouse prices at all.  They were outsourced products using cheap Chinese labor to resell in the USA as reproductions. 

What’s wrong with that? you may be wondering.  And you’re right.  We’ve become so accustomed to our large corporations closing down US factories and sending the jobs to countries where people will work for pennies that it’s commonplace.  We would be upset if we had to pay the prices required to support American workers. 

WalMart started the trend back in the ’80s when they ripped off new designs made by American crafters and had them copied in China to be sold at prices less than what the American crafter made for materials.  They were no longer the “Made in the USA” store that they had advertised earlier.  I’m not sure why but within the past year or so they have tried to put the “Made in China” reputation behind them and become a carbon copy of Target stores.   But I will always think of Walmart as the company that tried to put American crafters out of business.

And now we have in my community, and in many other communities  as well, a whole store that is “Made in China” pretending to be retro America.  Is this fraud?  Of course not.  There’s nothing hidden.  There’s no deceit.  The labels, showing the country of origin, are on all the products that I looked at.  And it’s up to each of us to decide whether we want to support American or Chinese labor with our dollars. 

I admit to buying stuff that is not made in the US–probably a lot of stuff.  After all, we do live in a global economy and hopefully a few of the Chinese and Indonesian labors occasionally buy something made in the US.  But a whole store — filled with nothing but Chinese knock-offs was too much for my stomach today.  I walked out, came home and went online, and actually found some legitimate MADE IN THE USA HANDCRAFTED PRODUCTS  on Etsy and Artfire.

Why are you REALLY in business?

Why are you REALLY in business? 

Most of you, who know me, know that I’m not in business just to make money.  I do a lot of things for my industry that don’t make any money at all.  I read all the crap online about how so and so made thousands of dollars with this magic trick or that one and I just roll my eyes.  I know that there is no magic to growing a business.  It’s hard work and involves educating yourself as well as sticking to it for the long haul. 

Profit is important of course and is essential if money is the means of reaching that goal.  Some businesses are more profitable than others.  But the question that we should all ask ourselves occasionally is REALLY why are in business.  It is never just about money.  Money may be the means to the real why, but it is never the WHY.

One lady that I know started a blog to help her get out of debt.  Money was the means but getting out of debt was the goal.  And knowing that goal helped push her until she was finally out of debt and then went on to teach others how to make money with a blog.  And, as a result, she made more money from those instructions which helped her stay out of debt.

Others start a business to make money so that they could have the freedom to do what they wanted when they wanted.  Some start a business so they don’t have to work for someone else or to have the ability to stay home with the kids. 

If the reason that you are REALLY in business is powerful enough, you will do whatever it takes to succeed.  And if money is the means to that reason, you’ll make it.

And if you want to know why I’m REALLY in business, you can read about it in an article that I wrote six years ago at

http://www.shopcreativegifts.com/grandmother-face.htm