Sheep Dressed Like Wolves -
The online world is full of fakes and frauds.
Through social media and online communities it’s possible to create a whole new identity; to appear stronger than you ‘really are’, more popular than you ‘really are’, more attractive than you ‘really are’, or funnier than you ‘really are’.
This is what we’re told. Maybe you yourself have seen people you know projecting themselves differently from how they ‘really are’.
It’s true, people can alter and to some extent control the way they are perceived in the digital realm, which can be done with the intention of manipulating others.
I use ‘shy’ as an umbrella term for all kinds of things like social anxiety or social discomfort. But I try to make a clear distinction between being shy and being an introvert.
I think it comes down to your motivation:
If you don’t want to go to a party because you’re worried about walking into the room, not knowing who to talk to, what you’re going to say, and feeling very awkward, you are being motivated by fear and anxiety.
You may WANT to go to the party but you allow fear to stop you from doing something you would like to do.
If you don’t want to go to the party because you would rather read a book that you’re into or you’re not particularly bothered about the people who are going and you’d rather have a nice evening in on your own you are being motivated just by being yourself. You should not try to change that.
For me, if it’s holding you back then I think it’s an issue and something to work on. But if it’s just the way you are then go for it. Do not try and change that. I want to make that really clear.
Shyness is stopping you from doing what you want to do, whereas introversion is who you are and your natural preference.
This is taken from an interview I did with Joanna Moore about starting your hunt for the confidence you need to do the things you really want to do in life.
If you’re interested in watching the whole of our conversation then swing by and join us in the Member’s Haven where there is new and exclusive content every week to help inspire, encourage and equip us introverted and highly sensitive people live the life we want to lead.
Introverts get energy from spending time alone. But is there such a thing as ‘too much’ solitude?
“I had told people of my intention to be alone for a time. At once I realized they looked upon this declaration as a rejection of them and their company. I felt apologetic, even ashamed, that I would have wanted such a curious thing as solitude, and then sorry that I had made a point of announcing my desire for it.”
- Doris Grumbach
Do you recognise this feeling of rejection? Is it possible to seek solitude without others feeling like you are rejecting them? Maybe you’ve been on the other end and you feel rejected by an introverted friend who needs time alone.
If someone says ‘I can’t be there tonight because I want to just be alone’, do you worry about that person, or do you accept it as a legitimate and important reason?
How can we get the balance between honouring that need to spend time alone without getting overwhelmed and out of touch?
All of this is discussed in this week’s show.
Anthony Storr: Solitude
Juha Kaartoluoma: Balancing Social Time and Solitude: Finding Your Golden Ratio
Remember how it felt when you first got your mobile phone?
If you’re like me you probably kept pulling it out of your pocket just to feel the smooth contours and to document almost everything you encountered.
But then, as time moved on and you became familiar with the device and its apparent limitations. Eventually it became little more than a part of your everyday scenery.
The novelty and excitement of the early days had worn off.
Do you feel out of your depth; like a fraud, asking ‘who the hell do I think I am trying to be a part of this’?
This week’s show is all about Impostor Syndrome after a recent episode of Podcast Answerman in which Cliff Ravenscraft told anyone who was putting off podcasting because they were suffering from Impostor Syndrome to just crack on and title their first episode, I Feel Like an Impostor. Well this is episode 85 of Sheep Dressed Like Wolves and I still feel like an impostor so I thought I would follow Cliff’s advice and just do it with this one instead.
“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt” – Bertrand Russell
The good news is…if you feel like an impostor then you’re not one.
What is Impostor Syndrome?
I thought I would save putting a new article out today. Last week I was invited to guest post by three separate websites. It was just coincidence that they all published within a few days of one another, but I wanted to share the posts with you. It is always a great honour to be invited to write for other websites, especially when they are sites that I already love to read.
1. The Superhero Paradox (Sacred Introvert)
Sacred Introvert is a brand new community founded by Lisa Avebury. It’s dedicated to validating and uplifting the introvert profile as well as providing a resource where anyone can come to learn more about individual introvert perspectives.
I wrote a post (The Superhero Paradox) about the dangers of comparing ourselves to other people in order to define who we are, focussing on the tendency for some people to create an ‘us vs them’ narrative when talking about introversion/extroversion.
2. Where’d My Energy Go? 12 Causes of Over-Arousal for the Introvert and/or Highly Sensitive Person (Space2Live.net)
It was a huge privilege to be given space to talk about these causes of over arousal for introvert and highly sensitive people. Brenda Knowles provides a fantastic resource through Space2Live, sharing her wisdom and encouragement for introverts and highly sensitive people. I was extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to write guest post.
I wrote it a while back when I was first re-framing certain responses I have to my experiences of the world. For many highly sensitive people, especially those who don’t realise they are highly sensitive they may well be subjecting themselves to unnecessarily levels of over-arousal/overwhelm without realising.
3. Confessions Of A Highly Creative Introvert (Ending the Grind)
I was invited by Steve at Ending the Grind to share my story about how I started living out my passion.
If I was to sum up the message in one line it would be this: ‘you are not defined by what you do, but rather how you do it and most importantly, why you do it’.
I hope you find something interesting there. I will be back to my normal posting schedule next Monday – I just couldn’t waste the opportunity to point you to these other great sites and say thank you to them for inviting me to share my story with them.
This week I share my thoughts on a trend I have noticed a lot recently. It has cropped up in a few discussions on the topic of introversion. There is a tendency to build links between being an introvert, and being sociable/not-sociable.
In this episode I consider how and why we should frame our relationship with introversion outside of these social stories. And that we should take responsibility, choosing not to see ourselves as in some way anti-social or naturally disliking people.
When you hear the word ‘introvert’, what comes to mind? For many of us there can be an automatic association with the words shy, retiring, timid and socially awkward. We often equate it to how sociable people seem.
We can forget that introversion/extroversion is a natural foundation of our relationship with gaining and managing our energy.
In this week’s show I discuss what it takes to become a reluctant leader. Hint; it’s not the desire to lead.
I have used the term quite a lot over the past year or so but have never really clarified what I believe it to mean. I think we all face moments in life where we are faced with the choice to take a reluctant leader role, whether or not we aspire towards leadership.
It might not sound like a difficult thing to answer, but there is a question I get asked a lot to which I’ve noticed that I always struggle to find a response…
‘How’s the music going?’
It’s a completely normal, acceptable, and appropriate thing to ask me. I am after all a songwriter and musician. But I get thrown every single time I get asked it; my mind goes blank, and I get so lost in how I can possible answer that invariably I say little more than ‘yeah it’s fine – I’m doing a fair bit of stuff‘ and other generalisations.
There are many questions that provoke the same kind of response in me:
‘What have you been up to?’
‘How was your day?’