Proud Introvert, Yay!

Welcome To My Introvert World

I used to be ashamed to be an introvert. I thought I was weird for not enjoying cocktail parties. Everyone else seem to be having a grand old time, small talking about the weather, what they did for a living, leaving a conversation after 5 minutes so they can mingle some more while always holding a drink in their hands.

I hated parties, when I had to go one, I would stay for a bit, hangout for an hour or so, trying to enjoy myself, but I just couldn’t understand what I was missing? Why go to parties to hang out in a circle with people they already knew? Or why talk about very shallow subjects that was not interesting at all. They might meet a stranger and talk but conversations were not meaningful and no real long lasting connections made. It feels like party goers have an agreement that if one person was pleasant, the other would play along and wait for the party to end.

Whenever I would meet someone a party and make a connection where we talk about deeper subjects, I would talk for hours and share honest thoughts, I tend to enjoy myself. But it is rare that a stranger would hang out with me for that long.

Accept and Embrace

Everything changed after I heard the TED talk from Susan Cain on the Power Of Introverts. With 20 minutes of my time watching the TED talk, this completely changed how I valued my introversion and how I embraced my daughter’s introversion. I no longer apologize to my daughter’s teachers that she doesn’t raise her hands in class. If she has something meaningful to say, she will say it. Give her a bit of time for her to form her thoughts and she will give you a thoughtful answer.

Now I am proud to be an introvert. I decline parties that I don’t enjoy unless my wife think it’s important. When I’m there, I am content to just enjoy myself, without needing to talk. I listen, I observe, I am content with my introversion self.

After accepting that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert, I’ve started to embrace attributes of extroverts to add to my arsenal. Some examples are:

  • I’ve built a group of 90+ badminton players at https://sfbadminton.org, talking to players I’ve never met. Welcoming travelers who just want to play with my group for a few days.
  • I’ve created the Impactful Engineer website to interview people I have known as well as engineers I have never met.
  • I’ve written a public blog at https://tonytam.org since 2005 with 600+ blog posts

Are You An Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert?

Take the test https://www.quietrev.com/the-introvert-test/

Quiet Revolution WebSite

If you wanted a bit more information, subscribe to Susan Cain’s website at Quiet Revolution https://www.quietrev.com/ and her resources for introverts

Interviews With Susan Cain

Read her interviews at https://www.quietrev.com/media/

Quiet: The Power of Introverts

If you want to go deeper, read her book

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

An Introvert Trying Out Extroversion

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(This photo is my brother in law and I playing tennis with 2 women we just met in Lake Tahoe)
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10 of us from the sfbadminton.org group played at Stanford, go Cal!
Tony Tam

Senior Principal Architect @ Splunk Founder of ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org