The Power Of Voice

What I am hearing more and more is that Introverts not only want to be understood, they want a voice.

They want someone to speak up for them and not to them.

Introverts are smart and I truly believe that more are embracing who they are but are exhausted with feeling like they have to conform to an extrovert ideal. Too often they are told to comply with this ideal which is actually asking them to acquiesce versus adapt.

Adapting versus Acquiescing

Let's quickly look at the Merriam-Dictionary definition of each word.

Adapt =
: to make fit (as for a new use) often by modification

Acquiesce =
: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively —often used with in and sometimes with to

To acquiesce forces introverts to relinquish their power versus using their power to adapt or make something fit through their own modification.

Understanding this difference is key for both introverts and extroverts alike. No one enjoys feeling coerced into doing something they don't want to do and likewise, most do not appreciate when others don't fall in line with the norm.

This is why voice is so important. My mission is to speak up and advocate for real, lasting understanding for introverts. Not as a champion for weak introverts but as a voice for strong introverts who are simply worn out from what is usually years of fruitless attempts.

I saw this happen first hand. The quiet, talented people speak up and are shut down. My belief is that most people, even the so called "leaders" in the corporate world are reasonable. The challenge is that most have been conditioned to believe the extrovert dogma "because that's the way it's always been". One conversation can change everything.

My challenge is for introverts everywhere is to get comfortable using their own voices, respectfully and with conviction.

However, if you are looking for someone to speak up for you, I am here to support you. Feel free to contact me with questions or share your experiences in the comments below.

All my best,

CMHerron CMHerron
41-45, F
5 Responses Jan 7, 2013

I think it's probably easier for an introvert to put themselves into the shoes of an extrovert than the other way around. In part this is because we are surrounded by an extrovert palette of activities and attitudes. And we introverts have been doing our best to mimick extroversion for much of our lives. It is rare that an extrovert would have the need to mimick introversion. As a teacher, I would love to run a class where both introverts and extroverts get to truly feel how the other half lives.

I have an overwhelming desire to write and to sing, yet interestingly, I am terrified to share either of these things with anyone else. It's like I am longing to express my innermost feelings, but I am afraid of rejection and criticism so I never expose myself. I want to make a connection with someone, anyone, but I am afraid no one could possibly understand me. I guess that's why I am here. Thanks for the post. Very insightful.

I hear you. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable by opening yourself can be scary. It can be done, little by little in ways that feel comfortable to you. The truth is not everyone will understand you and that's ok. The people that "get" you will start to show up in ways you probably won't expect. Please don't hide your gifts! You can share your writing anonymously on many sites and receive feedback from really supportive writers. Sing when and where you feel like it. If it gives you pleasure, that's all that matters.

I've always found that in my job, its mostly guys in a factory. I never get heard im usually overlooked because im not shouting, its very frustrating

It is very frustrating and I know how you feel. It's important that your workplace makes sure everyone gets a chance to be heard. Unfortunately, this does not always happen and the same people are the ones that comment over and over. I'm not sure if you are comfortable speaking with your supervisor about some of your ideas? This helped me. I started talking to one manager. Then another and so on. This shows that you want to be heard, but in your own way.

Hi Keeva, yes they do! I'm proud of you for speaking up, no matter how large or small. You are using your voice to chip away at the resistance and/or misunderstanding you experience. Remember, you are speaking up for YOU not necessarily them. Eventually and overtime, your speaking up will make a difference even if it doesn't feel like it right now.

I wish I could speak for myself the way you speak for yourself. I speak for myself in small ways, but those still count don't they