About Me

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Pacific Northwest, United States
I am The Shytrovert a proud, moderately shy INFP and this is my blog. I write about society, relationships, current events and how shy and introverted folks can cope in an extroverted world.


The Open Plan Office: a.k.a the Scourge of Shytroverts Everywhere

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Are you unfortunate enough to work in one of these arrangements?  No office, no cubicles, elbow to elbow with your coworkers and privacy be damned?  If this sounds like a nightmare to you, you’re not alone.  Increasingly workplaces are adopting this model, no doubt dreamed up by some extrovert, supposedly to foster “collaboration.”

Unfortunately for the architects of this workaday utopian concept, it is backfiring badly.  Apparently even some extroverts and “ambiverts” find open space offices to be an odious intrusion upon their workaday lives.  Extroverts need quiet in which to work and concentrate too. 

Familiarity guaranteed to foment contempt
Besides, if I’m not mistaken, people have been managing to collaborate for years despite the cubicle farms – it's f***g work, they have to.  Anyway, it’s not like a flimsy cubicle wall is going to stop that or any person from talking loud enough to solicit an opinion over that cube’s wall or otherwise be a pain in their colleague's a** as any gainfully employed person can attest. 

News flash: people have legs -- or, if disabled -- wheels to venture outside of their partially-enclosed cubicle and collaborate away.  I honestly don’t think there has ever been a lack of that.  Ever.

If you ask me, this whole movement toward open offices probably has a monetary driver.  Companies are probably too cheap to install the cubicles, and instead of admitting that, they are instead selling the idea as “collaboration.”  Undoubtedly, one big contiguous desk probably costs much less than installing a cubicle farm.  A sad fact for the introverted among us and increasingly the extroverted.  However, seeing that in life the loud squeaky wheels get the oil, maybe for once what workers want and need will trump money, and employers will move away from the bullsh** that is the open plan office. 


Rest in Peace, Sweet Prince

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Well, The Purple One is gone.  I’m a little disappointed that we (by whom I mean the public) was not made privy to where his final resting place will be.  However, I am happy that his estate will be made into a museum.  Can’t say I didn’t see that coming.   

Prince, by all accounts, was a loving and caring man, a generous man, obviously a straight up genius and, something you won’t hear much about – appeared to be an introvert despite his flashy stage persona.  Sure, you hear that he was purposely mysterious, declining to do interviews for much of his career, you never saw him doing the big Hollywood thing, and he was conspicuously absent from the tabloids.  He pretty much stuck to home, tooling around his Minneapolis on sundry errands, but he mostly seemed to stick to his sprawling Paisley Park estate.  No extrovert could stand to be that intensely private for long.   

From the rare occasions when we did glimpse him not performing, he seemed reticent; slightly uncomfortable, self-composed.  Quite introverted indeed.  Perhaps even a little shy too.  I’m very sad that corporeally he is gone, but like all the brilliant and famous among us, he will live on forever through his work. Apparently the work we do know only scratches the surface.  Reportedly Prince has a vault of work that, according to a close source, “would take a decade to listen to.”  In the end, Prince died as he lived, on his own terms.  In a world dominated by extroverted norms, that’s a hell of a life.  Rest in peace, and goodnight sweet Prince.


Shytrovert Wishes You A Happy April Fools' Day - btw, Do You Have Foot in Mouth Disorder?

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Happy April Fools’ Day! Today brings to mind that famous Mark Twain quote: "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”  In my experience as a Shytrovert, this is true of a lot of people who tend to often contract foot in mouth disease, aka open mouth insert foot.  I and many of my shy and introverted cohorts are not these people. 

Maybe it’s because of my superior impulse control according to experts (sadly, mine does not extend to chocolate, and I may be losing the wine battle as well). 

It has been determined that impulse control has a positive correlation to intelligence and greater life success.  I can see that, since popping off about your boss being a dick at the Christmas party would a) not be too wise, and b) land you on the street without a job.  Hey, that’s a hypothetical, but people have done dumber things!

So, are shy folks and introverted folks lack of yapping off the top of their heads randomly a cause of better impulse control or a crucial characteristic of it?  Well, from what I know of introverts, being one myself, they hold back because they’re thinkers who can appreciate the dire consequences of speaking out of turn.  We have a tougher time recovering from the fallout with our maddening propensity for rumination.

When you have a filter as strong and tightly knit as an introvert's, it's easy to not make a damn fool out of yourself on April 1st or any other time.

So, I’ll put the question out there:  Have you ever said the absolutely wrong thing in a social situation? Something like accusing someone of being so stupid they rode the little yellow bus to attend school when they actually did ride the little yellow bus? This is a true and unfortunate example from my own life-- a former co-worker said this to someone in front of a crowd of people.  No, my co-worker was not an introvert.  Go figure, but we’re not perfect either.  Everybody plays the fool sometime after all.


Your shyness is not the enemy

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Your shyness is not an enemy.  So states an article Psych Central.  According to them, if you treat your shyness like it's a foe you have to wrestle to the ground it will only stress you out more when, say, you go balls out on a relaxation technique and it just doesn't help much.  Apparently 4 out of 5 shrinks think you're better off accepting your anxiety, thoughts and feelings.

From my experience this is true.  Even non-shy people feel butterflies from time to time when they need to speak to someone in authority or talk up in a meeting or everyone's worst nightmare- speak in front of a big group *shudder*.

That being the case though, I would advise against telling people you're shy unless you're demonstratively, stereotypically shy as I explained in this post

Otherwise, accept your shyness.  It's not that terrible.  Supposedly about half of all adults consider themselves shy, and that includes a lot of famous people

Shyness is a personality trait.  Extreme shyness, a.k.a. social anxiety disorder, is something that requires a good therapist.  You may find over time that you are less shy if it's just garden variety shyness.  In any case, you can learn to live with it and thrive.  REMEMBER: there is nothing the matter with being shy to the extent that it does not seriously curtail your life.

Look at me, I was super shy in junior high school all the way through college.  I mean I literally could not hold a conversation or make eye contact.  Over time by being forced out by my boyfriend I floundered hard in social situations until little by little with frequent exposure I became less anxious.  The severe butterflies went away, but I was still awkward and struggled at conversation.  That's when I got heavy into research and finding books that could help me and therapists that could help me like Dr. Renee Gilbert.  She used to be shy herself and conducted social skills classes.

Today while I am still shy (and introverted, too) I did manage to finish school, get a job, get a husband and a tiny circle of friends.  Acceptance was huge.  I don't think I would have made it this far if I didn't stop cursing and hating my shyness.  Some of us are shy, some of us are loud-mouthed bold people and some of us are loud-mouthed bold people in writing. Whatever your deal, respect yourself.

It takes all kinds.