Saturday, September 08, 2007
A Light-Seeking Violet Speaks Up
Thanks to Jen Robinson, I've found a marketing blog that's up my alley: Shrinking Violet Promotions: Marketing for Introverts. Here is an article about Jonathan Rauch & the Introverts' Rights Movement and has a link to Rauch's article in The Atlantic Monthly called Caring for Your Introvert.
Extroverts get their emotional energy from interacting with other people. Introverts get their emotional energy by spending time alone. Because introverts need alone-time, they're often interpreted as anti-social. Really, the main times when introverts act antisocial are when people clamor, "Come on! Stop moping! Join us! Join us!" and when the introvert says, "I will, in a little while," the people around them say, "No! Join us NOW!"
(All of those exclamation points are so exhausting.)
I'm an introvert who's learned camouflage techniques for coping in an extroverted world. With my storytelling business underway, many people are potential customers. I've handed out business cards, placed flyers on community boards, and advertised online and in print sources (thank you, Peppers and Pollywogs). I've stopped introducing myself as a "children's librarian in semi-retirement" and owned up to my profession as a musical storyteller. There are times when I wish I had an extrovert on the team who would do my marketing for me. I can get out there in front of an audience and radiate genuine enthusiasm for my work. However, the people who want jazz-hands and the exuberant "Hi kids!" attitude found on Saturday morning cartoon commercials probably won't want me at their children's birthday parties. I'm fine with that. My enthusiastic but low-key musical storytelling gigs are alternatives to video-game pizza-parlor parties. Also, if the people of Seattle want a clown, they can find a good one, easily, in Deano the Clown.
Mary Hershey of Shrinking Violet Promotions has a post on self-care for introverts. I have actually employed Tip #3 a number of times.
Tip #3: If you ever end up being held hostage on an airplane next to an rabid extravert who won't stop talking, and they don't seem put off by you putting on headphones, how about trying this? Start talking non-stop to them about any senseless thing that comes to your mind. If you run out of things to say, make them listen to you read out loud long excerpts from a fascinating article from the in-flight magazine. Some extraverts are looking for introverts to charge upon-- if they mistake you for another Chatzilla, chances are they'll be pulling their little pillow out and closing their eyes soon.--Mary Hershey
It works. It really works.
P.S. Violets have always been my favorite flowers.
Related story: Clown vs. Storyteller.