ADHD kids used to get the evil-eye…now it’s the introvert.
After all, the outgoing among us are the most successful, right?
Uh-huh, that’s why Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi and Albert Einstein were such failures as introverts.
Introverts are not perfect, but they have certain desirable qualities that favor the lone-wolf freelance voice-actor. So wear your colors proudly!
The advantages of being an introvert:
- attention to detail
- careful choice of (economy) of words
- able to self recharge without external stimulus
- exceptional observation powers
- excellent friends because they listen well
- tops at working independently
People seem surprised when they find out I’m an introvert.
I understand why: I mean… a TV personality can hardly be a wallflower or shy and retiring personality. Luckily, the “exterior Dave” balanced out the “wanna hide in a cave” Dave for many years.
Now? Well, let’s just say I’m adjusting. I see the power of my introversion expressing itself more in the absence of my showcase TV job. On the other hand, releasing more of the powers of the inner-dwelling talent is a plus too.
Here’ the best analogy I’ve ever seen to explain the difference between an introvert and an extrovert when it comes to relationships:
The extrovert leaves his house in the morning with an empty bag. Every social interaction he has that day gets him a new coin in his bag. At the end of the day, he has a full bag of relationship wealth and is buoyed by his interactions.
The introvert leaves her house in the morning with a full bag of relationship coins. Every social interaction she has that day costs her a coin from her bag. At the end of the day, her bag is empty, and she is relationally spent.
After MC’ing one of many weekend charitable galas in Las Vegas, I would often comment to my wife with a sigh, that being charming just takes a lot of energy!
But there are downsides to being an introvert:
- introverts have to work harder at personal interaction
- public interaction (social media) can be a challenge, too
- introverts can struggle to widen their professional network
- introverts can be seen as dark or brooding
- can be seen as standoffish
- not the best verbal communicators (luckily VO’s are given the words to say, right?)
As with our ADHD brethren and sistren, though, an introvert’s biggest challenges are usually the window to their greatest strengths. The key is in recognizing the syndrome, capitalizing on the benefits, and minimizing the shortcomings.
Here’s an example: an introverted voice actor (more than half of us, right?) is good with working long hours in an isolation audio booth, getting things just right with endless powers of focus. But on down days when there’s not much voice work to do, the outreach of marketing ourselves seems like a mountain to climb.
THAT’s the introvert expressing the difficulty of networking. Being overt and interacting with others can sometimes be excruciating.
Yes, that kind of outward expression is the hard part. So dig deep, be aware it’s just your introverted side speaking. Put on your sparkling personality for the time it takes to be a marketing genius and make a good impression.
You can go back in your cave later!