So I recently had an opportunity to chat with Digital Media Strategist and
Creative Director at FORVR MOOD, Sequoia Holmes about introversion and how to empower introverted Black women living in an extroverted world.
To hear the full conversation you can listen here.
Introversion is defined as the tendency to be concerned with one's own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
Growing up I remember being nudged by family members to speak up and be more outgoing.
Classmates would often label me as the “quiet girl” in class or “shy” and little did they know how witty I was at debate tournaments or how dramatic I could preform a Shakespeare monologue in Drama class.
When I stepped outside the stereotype of being a loud, sassy, bold Black woman I was deemed boring and not a team-player.
But I shouldn’t have to code-switch my entire personality to be accepted in the workplace, classroom, or elsewhere.
It’s not that I have social anxiety but I do enjoy my solitude.
While I believe communication is important, I think people not only talking just to talk but actually having something meaningful to say can be powerful too.
Introverts are innovative thinkers, strong problem solvers and articulate leaders who don’t need any fixing.
Often times introverts face workplace discrimination by companies who would rather hire extroverts than selecting introverts who can actually be more successful.
Introverts can choose not to speak all the time and that’s okay.
Many introverts like Barack Obama have a high sense of self-awareness, are highly self-reflective and are deep thinkers.
I think it’s time that we adopt a more positive portrayal of introverted Black women in real life and in media like Issa Rae‘s “Awkward Black Girl.”
Lets also normalize taking time to recharge after socializing with coworkers or family and friends.
It can be detrimental to our health to overexert ourselves to try to accommodate extroverts.
For extroverts out there who are listening, I hope this discussion can break down your misconceptions of introverts and gives you a new perspective. When I spoke to Sequoia she reminded me that Black women are not discardable, "Black women come in all different personality types and were not here to entertain you."
Introverted Black women are most powerful when they are their authentic selves and I want to encourage more of them to embrace their personality because us purely existing is magical.
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