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“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

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your depth of understanding, and talent at sharing it amaze me. Speechless… and for your sharing of it.. Thank you… deeply. *sigh, its like coming back into my body through acceptance….. Sherrie on space2live
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
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Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…

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Awareness, Introversion and Leadership:Thoughts Inspired by Deepak Chopra

All of us will benefit by being more aware, but in addition a leader has to be aware of other people and quite often aware for other people. That is, he anticipates what the group is thinking and feeling. Ego blocks this kind of awareness, and so does ambition, selfishness, and competitiveness – if you let them stand in the way.  ~ Deepak Chopra

I believe awareness is the key to fulfillment but it’s damn hard to maintain and share when ambition and competitiveness are so highly valued in our culture. DeepakchopraConstant consciousness and awareness of others’ internal workings zaps energy as well. When you feel for others too deeply you lose sight of your own inner guidance.

You alone can raise the group’s awareness from lower needs to higher needs.

~ Deepak Chopra

I’m not so sure Deepak.  When I first took an interest in family mediation I felt confident I could help couples work toward  their highest selves during the stressful and emotional time of divorce.  I could get them to work together for the best interest of their futures and their children. I could be unbiased because I am empathic.  I mostly see good in people. What I found out in class is that I could do all those things but at the same time I would be feeling and taking on the bitterness, sorrow and competitiveness of each of the parties as well.  To add to that, mediation sessions often include lawyers, financial advisors and more recently, the children. Everyone wants a short-term win.  Money and parenting time are the top prizes.  I’m not sure I could give the clients what they want (quick answers) because I am aware of so many perspectives that it takes time for me to develop solutions. It’s difficult for me to be succinct and efficient (i.e. come up with proposals quickly, answers to money questions, legal knowledge) when my mind is turning over every nuance and notion of everyone involved.

I have this same dilemma at home.  I am so aware of others’ (my children, ex-husband, boyfriend, friends, family) feelings that I can’t think straight. I want to be decisive and lead but I can’t do that when I can’t hear my own inner voice.  As mentioned in, What If Schools Put Character Building First and Standardized Tests Second?, the highest level of character is guided from within — not swayed by external influences. I don’t know if this is normal for an introvert or if I am highly sensitive but I worry a lot about how others feel.  I also am conscious of denying my own self the right to speak or take action. If given the space, I can hear my true calling, but it’s hard to get the space when you feel so much for others.

Introverts and Awareness

Deepak Chopra says awareness is like an antenna, constantly assessing the feedback from both inside and outside an individual. This kind of assessing is common for introverts. Introverts are observers. We are listeners.  We are in tune with our inner worlds – we are comfortable going inward to our thoughts, impressions and ideas.

Physiologically introverts process information differently than extroverts.  Our brain paths are longer and we put more into long-term memory. This careful and constant analyzing takes energy.  That’s why introverts value solitude — fewer interruptions of the process, more time to make associations. We are energized by meaningful conversation, so contrary to popular belief, we do enjoy company it’s just that small groups and one on one conversations are preferable to crowds.

Stimulation in the form of interactions, interruptions, emotional reactions, noise, etc. drain an introvert quicker than an extrovert.  Speaking for my introverted self, there is a fine line between being highly conscious and overloaded.

 Can Introverts Be Leaders?

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. ~ John Quincy Adams

lightbulbI do believe introverts can be amazing leaders.  They are listeners and innovators.  They are thoughtful in their actions.  The secret is to make space to hear your inner vision.  It’s OK to unplug from group think and allow self-guidance. Reflection is not valued as much as ambition in our society but introverted leaders change that. They use their awareness as a light to shine on possibilities and a vision to fulfill others’ needs.

How conscious are you of your inner voice? The feelings and perspectives of others? Do you ever feel too sensitive? Insensitive?

Related Reading:

Awareness by Anthony De Mello

 Introverted Not Incompetent: Validating Softer Life Skills (space2live)

  What’s Wonderful?: Quiet the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (space2live)

 I’d Rather Not Compete With You: For Introverts or Anyone Who Prefers Excellence Over Dominance (space2live)

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  3. souldoula February 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    It sounds to me like what you are speaking of isn’t so much about being introverted, but perhaps more to do with co-dependent tendencies. By “co-dependent” I mean feeling responsible for, and wanting to take care of, other people’s feelings. As someone who is strongly co-independent and introverted, I am very aware of all the angles of a situation and the perspectives of others, but I don’t feel the need to take on or take care of their feelings. I wonder if there is any correlation between introversion and co-in/dependence? Seems like it could go either way. Thanks for the interesting post.

    • brennagee February 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Hmmm. Interesting thought about co-dependency. I always think of co-dependency as needing to be needed or strong reliance on someone else for your happiness. I think for me, other’s feelings fill up my head and siphon energy from me. I want my children, for example, to be happy but I also know I have to say no to them sometimes. Perhaps it’s that conflict (saying no or not making them happy) that drains me. Anyway, thanks for giving me food for thought. I want to dig more into co-independence.:)

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