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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…

Mom M
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
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
You’re so honest in your writing. It’s bold. It’s frank. It’s wonderful. I could definitely see the work you are doing here as a useful book. It could save/make a lot of relationships! — Jimmi Langemo
Jimmi Langemo
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
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
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
That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
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
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
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live

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So You're Not CEO of Anything. You Are Calming, Comforting and Healing: Valuing Your Sensitive Introvert Skill-Set

8-Ways-To-Stay-Calm-and-Cool I have never had the right energy or skills to command others to do things. I don’t have the instincts to be a boss. For many years, I thought it was better and more impressive to be in charge. I took classes and read books about being a leader, managing people and being in control. I observed and hoped to learn from the leaders and directors I encountered along my way. But a fellow traveler recently told me, You can’t teach leadership. I believe she is right. The desire and abilities are within you or they are not. Not everyone is meant to be a leader in the traditional senseJust because you are not a leader does not make you a follower. There are non-traditional ways of leading that do not involve commanding or bossing.There are other positions like advisor and healer.

I have been told many times…

I have a way of calming, comforting and healing others. I have the ability to put myself into others’ feelings and then use the subsequent knowledge to inspire and help them. This is my natural skill set. I did not have to read books or take classes to know how to do that.To be honest, you couldn’t stop me from reading about conflict resolution and improving the human condition. I read and study those topics for PLEASURE. I did, however, have to take classes and read books in order to see those abilities as useful and valuable.

It’s possible to be competent and kind

I have a friend who works in IT. She often feels overlooked and under-valued because the overlords at her place of employment only seem to hear the loudest and most direct voices in her department. This is not unusual, the squeaky wheel gets the oil and those that speak with conviction are commonly given the most credit. The interesting thing is the end-users at her job LOVE her. She has a way of working with them that they adore. She is patient, understanding and helpful. My friend is happy when she is helpful. Her empathetic nature is her strength but often it is not recognized.

Calm begets calm

In the last six months, a calm has come over me. It could be the magnesium I now take at night before bed. It could be the wonderful man who entered my life and steadfastly stands by my side. It could be the perspective I developed enough to see the strengths, rather than the deficits, of my personality. Healing Crystal Love No matter the reason, I am content. When I am content, those around me benefit. Not only can I self-soothe, releasing others from the obligation to take care of me, but I can also let this personal peace flow outwardly into others’ lives. I am not so naive as to think this state of grace is permanent. I know this too shall pass, as all states of the mind/heart do. I will simply try to roll with the changes/upheaval when they come and spread some light in the meantime.

Your story matters

The more new experiences and people I encounter the more I hone my understanding of humanity. I use all of the images, ideas and conversations to make associations that serve me and those I interact with. I run all of the input through my internal processing and deliver empathy, healing and comfort. I do this by telling relatable stories or listening without judgement. My personal favorite recollections are those of tragedy and triumph. I also cherish and express memories of sentimental significance such as when the hands1ordinary becomes extraordinary. All of the stories and ideas I have collected demonstrate how unique yet similar our lives are. I do my best to express that to the individuals who enter my little universe. This is what fuels me — giving away bits of soul salve. If I can immerse you in an emotional experience in a good way — I am satisfied on the deepest level. I am energized by healing the conflicts others feel within themselves or with others.

Are you like me? Do you care deeply about the inner worlds of others?

I am not the CEO of anything, but I know I make a difference and I believe we are entering a time when the ability to empathize and tell stories will be more highly valued. I do not want this post to sound like a chance to toot my own horn. I want others to recognize themselves in my words.

Do you have a healing, comforting, emotionally astute nature? Are you using it to your fullest ability? Do you build relationships easily? Are you in an environment conducive to nurturing your strengths?

If this piece resonated or affected you in a meaningful way, I would truly appreciate it if you would share it with others who may benefit.

Thank you,


P.S. Susan Cain happened to post this article on Quiet Revolution today. It’s the perfect companion piece. Check it out.:) Why Extroverts Earn More Money Than Introverts


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  1. Denise June 18, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Hi Brenda,

    This resonated with me so much verbatim…I’m really at a lost of words right now… give me a moment….ok, I’m back…Wow, hmmmm..I noticed that when I try to be a leader because everyone knows I’m so nice…it doesn’t sit well with my spirit. I’m a more behind the scenes kind of person. I also see the potential I have to heal others. When I’m good, I can help others… some people think its the other way around and they are committing a spiritual crime against themselves…. I’ve seen the dark of what happens when you put others before you and you are not good, but everyone else is. It can weight heavy on your heart and spirit to give and not be ok.

    Oh and go ahead and toot your own horn :). Sometimes people are uncomfortable with people having confidence. They see it as a sign of arrogance when you mention and praise your own strengths… Some people have no clue who they are and they look to others to love them and give them what’s internally rightful inside. I’m not going to be timid because someone can’t deal with the fact that I love and like who I am and I recognize my strengths…I know myself.. A lot of people don’t even know who they are. They follow this protocol because everyone else is doing it. People sometimes always want you to point out your weakness they feel it makes you humble… that’s a bunch of BS…. We all know the difference between confidence and narcissism.

    I see the way people act around me, when I listen and I’m calm and how my energy and attitude is infectious and it makes other people calm. I have been told by several people that I am healer or have been called to be one…after researching, why I kept seeing the number 11, sinceI was 29. I’ve come to find out that I’m an master number 11 in numerology….I know that I have the ability to help and maybe even heal people. I have emails and with people telling that, whether they read my words or hear my voice, they tell me it’s calming and that I should put out meditation music with my voice. I take it as a compliment and if I can help one person or more, than I know god called me to do the right thing..

    Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone. I’ve tried so many times to explain to others how I am and they think something is wrong with me. I’ve have let go of those people. When people talk to me, I listen without judgment. The other day, this girl that I met online, we exchange emails because we had a lot in common. She tried to sensor me , because I mentioned something about my past and my father. She had a problem with me referencing to that, because we were talking about body image. She felt the need to tell me I mentioned it and that she was annoyed by it.When she said what she said. I listened. I could have mentioned certain things that she repeated but I didn’t. She also tried to tell me that I was hurting over it. Which I was not. but since my words couldn’t be literally heard. She took it that way. I don’t like when people try to tell me how I feel and how I meant something. Anyway we ceased talking. One less person taking up my time and energy. I was trying to explain that since she could not hear me, she had no idea how I was saying, what I was saying because there was no voice behind it.

    People like that. I don’t need in my life. I’m human and when I tell my story, I use it to help people. Thank you! If I didn’t know any better I would think we were twins, lol 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles June 19, 2015 at 7:48 am - Reply

      Keep on pouring your calm, healing energy into the universe. It needs it.:) It’s good you know yourself and know when and where to expend your energy. That takes learning and personal evolution. I think we work on knowing and fortifying those boundaries our whole lives. At least, I know it’s a continuous work in progress for me. Thank you for sharing your insight kindred spirit.

  2. Michelle Harris May 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    I identify with this post, for sure. I’ve recently come to the realization that I am most happy with more mid-level positions that allow me to have more patient contact rather than being a boss. All my life, people have looked to me to be the leader; be it team captain in high school and college or banking customers asking me when I’m going to be the president of the company. I’ve never aspired to have one specific career and I’m thankful that I understand the reason now. I identify as INFJ and I believe that it is the scientific part of me; the thinker; the problem-solver, that make people think I should be in charge. I have drifted towards the “Healer”, “Mediator”, “Peace Keeper” role or maybe I’ve always been those things, but didn’t know what to call it. It is fitting that my small business surrounds herbs and their healing properties. People call me to ask for suggestions of herbal concoctions for their ailments and I love it. I am not a clinical herbalist, but I have a passion for it. I would love to take one of those herbal courses sometime soon.

    This is not the first time that your post has put my emotions into words when I had none-words that is. You figuring out who you are, whenever that happened in your life, has helped me to articulate who I am. For this, I am grateful. Peace and blessings.

    • Brenda Knowles May 20, 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

      You made my day Michelle! I am so thrilled my words resonate with you. Your career sounds fascinating. I am intrigued by herbal concoctions and use supplements and diet for healing myself.:) Thanks for journeying with me. May we both keep tripping and skipping along the path and learning about ourselves.

  3. Catherine North (@NorthCat75) May 18, 2015 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this post, Brenda. It’s something I struggle with all the time. When I tell people about my job, they often look puzzled and ask ‘so what’s your ambition,’ or ‘what do you want to do next,’ and I can tell they’re wondering why I’m still at a junior level at my age. The truth is, I enjoy being where I am, and being promoted to management would only cause me stress and anxiety and feeling inauthentic in the role. I get fulfillment from creative interests outside work, learning new things and relating to other people. In fact, I’ve written a novel about these exact themes, in which my character learns to find self-esteem outside of conventional status. We’re not all born with the same gifts and personalities, so it makes sense that not all of us will or should follow a traditional career path. Thank you for reaffirming this for me. 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles May 18, 2015 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      Yes! Well said! You choose a relaxed lifestyle over a stressful traditional path. Bravo! I completely understand your choice. I’ll have to check out your novel. It’s awesome you know how to fulfill yourself. Many have no idea how to do that. I’d say you’re winning.:)

  4. Girlady Bouvier May 18, 2015 at 11:39 am - Reply

    My church offers a class in which we find out our gifts (it’s literally called ‘The Gifts Class). We take a look back at our past experiences, how we’d resolve problems, deal with people, which attitudes made us stand out and so on, then we take a quizz to figure out our gifts. Some of my results were people-oriented: “empathy”, “mercy”, “sharing”. The teacher asked me if the results surprised and I told them yes, because I always thought my tendency to be an empath was all about the way I was raised, not a natural trait. But now I’m aware it’s not a coincidence I always tend to deal with the broken, depressed, lonely people. Thankfully, I got rid of the ‘healer/fixer upper’ moral duty I used to force myself into, but I still keep my ability to listen, see through and understand. Now I’m more focused on connecting to people’s emotions and helping them to understand their struggles, and they feel better when they notice someone cares about them. As you can see, nurturing and calming are not simply undervalued – truth is that those traits are so rare in a self-centered society like ours, people don’t even expect to find them anymore.

    • Brenda Knowles May 18, 2015 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      I want to take the Gifts Class! What a cool way to gain self-awareness. The healer/fixer upper role can be draining if it is not a choice.

      It often feels like the calming/healing traits are only valuable if they generate money. Most of the time they don’t. They are done/applied in the name of generosity. If they earned as much as financial savvy does I suppose they would be more admired and aspired to. Sigh.

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Nice!

  5. Nancy May 16, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Thank you for your words…I feel as if you were speaking for me…great post.

  6. sheketechad May 16, 2015 at 8:47 am - Reply

    I feel I would make a terrible manager and have never, except fleetingly, aspired to that goal. My logical half would be wrasslin’ with my empath half and would result in a stalemate 🙂

    While to those closest to me I appear as calming, to others I’m often far more blunt than PC environments allow, which actually produces agitation or discomfort as opposed to comforting them ;/

    We totally agree on learning as a life-long constant!

    So good to see you in this phase and enjoying it 🙂

    • Brenda Knowles May 17, 2015 at 7:05 am - Reply

      Thanks Ms. S. I picture the PC world as a bunch of lone wolves. Am I right or all wet? 😉 I’m enjoying this phase for sure. Take care of yourself. I hope you’re getting some time camping and hiking in solitude.:)

  7. Anne from E. May 16, 2015 at 3:32 am - Reply

    Hi Brenda,
    thank you for this encouraging article. – Like you, I’ve been at my working place without much ambition for years. And yet, at the ripe age of 49, I found myself becoming the manager of the sales support team I was a member of. I knew exactly that I’m not going to be the bossy type. I decided to lead by a helpful, supporting manner, but to be assertive wherever necessary. I concentrate on communicating on eye level, on praising, on finding solutions. I’m deeply grateful that my team appreciates my ways, if they wouldn’t cooperate, I would be stuck. Until now, I haven’t had any situation like having to fire somebody, and I hope I’ll never have to. If it would be necessary, I still would maintain eye level, support as far as possible, etc. Our company is an ordinary business with “normal” business interaction among the other employees. It is my very private mission to bring a little bit of respect, love, and healing into this place, but I’m not forcing anything. If somebody in the upper ranks would want me to change my style, I wouldn’t and couldn’t adapt.

    • Brenda Knowles May 16, 2015 at 7:01 am - Reply

      Anne you sound like a wonderful leader. I think the ability to be assertive (not aggressive) when necessary is key. I have learned over the years how to be more direct/assertive. It seems to make things clearer for some people, which helps them do their jobs better. Keep up your meaningful managing. I’m sure you’re showing others alternative ways to lead. Thanks for sharing Anne.

      • Anne from E. May 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Brenda, for your appreciation! I’m looking forward to your next posts ~ Anne

  8. jujujubee2002 May 15, 2015 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I completely relate Brenda! Beautifully written <3

    • Brenda Knowles May 16, 2015 at 7:06 am - Reply

      Thank you Julie! Yes, you have an incredibly comforting and healing spirit.

  9. David Kanigan May 15, 2015 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Powerful…great post Brenda.

    • Brenda Knowles May 16, 2015 at 7:04 am - Reply

      Thanks David. I know you are familiar with leading/managing. I’m sure you do it a little differently than the typical individual in your field.

      • David Kanigan May 16, 2015 at 7:18 am - Reply

        Brenda, I’m not sure I would take as hard a line as you may on Leader’s being born with it in their DNA. But managing/leading is incredibly difficult. I find this quote from McCall to explain the challenges well:

        “We contend that all of us, executives included, are a little like MacArthur. We are contradictory, paradoxical, and miscellaneous jumbles of vices and virtues. And this is why balance is so basic. Every strength can also turn out to be a weakness, and great strengths or weaknesses can grow unjustifiably overblown. The issue is the particular combination of strengths and weaknesses a person brings to a particular situation. For executives, these balances often appear to be basic contradictions, surfaced by contradictory demands on the job:

        * Acting alone and working with others.
        * Making tough decision and treating people with compassion.
        * Having the confidence to act and the humility to listen to other views.
        * Seizing opportunities and planning for the future.
        * Taking control and accepting the inevitable.
        * Persevering in adversity and yet changing when you are wrong.

        …So balance is not a scorecard of lessons, with two checked in every column. Balance is not something attained all at once and then owned forever. As we mean it, balance reflects fundamental tensions that, over the years, get out of whack. When something gets unbalanced, we have to learn in order to get it back under control.”

        ~ Morgan W. McCall, “The Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop On the Job. (

        • Brenda Knowles May 16, 2015 at 7:32 am - Reply

          Interesting. I can see where leadership would require courage to do things decisively and pro-actively but also require a willingness to learn and listen along the way. Perhaps only some individuals are capable/willing to take on that kind of assertive openness.
          I see your point. Perhaps under the right mentorship/experience a manager could develop. I have always thought of learning as a life-long constant. I would think the best leaders are always open to it.

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