WORK-LIFE BALANCE / NOV. 17, 2014
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How to Overcome Social Deficiency as an Introvert

Social deficiency is a real problem today. It’s no wonder people are becoming more and more apprehensive in looking for new friends, starting new relationships or even interacting with neighbours around them. I remember back in the 90s when socialization wasn’t a big deal. There was this general sense of warmth, care and friendliness. People were eager to meet and interact freely. But not any more. People are generally comfortable in their own introvert cocoons due to several factors on the ground. Let’s start with the...

 

General Situations that tend to bring about social deficiency

a) Convenient Technological Substitutes

Technology has made it so much convenient to communicate. A message half across the world can be delivered in a matter of seconds at any time of day or night. Mobile phones, laptops and tabs have become a norm to a point where we’re simply used to them. Social media has literary change the social culture of the millennials. Could it be that too much availability has killed all the curiosity and excitement that comes with social interaction?

b) Sophisticated Tastes and Preferences

Though the world is currently faced with economic problems, standards of living for the ordinary global citizen have considerably improved. However, this has also served to boost the self-esteem of the majority. And with that comes an even greater urge for sophisticated tastes and preferences. Moreover, the media is constantly bombarding the masses with latest fads. And so the appetite for social interaction has gradually been replaced with the incessant urge for material wants.

c) Uncertainty about the Future

In the past, people didn’t have big ambitions. As long as one had a family, a roof over their head and food on the table, then everything was okay. But now, people generally have big ambitions. This goes hand in hand with sophisticated tastes and preferences. People have great ambitions but economies are quite shaky at the moment. The media is also filled with bad news about global security issues like terrorism, wars, revolutions and demonstrations. Unemployment is generally high, the middle class is dwindling and the gap between the rich and poor is growing fast. This definitely makes the future seem uncertain...

Let’s now head over to the...

 

Career situations that tend to bring about social deficiency

a) Unemployment

Being unemployed isn’t something to boast about. Plus, the unemployed go through a lot. From constant rejection in job interviews to a bruised self-esteem, there is basically nothing encouraging about unemployment. And so, having gone through so much negativity, they become discouraged and retreat to an introvert phase coupled with lots of social deficiency.

b) Tight Working Schedule

One might argue that the employed don’t experience social deficiency because they interact at the work place. Well, that might be true, but still, there is that stress and fatigue that comes with constantly being preoccupied. And it gets to a point where one just wants to go home at the end of the day and experience peace and quiet without interruption. This is even far much worse for those that work during the weekends because the tight working schedule becomes an endless cycle with no time for socialization.

c) Isolated Working Environment

Case in point is the freelancing trend we’re witnessing today where you’ll find many people working from home. Yes, the working schedule is flexible, but work gradually takes over socialization time. For instance, you’ll find someone working late into the night, but they have all the day to themselves. Sounds good but unfortunately, free time for them means working hours for the majority.

 

How Then Does One Overcome Social Deficiency as an Introvert?

#1 Have a Disciplined Socialization Plan with Worthwhile Goals and Rewards

It’s pointless to strive for something without having a strategy on how to achieve it. Moreover, a strategy that has a reward system will be an added advantage. For instance, you might be single and you seriously want to be in a relationship. Sure, spontaneity is exciting, but you’re likely to run in circles. But with a socialization plan, you’ll save on lots of precious time and energy by avoiding random dates. And if things work between you and your dream partner, then it wouldn’t hurt to reward yourself with a trip to a beach resort of your choice or something similar.

#2 Read Books By Social Experts to Polish on your Skills

Socialization can be awkward for introverts. And from experience, I’ve learnt that introverts tend to be brief, brutally honest and straight to the point. Plus, they tend to perceive many social engagements as a mere waste of time coupled with lots of idle talk. This can be attributed to a deficiency in social skills. Like assessing the general atmosphere of the crowd, appropriate tonal variation and even body language. All this can be found in books written by social experts and psychologists that have vast experience in social matters. And by the way, there’s a reason why I’m STRICTLY insisting on books...

#3 Avoid Convenient Substitutes as Much as Possible

Earlier, we talked of how convenient communication has gradually drained the curiosity that comes with social interaction on the ground. The same can be said about other entertainment avenues in the house that are easy substitutes for social interaction. For instance, when we feel lonely, we either switch on the TV, play music or browse the internet to preoccupy ourselves and subdue the urge for social interaction. That’s why you’ll need to note down all convenient substitutes and have a timetable on how often you should use them. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself tuning in to Dr.Phil or Oprah whenever loneliness kicks in.

Good thing is, you don’t need a curriculum to overcome social deficiency. All that counts is your resolve to change things for the better. And on that note, I’ll conclude with the words of Jim Rohn

Formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune."

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