Top 5 Misconceptions Of An Introvert

My name is Jason Yormark and I’m an introvert. There…I said it. I’m not ashamed. Why should I be? If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, is that being successful in life and business as an introvert isn’t any more or less challenging than if I were the opposite. But the perceptions I and those I’ve worked with don’t go unnoticed so I feel compelled to set the record straight. Let it begin!

  1. We don’t like to be around other people. Hey, I dig my me time. Cozying up on the couch to watch re-runs of Three’s Company, or just relax without having to deal with other people is good times. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy being around others. Especially those in my inner circle…friends, family, co-workers…I need those interactions as well. I’m just not the guy that’s naturally great at sparking conversation in small intimate settings. However if you engage with me in one, I can be a great conversationalist.
  2. We don’t make good public speakers. Quite the contrary. While being an introvert, I love speaking opportunities. Love getting up in front of large groups of people to talk about things I’m passionate about. Ironically I’m great at this sort of thing, but not so much in small settings like networking events. Unfortunately I’m not smart enough to give you any sort of scientific reason for this sort of thing. So you’ll just have to go with me being an example. You’re welcome.
  3. We don’t make good leaders. Just because I’m not the life of the party doesn’t mean I’m incapable of leading others. My introverted nature usually has me praising others and putting them on the spot vs. putting the attention on me. It’s served me well in management roles, and being the kind of person that listens and digests information before speaking, it’s allowed me to make good decisions despite not coming off as the boisterous cheerleader.
  4. We don’t care. Often times introverts can come off as aloof, or uncaring. It’s simply not true. In most cases we’re listening intently…thinking, strategizing in our head the information we’re receiving to make thoughtful, efficient responses. Oh…we care. We’re plotting to take over the world.
  5. We need to strive to be less introverted. Being an introvert isn’t some sort of disease or condition. It’s not something that needs to be worked on or fixed…any more then someone who is extroverted needs to change their ways. Good managers, leaders, friends for that matter can recognize how people are wired, and work with them to develop relationships and work environments that embrace each person’s ways. Like anything in life, it’s about balance and meeting in the middle. I enjoy being around extroverts as much as I do introverts, and would never want to live in a world where everyone was wired the same way.

Now leave me alone so I can go back to my show. Mr. Roper is about to do his thing.

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Do People Really Suck This Bad?

I’ve never cared about politics. It’s all bullshit really. Nobody is going to save us. Nobody is going to swoop in and make your life better. That’s up to you. I’ve always concentrated my effort on the things I can control. Taking care of the things in my world. My friends, family, co-workers, etc. It’s a far better and more productive use of my time. But this past election cycle has been unavoidable. It seeps and oozes into your life no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It’s been the ultimate shit show. If it wasn’t so depressingly sad and pathetic, it might actually be entertaining to watch.

Because of what I do, I see everything. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. And because of that, I’ve had to endure months of people’s political BS. It’s become like a car wreck. You practically can’t turn away. When did we become a society of people that can’t respectfully disagree with one another? For months all I’ve seen are people attack one another on who they support and/or what they believe. Not to mention 2 candidates that can’t seem to spend a single minute talking about their qualifications or what they would actually do in office. They’ve spent the majority of their time attacking and disrespecting each other. I get it. That’s politics. But sure seems like it’s reached an all time high.

Name calling, profanity, anger, un-friending, you name it. It starts to really hit home when you start to see it in a network of people that you thought you actually knew. Friends, family, acquaintances. People you thought you knew or kind of knew, all of a sudden losing their shit, or acting like their opinion is the ONLY opinion. And if you don’t agree, well than you’re a racist, homophobe, criminal, etc. Guilt by candidate association.

I’ve tried to stay out of it, and for the most part I have. Sometimes I feel like my wifey and I are the only normal people left in the world. The only people that can see that both candidates are seriously flawed. But also that both of them could probably change some things for the good. We’re not blinded by everything we read, see and hear. We don’t feel so strongly about a candidate that we completely dismiss other’s opinions and certainly not to the point where we judge others based on their’s. Where are all those people? Can we all go live on an island together and get away from the crazies? I feel like I’m living in an episode of The Walking Dead, but instead of zombies it’s Clinton or Trump zealots.

Lots of people say as you get older you start to like people less. There’s certainly some truth to that. I think it’s more about you having less patience and tolerance for things that are upsetting or shitty in your life. Makes sense. Hell, I’m all about maximizing the remaining time I have on this marble and spending it doing the things I want with the people I actually give a shit about…and I find that number shrinking.

Do people really suck this bad? I hope not. But this election cycle has certainly brought out the worst in a lot of people. I feel like this has opened up a can worms that is not going away anytime soon. Let’s be honest, there’s a very high likelihood that whoever wins this thing is going to be a 1 term president. I know there is better out there to choose from, but they probably don’t have the money, power and influence to be more than a blip on the radar.

Such is life. Maybe I’ll start a Kickstarter for Normal People Island. Anyone in?

Decision Fatigue. Yep, it’s a thing.

Wifey: “What do you want for dinner?”
Me: “I don’t know, whatever you want.”

or

Me: “What do you want to watch?”
Wifey: “Whatever. You decide.”

The above are fairly common occurrences in our household, and I would imagine in many others. There’s been plenty of instances where we’d frustrate each other because neither of us could make a decision for such seemingly simple decisions. So why is it that I can’t just make a decision around what I want to eat or watch at any given time?

Because by the time I get home from work, I don’t want to make any more damn decisions. I’m decisioned out. And it wasn’t until a few months ago that I learned that decision fatigue was actually a “thing”. Decision fatigue is officially described as:

In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making.

Just think for a second how many choices are available to you in this day and age when it comes to anything in life. Food, medicine, technology, it’s massive. We’re forced to make a tremendous amount of decisions in quantity and quality every day. It takes it’s toll.

In my case (and many others), decision fatigue can actually lead to decision avoidance. All day at work I make decision after decision, and by the time I get home, I just want to turn my brain off when it comes to having to make any sort of decision no matter how simple it may be. Not only that, but the quality of the decisions made can deteriorate over the course of a day. Case in point is this crazy study about how prisoners who were scheduled earlier had a higher percentage chance of early release.

It all can seem easy to just write off as bullshit, but I actually think there is a lot of truth to how this all works out. Once I learned about psychology and research behind how decision making effects our lives, I immediately began to think of what I could do to better handle it all. Everyone will tell you rest, eat well, exercise, etc. All the things we should be doing anyway. I’ve taken it a step further at work be better delegating decision making. You have to trust your team, and the people you work with and extend decision making power as much as you can. I’ve found by doing so, it lessons the amount of decisions I have to make in any given day and increases the quality of decisions I make.

Below is a great TED talk called The Paradox of Choice that dives a bit deeper into all of this in an interesting way and is worth the watch.

 

Top 5 Things You Can’t Do If You Want To Be Friends

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I’m starting a new tradition of highlighting 5 things that drive me nuts every year. 5 things that if done, disqualify you & I from being pals.

  1. You own or are considering a selfie stick. Can you even imagine what people in previous decades would think if you tried to describe this? If you feel that you have to carry a stick to attach your phone to around, so that you can take pictures of yourself…that’s a problem.
  2. You copy/paste Facebook posts saying you will win millions of dollars by posting it. Remember seeing all those Mark Zuckerberg posts about how if you copy and paste his message into your timeline you have a chance to win millions? Yea you do. UNFRIEND.
  3. You use or have ever used the word “bae”. Exceptions include you are Danish and are referring to pile of shit or have said something to the effect of, “Don’t ever say bae again or I’ll kick you in the neck.”
  4. Vaguebooking. Definition: An intentionally vague Facebook status update, that prompts friends to ask what’s going on, or is possibly a cry for help. Just stop. I get that social media has created a stage for everyone, but just get to the point and stop over-dramatizing your life. Unless you’re a celebrity. Then you’re supposed to.
  5. Passive Agressiveness. To me there is no greater cowardice then people that act passive aggressively. It’s basically admitting that you don’t have the courage to confront people directly and rather than keep it to themselves, find subtle ways to still get their way or get in a dig indirectly. Facebook is a breeding ground for it.

What say you internet? What can you add to the list???

8 Life Lessons I Learned After 40

For the first few years of my blog I wrote exclusively about digital marketing, social media and technology. As I got older, and my career shifted into more of a managerial/operational mode, I didn’t feel as motivated to write about those things anymore and started to want to write more about whatever inspired me. It was the only way I could find the motivation to continue writing. As I close in on the first year of my 40s, I’ve thought a lot about what I’ve learned in my life. For whatever reason, when you turn 40, you all of sudden become “wise” and “introspective”. Perhaps it’s the growing feeling of mortality, but regardless, I wanted to write a blog post about the things I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older. I asked myself, what top things do I wish I could somehow have taught my younger self. And these 8 nuggets are the result of that. Enjoy and use at your own risk.

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