On Cheerleading & Public Speaking: A Conversation with Katharine Myers

I just wrote the following article for the e-newsletter of the Association for Psychological Type (APT)—New York Metro Chapter:

I get Google Alerted whenever “introvert” appears in news stories about wallflowers, gadget heads, mad scientists, and social outcasts. The APT community understands that an introvert is someone who recharges her or his energy by doing solo versus social activities, but misconceptions about introverts in our society abound.

I address these misconceptions in my new book, Self-Promotion for Introverts®, and tell how introverts can use their quiet strengths to get ahead in the business world. Among the highlights are insights that Katharine Myers, co-guardian and trustee of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust, shares. Here’s a glimpse:

Myers refers to the cliquey extroverted environment of the American high school, where she says, “I felt inadequate because I did not have the skills to be what I called ‘the cheerleader type’. In my senior year, I took the MBTI® and had an individual interview with Isabel Myers [who would later become Katharine Myers’s mother-in-law]. I learned that there was a kind of person who preferred introversion to extroversion and that it was an okay way to be. This information changed my life. I did not have to learn the skills of the cheerleader type; I could be myself. Now I can go comfortably into any situation anywhere in the world whether I know anyone or not.”

Here’s what Myers says about one of the most prevalent fears that grips introverts and extroverts alike: “Speaking in public paralyzed me. When I was president of APT, I always had my first few sentences written down, since I was in fear of being speechless. Because I had to, I gradually learned to relax and be myself, knowing I would never be a great speaker, but my belief in what I was saying would make it okay.” Myers offers a valuable reflection: “If I lived again, I would take voice and public speaking training.”

Click here for a link to the APT—New York Metro Chapter e-newsletter archives.

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