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The world favors the extroverted, especially in working environments.

This is not a “we’re the victims here!” type of article. Or a “how can we be more like them!” article. I’ve had the privilege of working in a variety of environments, and have seen firsthand how this all plays out for introverts. It’s not a false (fake news!) reality. Why do you think I started this website??

If you’ve ever felt that you weren’t hired for a particular role because you weren’t extroverted enough, some studies back that as being the case. In fact, 65% of senior corporate executives view introversion as a barrier to leadership. Good thing I walked away from the corporate arena.

We have a long way to go to prove to the world that we are, in fact, capable of being not just leaders but effective and successful ones at that. Unfortunately, until we get there, we’re going to run into a lot of pushback. And into a lot of emotional episodes that make us doubt ourselves.

A recent experience really triggered me to see it this way.

Now, there are certain fields where the deck is definitely more stacked than in other ones. Introverts flourish in a wide variety of roles and occupations once they’re in them, but the initial entry point can be quite rocky as we have much more to prove and overcome [than extroverts].

This was made clear to me recently.

A few months ago, I applied to be part of a game show called The Hustler. I had never heard of it before getting a random email to apply for it. It might as well have been spam or phishing, but because being on a game show has been on my bucket list forever, I quickly filled up the application.

Then I forgot about it.

A few days later, I got an e-mail from a casting assistant asking me to schedule a call with her to see if I’m moving on to the next step. In the meantime, she asked me to send her 15 interesting and unique facts about myself.

First of all, coming up with 15 facts was excruciatingly difficult. Try it.

And if that wasn’t enough work, I had to also jump on a call with her. Fine, I did.

She asked me a few questions about my life and then told me that the next step would be a skype interview with another casting producer. I can’t keep track of their titles, they all sound the same to me. So I accepted the invitation.

In the meantime, I prepared myself for the interview by watching a few episodes.

I was hooked. I wanted to be on this damn show!

The morning of the interview, I was STRESSING out. To calm my nerves down, I put on my best professional shirt, blow-dried my hair, smeared my makeup on, and counted the minutes until go-time.

I had no expectation other than to talk about my life and find a way to make it sound interesting.

Boy, was I wrong. I was GRILLED. She wasted no time getting started. Her pace was so fast that I could barely keep up. Before she pressed record, she told me that it would be a 10-minute interview, which would eventually be compressed to 1 minute for the casting director to watch and decide.

My anxiety went through the roof.

This meant that I couldn’t take my time to answer properly. That I had to be quick with my words and make a strong case for myself. The horror!

But the worst part about it?

She told me flat out that I had to be ENERGETIC. That I had to SMILE. That I had to GESTURE.

I had flashbacks to my teenage years with everyone around me asking why I’m so quiet. What’s wrong with you? Smile girl.

I almost hung up, that’s how furious I was. I wanted to say, “I see you guys are looking only for extroverted personalities, how original,” but of course, I didn’t. It didn’t make sense to me because on the two episodes that I watched, there were plenty of contestants that did NOT FIT this profile she was trying to mold me into.

But I played along, seeing first-hand how the world favors the extroverted.

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I stretched myself to fit into their ideal persona. I smiled and exaggerated my gestures. When she asked me the following questions: Why should we cast you as the Hustler? How would you be able to tell if someone is lying? What would you do to get people off your back? I quickly replied.

It was tough, I’m not going to lie. First of all, I had no idea what she was going to ask me, and having only seen a few episodes, I wasn’t well versed in the show. Secondly, putting on this extroverted persona was exhausting.

Then, just as fast as it started, it was over.

It’s safe to say that I did NOT get a part in the show, even though she apparently LOVED my personality. You know, the one I made up.

I said that I’m overgeneralizing because I’m fully aware that the world of TV and Hollywood requires a certain type of personality, which isn’t the case in other fields of work. There aren’t plenty of successful introverted actors, but this environment does ask for a more outgoing type of person. So if you’re in the entertainment industry, it will feel like the world favors the extroverted.

And due to this, it left me feeling deflated.

I know I’d be a great contestant and an even better Hustler if given a chance, but the hurdle to be picked is a tremendous one in this case. The deck was stacked against me from the beginning.

The only consolation I have to give you if you’re running into a similar situation in your area of work (not that I’m an actress) is to remind yourself that you’re capable of succeeding in any role.

Being an introvert is not a disadvantage, it’s a strength.

So, even if the world favors the extroverted (especially in certain fields), that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for us to shine. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise, it’s not worth your mental health.

So what can we collectively do to get the deck of cards on our side?

Keep showing up and keep proving them wrong. Go for the promotion. Apply for that leadership position. Keep forging the path for the rest of us because that’s how we change the world’s perception.

I believe in you.


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I’m Roxana,

a full-time introvert

Being introverted is an advantage.
As a former socially anxious person, I know how hard it is to be yourself, wanting to be someone else (ahem, an extrovert). I created Honestrox to provide you with the best content so you become the best version of YOU. Whether that’s getting better at making conversations, feeling more comfortable in your own skin, or breaking free from Social Anxiety.

My motto is:

Let your introvert out.
You’re worth knowing.

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