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Show Notes

Have you ever experienced anxiety or do you know someone who suffers from anxiety?

Tracy Guillet is an introverted therapist specializing in working with introverted teens and adults who struggle with anxiety and relationships. Until she discovered she was introverted, she spent much of her life feeling like there was something wrong with her. She now understands her quiet nature and is now able to bring this learning to her introverted clients. It brings Tracy so much joy to see her quiet people start to like who they are.


Guest: Tracy Guillet

Contact Tracy:

Website: https://quietpathways.com/

Newsletter & Updates: 
https://quietpathways.com/moms-of-highly-sensitive-teens/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/introvertteen

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracy-guillet-73915473/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracyguillet/



Contact the host of Quiet and Strong :

David Hall
Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster
quietandstrong.com
Gobio.link/quietandstrong
david@quietandstrong.com

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Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

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– – –

Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

quietandstrong.com
Gobio.link/quietandstrong
david [at] quietandstrong.com

Take the FREE Personality Assessment:

Typefinder Personality Assessment

Follow David on your favorite social platform:

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

Get David’s book:
Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

You may also like:
Quiet & Strong Merchandise

Timestamped Overview

02:23 The author discovered introversion, found relief, and helped others understand their struggles. They specialize in helping quiet individuals with anxiety and have a rewarding practice.

05:40 Joining a baby and mum class made the person realize they should express interest in joining groups and connect with individuals rather than in larger settings.

11:20 Social anxiety involves feeling anxious about social situations, including performance anxiety and overthinking interactions. It can be exhausting.

15:29 Starting with acknowledging the challenges introverts face, the importance of talking about their experiences, breaking their sense of isolation, and exploring societal expectations and self-perception to help introverted individuals redefine their own narrative.

19:41 Building strong relationships reduces anxiety. Introverts should open up and share their struggles. Practice speaking up in different situations to overcome anxiety.

24:17 Stretching and expanding your comfort zone by changing thoughts rather than simply getting out of it reduces anxiety and leads to personal growth.

27:55 Parents should understand introversion, recognize biases, have conversations about introverted qualities, normalize anxiety, and support their kids accordingly.

31:29 Different connection needs for introverts and extroverts, deeper friendships satisfy introverts even with less frequent contact.

34:41 Embrace introverted people, especially young men, who disconnect from their desires due to societal norms. Allow them to be happy and embrace their quiet nature.

39:45 A course for parents of introverted teens to understand their kids better and improve their parenting. Helping parents support their teens and create a positive family environment.

43:03 Thank you for joining me. Connect at david@quietandstrong.com. Visit quietandstrong.com. Comment on social media, suggest topics/guests. Embrace introverted strengths and be stronger.

Podcast Transcript

Tracy Guillet [00:00:00]:

The first place I often start is naming, like, how the world isn’t fit for them. So that really gets to be spoken, because introverts often don’t talk about it. So they they have this internal experience of the world feels too loud, too much so really having conversations about what that feels like. And I always like to sprinkle in that conversation that many quiet people feel like this.

David Hall [00:00:38]:

Hello, and welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of quietandstrong.com. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally. We’ll air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform, leave a review, tell a friend, help get the word out there. Tracy Gillette is an introverted therapist specializing in working with introverted teens and adults who struggle with anxiety and relationships. Until Tracy discovered she was introverted, she spent much of her life feeling like there was something wrong with her. She now understands her quiet nature and is able to bring this learning to her introverted clients. It brings Tracy so much joy to see her quiet people start to like who they are. Right? Hello, and I’m excited today to have our guest, Tracy Gillette. Tracy, welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast.

Tracy Guillet [00:01:39]:

Yeah. Thanks, David. Really excited to be here.

David Hall [00:01:43]:

Great. I first became aware of Tracy. I spoke at the quietly successful Summit about a couple of years ago, and she spoke at the second one. She did a nice presentation on social anxiety, and I was very impressed with that. And ever since, we’ve been connected on LinkedIn, and I enjoy her Instagram post. She puts out a lot of great content, and we’re definitely going to get into social anxiety and anxiety. Tracy will talk a little bit more about that. But first, as always, I would like to hear about your journey, Tracy, and where you came from and how you came to embrace your introversion and now be a therapist for those introverts with anxiety and social anxiety.

Tracy Guillet [00:02:23]:

Well, I think I was probably about age 40 when I came across introversion, and then the more that I read about it could really identify with that. There was some relief in somebody explaining to me who I was, because for so long, I felt out of place, different. How come I can’t be like other people? So then as I learned more about it, was able to embrace it and then learn things that work best for me, what don’t work best for me. And as I was noticing that about myself, my quietness, I was still doing agency work, providing therapy for people. So then with my quieter clients, I started to pull that in with helping them see why they might be struggling in a certain way, that they were fine at home with their partner. But when their partner wanted to go out with friends, they’d be at the restaurant overwhelmed. How come they’re like that? So really, being able to introduce as a quiet person, that can be a lot to do. It’s not that we can’t do those things, but it just takes a lot of energy. And then as I was pulling that in with my clients, could see them, relax them, get to know themselves better, they started to change how they viewed themselves. And it was kind of this really nice reciprocal back and forth because as I saw it being helpful to them, I could also essentially offer that to myself too. That this is just what I need, it’s not a deficit, any of that. And then with my kids I have three kids, two are more introverted, one more extroverted. So again, being able to see almost like how the world interacts with their different personalities, the judgment that can come with that, and then how to support them through that as well. Now I see introversion as a fact, not as better, worse. And then just how that’s changed my life in such a positive way. I think it was about five years ago I decided to go into private practice and then about three years ago I changed because then what I saw that I really liked working with quieter people and they were the clients that would tend to stay with me longer. So that’s when I decided to specialize in that helping quiet teens, quiet adults with anxiety, social anxiety, relationship issues, work issues, and have this really lovely practice now where I get to sit really, I get to sit with my favorite people talk about my favorite things and help them change the story of who they are so they get to that place of creating the life that they want. So a hard journey at first, but it’s ending up in a really great place.

David Hall [00:05:01]:

That’s amazing. Yeah. And we have in common that we have three kids. I have two extroverts and one introvert with an introverted wife. And that was one of the big epiphanies for me about how it’s so natural for us because we raised our kids the same and they came with their own personalities for sure. And so again, it was something to embrace. So what were some key things that helped you realize, hey, I’m an introvert and this is who I am. Gifts come with. What were some catalysts for that? To help you see who you were?

Tracy Guillet [00:05:40]:

Yeah. The one thing after I had my first child and I had joined a baby and mum class, whenever I had joined a group in the past, I always had this assumption that I’m going to quickly make friends, I’m going to find my peer group. But that had never actually been my experience because I show up in groups, I’m more of an observer. So it was in this group that I realized that once I was ready to join. So I had observed enough. I knew who I wanted to connect with. People had already connected and likely made the assumption I didn’t want to be part of it in the past. I assumed that meant they didn’t like me. I wasn’t likable where with this group I was able to see it’s like, oh, because I held back, they think I don’t want to be part of it’s not actually about who I am. So that helped me change that I can still express interest in joining people. I don’t have to stay quiet. So then as I kind of challenged myself to do things like to put myself out there a bit more, connect with people, that helped me change how I saw myself. But then it also helped me see that looking for connections in a larger group setting might not be the best place for me to connect with people even though I can do it. So I learned that I’m going to connect better in one on one situations with people. I’m not sure if that answered your question, but kind of how I gained some insight.

David Hall [00:07:11]:

No, that’s great. But how did you learn about the word introvert and then say, yes, this is who I am?

Tracy Guillet [00:07:21]:

Yeah, I was in university. I was just in the books or just browsing and I came across the book and it might have been the introvert advantage. So I’m not sure exactly what compelled me to pull the book off the shelf, but as I was flipping through the chapters, I’m like, this is who I am. So it was really through a book. And then Susan Kane’s Ted Talk, I think that was kind of the next big thing that I saw. And in that Ted Talk, she does such a lovely job of normalizing know reading, being a fantastic pastime. I can definitely relate to that. So I think it’s probably those two pieces that really helped me land that this is who I am and sort of that process that there are so many good things about who I am.

David Hall [00:08:12]:

Yeah, very nice. And I also read the introvert advantage. Remind me the author’s name. Marty Olsen Laney.

Tracy Guillet [00:08:22]:

Yes.

David Hall [00:08:23]:

So that’s a great book. And of course, Susan Kane’s quiet and her Ted Talk have been instrumental for so many of and the story you tell, it’s my know, it’s like we felt like something was wrong with us. So many guests, so many authors I hear from that’s the story. And of course that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. Right, Tracy? We’re talking because we want people to discover earlier. And you work with teens and that’s amazing. Discover earlier. Hey, you have some natural gifts and abilities. They’re normal. You can really succeed if you understand them. You’re not going to change them, but you can really succeed if you understand them.

Tracy Guillet [00:09:06]:

Yeah, I think that’s a great way to say it. That you’ll succeed when you understand who you are.

David Hall [00:09:11]:

Yeah, and I tried plenty to be something I wasn’t, and that didn’t work out so well.

Tracy Guillet [00:09:18]:

It exhausts us, drains us, and makes us feel bad about ourselves.

David Hall [00:09:22]:

So on this podcast, it’s definitely embracing introverted strengths, honoring introverted needs, coming up with some strategies for success. And then we also bust myths. Is there a myth or two that you want to bust today about introversion?

Tracy Guillet [00:09:43]:

Yeah, I would say quietness is not concerning. There’s nothing pathological about it. There’s no intervention needed. That quietness is really healthy and normal, because I think in our society, we can get quite worked up about quiet kids, quiet teens, quiet adults. They need to talk more, and there’s actually no problem with quietness.

David Hall [00:10:12]:

Absolutely. And I’ll say that a big piece of being for success as an introvert is preparing. And a lot of that’s preparing in the quiet. I have really been looking forward to our chat this morning. But guess what? Right before it, I made sure I had some quiet just to get my thoughts together and think about, what do I want to talk about today? And I have my notebook next to me. And that quiet was so helpful. And it’s a normal part of who I am as an introvert, but it’s also a gift. So you work with teens, adults, parents of teens on anxiety and social anxiety. What would you say is when it comes to anxiety or social anxiety? And maybe I guess maybe let’s talk about that first. What’s the difference between the two?

Tracy Guillet [00:11:15]:

Right? The difference between anxiety and social anxiety?

David Hall [00:11:18]:

Yeah.

Tracy Guillet [00:11:20]:

And just in a really general way, it’ll sound really obvious. Social anxiety is when we feel really anxious about being social. A lot of the kids I work with, they’ll have performance anxiety. So did I study enough? Will I do well on the test? Even when they’re writing the test, they can be overwhelmed, so the anxiety would be there. Did I prepare enough? Where social anxiety? It can show up when they imagine being with. What if this goes wrong today at school? Am I wearing the right thing? What will the kids think of me? Or when they’re at school, they’ll do so much censoring of what they say. It’s like they can almost like they’re holding two conversations at the same time. So as I’m talking to you, I’m trying to be present and say the right things, but I’m also having a conversation with myself. Should I say this? Should I say that? So they’re really censoring themselves, trying so hard not to say the wrong thing, not to make a fool of themselves. They don’t want to make the other person feel bad. So in that social anxiety, they’re holding so much stress about that social interaction, and then they go home. And then as they try to get to sleep at night, if they feel like that interaction didn’t go well, they replay it a thousand times. So then that overthinking. That shows up with the social anxiety and ends up being quite exhausting for them.

David Hall [00:12:51]:

Yeah, absolutely. It’s not limited to introverts. Extroverts can have plenty of anxiety or social anxiety, but what’s the difference? What’s the difference working with an introverted client on their anxiety versus an extroverted client?

Tracy Guillet [00:13:12]:

I think it’s really the quieter people, we tend to feel more. We really don’t want to make mistakes. We can’t let things go easy. So I think a more extroverted person, they’ll definitely feel anxious in the moment, but a day later they’re not replaying that anxious moment over and over again because they tend to have more interactions. They might have more moments where they get anxious, but that they don’t hold on to it nearly as long. And I do find with my clients that when things don’t, or at least when they assume things didn’t go well in a certain interaction, what does that mean about me? And because we spend so much time thinking like our introverted brain loves to think yes. So we can help it think about positive things or it’ll think about negative things. So because their thinking often doesn’t get interrupted and that they’re not sharing very much with what they’re worried about. It just creates more space to feed that anxiety where the extroverted person is more likely to tell a friend tell a parent tell a sibling about like, oh, man, I can’t believe I said this thing where the introverted person will do that all internally, which really, unfortunately, feeds the anxiety to keep going.

David Hall [00:14:45]:

Yeah. And I think that’s the big difference is because that’s what introversion is to me is we’re spending more time in our heads and that’s where the thoughts can go wrong, because we’re spending that time and I think you put it in a really good way, where the extrovert is more outwardly focused and they’re not spending as much time dwelling on things. So I think that can be a big difference in helping the introvert. What are some strategies that you use? I guess there’s two parts to this. Let’s first talk about just introversion in general. What are some strategies you use to help people embrace their introversion and who they are?

Tracy Guillet [00:15:29]:

Yeah, I find the first place I often start is naming how the world isn’t fit for them. So that really gets to be spoken because introverts often don’t talk about it. So they have this internal experience of the world feels too loud, too much. So really having conversations about what that feels like. And I always like to sprinkle in that conversation that many quiet people feel like this to help break up that isolation, that there’s nobody else like me kind of feeling. And then I’ll talk about the expert ideal. Susan Kane does a great job of talking about that in her book. So when we’re always told we should be this kind of person and we’re not how that makes us feel bad versus there’s something wrong with us. So try to really kind of pull apart the nuances of that because my clients, they’re really good at being reflective, that stuff can land well, they can go deep with that and then they start to see evidence in their own life of that. Like I love when one of my teens comes back and they tell me about like something a teacher did and essentially how the teacher tried to make them be more extroverted, where they can now have some context, understand why the teacher does that. And the teacher can have really great intentions because some teachers think the more they talk, then that means they’re learning where it doesn’t mean that. So as these kids learn about why they’re expected to talk more, to show up more, and because they’re introverted, that actually doesn’t fit for them. It helps them change the story of themselves. So that’s generally where I start with them around this.

David Hall [00:17:19]:

Yeah. So reflection, it can be our superpower, it can be our downfall too. And so it’s really switching that if you can help someone use that power to understand themselves, that can make all the difference. Whereas if we’re thinking all those negative thoughts, that could really cause problems. But as introverts, we’re gifted thinkers and if we can use that to get to know ourselves and get to thinking about how we can get what we want, I think that’s a big key. So I think reflection is a superpower. You mentioned that being quiet was important. What are another one or two superpowers that you think come from introversion? We’re all different. There’s a lot of different ones out there, we all have different things. But what are a couple of the main ones that you see?

Tracy Guillet [00:18:18]:

Yeah, I think the obvious one is that we’re good listeners. But I think also, and I would say for myself and other introverted people I know is that we can be quite good at hearing what people aren’t saying and then if we name what isn’t being spoken, how helpful that is. And I think we also can see the gaps. So that often shows up in the workplace, not necessarily with teens yet, but in the workplace we might see that this service is missing or if we did this a bit differently, the impact it can make. So sometimes we see things that other people aren’t seeing. Sometimes it takes the bravery to say it if nobody else is speaking about this thing, but I can just so obviously see it. So I think those are some of our superpowers that we have to offer, our work environment, our family, our friends.

David Hall [00:19:15]:

Yeah, definitely. We can be great listeners. I will say it’s important that people don’t perceive us as listeners just because they may be doing all the talking. Conversations need to go both ways and yeah, we can be masters of observation, for sure. Yeah, that’s good. So what are some strategies you use to help people manage or overcome their anxiety?

Tracy Guillet [00:19:41]:

The main strategy, and it’s not like it’s more like a long term maintenance kind of strategy, but we need good relationships. Anxiety, it almost like feeds on isolation. So the more disconnected we feel, we tend to be more anxious. So how to start building up better relationships? For some introverted people, they actually can have really good relationships, but they don’t access the relationship. And just as you were saying, they can be the good listener, but they’re not talking to their friends, they’re not sharing their insights, they’re not sharing what they’re struggling with. So that’s some of the work that I’ll do. Like what stops you from opening up to your friend? What stops you from telling a parent that you’re overwhelmed? So when they understand, what’s stopping them first I don’t want to burden people. My mom looks too stressed. My friend’s already dealing with things. And to help them see in a relationship, connection needs to happen both ways. If we don’t share enough, people struggle to be connected with us. So to help them see, opening up more is what’s going to be helpful. So then once they have a better idea of how they’re showing up in the relationships, why they’re doing that. And then there’s a strategy. The active piece of the strategy is what to do differently. And a big piece is practicing. Our brain likes to do things exactly the same way. So if I show up in a friendship group and I show up as the listener, I’ll just keep doing that unless I’m really intentional about doing something different. So what’s that the next easiest thing that somebody can do. With some of my team clients, sometimes they just need the practice of talking in front of other people. So it can be ordering food at a restaurant. You have a fast food place. The parent and the teen have the plan that when they go into the restaurant the teen is going to order, the parent’s not going to rescue them. When the parent sees how anxious they are, so they get that practice of speaking out loud and then noticing they managed it. I think that’s the next piece that is when we’re anxious and to notice that we survived it. And I know that might sound a bit traumatic, but when it comes to anxiety, your brain can be like, this is life and death situation. So we kind of help the brain calm down to say, I actually did it and I’m okay.

David Hall [00:22:22]:

And it’s part of that also just again, being reflective like this shouldn’t cause me anxiety. It’s normal to be able to do. Is that part of it? Just asking yourself what was causing the anxiety?

Tracy Guillet [00:22:38]:

Yeah, and I think it’s really important to name because that’s one of the things that I have a worksheet that I’ll use with my clients. Like, I’m feeling anxious because and that list can be quite long, but it’s more kind of in the moment. Right. I’m anxious because this is what will help my anxiety calm down. So talking to a friend, texting my mom, or texting a friend kind of things, I do think it’s important. I think one of the hard things around anxiety is not to judge ourselves. So some of us come into the world more anxious, so we just actually will be anxious. But it’s more about how do I manage the anxiety? Because it’s really important that anxiety is not the decision maker. So if I listen to my anxiety, you and I wouldn’t be talking today? No, that’s too much. I can’t do it.

David Hall [00:23:33]:

Yeah, right.

Tracy Guillet [00:23:37]:

I’m having anxiety, but I have a choice to listen to it or not.

David Hall [00:23:43]:

Right, but if you are able to change your thoughts, you do the thing like you’re saying, but you’re able to change your thoughts, then that could help you to have less or maybe not even anxiety the next time you’re doing that thing. Is that how you see it completely?

Tracy Guillet [00:24:00]:

Yeah. And I’m sure you’ve heard the language about stretching our comfort or going outside of our comfort zone or stretching ourselves a bit, because then as we stretch ourselves a bit, then we actually create a new comfort zone. So then those things become easier.

David Hall [00:24:17]:

Yes. And that’s what I say. I say it’s not getting out. I say it’s stretching like you did or expanding. Because if I just get out of my comfort zone and I don’t challenge my thoughts, and then I do that thing, you use the example of ordering food, if that’s causing me anxiety, and I do it, but then I don’t change my thoughts about it, I’m going to be anxious the next time. And so it’s really stretching or expanding your comfort zone. So I say change your comfort zone. There was definitely a time in the past where I would have never been comfortable doing this, but I love it, and it was a series of changing my thoughts about how I showed up in the world and things like that. So, yeah, I love that stretching your comfort zone or changing it, expanding it, but just to get out of it, for me is not enough, because otherwise you’re just going to keep being nervous or scared or anxious the next time if you don’t. And it’s not perfect, as you know, you said, it’s a long process. Maybe it’s reducing it, and then the next time it’s reducing it more kind of thing completely.

Tracy Guillet [00:25:27]:

Yeah. And I think that’s a good point you made, too. If we do the things that cause anxiety but don’t change our thinking, then we’ll continue to be anxious about those things because our thinking is so powerful, positive and negative.

David Hall [00:25:41]:

You work with both teenagers and adults, correct?

Tracy Guillet [00:25:46]:

Yeah.

David Hall [00:25:47]:

Okay. What’s the difference with working with teenagers or adults?

Tracy Guillet [00:25:53]:

I think that it’s interesting because there’s actually not a big difference, especially once they get to the teen years. Like, an introverted teen is not much different than an introverted young teen or young adult or middle aged adult. Their phase of life is different, but internally, a lot of it’s the same. But the main difference, I find, if I work with a 13 year old, 13 year old, compared to a 20 year old, the work is actually quicker with a 13 year old, even though we’re dealing with the same issues. But the 13 year old has much less experience of feeling bad about themselves. So by the time they’re 20 and they show up in counseling, they’ve had junior high and high school, which are often not a very kind place for more introverted people. So the message so many times that there’s something wrong with you has been reinforced. So that’s the difference I find, is that there’s actually more recovery that needs to happen the older they are, but in terms of who they are is quite similar.

David Hall [00:27:04]:

Okay. Yeah. Why are you so quiet? I just want to banish that from everybody’s vocabulary. That can be very damaging completely.

Tracy Guillet [00:27:17]:

Yeah. And I think for the quiet person and my own experience was I actually didn’t know the answer to that. I’m like, I don’t know why I’m so quiet. And especially if it’s a teacher or an adult asking it’s like, it would be really helpful if you knew the answer and could tell me why I’m so quiet instead of asking me, because as soon as you ask me, I’m so overwhelmed anyways.

David Hall [00:27:36]:

Yeah. As a quiet person, you have nowhere to come back from that. And it just kind of can make you feel more it just kind of can be a vicious cycle and make you feel more quiet. So how do parents help the anxious teen? Like, what do they need to know?

Tracy Guillet [00:27:55]:

And I would say having a really good understanding of introversion. And probably at this point, most of us have that basic understanding that we get more drained with people. We need to move away from people to recharge. But what’s the actual lived experience of an introverted person in this world that really emphasizes extroversion? So for the parents to have a much deeper understanding of what that means for their kids, kind of like day to day, what some of these kids are having to manage. And I think it would be good for the parents to check in. And I don’t mean this in a judgmental way, but what biases might they have about having a quiet kid? Because sometimes parents really struggle with that. I just need them to talk more, to be out there more, because then that makes me think that I’m a good parent. So just to have some awareness of are they holding any of that? And I know that even when I started learning about introversion, I was aware that I held those beliefs for my kids. When I was told when my kids started school they needed to talk more, I really tried to help them talk more. So as I learned more, I’m like, oh, that is not the solution at all. But so for parents to be aware of their own thoughts and feelings about that and then how to support their kids through that. So I think really having conversations about generally about quiet, like extroverted people, introverted people, the differences, how the parent can see the introverted qualities in their kids, what they love about that. And sometimes I like to name with my kids too. Sometimes I can be irritated with my introversion. Not that we’re doing much planning right now with COVID but sometimes when I want to do that other take, that other invite, and I’m like, I can’t though, I need the downtime. So sometimes I get irritated by it. And that’s just part of it, right? Just like I’m sure an extroverted person can get irritated if they don’t get enough invites and they’re bored. And if the parent is anxious themselves, because usually if there’s anxious teen, there’s an anxious parent. If the parent starts to talk about their anxiety just in that more conversational way, all of us will experience anxiety to some degree just to normalize those conversations. And I do that with my kids. I’ll name my anxiety and still really appropriate ways to share with my kids. And then I find that they’ll kind of spontaneously share with me why they’re anxious. And when we can talk about anxiety in a really almost like really just to normalize it, that really takes some of the power out of anxiety. So those are some of the things that I suggest parents can do.

David Hall [00:30:47]:

Yeah, you mentioned something that made me think we talked about Susan Cain and the extroverted ideal. Yeah, parents could be putting that on their know, it’s like you should be like even, even introverted parents might do that to their kids. And so, yeah, we need to continue to get the word out that we all have strengths. We need introverts and extroverts and it’s all good. You also were talking about earlier about relationships and the importance, what myths do you think are out there around relationships and introversion. And what’s really the truth, as you.

Tracy Guillet [00:31:29]:

See it again going back to the extrovert ideal is that we need a lot of friends. When we do things that we enjoy, we should do those things with other people. And I think extroverts, they connect because they need more connection. Introverts, we need less connection. But those connections need to be deeper connections for teens. If they’re seeing their friend once every two weeks, like outside of school, that can be a really satisfying friendship for them. Especially if it’s a good friendship where that might look concerning. It’s the. Weekend. How come you’re not going out this weekend? So if an introverted person, when we feel connected to our friends, we don’t have to see them every day. We don’t have to talk to them every day because we can really feel the connection, and then when we see them or do talk to them, it still feels good. So the amount that we connect with our friends is different than for extroverts, and it’s not alarming, it’s just different.

David Hall [00:32:41]:

Yeah, that’s a great way to put it. Different. But we need relationships because there’s definitely myths out there that especially with the pandemic, I hear, oh, yeah, you introverts, you’re all loving this. But I definitely went through periods of isolation. And I’ll say, and people probably heard me say on this show, I have my wife and three kids. And definitely for the first year, we were mostly the only people we saw. And I love them, and I wouldn’t rather spend any time with anybody else. But there were other people that I really felt isolated from, other family and friends where I didn’t see them as much as I wanted to. And so relationships are very important to us, but you hit it. It’s like we just need deeper connections, but we need connections, and it’s common for us to have fewer, but deeper connections, and that’s really important.

Tracy Guillet [00:33:36]:

Yeah, exactly. And all of us, just as you said, have been impacted by the pandemic, and I think especially all of the teens in different ways, introverted and extroverted, because it’s hard to connect with people when we’re actually not allowed to see each other.

David Hall [00:33:58]:

Yeah, I think we’ve definitely learned a lot having to step back, but we do all need relationships, that’s for sure. Maybe there’s someone out there that doesn’t I don’t know that person, and I’m not bashing that person, but for the most part, we all need connection as human beings, for sure.

Tracy Guillet [00:34:21]:

Yeah, we’re wired for connection. Some of us need less of it, but we still need good connection.

David Hall [00:34:29]:

Okay, you’re doing some great work around introversion and anxiety and social anxiety. Is there anything else that you want to talk about that we haven’t talked about yet?

Tracy Guillet [00:34:41]:

Yeah, I think maybe it’s more of a repeat, but quiet teens, quiet adults. And I think it’s really what you were saying earlier, too, when we understand ourselves, we really can create these great lives, and that can be just as satisfying as a more extroverted person. The one area that I can see my clients struggle in, and it’s actually especially the young men, is that at some point, probably in their teen years, they’ve disconnected from what they want because it doesn’t match for what they’re told, especially what males are supposed to be like, who they should be. So they kind of disconnect from what they want, and then they don’t know what to go to school for, or they’re going to school for something that they don’t actually want to do. And my point with that is why it’s so important that we allow introverted people to embrace who they are and not make it an issue that if anxiety shows up, if they don’t have friends, if they have a hard time talking to anybody, that’s a time to be concerned and to look for help. But if they’re happy, quiet people to really embrace that and love them for who they are.

David Hall [00:35:52]:

Absolutely. And I think that’s the key. Again, it comes back to this ideal that sometimes society has out there that we buy into, and it’s like, what do you want? What’s going to make you happy? And how do you get there? And I think a lot of that just comes from understanding yourself and your strengths. We have a lot of great strengths. Everybody does. And what your needs are. I need a balance, like we talked about. I need some quiet in my day, that’s part of my success strategies as an introvert. And I need that quiet for a lot of different reasons. To plan, to think, to dream, but also just to recharge sometimes. And that’s not going to be the same for my extroverted friends, but that’s okay. They may need something different, but I need to know what I need, and that helps introverts get what they want. What do you need and what do you want?

Tracy Guillet [00:36:59]:

Yeah. And to work, to let go of the judgment that might show up when what I want is to go on a hike all by myself. Do that.

David Hall [00:37:09]:

And some people might think that’s really strange. Why would you want to go on a hike by yourself? But somebody that’s hiking by themselves? It might just be such a great time to clear your head, to think about things, to do so many different things that might be so recharging and energizing for you. And then sometimes the same person might want to go on a hike with friends or their kids, and it’s going to be different. But yeah, there’s nothing wrong with in fact, some people would really enjoy that time, and we need to just normalize what’s good for us completely.

Tracy Guillet [00:37:47]:

Yeah. And then when we can really let ourselves enjoy that, it’s a life changer.

David Hall [00:37:54]:

Yeah. It’s funny. Before the Pandemic, I like to travel, but I also before the Pandemic, took a lot of the staycations where I took time off of work and just stayed home and did some things at home. And for some people, they’re like, oh, that’s weird. But to me, sometimes that was the most relaxing vacation ever. And since the Pandemic, I definitely have done a lot more than that. In the beginning, we took a lot of day trips where we might get out into nature, but there was plenty of time where I just took some time off work. And again, somebody might think that’s strange, but it’s been something that’s good for me to kind of mix it up with going places, but also taking some time off just to relax.

Tracy Guillet [00:38:44]:

Completely. Yeah. There’s this walk that I like to do, and sometimes I’ll go with my friend, and one day I told her it was after I gone on my own, and she’s like, oh, well, you could have called me. I was like, she was a bit concerned that I did this walk on my own. That was by choice. Thank you.

David Hall [00:39:02]:

Yeah. Actually, also, somebody might be offended. They’re your friend and why didn’t you invite them? But it’s like sometimes you might want to have some company and sometimes you don’t, and it’s all good.

Tracy Guillet [00:39:15]:

Yeah. I think that’s a very good point, that sometimes our need for time on our own can offend people, even though that’s not our intention at all.

David Hall [00:39:23]:

Yeah. And so that’s a big part of this, too, is just being able to articulate that need to others. And, hey, you know what? This is something normal for me, and it’s helping me to be a better person. It’s helping me to be better in my relationships if I have this little.

Tracy Guillet [00:39:37]:

Bit of time completely. Yeah.

David Hall [00:39:39]:

So I know you’re working on a course. Tell everybody about what’s coming up.

Tracy Guillet [00:39:45]:

Yeah. So my plan is in March to have a course for parents of introverted teens, because they find that there’s not great information out there for these parents. So these parents, they want to help, they want to be supportive. And when we’re not competent in our parenting, that doesn’t feel good. I think, because our kids are always changing, we can’t always be confident in our parenting, but to have that place of being more grounded. So I’m going to offer a course to parents that goes deeper into understanding these kids, that internal experience of junior high, high school is for them, how they might judge themselves, shut themselves down, limit themselves. Because these kids I think that’s one of the gifts I find come from my work is that I’m hearing from the teens what they might not be sharing with their parents, like those internal struggles. So in that general way to help parents understand this is what happens for these kids, and then these are some ways to help them. Also, the kids that have the most success that I work with are when parents actually start to do things differently as well, because definitely I’ll encourage the kids different strategies to try. But then when parents start showing up differently with their teen, that’s kind of where the magic happens. And especially when the teen sees that, oh, the mum’s doing things differently, too. Mum’s talking about her anxiety. Mom’s not demanding me to do things as much because she’s hearing that that doesn’t work for me. This wonderful shift in that parenting relationship. So wanting to be able to offer that to parents so then they can do the work with their teens, it can just make such a positive difference. Very nice for the family unit.

David Hall [00:41:40]:

Yeah. Parenting, I think I heard a quote once that it’s the most rewarding thing, but also the most challenging thing. And kids are so different, and it sounds wonderful. So we will look forward to your course. How will that be offered?

Tracy Guillet [00:41:58]:

So it’ll be an online live course, because I find that they work better and the best way, because I don’t have anything actually set up yet for people to sign up for it. But if people go to my website and sign up to receive my newsletter, that’s the way that I’ll be communicating most about it. So people were interested. If they sign up for my newsletter, they’ll get information about it.

David Hall [00:42:24]:

Okay, what is your website? And I’ll also put it in the show notes.

Tracy Guillet [00:42:28]:

It’s quietpathways.com.

David Hall [00:42:31]:

Very nice. And again, you know, you can go there. Tracy has a great website. Like I said, I follow her on LinkedIn and Instagram, and she puts out some great content on a very regular basis. And so thank you, Tracy. It’s been so great to have you on the show. And you’re doing some amazing work around introversion and also anxiety.

Tracy Guillet [00:42:53]:

Yeah. Thanks, David. Thanks for inviting me on, because I love talking about this, especially with people that get it.

David Hall [00:42:59]:

Absolutely. It’s been a great conversation. Thank you.

Tracy Guillet [00:43:02]:

You’re welcome.

David Hall [00:43:03]:

Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at david@quietandstrong.com. Check out the website. Quietandstrong.com. I’ll add social media channels for me and my guests to the Show Notes. Please comment on social media posts. Send me topics or guests you’d like to see on the show. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, and so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be stronger.

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