Understanding how introverts prefer to be appreciated beyond the spotlight.

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Show Notes

Do you like the spotlight? Have you ever wondered how introverts prefer to be recognized? Do they shy away from the spotlight or embrace it in their own unique ways?

Join David as he explores the complex relationship between introverts and the spotlight. He discusses the importance of understanding our strengths and needs as introverts, and how this self-awareness allows us to be authentic and proud in our professional work. 

 Discover the varied responses from fellow introverts on their preferences, ranging from private to public appreciation, and gain valuable insights into the reasons behind these preferences. With different introverts having different needs and desires, this episode sheds light on appreciative inquiry and the importance of understanding and respecting individual preferences.

David delves into the varying preferences and reasons that introverts have when it comes to receiving recognition and appreciation. It is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for introverts in terms of their relationship with the spotlight. As we heard from several other introverts, some feel hesitant to share the spotlight, while others are willing to step out of their comfort zones if the payoff is significant. 

Tune in to uncover the hidden dynamics of introverts and their relationship with appreciation and recognition. Discover how you can navigate this aspect of introversion and embrace your authentic self. Join David in this insightful episode and be strong.

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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

david [at] quietandstrong.com

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Timestamped Overview

[00:02:00] Embrace introversion, be proud, appreciate support

[00:05:57] Recognition doesn’t matter, control and comfort do.

[00:07:10] Mastering the skill of avoiding the spotlight is a practice that introverts like me employ, albeit with varying degrees. While reluctance to share the limelight is common, personal connection can overcome this fear. Striving to improve in receiving thanks and appreciation is a constant endeavor, even if it may not be perceived as being in the spotlight by others.

[00:12:07] Introverts appreciate written communication, prefer a mix of public and private recognition, and may feel discomfort in the spotlight but still find it exhilarating.

[00:15:46] Introverts have varying preferences for the spotlight and appreciation. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, as it depends on personal comfort and context. The complexity of their relationship with appreciation is highlighted, showing a range of individual preferences. Appreciation recognizes efforts, talents, and qualities, while recognition goes beyond that. Understanding how others like to be appreciated is tricky and time-consuming.

[00:20:31] Appreciative inquiry: positive change through strengths and questions.

[00:23:08] Appreciative Inquiry used for positive change management, engages employees, builds on strengths, fosters innovation. Preference for positive environment and receiving appreciation.

[00:24:57] Please explore other podcast episodes to learn from guests. Take the free personality assessment on our website. Connect with me at david@quietandstrong.com or quietandstrong.com. Send suggestions for the show.

Podcast Transcript

David Hall [00:00:09]:

Hello, and welcome to episode 144, the Kawaii Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of quietestrong.com. This a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, we will air each episode on a Monday. Please subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me.

David Hall [00:00:35]:

Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. I received a very nice comment on my website recently. It really represented what I’m trying to accomplish, and I felt a deep sense of appreciation. Let me read it. Thank you for validating and guiding professional introverts like myself, David. I reflect as a early Professional, and I often felt I needed to adapt rather than advocate for my needs. I also misunderstood my needs.

David Hall [00:01:10]:

Learning about the unique strengths and needs of introverts has been a huge tool in my ability to grow as a professional. For example, being a professional is no longer the work of adapting, but the work of creating the perfect schedule With activities that energize me, inadequate preparation to utilize my strengths as a deep thinker. Now I come into meetings ready to contribute ideas that I’m proud of rather than disappointed that my valuable ideas didn’t arrive on set until after the meeting. I’m looking forward to learning more with you. The work you are doing with the podcast is vital to our society to harvest the strengths of our introverted workforce. Thank you. Wow. I can drop the mic now.

David Hall [00:02:00]:

Right? This represents so well what I want for me and for you. Have you ever felt like you had to adapt as an introvert? I have. As we know our strengths and needs as introverts, We can be our authentic self and no longer adapt, but be proud in our professional work. I hope you’re there, but if you’re not, you can get there. It’s amazing when you’re using your great strengths And you’re having great accomplishments that you as an introvert and a unique individual can bring And not adapt to someone we think we’re supposed to be. So thanks so much for leaving the comment. I appreciate you. And I can use a little appreciation from time to time as we all can.

David Hall [00:02:53]:

We are human beings and need Appreciation whether we’re introverts or extroverts. So what’s the difference in receiving appreciation or recognition as an introvert? I see posts about introverts not liking the spotlight. I wonder if that’s true. For me personally, I work on things that are important to me, and I do like them to be known. And I do appreciate some Recognition. I don’t mind the spotlight. Sometimes I crave it or sometimes I need it. So personally, I value my achievements or my team’s achievements or my organization’s achievements being recognized.

David Hall [00:03:36]:

I’m an introvert, but I’m intensely competitive, although it’s usually a quiet competitive nature that I have. So I put this question out there to on a couple social media platforms. As an introvert, do you avoid the spotlight? And how do you like to receive appreciation? And I got several responses. Keep in mind though That even though I received several responses, this is not a comprehensive list of how all introverts would respond. So how would you respond? As always, I would love to hear from you. So here’s a few responses. I’ll read them. Interesting question.

David Hall [00:04:22]:

It’s not my comfortable place, but I like to receive appreciation individually. I love it when my kids or clients thank me for doing something. Next one. I would appreciate to be recognized in private or at least in front of Those who I feel strong emotional connection with. Next one. As an introvert, I’d appreciate a mix of both public and private appreciation. Based on experience, receiving public appreciation can boost my confidence while receiving private appreciation Would offer a more personal and intimate connection. I absolutely hate being in the spotlight, The battle with wanting to share my thoughts, ideas, and opinions in meetings, especially if the latter ones dominate The conversation.

David Hall [00:05:14]:

I also get horrific stage fright in the run up to A conference or a workshop. But when I finish the presentation or talk, I feel exhilarated. Another one. I think we all love to feel valued and know that we’ve done well, been successful, helpful, or made an impact. But we struggle to know how to take the compliment or praise as we feel embarrassed, especially if done publicly. It’s nice to be recognized, and I wonder how this might be done in a gentle, noncenter of attention manner. And another, yeah. I’d prefer not to be recognized.

David Hall [00:05:57]:

I don’t care how amazing whatever I did is. Utilizing it is all the recognition I need. In another, sometimes it depends on the situation. I prefer to be in control when I’m in the spotlight because then I can make choices about what feels good to me And when I can take breaks, recharge, how much I wanna be in the spotlight, etcetera. And another, I think this depends on the nurture topic and how you were raised. I, as an introvert, prefer That isolated recharge with no chaos, noise in the comfort of my own home. However, I’ve gained a wide range of skills that allow me the ability to switch hats, if you will, When I’d be okay sharing my experience on a topic, I’m well studied on stage with the crowd if I know what I have to offer the world, and it would be meaningful and inspirational to others in a life changing way. It’s worth stepping out of my normal comfort zone if the payoff is huge.

David Hall [00:07:10]:

I do believe it to be a practice skill, however. And this next one, by any means necessary. Meaning avoiding the spotlight. And another, as an introvert, I can tell you that we all have different measures of avoidance from the spotlight. I can be hesitant to share the spotlight, but when a topic that is discussed hits home for me, then that fear is gone. My reception of thanks, gratitude, and appreciation are something I’m always working on. To some, This may not be something they consider to be in the spotlight, but for myself it is. Show work in progress.

David Hall [00:07:56]:

In other areas, exploring the spotlight. It would really depend on the environment, who was around, and what the reason was. And then another person says, I avoid the spotlight at all costs, but I’m also shy and not just introverted. As for the best way to receive appreciation, this summer, I was recognized at a conference where they knew me. So they asked ahead of time if I wanted to be recognized on stage. I said, no. Thank you. They didn’t bat an eyelash or try to convince me, and they just said okay.

David Hall [00:08:33]:

And they got me the plaque afterward. I know I got it, and they knew I got it. That’s a perfect scenario for this introvert. And another one, I struggle with this. I think I’d be okay with the spotlight if it wasn’t for the criticism and self doubt that goes along with it. I’m working on getting better at just putting myself out there just to get some exposure and build relationships. But it’s not easy. Every time someone doesn’t react positively, I spin into self doubt for a long time.

David Hall [00:09:09]:

And then another great question, I tend to prefer private recognition. And then just 1 more. I like both, but in public, I don’t like a big thing to be made of it. Don’t drag me up on stage or shine a light on me. Just to mention will suffice. In private, I like to understand why I’m getting the recognition. I need to be able to join the dots between what I’ve done and why it’s being recognized. Otherwise, it can come across as being sincere.

David Hall [00:09:43]:

So thank you everybody for your comments. I hope you enjoyed hearing from some fellow introverts, a wide variety of responses. I really do appreciate the time you took to respond and share. And for me, as I said, I love the spotlight. As some have mentioned, there was a time when I didn’t understand my introversion. I was more shy and anxious. I was uncomfortable, but I wanted the spotlight. We’ll get into this further.

David Hall [00:10:21]:

It’s interesting to see the diverse responses from introverts regarding their relationships with the spotlight and how they prefer to receive appreciation. Here’s some reoccurring themes and insights based on these responses I got. So As far as private recognition, many introverts seem to prefer private recognition, whether it’s from family, close friends, or 1 on 1 situations. They value personal intimate appreciation over public acknowledgment. They find comfort and fulfillment in knowing that their efforts are noticed and appreciated by those who truly know them. This private recognition allows introverts to feel valued without the pressure of being in the spotlight. And as I’m talking today, you’re gonna notice that I’m gonna say many introverts or some introverts. I’m definitely not gonna say all introverts because It’s not true.

David Hall [00:11:19]:

It just depends on the person, and we’re not all alike. Quality over quantity. Another Recurring theme is that some introverts often prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to appreciation. They value sincere and meaningful recognition rather than a superficial or excessive praise. Introverts appreciate thoughtful gestures, Genuine compliments and actions that demonstrate understanding and respect for their unique qualities. And then written communication is meaningful to us too. Some introverts also appreciate Recognition through written communication. They feel more comfortable expressing themselves through writing rather than speaking in front of a group.

David Hall [00:12:07]:

A heartfelt note, an email, even a text message can go a long way making introvert feel seen and appreciated. The written word allows them to process their thoughts and emotions at their own pace, enabling them to articulate the feelings more effectively. So as far as public recognition, some introverts appreciate a mix of both public and private recognition. Public acknowledgement can boost confidence that they may still prefer to be more low key and not overly dramatic. Again, This is different for everybody. What’s true for you? Do you like to be publicly recognized or sometimes publicly recognized or not at all? And some introverts want to be recognized, but they have a challenge with being in the spotlight. So many introverts express discomfort with being in the spotlight, especially in situations like meetings, conferences, presentations. They may experience stage fright, but often still feel exhilarated after the experience.

David Hall [00:13:16]:

Some introverts struggle with self doubt and criticism when they put themselves in a spotlight. It can be challenging to overcome these feelings, But they’re working on building relationships and getting exposure. And some introverts prefer being in control when they’re in the spotlight. This control allows them to make choices about their level of involvement and, of course, when they need to take a break and recharge. So with all of this, if you want public recognition, but you suffer with shyness, this is something you can overcome. This could be through gradually exposing yourself to more public situations. Introverts build their confidence and develop strategies to overcome shyness as you gain experience and become more comfortable in the spotlight. Introverts should discover that they have unique strengths to offer.

David Hall [00:14:14]:

We have the ability to think deeply, And it allows us to provide thoughtful insights and perspectives. You know, if you’re recognizing an introvert And you wanna ask them to say a few words, please please warn us. Give us a chance to prepare. We do our best work with thinking ahead of time. Also, if an introvert would rather not say a few words, honor that. And if they prefer not being publicly recognized, honor that. So I’m talking about different scenarios. 1 for the introvert that wants the spotlight, but lacks confidence.

David Hall [00:14:55]:

Confidence can be built. For the confident introvert that doesn’t need or want public recognition, except that that’s perfectly normal. And context matters. Introverts mention that their willingness to be in the spotlight could depend on the topic, their level of expertise, and the potential impact they can make. It’s worth stepping out of their comfort zone if it serves a meaningful purpose. Remember, you can change your comfort zone by having experiences and changing your thoughts from negative to positive ones. And receiving appreciation, thanks, and gratitude Can also feel like being in the spotlight for some introverts even if it’s done privately. The way they receive and process in These expressions varies from person to person.

David Hall [00:15:46]:

And ultimately, the preference for the spotlight And how to receive appreciation varies among introverts. There’s no one size fits all approach, and it depends on personal comfort levels and the specific context. These responses highlight the complexity of introvert’s relationship with the spotlight and appreciation, Demonstrating that there is no one definitive answer, but a range of individual preferences and experiences. And appreciation and recognition are related, but not exactly the same. Appreciation refers to the recognition and acknowledgment of someone’s efforts, talents, qualities. It can come in various forms such as verbal praise, written compliments, or gestures of gratitude. So the question is, do you know how others in your life like to be appreciated and recognized? It’s tricky. It can take some time.

David Hall [00:16:45]:

You won’t be perfect, but don’t need to walk on eggshells. But pay attention to the others in your life. Listen and work on it. Do you know how the extroverts in your life want to be recognized? This may be very different from your way of being recognized. It’s important to always have appreciation for those in our lives, Not because they are perfect, because none of us are perfect, but they have gifts and strengths as individuals. As humans, we want people to know who we are. We wanna be seen and understood for our unique qualities and contributions. So take the time to learn about the people in your life.

David Hall [00:17:30]:

Understand their preferences, their love languages, and how they feel most valued. I love the phrase, I see you. It’s great to hear, but even better when we feel it. For some extroverts, public recognition may be their preference, Maybe their preferred way of, being appreciated. They thrive on praise that’s visible and shared with others. A shout out at a team meeting or a heartfelt acknowledgement in front of a friend can go a long way. But, again, keep in mind, Not all introverts. Not all extroverts.

David Hall [00:18:05]:

We’re not all alike. With all of this, you can’t depend on others to give you appreciation. You can always do better at getting it and appreciating others. Sometimes, you may have to appreciate yourself. Continue to get to know your strengths and value them. Track your accomplishments. Celebrate your wins no matter how small they may seem. Take the time to reflect on your achievements and give yourself credit for the hard work you put in.

David Hall [00:18:35]:

Remember that appreciation starts from within. And by appreciating yourself, you’re building self confidence and a positive mindset. In addition to self appreciation, Again, continue to express gratitude towards others as well. Acknowledge the efforts of those around you, And let them know that their contributions are valued. A simple thank you note or a verbal expression of gratitude can go a long way in making someone Feel seen and appreciated. Remember that showing appreciation is not only beneficial for others, it also creates a positive environment, Strengthens relationships. So as much as you surround yourself with positivity and supportive people, The company you keep has a significant impact on your outlook on life and your self esteem. Seek out friendships and relationships with individuals uplift you, encourage you, believe in your abilities.

David Hall [00:19:36]:

Distant yourself from toxic relationships or negative influences that bring you down. You know, as we do our work and set out to accomplish various tasks, things are gonna go wrong. Or in some cases, things may be just perceived as going wrong. Again, the work I do for this podcast and other areas of my life are very important to me. As a deep thinking introvert, I am a natural problem solver and a reflective thinker. I try to focus on the great work that has been done and how we can continually make things better. I admit I can get very frustrated when the focus is purely on the negative or what’s wrong. It’s so important to acknowledge what is good and how we can continually make things better.

David Hall [00:20:31]:

I love the appreciative inquiry approach. Let’s briefly take a look at this. So appreciative inquiry is a concept and methodology in the field of organizational development and change management. It was developed by David Cooperrider is Suresh Srivastava in the eighties as an approach to foster positive change within organizations. Appreciative inquiry is based on the idea that organizations and individuals grow and develop in the direction of what they inquire about and focus on. The key principles are a positive core, appreciative inquiry, focuses on the organization’s positive core, which involves identifying and understanding the strengths and values and successful aspects of your organization. And also, the next one is constructionist principle. This principle suggests that the language and the questions we use Influence our reality by asking positive generative questions.

David Hall [00:21:37]:

Appreciative inquiry aims to stimulate positive and constructive dialogue. It proposes that the process of inquiry and change can be simultaneous. By engaging in the inquiry process, organizations can create positive change. Appreciative inquiry acknowledges that organizations are constantly evolving and that their stories can be shaped in positive ways and encourages organizations to see themselves as authors of their own stories. And, again, you probably heard me say positive a few times. It’s a very positive approach. And there’s, what they call a four d cycle. Discovery, dream, design, and the destiny or delivery.

David Hall [00:22:26]:

Discovery. In this phase, participants explore and identify the organization’s strengths, successes, positive elements. They seek to understand what is working well. And then the next is dream. Participants envision and create a shared image of what the organization could become in the future based on the positive elements identified in the discovery phase. And then the next d is design. In this phase, participants work together to design strategies and plans to achieve the vision created in the dream phase. This involves setting goals and action plans, and then destiny or delivery.

David Hall [00:23:08]:

In the final phase, participants Implement the plans and continue to monitor progress, adapting as necessary to reach the desired future state. You know, appreciative inquiry is often used as alternative to the more traditional the problem focused approaches to change management. It’s seen as a way to engage employees, foster a positive organizational culture, drive innovation by building on organization’s strength rather than solely addressing its weaknesses. For me, I thrive in a positive environment where great things are acknowledged, While excellent is pursued. If I’m in a solely negative environment, it can be demotivating and demoralizing. Have you used an appreciative inquiry approach? So as an introvert, what is your Relationship with the spotlight and your preferences for receiving appreciation. Your preference is acceptable. Also remember that you can gain confidence if it’s lacking.

David Hall [00:24:18]:

The reception of thanks and appreciation varies amongst introverts And also extroverts, it’s important to consider individual preferences. Work on getting to know the preferences of those in your life. And then remember, sometimes you have to appreciate yourself. You have great gifts. Keep track of your accomplishments. And sometimes this can give you that needed boost of appreciation that you may not be getting elsewhere. Appreciative inquiry is seen as an alternative to The problem only focused approach to change management, and it can create a more motivating and positive work environment. So thank you for joining me.

David Hall [00:24:57]:

I appreciate you. I hope you take the time to explore other episodes and learn from our amazing guests on the Quiet and Strong podcast. Remember, if you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there is now a free type finder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you a brief report including your four letter Myers Briggs code. I’ll add a link in the show notes. I’d love to connect with you. You reach out at david@quietandstrong.com or check out the quiet and strong .com website. Send me topics or guests you’d like to see on the show.

David Hall [00:25:34]:

There’s so many great things about being an introvert, and we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs, and be strong.

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