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Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

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Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

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Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
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Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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understand

Tamisha Ford Tamisha Ford soul teacher. passionate writer. proud introvert.

Tamisha Ford, MBA, is a strengths strategist, assertiveness coach, and guide. She is the Founder of Strong & Soulful Living, which helps people embrace their strengths and spirituality in a socially saturated and distracted culture. [www.tamishaford.com]

tamisha_ford_feature

Lately, I’ve had my nose buried in Sophia Dembling’s new book, The Introvert’s Way. Introverts, like me, tend to feel like the most misunderstood people on the planet, and we don’t prefer to be told we have a victim mentality because of that. Others don’t seem to get our observant nature, our slow and deep thinking, our re-energized state from being alone, or our desire to be around small groups of people more often than large ones.

We resent being called sensitive because we have a low tolerance for pain, loud noises, boisterous behavior in others, loud or unnecessary commentary, or conversations which aren’t deep and succinct. When we connect, we really connect.  When we’re annoyed, we’re really annoyed.

While many of us often feel so misunderstood in our day-to-day living, introverts tend to feel this at a deeper level. As a former extrovert, I am just now getting to a place where I understand why many people sometimes don’t initially “get” me, and why my actions and habits have changed over the past several years. I think they changed as a result of me getting comfortable living alone, becoming more and more independent, and self-actualizing more. The more I wanted to go inside and learn more about myself, the more introverted I became.

As Sophia mentions, I now understand the vibe I can put off, which is “leave me alone.” But that’s not what I want at all. It’s because introverts by nature are not small talkers or chronic smilers. It’s not that we don’t want to talk or converse, or that we aren’t happy individuals. We are simply taking everything in. We observe from a distance.

One of the things I teach is that the first law of relationships is to seek first to understand then to be understood, not vice versa.  So regardless of whether or not you’re an introvert or an extrovert, understanding is often the highest form of connection because it takes the most work.

I don’t believe introverts are better than extroverts, or vice versa. Both are gifts in their own way. Understanding is about compassion, identity and connection. But I want my fellow introverts to know, you are understood by someone, and you are not alone.

– Tamisha Ford

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