“The Man Sitting Across The Way”: How do introverts get along with the world? My answer is to “play” the other person

Sharing is Caring

faceless man


No matter you are introverted or extroverted, you can create a new personality and let this artificial character get along with the world instead of you.


In the previous entrepreneurial story, Kobayashi’s extroverted and enthusiastic personality was the key to her breakthrough. Extroverts can indeed obtain more resources in the workplace and become more likely to be winners in competition, which also means that introverts are more likely to experience setbacks.


When people suffer setbacks all the time, they will fall into anxiety and self-doubt. I have also received several messages from readers who asked me how introverts should get along with society? There is a reader who has been disliked by others because of her introverted personality all these years, and feels that society is extremely harsh on introverted people.

What she said is indeed true, because this is also the dilemma I have encountered for many years. It is inconvenient to expand too much in Kobayashi’s story, so I wrote another article to talk about this topic.

This is a book that tells all kinds of life stories, and the protagonist of the story I want to share this time is myself. I have been an introvert since childhood. For a long time, breaking the ice and communicating with strangers has always caused me a lot of psychological pressure. In middle school, this personality put me on the edge of the crowd; when I first started working, it was even more difficult for me in the workplace.

For newcomers in the workplace, all colleagues are unfamiliar and strangers who may not like themselves, and all consultations require interpersonal icebreakers. But when I face huge social pressure, I often prefer to think about it by myself and try to solve the problem alone.


Can a young man with no experience come up with a beautiful working method? Does not. So the work was screwed up by me, screwed up many times. In fact, as long as I ask more questions, all seniors and colleagues can answer for me, but I just dare not ask.

Many inspirational chicken soup articles have said: There is nothing wrong with being introverted. People must accept their true self and not be swayed by other people’s evaluations. It’s true, I do agree. Introversion is just a personality type, and there is no right or wrong personality. But just “accepting who you are” cannot solve specific problems.

Most people will position themselves through the evaluation of others; if they are constantly questioned and denied because of repeated mistakes in work, and even drag down colleagues, it will be difficult for me to convince myself to continue to “be myself”. Chicken broth is correct, but doesn’t help me.

The solution I found for this is: role-playing. I’m an introvert, I don’t have to change who I really am, and I can’t. However, I have always seen how extroverts communicate with others, right?


I will recall a familiar extroverted friend around me (it must be a specific person, not a general “extroverted person”, such a person is too imprecise), and imagine what will happen to that person if he encounters the situation in front of him Do, and then try to play the other person at work and in life.


No one cares if you mess up at school, but if you screw up at work repeatedly…

I have never written about this experience positively, because it sounds a bit “secondary”, not like a serious life advice, and this method is not easy, and the process will be very long.

Actually when I was in college, I started playing other people. I imitated the enthusiasm of extroverts when facing strangers, and participated in various student associations; I even signed up for the “Campus Singer” competition. My disastrous three minutes on stage will still be a joke among classmates ten years later.

This was just one of the setbacks I encountered, and in fact, I experienced embarrassment, embarrassment, and overwhelming over and over again along the way. I would like to say that it is because of the limited space that I will not go into details, but in fact I am resisting to recall those fragments. That was definitely not a pleasant experience.

But then I realized that everyone is busy and no one really cares about your embarrassment. When you socialize with people as an extrovert all the time, you can feel that you really are that new image in their eyes.

This sense of recognition from external feedback will strengthen my confidence in acting, and everything will come naturally. But my woes didn’t end there. When I stepped into a completely unfamiliar workplace from the campus, due to the need to break the ice and socialize again, the intense panic caused me to fail to maintain the shell of my new personality.

I went back to being autistic and non-communicative, and as I said above, I quickly learned my lesson. The difference between the workplace and school is that if you make a fool of yourself at school, no one cares, but if you repeatedly screw up your work, you lose your job.

I realized that I had to play that character back because I needed to survive. I started to revisit the role-playing I had in college. An extrovert will ask for help when he has a problem, he will actively talk to his colleagues, and he has no reason to refuse the HR job because he loves to socialize…

So in the autumn of 2012, I, an extrovert in the eyes of my colleagues, went to the school to recruit talents for the first time on behalf of the company. The students who came to the interview that day must not know that the interviewer opposite them was actually much more nervous than them, so nervous that the whole stomach shrank. I had to struggle to maintain an upright sitting position due to severe stomach pains.

I dare not forget to act anymore. I kept thinking about how the other person would have responded to the situation, the demeanor, tone of voice, and body language they would have used to respond to a problem. When I fully loaded the other person’s character, the tension subsided a little bit.

By the time the recruiting meeting was over and I was packing up to leave, the severe pain in my stomach was no longer there. These two hours are probably the epitome of my later years. I kept playing in labor pains, imagining how another person would deal with people and things, communicate with people with a beautiful mask, and participate in competition.

But I know in my heart that I have always been an introvert, and this has not changed. Because the way to distinguish between introversion and extroversion is not to see whether a person is good at communicating with others, but to see whether social interaction is “charging” or “power consumption” for a person.

Even though I looked chatty during the interview, I could clearly feel the drain on my energy from the social process. Often after five days of work, I don’t want to go out at all on weekends for two consecutive days. Not only will I reject the dinner party invited by my friends, but I can’t even play games with my friends online.

I just want to stay at home by myself, read books, watch dramas, play games alone, and charge up my battery for the next week of socializing. I am still an introvert. But when I played another person skillfully, this man-made shell helped me survive in this society.


Let artificial characters get along with the world instead of you

Today, I continue to feel the inconvenience of my introverted personality. For example, I am always very nervous when typing and chatting with people, because if I can’t know the other person’s tone of voice and expression, and I can’t detect the other person’s true attitude towards me, I will become afraid to speak——I call it “text.” social barriers.


For example, when I’m tired, I can’t enter the role, so that people occasionally encounter me with unresponsiveness and dull expression—the real me.

By the way, as a Weibo blogger, I often have something to say but dare not post on Weibo, because I am afraid of the embarrassment of not responding to my words, even on the Internet. But because of an extroverted shell, I was able to do my job and support my family; the expanded social circle also provided great help to my later writing career.

Most of the stories in this book were obtained in the process of my enthusiastic communication with others. Only if you are warm and friendly enough, the other party will open up to you. In addition, if I want to create novels in the future, I will also have many prototypes of characters with different personalities in my mind. These are another exchange for me.

We have been discussing how fierce the social competition is, but no one has ever guaranteed that the competition is absolutely fair. Talent, physical condition, family background and different mentality caused by family background, extroverted or introverted personality are all unfair factors in the game.

This society is indeed unfriendly to introverts, because introverts will get less information and resources. In many cases, information is the lifeblood of the business.

I know these are hard to change, you can’t change your family situation, you can’t change your character. But you can “create” a new character, a new self. When you become more and more proficient in acting again and again, at certain moments you need, this artificial character will replace you and get along with the world, so that The game has become a little fairer.

This is my personal answer to the question “how do introverts get along with the world”.

Again, all gains have a price. Chasing naturally extroverted people in the unfair game is a long and painful experience. If you feel that you are already happy and that you are capable enough to live a good life, then of course there is no problem with maintaining the status quo.

But if your introverted personality has caused you troubles, or if the introverted personality has affected your survival in the workplace as I have been in, then when you want to solve the problem of “how introverted people get along with the world” , might as well consider playing another person.

There’s nothing wrong with being introverted, it’s just a personality type. But on the basis of this cognition, as ordinary people who need to survive, we still need to solve specific dilemmas. Yes, “acting” needs to go through a painful stage. If I actively embrace a certain pain, it must mean that I am staying away from a greater pain.

Life is nothing more than a sentence: the lesser of two evils.

“Fake it, until you make it.” (Fake it, until you make it.)

Sharing is Caring