SOPs for Life – An Introverts Guide to Meetings

If you are an introvert you’ve probably endured many meetings that have gone something like this:

Extrovert A: “According to these projections we are on track.”
Introvert: “But what abou…”
Extrovert B: “No that’s all wrong because {{blah blah blah}}.”
Introvert: “Yeah bu…”
Extrovert C: “No no no you all are wrong!”
Introvert: “That’s what I’ve been trying to s…”
Extrovert A: “That’s right Extrovert C! You’re a genius!”
Introvert: “[inaudible sigh]”

If you are an extrovert, you’ve probably also been part of conversations like this, but you may be less aware of that fact so please do some soul searching. This article is not intending for you though. This article is intended for introverts who are either regularly drowned out in meetings, avoiding meetings due to being regularly drowned out in meetings, or hiding underneath conference room tables due to not being able to avoid meetings which would be the most desirable option due to always being drowned out in meetings. With that said I am happy to present to you the second article in my SOPs for Life series – An Introverts Guide to Meetings.

Making an Entrance

When entering the meeting room, feel free to stake out your territory by talking loudly the entire way to your seat. This is a common extrovert tactic that is weird and highly obnoxious, but it is also oddly effective. Keep in mind that this tactic can have negative side effects if you are late and the meeting is already in session.

Choosing a Seat

Any seat is acceptable in most cases, but avoid sitting at the head of the table as that is typically reserved for the meeting chair. The meeting chair is most likely an extrovert meaning they most likely won’t listen to you anyway, but they definitely won’t listen to you if you steal their seat. Other unacceptable seating locations include:

  • Underneath the table
  • In a back row made up of only your seat
  • Outside the meeting room
  • In a dark corner
  • Directly behind the largest available person

Making Yourself Heard

If people continually talk over you whenever you begin to speak, the best way to give yourself a platform for a few seconds is to distract everyone with something completely unrelated so that they forget what they wanted to say. Once everyone has forgotten their own sesquipedalic brilliance you will have a few seconds to make your point while they recollect their thoughts. For example, if your boss’s phone begins to ring during the meeting due to reasons completely unrelated to the fact that you are fiddling with your own phone underneath the table, this would cause a distraction giving you the opportunity to present your ideas. Kicking someone underneath the table is also a reliable way to distract people, but to avoid repercussions, ensure you do not kick anyone who outranks you, and be sure to make it look like it was someone else.

Gaining Recognition

As an introvert, guilt is your friend. Next time an extrovert claims credit for the idea you said 10 times quietly before they said it 1 time loudly, begin crying, and since we have already established that quietness does not gain you recognition, be sure to cry as loudly and as violently as possible. This could get you fired from your job, but at least you will have a new accomplishment to add to your resume.

Now that you have a foolproof plan to tackle meetings, find yourself some meetings to attend and start practicing the basics – like not hiding underneath the table. Also be sure to check out my other SOPs for Life to learn how to act in the face of other facets of human oddness.

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