Deep within me, I knew my qualities and what made me appreciated in this company. It was my strategic thinking, keeping calm even in stressful situations, working hard, my capacity for introspection, and, above all, my great ability to listen to others.

I have always been pretty successful in my life and, particularly, in my professional life. Despite this, I have always been told that I am too shy and that I stay too much in the shade. As a result, I have always tried to be more outgoing, more talkative, and less shy…until my early thirties when I realized that that was the wrong way for me to live!

I can’t tell you how many times I heard when working for a company, “If you want to be appreciated, you should talk more during meetings; you need to show people who you really are.” At every level of my work promotions, I would hear this again and again—the request for me to “come out of my shell”!

Today, I am still wondering why it is so important to “come out of one’s shell” in those companies if the work is done well. There are so many workers who became successful thanks to their ability to show themselves but who are not necessarily delivering the quality, which some more quiet people deliver.

When I was part of the local board of management, my team liked me for my patience, the way I listened to them, and the way I coached them in a Quiet way. And the results were there. Deep within me, I knew my qualities and what made me appreciated in this company. It was my strategic thinking, keeping calm even in stressful situations, working hard, my capacity for introspection, and, above all, my great ability to listen to others. Unfortunately, I was not strong enough to argue with my management, who were not as into my Quiet approach.

Finally, I decided to quit the company. The reasons were many (need for change, need to do something more meaningful), but mainly I needed to give all my strengths to spreading the message about introversion so that introverts feel better in this world. I felt the need to educate managers, teachers, psychologists, coaches, and all other professionals who have an impact on people. I am convinced that if we talk, talk, and talk some more about this topic, with time, it will have an impact on how people think about it. Not to mention that we need to educate introverts themselves—we need to empower them to find the strengths to say NO! To let them know in a quiet way: they’re right for acting in a more gentle way.

It is with this conviction that I decided to start a blog dedicated to introversion in French, and it seems to be the only blog in the French language dedicated to this topic. I hope this blog and my desire to foster this change will have an impact on the French-speaking cultures.

Share your thoughts.

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  • malik

    merci beaucoup Julien de ton témoignage. je viens juste de voir ton blog, magnifique le travail que tu fais, j esper que tu n’arrêtera jamais ce combat.

  • Catherine Harding

    What a fantastic story, and I am so glad that you have found your true calling. This is beautiful and very inspiring. I love your sense of personal empowerment to benefit others. Felicitations!

  • Dee

    Your mission is a noble one, and much needed! The Quiet find it difficult to speak up and ask to be treated with dignity and respect; in part because we are quiet, but also in part because of the stigma against our natures. We need advocates, and people like you and Susan Cain and all the Quiet Revolutionaries to inspire us to speak up for ourselves, not to mention help us to love and respect ourselves, just as we are! Thank you for taking on this important work.

  • Stephanie

    Je viens de faire un petit tour de ton site, et j’aime beaucoup ce que j’ai lu! En tant que franco-américaine, ça fait plaisir de voir des introvertis des deux côtés de l’océan mener des campagnes d’information et de sensibilisation à ce sujet. 🙂

  • Elisa Farr

    I was just looking for Susan Cain’s Quiet in French for a French friend of mine. I ended up sending him the English version. But I’m so excited about your blog! I’ve forwarded it on. Thank you so much for spreading the power of Quiet to more people.

  • Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry

    Felicitations, Julien. Merci de partager votre experience avec nous, et bon courage. Je suis impatiente de lire votre blog.

  • Liana

    What a wonderful mission Julien! I hope the word spreads about your blog and that it sets people free to be quiet.

  • Linda

    I totally can relate. I recently retired and was told by many that my calm presence dealing with all kinds of situations and personalities was very much appreciated, and yet in meetings with more extroverted people always felt my thoughts were being dismissed because I didn’t jump right in talking but took time to think first. Like you I knew my strengths but at the same time felt somehow inadequate. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story and valuable mission.

  • Tangerine

    I feel like we’re on a similar mission. Your story of corporate life is familiar to me. My French is awful though. Best wishes.

  • Tanya

    Thank you, could really connect with this. All the best with your mission!