Are You a Shy or Introverted Multipotentialite?
Photo courtesy of Amber Dubya.

Are You a Shy or Introverted Multipotentialite?

Written by Emilie

Topics: Confidence, Puttytribe

Tomorrow’s my 28th birthday, and I thought I’d use today’s post to reflect a bit on some of the work I’ve been doing, and how I’ve been feeling lately.

The other night, we had our final Huddle before the launch of the Puttytribe. These huddles have been a fun way to introduce people to the community and get the discussion going in the forum. They’ve also been an interesting experiment.

One of the things I’ve noticed, is that a lot of people come into the Huddle feeling kind of shy and apprehensive.  I’ve even heard from a few multipotentialites who really wanted to sign up, but didn’t, because they were intimidated.

That always made me sad, because I knew just how great the groups had been. When someone seemed especially shy or nervous in a huddle, or was dealing with a lot of fear surrounding their goal, the group really stepped up, and tried to make them feel comfortable and get them through it.

Sure, the huddles sometimes began with a bit of awkwardness as we dealt with any technical hiccups and got to know one another. But very quickly, that energy would fall away, and be replaced by a genuine sense that everyone just wanted everyone else to succeed.

I think part of the reason that multipotentialites are so empathetic, is that many of us can relate to feeling out of place or even having crippling anxiety. A lot of multipotentialites are naturally introverts. We were that kid in the corner, lost in the book(s) or playing with imaginary vampires.

Of course there are extroverted multipods too (we come in all shapes and colours), but I don’t think it’s uncommon for imaginative multipotentialite children to experience bullying or to just feel weird among their peers.

I’ve written about this before, but I really do relate to the shy and anxious puttypeep in the group, because for most of my life I was painfully insecure. I never spoke in class, and I dreaded public speaking of any form. I didn’t even like people looking at me.

If you’d told me four years ago, what I’d be up to now, I wouldn’t have believed you. The idea that I would be a “public person” like this? No way.

So whenever I saw someone reaching out– when I got an application that said something like “I’m really scared to do this, but I want to push myself, so here it is…” I tried really hard to fit them in.

And correct me if I’m wrong Puttypeep, but I think the Tribe has been a really positive experience for everyone involved so far. I really want to make sure it stays that way when we open it up to the 50 new members on April 17.

Maintaining a safe space, where people free comfortable to share openly, is really important to me. Our team (currently comprised of me, Jon the Director of Tribe Happiness, and a few Ambassadors) are all going to be there, trying to ensure this sense of warmth and community.

But honestly, I don’t think we’re going to have to do very much, because you guys are already so awesome and understanding.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, is thank you.

This wonderful community has pushed me to overcome a lot of my own fears and put myself out there. I can’t wait to share that love with the rest of you. If even just one multipotentialite feels more understood through the Puttytribe, it will be worth it.


In case you were wondering, we we will be holding more Huddles once the Puttytribe launches. While the Puttytribe is mostly about the support and advice being exchanged in the forums, all new members will be invited to a (totally optional) Introductory Huddle, led by one of our team members. After that, you’ll be able to jump in on the member-organized huddles, or you can form your own huddle group in the forum.

While I hope that you give the Huddles a chance, I also know that baby steps are really important. So start with the forums if you’re nervous, and if you ever want to give a live brainstorm a try, there will be plenty of opportunities to jump in later.

If you’d like to be one of the 50 new Puttytribe members when we open the doors on April 17, make sure to sign up to the email list, so that you get your invitation.


  1. Christine says:

    This is interesting, but I’m a little uncomfortable with the assumption that introverts are shy. While this is sometimes the case, it isn’t always. Just because someone is an introvert does not necessarily mean they feel uncomfortable around their peers.

  2. So timely, and so true Emilie! As you know, I have struggled with this my entire life too, and thanks to your loving “push” recently, I was able to put myself out there on my site in a way that I never would have dreamed possible! I look forward to checking out the Tribe, thanks for all you do!! xo

  3. There’s a lot of this about. Introversion is now seen as a ‘second class’ trait i.e. you’re not good enough if you’re an introvert. There is an article in The Guardian recently called ‘Why the world needs introverts’ but I couldn’t link it.

    anyway, this link between introversion and multipotentiality is yet another piece of the puzzle. If you are a multipotentialite, an introvert and Highly Sensitive, you are going to feel marginalised in three ways in a world which values specialist, extrovert non sensitives.

    We need to all find each other and stick together.

  4. Abe says:

    Happy Birthday Emilie!!

    Thanks for all you do for the multipotentialite community. It’s been incredible to see you grow and encourage others to do the same over the last two years…keep leading!

    I really like Michael Hyatt’s perspective on introverts and extroverts with regards to where we get our energy–alone or with others.

    I never considered myself a shy OR incredibly outgoing person but I do agree with him in that I can turn on the social swagg when need be. My resting state though is in reflection and solitude. Does that make me an introvert? Maybe. Would my friends and family call me that? Hell no! I think the black-and-white labeling is a simplification of a much richer and nuanced human thing, and I’m okay with not fitting in so nice and neat. As long as we give with our strengths, we’re good.

    • Thea says:

      In Psychobabble:
      You may find it interesting that most personality psychologists consider introversion and extraversion to exist as two ends of a continuum, and that the distribution of people (who belong to the same population) along that continuum resembles a bell curve. Also, there are six different factors that underly the introversion-extraversion continuum, and they tend to be a better reflection of what a person is like.

      In English:
      You’re totally right about there being more to it than two different categories, and most people actually end up falling somewhere in the middle. Along with that, introversion-extraversion is a bit of an oversimplification of what’s really going on personality-wise. Someone may be very friendly and get along with people well, but they may not necessarily like seeking people out or be comfortable in large groups (like me).

      (Yes, I’m majoring in psychology. How could you tell? :P)

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, Abe.

      I’m now regretting throwing the word “introvert” in the title. It really wasn’t the point of my article… But the word is a hot button (which may be why I threw it in the title. :) Should have known better though.

  5. Juventud says:

    First of all, Happy birthday Emilie! Second of all, i’m back :-). I’ve always been an introvert and shy guy all through my life. I believe its introversion that actually helps people turn into creatives or multipotentialites. Extroverts have friends all around which is why they’re always thinking of friends or reliving the moments that they’ve had with their friends. On the other side introverts lack social circle which makes them look at the world differently and think creatively either about themselves or about the world in whole and not just friends. :-) rock on!

    • Emilie says:

      So happy to see you, Juventud! Welcome back.

      Interesting. I actually agree with you. I mean, I do know some very creative people who are also super outgoing, so I don’t think it’s always true. But I do think that spending a lot of time on your own, reflecting on life, can lead to serious creative output.

      Thanks for the comment. :)

  6. Josh says:

    Happy b-day Emilie. If we had better networking skills we could give you a surprise party of hundreds of puttyfans. Since you’re a public figure and all I know you wouldn’t be embarrassed. ;-)

  7. Jenn says:

    Happy Birthday Emilie from a fellow Aries (mine was last week)…

    I think you explain the hesitation to join the Huddle experience very well. I am an introvert who is not necessarily shy, but I do have a degree of discomfort in new social situations — until I get the lay of the land and can relax a little. My experience during the Huddle I was a part of was that initially I felt like I didn’t know quite where to jump in and offer feedback, and I certainly didn’t raise my hand to go first (or second, or third…) However, once I talked and got myself out there, the response I got was SO supportive.

    As introverts, we spend so much time with things inside our heads and often don’t have any idea what it will sound like when we speak it out loud for the first time. Internally, we are super cautious about which particular thoughts we choose to make public…even the more talkative introverts have self-filtered and edited what they say out loud.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this yet, but your comment in the post about “sitting in a corner with books” made me think of this recent Ted Talk…”The Power of Introverts”. I think you’ll like it…

  8. Lakshmi says:

    Happy birthday, Emilie!

    I came upon your blog just last month and have been passing it on ever since.

    Wish you an even more fulfilling year and a glorious future! You are doing a great job here that many will thank you for.

    Regarding the fear of speaking in public, I was able to tackle that at a very young age thanks to the goading and encouragement of my mother to participate in the school elocution competition. My own competitive nature did help, too.
    However, I am still shy around strangers at times and can be intimidated by an unfamiliar audience. There are a lot of other fears that I have to work against, too.

    I can be an introvert sometimes, an extrovert at other times.

    I’d love to meet you some time.

  9. Siggi says:

    Hi Emilie,
    ENjoy being 30! You are probably finished with school now, after circling around through different majors a bit. You have found gold in understanding that many people don’t fit into just one career option. I found your site about a month ago and keep on coming back to read more blogs. I love this little gem of wisdom, “Shoulds in your head are what happen when you spend too much time thinking about other people’s reactions. They’re what happen when the outside voices begin to drown out your own inner voice-and you lose touch with what you want.” Absolutely true! I’m looking a an upcoming birthday where I will be almost twice as old as you. I have made too many choices based on what I thought I should do instead of listening to the child’s voice inside. On your birthday I’d tell you to go and enjoy the sunshine, take a walk on the beach and collect shells, and just enjoy life today. Listen to your own inner voice to guide your way.

  10. Jenny says:

    Dear Emilie,
    Happy Birthday! I found you through an Etsy blog post by Danielle (xo) and was intrigued by her call for us to take mini risks. I followed the article linked to that post and landed here. For the last two days, the first hour of my day has been devoted to reading and taking notes from your glorious shining thoughts! I’m walking around with a new secret in my heart. I have no idea how to explain the light that keeps coming in through the internal window. I once thought I might be one of those tragic casualties of the fragmented identity syndrome resulting from post modernism (ha! literary b.s. does nothing to help a person in their reality.) It turns out that I’m complete, whole, evolving…a shape shifting puttypeep. If I were in the room I would hug you like my long lost friend. Thank you for opening up the window.

    • Emilie says:

      Oh my word… I don’t know what to say. The idea that you would devote an hour each day to reading my work AND taking notes! Wow. Thank you, Jenny.

      And literary b.s. may not be practical, but it sure is awesome regardless. :)

      Lovely to meet you another awesome multipotentialite. Keep in touch, ok?


  11. Janet says:

    Just wanted to say happy birthday!! I didn’t realize you’d be turning 28! I thought you were way younger in your early 20s. :)

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