Pinocchio Syndrome and the Introvert

Once upon a time, there was a girl who could only speak the truth.

Her schoolmates called her “The Blunt Witch” because she could always be relied on to tell you exactly how things were. No compliments, no embellishments, no high-EQ spin on negative situations.

She had no choice. She was born with the Pinocchio Syndrome.

If she said anything she didn’t believe in, or acted in any way contrary to her conscience (for instance, to please someone or upon instructions from a figure of authority) , she would start hiccupping, and she wouldn’t stop until she amended the statement to something she truly believed in.

She studied to be a reporter, and failed 33 times.

During her final interview, she was asked to pose as a customer making reservations at a restaurant. The real purpose was to find out if the management was breaching the no-smoking regulations. If she could do it without hiccupping, she would pass the interview.

Instead, she said: “I am calling because we have received a tip that you may be breaching the no-smoking regulations. Do you allow customers to smoke in your restaurant?”

How about you as an introvert?

You are probably shy, reserved, anxious to please and to be approved of by others.

Perhaps you hunch your shoulders as you walk, as though trying to take up less space in the world, because you don’t feel as worthy as others who are smarter or more competent.

Perhaps you swallow your truth and hold back the things you want to say, because you don’t think anyone would be interested anyway.

When you make a habit of denying who you are and what you believe in, it is a bit like having Pinocchio Syndrome – however hard you try, the truth will spill out somehow, and not in a discreet way.

Suppressing your truth to fit in can have unhealthy consequences for you mentally, emotionally, and psychologically.

You are created a unique being — here to serve the world with your gifts and talents, your stories and your struggles — to make your mark in the world as only you can.

What can you do to stop hiding your truth and start expressing yourself authentically?

Serena Low