I’m chatty, playful and expressive. Do I have to tone down my personality in a professional working environment?

I remember a school report when I was seven: “Sharmadean is a chatty member of the class and can sometimes be overenthusiastic.” Even in my tender years, the notion of kaizen (the Japanese concept of continuous improvement) was important to me. So I worked on toning myself down, letting others take charge and being less, well, energetic. Turns out the people around you want, need and feed off your energy. When I’m flat in the office or at a dinner, it’s commented on negatively. Colleagues think I’m uninterested or don’t like the people around me if I’m not super hyper. I got my first internship because of the personality traits you describe above, to bring vibes to fashion shoots.

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Vijay Nanda

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