Growing up I was always a quiet child (INFJ). People made me believe that part of me was something I had to change. I had to be more talkative & extroverted like most kids and I grew up believing that. Reading Quiet by Susan Cain helped me embrace my personality and realize that being an introvert is okay.
Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking
Our life is shaped by our personality. Being an introvert or extrovert defines the relationships we build and the careers we choose.
The thing is, society expect us to be extroverts. Extroverts are seen as smarter, better-looking and we’re told that we need to be social & good at public speaking in order to be happy & successful.
But, at least a third of us are introverts. And without introverts, we wouldn’t have Apple, the theory of relativity or Harry Potter, just to name a few.
The book isn’t about one personality type being better than the other. Actually, they’re both necessary. Susan Cain, the author, explains both types of people, who they are & how they act in society. And it’s not black & white. We tend to lean more towards one or the other, but you can also be an ambivert, which is a mix of both personality traits. Everyone is different.
Introversion & Extroversion
Introversion and extroversion are personality traits. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone while extroverts get their energy from socializing. Generally introverts are more thoughtful & reserved and extroverts more outgoing & talkative.
I personally love hanging out with my friends (even though sometimes I secretly wish they cancel our plans so I don’t have to go – there, I said it) but I also appreciate my time alone. Socializing can be emotionally draining and I prefer staying home on the Internet or reading a book rather going out to a party. I don’t like small talk but appreciate long & deep conversations. I think & dream a lot and love to spend time by myself.
Introversion Is Not The Same As Shyness
Introversion and shyness are not the same thing. Introversion is a preference for less stimulating environments and shyness is the fear of social judgement. They sometimes overlap, which is my case. I find it hard to meet new people and start conversations. And even though I really enjoy being an introvert, I do wish I was less shy because it keeps me away from doing a lot of things.
Acting Like An Extrovert
What’s interesting is that, even though it’s difficult for me to open up to people, I find it easier to express the “real me” on my blog & social media accounts. Plus, have you wondered how some people who seem to be great at public speaking (not me!) are actually introverts that appreciate being by themselves? They’re playing a role: “A man has as many social selves as there are distinct groups of persons about whose opinion he cares. He generally shows a different side of himself to each of these different groups.” – William James
I can’t recommend this book enough. While I was reading it, I was saying to myself: ‘yes, someone gets me!‘ It’s so refreshing to have someone telling you that it’s okay to be an introvert and teaching you how to make relationships and professional life work. And if you don’t feel like reading the book but are interested in the subject, Susan Cain was a speaker at TED Talks so you can watch the video here. I will leave you with this quote by the author: “If there’s only one insight you take away from this book, though, I hope it’s a newfound sense of entitlement to be yourself.”
Are you an extrovert or introvert? Have you read Quiet?