Thursday, November 7, 2013

The POWER of Introverts

There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

Let’s get this straight: Introverts enjoy being around people, are smart and creative, make great public speakers, are great listeners, are extremely passionate, are awesome leaders from business to social justice, and are just plain wonderful.

I used to not like labeling myself as an introvert, but after listening to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain while I was painting, I can’t help but be a little proud of being an introvert. In fact, I now really think a negative aspect of U.S. culture is that introverts can often have a bad rep. It gives the idea that introverts can’t do certain jobs or don't like being around people, which isn’t true. I love being around people, it’s just that I also need my alone time to think, read, meditate, write, paint, etc.

I first came across Susan Cain when I saw her Ted Talk (notice she’s an introvert but is also a great public speaker: 

I was inspired and intrigued and so I requested Quiet from the library. What a smart idea that was! I was happy to find out that I share some of the same qualities that some of the best thinkers who have ever lived had as well. Rosa Parks, Gandhi, J.K. Rowling (I thoroughly enjoyed my nights of reading the whole Harry Potter series), Bill Gates, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein are just a few of the many famous people who would fall under the introvert category. Without their alone time to think, none of them would have had the success that they did.

While at some points during the book I think there is a bit of negativity on some famous extroverts (which I don’t think was intended), I think the book offers some much needed praise to the role of introverts in society. More importantly, it offers some very good advice that both extroverts and introverts should know such as relationships between extroverts and introverts, when someone should push their comfort zone and when they shouldn’t, things companies can do to improve the work of their employees, and introverted kids.

One of the last sections of the book is a must read for teachers and for parents who have kids with introverted qualities. As a kid, I remember often coming home from school often completely wiped out. Most schools are embracing “group think” even when research shows that this isn’t the best idea for any type of kid as it limits them embracing the power of their own mind before they share ideas. For introverted children though, it’s exhausting and frustrating. Sure, they need to talk out loud and share their ideas, but not all day long. They need time to think before they speak.  Introverted kids, just like adults, are often sensitive and feel strongly about certain things. This should be embraced and respected. These strong feelings will give them the motivation to speak up on things they deem important. I’m rambling, but the book gives great advice and ideas to parents who want their introverted child to be as comfortable and successful as possible.

"The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength." -Susan Cain



I could go on and on about the great research in the book, but you’d get much more out of reading (or listening to) the book yourself.

2 comments:

  1. That´s Great! Greetings from Costa Rica!

    ReplyDelete
  2. From one introvert to another... thank you.

    ReplyDelete

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