Thursday, April 11, 2013

the power of introverts


I've never concidered myself outgoing and extrovert, even less so with age, but on the other hand I've never seen myself as shy and anti-social. I love spending time with people I find interesting and inspiring, public speaking is great fun (come to think of it, it's been far too long since I did it last), but I am equally happy to spend time with myself, reading, writing, knitting, pottering around the house or being by myself in a public place.

I don't do the group thing, because I find it incredibly dull and uninspiring, plus it tends to be filled with extroverts that dominates the conversation and aren't the least bit interested in anything than talking about themselves. Listening isn't a word in their vocabulary. I've always prefered the one on one thing, or at least not a big group thing, it's just so much more rewarding intellectually. I want to really listen, I want to really be heard, I heart meaningful conversations with inspiring people, one on one. Something that was confirmed on last year's Geek Girl Meetup.

Recently I stumbled over this article on Twitter, about caring for your introvert and about our society not nearly making enough room for that type of personality. It stroke many cords in me, in fact I cried a bit.

When I posted it on Facebook a friend linked her comment to this Ted-talk with Susan Cain about the power of introverts. I hadn't heard about her before, but I obviously loved it (and she was a lawyer, see lawyers never lose their appeal) and cried some more. It's full of wisdom and goodness, like letting introverts be more themselves in this chaotic world full of problems and madness, the more likely they are to come up with creative solutions extroverts would not.

I also loved, loved, loved her little list of three things -

1) stop the madness for constant group work - I truly loath group work, always have, always will, but that doesn't been I don't think we should talk, meet, discuss ideas, interact and work together. It's just a very bad idea to force people to always do the group thing, many of us do not thrive with that, many of us are very less than creative and effective in such milieus.

2) unplug more often, go into the wilderness and have your own revelations

3) take a good look at what's in your suitcase and why you put it there - you have to listen to her talk to get the background to this

And in a world full of (extrovert) people that constantly try to surpass eachother with load voices, have the courage to speak softly. Yet no less meaningful words, rather the opposite, just look at the introvert Gandhi. Who did what he truly felt he had to do, not because he wanted attention for himself.

I wish people, this world, could be more wise and see how different personalities compliment eachother, instead of lauding the one who talks the loudest. Listen to the one who speak softly next time and encourage others to be quiet and do the same.


Angella said...

Loved this post and the articles. I "get" the concept....when I was younger I was sure something was wrong with me because it would exhaust me to hang out with my exuberant and boisterous friends. :)
I learned just as much from the comments under the articles as I did themselves. Thank you for this one....I'm always interested in hearing other views on the subject.

Elephant's Child said...

Oh yes. Absolutely NO arguments here. Listening is important (and, like common sense) too rare.

Unknown said...


heidikins said...

Susan Cain actually wrote a book called "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" and she expands on almost every single one of the points you mention here. It's an AWESOME book. Recommended. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...