Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Living in an Extroverted World

Susan Cain's book Quiet The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking(Broadway Paperbacks)  is an excellent book for anyone who believes they are an introvert or for someone who lives or works with an introvert. I was surprised to find myself in its pages. I have considered myself to be on the mid point for extroversion and introversion since completing the Myers-Briggs Type indicator which gave me the ENTJ designation. But there was always something at the edges of what I felt like at times that made me uncomfortable with the extroversion label. I didn't mind public speaking but only when I was thoroughly comfortable with my content. I didn't seek out small talk and would avoid talking to people I didn't know well if I could. So often people like me believe we lack self confidence or are shy which is why these situations make us feel uncomfortable. Type profiles force us to make a choice between going to a party or staying home to read a book. Sometimes I prefer one over the other but not necessarily one always over the other. I think a lot of introverts choose the party so we don't appear boring even to ourselves in an extroverted world.
Here is Susan Cain's Manifesto for Introverts which she has on a pull out card in her book. Great for posting to remind ourselves its okay to be who we are.

1. There's a word for "people who are in their heads too much": thinkers.
2. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.
3. The next generation of quiet kids can and must be raised to know their own strengths.
4. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend extrovert. There will always be time to be quiet later.
5. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is key to finding work you love and work that matters.
6. One genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.
7. It's OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.
8. "Quiet leadership" is not an oxymoron.
9. Love is essential;gregariousness is optional.
10. "In a gentle way, you can shake the world." -Mahatma Gandhi

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