Posts Tagged ‘Extroverts’

Saturday Auditorium Series Speaker: Susan Cain

Saturday Auditorium Series Speaker: Susan Cain (Photo credit: ALA – The American Library Association)

If you’ve ever wanted an insight into my mind – the how and why of it’s inner workings – I’ve got a book for you.   It’s called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  It was loaned to me, probably with the assumption that I would find something relevant in it’s pages.  I certainly have.  I’m constantly amazed at how in tune with my own mind the author seems to be.  I loved this passage early on in the introduction:

Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas.  They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family.  They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation.  They tend to dislike conflict.  Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.

I had a friend when I was young who was determined to teach me the art of conversation.  Apparently “Fine” was not a satisfactory answer to “How are you doing today?” no matter how sincerely I meant it.   She was very patient, and persevered until I could actually give and take a little bit.  I still run through that basic script when faced with small talk.

But after I finish it, I’m ready to go.

I’m surprised at how deeply this book has resonated with me.  I’ve known for a long time that I was an introvert, and I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone that’s spent more than five minutes with me, especially after a first meeting.  But this book has validated something I didn’t realize needed validating.  I suspect that most introverts harbor some deep paranoia that there’s something wrong with them and envy the extroverts.  It’s nice for someone to say that it’s not only normal, but can be a powerful asset.



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