About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about how, though I’d considered myself an extrovert most of my adult life, I’d come to discover that in actuality I’m as much introvert as extrovert. Now, I’m revisiting that and taking my introversion calculation even further. That’s right. I’m not thinking 50-50 anymore, but maybe more like 70-30, leaning more toward introversion.
Does our introversion vs. extroversion level change as we grow? I don’t know. If I think back to my own beginning years, I’d have to say that I was more on the introverted side. “She’s so shy,” people would say, and as they did, I’d melt even further into my mother’s legs. I was extremely shy. That was my basic nature then so why would it be any different now?
|Roxane Beauclair, kindergarten year
I think we’re largely confused on the point of what extroversion and introversion really is. Okay, maybe I’ll revise that to I’ve been confused on this point. And part of that may be because we’re living in a world that, for the most part, prizes extroverted behavior above introverted. It wasn’t always this way, apparently, but it is this way now, at least in contemporary American society.
Interesting, don’t you think? That a culture can be shaped by a tendency such as shyness or the opposite thereof? Or maybe it’d be closer to say, it’s interesting that a culture can shape the general nature of a society’s people.
In pondering all of this and how it applies to and affects my life, I was intrigued by the title of a book mentioned in a blog post. Admittedly, I haven’t read it yet, but it’s a New York Times Bestseller titled, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”
While I can’t offer a review, I began wondering about the author and started doing a little online research. Through that, I discovered a TED video of a presentation Cain had given on introversion. I found it enlightening and thought that if there were other introverts recently emerged from the closet, they might feel encouraged by what she says here as I was. It certainly has helped me look at introversion in a new way.
I’m inspired in fact to write several more posts on introversion and how it colors the way I move about the world, and why that matters. So consider this a start to what I envision as a mini-series of sorts in the weeks to come.
Yes, I’m kind of obsessed over the topic of introversion, mainly because I have been living so much of my life thinking I was the opposite of that. In other words, I’ve been living a lie of sorts. That’s unnerving to me.
While it’s true that the introversion-extroversion continuum is long and wide, and we all likely have a little of each in us, most of us do tend toward one or the other. And that tendency can direct a lot about how we live our lives. Understanding our tendencies in this regard can help us be gentler with ourselves, can explain things about our ways to others, and, I think, can also help us understand our children in ways that could be terrifically helpful as we guide them through their lives.
Call me nuts, but my interest has been piqued, and I’d love for you to share your thoughts with me on the topic.
Q4U: How has being either an introvert or extrovert affected your life in an either positive or negative way? Does understanding your tendency in this regard matter?