A Quiet Revolution
Updated: Oct 24
While perusing the personal development section at my local bookstore, I noticed Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I decided to take a peek inside because I'm curious about the science of personality types and it just "spoke" to me.
I used to consider myself to be an extrovert and maybe I was and then midlife switched into an introvert. The other possibility is that I have always been an introvert but pretended to be an extrovert because extroversion was more socially acceptable in my experience. I’m not entirely sure. I guess I didn't want to be called an introvert because there is a social bias against introverts and that is exactly what Susan Cain is trying to change.
From the research in this book, it’s likely that I have always been an introvert. I have always preferred quiet time spent in solitude or with a few friends over the rambunctiousness of big crowds. I have always been introspective and enjoy a very rich inner life.
I once went to a concert with a bunch of neighbors in my apartment complex and ended up sitting down on the ground in the middle of a standing crowd. I wanted to capture a few song lyrics that had come to mind. I was inspired and it seemed like the thing to do. I enjoyed sitting down and scribbling in my notebook while everyone around me stood up. It was like sitting in the middle of a forest looking at people’s legs as though they were trees.
I felt more at home then. I’m weird, I know. My neighbor, Kathy, later called me a freak. I didn’t mind so much, though. I was just different. I was just being a weird little artist. It's nice to know that I am not alone. There are many introverts in the world and the things that I am learning in reading this book is that “There is power in quiet persistence.” and “Conviction is conviction… at whatever decibel level it’s expressed.”
Balance is what I aim for. I can go out and do things, but then I need lots of time to recharge my batteries. Susan writes that about one third of the population is introverted. I’m curious. Would you consider yourself to be an introvert, an extrovert or are you both depending on the circumstances? What do you think about that?