“You have your day scheduled out, given over to the expectations of others. You brace yourself for what’s ahead. Then you get a call. The day is cancelled; everyone who needed you is down with a three-day virus. Is there anything more delicious? You know what I’m talking about. We don’t like others to be sick, but we love others to cancel. We become giddy at the prospect of ‘found’ time–time without plans or expectations. Time to think.”
This is from a book called Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D. She is great at defining introverts.
Contrary to what you might have heard, introverts are not geeky, shy wallflowers, or antisocial. We’re introverts (by definition) because we “recharge our batteries” in solitude or in quiet one-on-one conversations, while extroverts can get recharged in noisy party-type settings with lots of people.
Introverts are not a minority–we’re just quieter than noisy extroverts. A recent large study showed that introverts comprise 57% of the population. That was a surprise to me. I always felt like I didn’t fit in with the masses. As it turns out, introverts are the masses!
I suspect that many writers are introverts. Otherwise, we might not enjoy spending so much time alone writing. And it would explain why our favorite thing to do is read and our favorite places are libraries and bookstores.
Much of the book is about celebrating being an introvert, and then using your introvert traits to thrive in an extrovert country. (Americans prize being extroverts, whereas the Japanese prize being introverts.)
How About You?
Are you an introvert? Will you admit it? (This sounds like Introverts Anonymous: “Hello. My name is Kristi, and I’m an introvert.”) If you think you are, what’s hard for you being an introvert in an extrovert world?