Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Shhh....

Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking

A few months ago a friend sent me a links to this TED Talk by Susan Cain and this quiz at Psychology Today.   I took quiz (Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert and Why it Matters) and was shocked to be told that I am an introvert.   Really?  Me, the queen of social?   I think not.    Then, I listened to Susan Cain's talk and thought "maybe".   Then I read her terrific book and thought "maybe" again.

Yes it is true that I thoroughly enjoy time with my friends, but it is also true that I vastly prefer smaller or, even better,  one on one events.   Over the years, I have left several knitting groups because they have gotten too big.   As soon as a group gets big enough to support several conversations at once, I start feeling overwhelmed rather than comforted.    My children will tell you that I get confused and overwhelmed in noisy or crowded situations.   I love a day at Disney, but need absolute quiet when I get home to recover.   What kind of person needs to recover from a fun outing?   Apparently, introverts do.

I really do think that I fall in the ambivert category (possessing characteristics and/or needs common to both introverts & extroverts).   Still, reading this book did change how I see myself.   When I recommended it to my youngest son, I told him that he would see himself in it, and that he would like what he sees.   That is what it did for me.   I feel decidedly less damaged than I used to.    My need to retreat is no longer odd in my eyes but just a normal part of who I am.

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