Introverts Are a Powerful Lot, claims Susan Cain

Introverts, who don’t express their feelings to outside world OR who just don't talk unless they have something to say, are seen in most cultures, as a different specie. This perception is fueled majorly by the lack of understanding on “Who is an introvert?”; and partly by ‘What any society sees as constituting to Smartness’. If a society like America, sees crisp talking, articulate individual as smart; then introverts, who lie on the other pole of the benchmark are seen as ‘non-smart OR Dull’.

Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Shyness has an element of apprehension, nervousness and anxiety, and while an introvert may also be shy, introversion itself is not shyness. Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.

But, no matter how different societies see their introverts; intorverts also have their share of extraordinary people. This is the message, Susan Cain, who is on a mission to speak for introverts -- those who would rather not take the spotlight themselves – wants the world to believe.

In the video below, Susan, who lived in US, where telephones, Answering Machines, Door security computers and other things which introverts don’t really like; are a part of life since eternity; talks about her personal experiences being an introvert and makes her case for the world:

About Susan Cain:

Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant -- and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her new book Quiet. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society – from Chopin's nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperaments -- but because of them.

To Parents:

This may not settle well, with many parents; but from my personal observation, I can say that 'Being an Introvert' is as fascinating as any other personality trait. And hence, it is not right to push a child to become extrovert, if he/she is not. Just a discreet analysis of the behaviour of an introvert person; can answer, why "Not every person inhabiting this planet can be an extrovert".

I have seen kids, who speak only when it's absolutely necessary. Any activity they are engaged in, whether it be playing an outdoor or indoor game, studying or even watching television; they appear to be analyzing their actions non-verbally and those taking place outside. This makes them derive inferences (which can used elsewhere for improvement), utilizing the same time, extrovert kids are trying to please others to accomplish goals like team building, garnering goodwill and establishing leadership.

As can be seen, both the personality types are equally important for any society. Society have real jobs to acknowledge both.

If parents see their kid introvert, rather than discouraging him/her, try to see how they can help the kid take better advantage of their introvert trait. A food for thought will help such parents:

Introverts make up about 60% of the gifted population but only about 25-40% of the general population.


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