Being an introvert

Last night I heard Susan Cain speak about introverts and her book “Quiet.”  It was quite interesting.

Her basic ideas were that we need to change how we interact with others and to honor the knowledge that introverts have.

The big idea that struck me was that we often we listen to the loudest voice, even if its not correct or the best idea.  This fits many situations I’m in to a T.  I’m often in situations where I am sharing ideas but my ideas are not recognized because I’m quiet. It was refreshing to hear her, if only because it validates what I experience.  Just this week I decided to email some colleagues instead of go and talk with them.  My idea was well received.  I’m not sure it would have been if I’d brought it up in a meeting.

Cain was great at honoring the creativity and thoughtfulness that many introverts possess.  It was nice to hear that we really have something to offer- I know we do, but it’s nice to be reaffirmed.

Lastly, Cain talked about other differences between introverts and extroverts.  She said the greatest difference is the persons response to stimulus.  Introverts tend to be more sensitive to outside stimulus. She recommends that we look at classroom and work environments to allow for spaces that are less stimulating.  This will help introverts recharge.

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7 thoughts on “Being an introvert

  1. Great line – “we often listen to the loudest voice.” So true. I loved Cain’s book – Quiet. I saw myself throughout, and I agree with her suggestion that we make our classrooms more ‘introvert friendly.’ Group work/collaboration is not always the best way to inspire creativity.

  2. How exciting to hear the author! I’m jealous. I just started this book last weekend. I, too, am an introvert. So far it has been a refreshing read. What has been powerful for me so far is the affirmation of working alone. I always feel guilty because I prefer to work alone…not that I don’t enjoy being in a group sometimes. And I know I learn so much from other people but I need that alone time to develop ideas. : ) So powerful that you tried communicating your idea through email and you were affirmed. So true about the loudest voice being heard. Can’t wait to finish the book and am so excited that you and I are reading and learning about these concepts at the same time. : )

  3. Julie says:

    I really connected to this post. I will have to look for this book! I am a life-long introvert – and now, after much self-work, am proud of it. You are right that we have to look for ways to make ourselves heard above the din of the extroverts. Glad your emails worked for you!

  4. I can relate to this quite a bit! I am not the outspoken one in a staff meeting but recently I brought up allergies and encouraged my principal to train the staff to use Epi-pens. Not only was it well received by him but he asked me to lead the training! I had several staff members thank me for the training. That was very reaffirming!

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