The power of introverts

This is a TED talk Susan Cain gave on introverts and how they are often overlooked, especially in the workplace, as extroverted behavior has become the cultural norm. As an introvert myself– and I know there are others who write for this blog who are introverts as well– this talk was enlightening and helped me understand those tendencies toward solitude a little better.

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9 Comments on “The power of introverts”

  1. Diana says:

    As an INFJ, thanks for posting this. I appreciate much of what she said, but I think there’s a danger of overromanticizing solitude too. This reminds me of a piece by Jonah Lehrer that ran in The New Yorker recently, about brainstorming and creativity. You need a subscription to read the article in full, but a good portion of the article is available here.

  2. Diana says:

    I remember seeing that a while back, but it was good to read again. Interesting to see tinges of “introverts are better” in both the TED talk (“introverts get better grades”) and the Atlantic article (introverts are “a minority in the regular population but a majority in the gifted population”).

    • Yes, there are definitely tinges of “we’re better than extroverts” in both articles. That’s probably a reaction or defense to feeling inferior to extroverts for most of their lives because extroverts were “outgoing” and “charismatic” while they were “quiet” or “shy.” I have learned to accept those introverted qualities in myself as good ones, but I can certainly understand that sentiment.

    • Jonathan H. says:

      I finally got around to watching the TED talk and reading the piece from the Atlantic. At first, I thought Jonathan Rauch was being ironic when he said the following, but now I’m not so sure:

      “Are introverts arrogant? Hardly. I suppose this common misconception has to do with our being more intelligent, more reflective, more independent, more level-headed, more refined, and more sensitive than extroverts.”

      Sounds like a line a Wes Anderson character would say.

      And I just took a test that said I’m ENFJ. Strange, I’d always considered myself more of an introvert than an extrovert.

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