New Book on Introverts

Author Susan Cain has a new book out called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and I just bought it for my Kindle.

There’s something reassuring about finding a book that’s about people like you.

I’ve pretty much always known I’m an introvert, although people who know me from social situations don’t believe it. Introverts and extroverts can both be outgoing when necessary. The difference is that introverts find outgoing behavior exhausting and often need to recuperate by following up with considerable time alone. Extroverts are energized by outgoing behavior, and the energy stimulates more and more interaction.

Introverts soothe from the inside out. During my recent major dental work I was in the chair for as much as two or two and a half hours at a clip. My dentist has a very sophisticated program of soothing distractions: earphones with music, the opportunity for a hand massage while she is working in my mouth, the chance to watch TV. I declined all, much to the surprise of the dental assistant. I explained that for me, any added outside stimulation would only increase the sense of discord I felt while the dentist was drilling. I simply closed my eyes and did my own inside-out thing. Periodically the dentist would ask me if I was OK, perhaps just to get some sort of response and be sure I hadn’t expired.

Introverts can be very good listeners. That’s caused misunderstandings from time to time. When I simply listen without commenting, people often jump to the conclusion that I understand and agree with them. Later, when they hear me express sharply different opinions, they may feel misled. I have to remind them that I neither agreed nor disagreed with what they had to say – I simply listened. Silence does not always mean assent.

Introverts think first and then speak. Extroverts figure out what they think by speaking.

Introverts and extroverts are born that way, and you can tell one from the other pretty early on. Archie is curious and social and wants to be with people. His behavior suggests an extrovert in the making.

I can’t wait to get into the book, and I will share the most interesting tidbits as I come upon them.

2 thoughts on “New Book on Introverts

  1. From one whose introversion verges on the pathological, I would never have pegged you for a true introvert.
    I have often been accused of agreeing with someone because I merely listened. My sister-in-law once told my brother-in-law all the things I “said” about him and the family, when I had only been silently listening to her rant on and on…
    And I think my daughter is actually an extrovert…if she could only talk!

  2. For Cathy: My introvertedness was probably more evident when I was younger. I’ve learned to be outgoing … and you’d understand the offsetting time I need alone and in a quiet atmosphere where I can read, write, and think.

    I suspect Lily is an extrovert as well. She brightens visibly when she comes to visit Jeannie and Paul, and even more so if Suze is there. And there was the lovely moment when Lily invited me to dance in the kitchen…

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