I am an introvert. This is no surprise to those that really know me (who are few). But my job doesn’t allow for introversion: I present on a regular basis, interact with clients and potential clients, and collaborate with agency teams daily. I’ve learned to show extroverted tendencies when needed, then recover with alone and quiet time when I can think and reflect and be at peace.
I prefer small groups of friends having deep conversations rather than big parties having a lot of small talk. But almost all of my friends are extroverts. We complement each other.
I listen more than I talk. I like to think about what I am going to say carefully before I say it, making me a less-than-ideal participant in brainstorming meetings. And I communicate better in writing than in speaking.
These are traits that I have always worried about keeping me from having friends and fitting in to my environment, but I have learned to cope over the years as I experience life and learn more about myself each day.
As it turns out, I am not alone. According to the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain says that approximately one-third of the population is introverted. I felt like I was reading a biography of my life as I read her book. She explains how introverts feel in a world that prizes extroversion. She provides advice for introverts to fit into this world. She provides advice to extroverts for working with introverts and highlights the benefits of having introverts in life and in work. She provides parents advice for nurturing introverted children. In all, this is a wonderful book that covers the psychology of introversion that I recommend anyone that deals with people on a daily basis. And hopefully, that is all of you.