I grew up in a very introverted household. My mom, dad, brother, and sister are great conversationalists, but generally pretty quiet. We all did a lot of reading, and my friends always razzed me for being the only person to stay in on a Friday night instead of going to the movies. In comparison to my family, I actually felt like the misfit extrovert. But in reality, I was just the most extroverted of a family of introverts.
My mom recently sent me this book to read:
It was a great adventure in understanding myself and other introverts. I had a few skeptical moments while reading...moments when the author seemed overly critical of extroverts...or when I questioned whether she was validly interpreting some studies. But overall...I highly recommend it as a great read for introverts who want to function well in a world that tends towards the extroverted, or to extroverts who just.don't.get. introverts.
Here were a few of my biggest takeaways:
-For introverts, the creativity flows much better when alone. Working in groups to brainstorm or get more done can actually be less effective. We need to be able to hole up, and focus.
-"Low-reactive" kids (a tendency of extroverts to be less prone to anxiety) are less likely to learn right vs. wrong by the traditional method of parental disapproval. They thrive best with positive role models and plenty of opportunities to turn their confidence and courage into productive activities. (Good to know if you're an introvert who ends up with extroverted kids.)
-Psychological research is now identifying a minority of individuals who are "highly sensitive". Highly sensitive people will each have an individual range of sensitivities, but might be particularly prone to the effects of caffeine, be bothered by lights and noises, and be highly empathic, with exceptionally strong emotions and awareness of the emotions of others.
-Introverts often feel more comfortable expressing their true selves on the internet than in person.
-It's particularly important for introverts to pursue career and creative goals that are personally meaningful, because it helps them push through the requirements of the job that might be uncomfortable or evoke anxiety.
I am definitely a highly sensitive person...jittery after a cup of coffee, always asking J to turn down his computer volume...and sobbing through shows and movies with an ounce of happiness or sadness in them (yes, basically all of them).
I love people and I love great conversation. I just love being alone at the end of the day. And I think I love blogging because it gives me that opportunity to "be real" online, and connect with other people who find it a safe place as well. So I bet you'd find a higher concentration of introverts in the blog-o-sphere than you would in real life.
Are you highly sensitive? Are you extroverted or introverted? I would love to know!