I was intrigued today to hear this story on NPR: Quiet, Please: Unleashing ‘The Power Of Introverts’ and it got me thinking about my own, life-long identification with the label “Introvert”.
Many folks who know me now might think that I’m an extrovert – so not true!! I am comfortable talking in front of a crowd, even a crowd numbering in the hundreds (possibly thousands, but I haven’t tried that out). I can function well socially with people that I know well, but I am still awkward in a crowd of strangers.
When I was in high school, I took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test, and the result was INFP – Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving. I took it again today, in an abbreviated form at HumanMetrics, and came up with the same result. Despite a lot of work, I have not switched from Introvert to Extrovert, and I’m still Intuitive, rather than Sensing, and Feeling rather than Thinking – no matter what I may feel about valuing those tendencies.
The NPR story spoke of the devaluation of Introversion compared with Extroversion in our society and times – and, as it happened, when I came home from work today, my nanny and I ended up having a conversation about her daughter, who is quiet and reserved – introvert characteristics – and I mentioned the story to her.
It also reminded me of a blog-post by my friend who posts at Not Ever Still, who posted recently on her daughter’s tendency to Introversion, with be Quiet. It seems to me such a shame that we tend to devalue those of us who are quiet…who tend to introversion. And yet, introversion has a strength all its own.
I do hope that, maybe with this book, Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking (link to purchase through Politics & Prose), the value of the introvert may be again celebrated. I think it’s a shame that we have come to celebrate extroversion as the natural “good” way to be, and we devalue those of us who tend to retire and think about things. We need to recover some balance and perspective.