Introverts Are Misunderstood

I am an introvert. I have always known that about myself, but usually accompanied it with an apologetic air. How many times have I said …”I don’t mean to be anti-social, but ….”.    I have learned a few things about being an introvert that have ramifications for both educators and business leaders, given our current culture of rewarding outgoing personalities.

Introverts are misunderstood. Usually we are described as being shy and quiet and do better in small groups.  But that is not the important difference between introverts and extroverts. (And let me say right here that this is a continuum and not absolutes). The main difference is in where we draw our energy. Extroverts draw from outside of  themselves and usually feel refueled by interactions with others or larger social situations.  This would drain an introvert’s energy; we renew ourselves and our creative levels through low-key situations or time spent alone. It is necessary to us. Being an educator, I see the disservice we do to children by constantly having all students in groups at tables and the incessant group projects.

The Mashable article on Why Introverts Have All the Fun, shares a great, short video by Susan Cain, “The Power of Introverts“.   I urge you to watch her; you will gain insight into family members, students, co-workers and how to draw the best from them.

Working with kids all of my life, I have seen the bias against quiet, shy children. They need to know they are alright just the way they are and the adults need to understand they do best being able to solve problems and work without distractions. This beautiful picture book  by Debbie Fox explains and celebrates the nature of the quiet kid/adult in your life.

quiet kid

I saw this cartoon on Mashable and loved how it expresses the introvert nature. The ‘after-party’ is so me.

2d001fa153a2f49994fa29e2cc35f5c2So celebrate being an introvert. Introverts unite!…….oh wait… that would be an oxymoron.

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