After reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain – I’m all fired up.
I’ve been accused of being shy for the last time.
It’s happened all my life and it couldn’t be further from the truth.
I ask you –
When did being quiet become a crime? Why do I need to be social all the time?
If I’m always talking, when is there time to think and reflect on life?
I’m tired of it.
I’ve been called shy because sometimes I’m quiet. I’ve been called aloof because I’m a thinker.
The truth is, I’m a pretty good public speaker, but I prefer talking to smaller groups. I really like parties, but I’d much rather spend time with close friends. I can engage in small talk, but deeper, in-depth conversations are my preference. Depending on when you meet me and under what circumstances we meet, you may never know that I’m an introvert. But I am and I’m proud of it.
We are a culture ruled by the tyranny of the extroverts. And it’s time for the introverts to rise up.
Now is the time.
I’m calling for an Introvert Spring!
Yes that’s right, an Introvert Spring. Much like the Arab Spring that began in 2010 but without all the demonstrations, rallies and marches. You see my people, the introverts, aren’t really into social gatherings. We are energized by solitude. This doesn’t mean we are afraid of large gatherings to raise awareness of our cause, we just prefer getting the message out by way of the effective use of social media. At home, by ourselves.
You see, there is a difference between being afraid of social interaction and choosing not to seek out social interaction. It’s the difference between being shy and being an Introvert.
Introverts aren’t afraid of people. We just enjoy spending time alone. We can be very socially skilled and outgoing at times. Social interaction however, can be emotionally draining to an introvert and some may even find it stressful. What we need is time alone to recharge. We crave silence and solitude. It’s the fuel that powers us.
But extroverts are arrogant. Our society makes them that way. We celebrate non-stop information, non-stop talking. Talking heads on TV speaking a lot and saying nothing. We have news networks, TV shows and movies dedicated to our extrovert ideal. (I have a problem with the media today too but that’s for another post.) They speak without thinking. Pound their fists without knowing the facts. The end result is an over-stimulated world. So does it surprise you that they haven’t taken the time to understand us? That would require taking the time to stop and ponder and as we know, introverts are more likely to do that.
Extroverts don’t understand why someone would want to be on their own. How can we be happy if we are on our own? Why would we purposefully avoid interacting with them? So they assume it’s because we are afraid to interact with them. They conclude that we’re shy.
But we’re not shy. We’re introverts.
A shy person wants to interact socially, but is either afraid or unable to interact. Therapy can help a shy person become extroverted. But an introvert will always be an introvert. We’re wired that way. Don’t be ashamed of that. Don’t worry about being too introverted. We have some very powerful qualities.
We’re thinkers. We speak reasonably (albeit sometimes quietly) and ask questions. Most importantly, we listen to answers.
Be proud of it!
Rise up my introverted friends. You are not alone some of the most important people in history are introverts.
George Washington was an introvert. So was Julius Caesar. (I’m not sure these things are true. But hey, this blog has been wrong before. Anyway, there’s a 50/50 chance that they were.)
I do know for sure that Rosa Parks was an introvert and she kick-started a movement.
Let’s start our own movement.
Are you with me? Let’s do it now!
Yes, let’s all meet on Saturday to discuss the next steps in our uprising.
Well… you know what? On second thought… Saturday won’t work. I feel like being alone this weekend.