Today’s A to Z Challenge post is for the letter “I”, and I thought it might be interesting to talk about a specific group of people – introverts. I’ll relate this back to my theme, Ladies I Love, in a moment; but first, a lot of people have the wrong idea about introverts. They think we are shy and withdrawn, or maybe grumpy and stuck-up. However, being an introvert is not about those type of personality traits at all! Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, when it comes down to it, it’s mostly about how you gain and lose energy. Extroverts get recharged by being around people, talking and interacting with groups. Introverts, on the other hand, usually are drained by these kinds of interactions, and recharge their energy by spending time alone, often in quiet settings, with their thoughts to keep them company. There are shy extroverts, and there are outgoing introverts. Apparently, 1/3 to 1/2 of us are introverts, and I’m guessing that there is a high probability that YOU are an introvert because reading and blogging is generally a solitary activity (at least in the physical sense), the results of thought and contemplation.
Even though we might be in the minority, the world needs our creativity. Because extroverts tend to be more vocal, our cultural norms favor the way extroverts develop, share and use information. Kind of like the squeaky wheel getting the grease, right? Well, even though the introvert wheel isn’t so squeaky, the cart still needs to maintain it to get where it’s going. Here are several famous introverts, ladies who have contributed much to our society through the arts, politics, science, and other fields (although this list is heavy on actresses): Audrey Hepburn, J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Grace Kelly, Julie Roberts, Barbara Walters, Susan B. Anthony and Virginia Woolf. There are, of course, many many more than just these women – just google the Interwebs to find out more!
Susan Cain wrote a wonderful book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. Below is a manifesto for introverts, created by Susan Cain, and below that is a TED Talk that she gave a while back; if you have some time, come back to this page and watch it (it’s about 20 minutes, but it’s really engaging and fun). She talks about how introverts fit into today’s society, what we have to contribute, and the best way to tap that resource. What about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Take this short quiz and see what side you fall on. And leave me a comment letting me know how it turned out!