This book is a real gem. It had me intrigued from the brilliant straplines on the cover:
“The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”
“For far too long, those who are naturally quiet, serious or sensitive have been overlooked. The loudest have taken over – even if they have nothing to say.”
If those introductions resonate with you, I would highly recommend reading it. Here are a few snippets and key messages that I took from it.
- Some of our most important inventions, ideas, and creations have come from introverts. For example, without introverts we wouldn’t have the theory of gravity, Dr Seuss books, Google, Harry Potter!
- Introverts aren’t necessarily shy. Introversion is about a preference for environments that are not over stimulating
- Introverts are often encouraged to be more extrovert. But the reverse rarely occurs. For example, in groupwork at school, a quieter child may be grouped with more extroverted children, to encourage them to interact more. In fact, an introvert would prefer to work alone where they can focus on the task thoughtfully without distraction.
- Solitude is key to creativity.
- The book challenges the thought that introverts don’t make good leaders. Research has shown that leaders who are introverts actually perform better, as they are more likely to take into account the views of their team. You can be quietly kickass!
- In noisy environments, extroverts perform better, but introverts perform worse due to over-stimulation. Likewise in a quiet environment extroverts are understimulated and underperform.
- Appearances can be deceiving. Some people act like extroverts, but at an energetic cost to themselves, and even sometimes with an internal sense of being inauthentic. Others might seem aloof and self-contained, but might have a hugely rich inner world.
With this research and knowledge in mind, I think it gives permission for us each to explore how we interact best with our environments and those around us. It’s not about which is better – introverts or extroverts.
Instead it allows us to explore the ‘sweet spot’ for how we set up our work, hobbies and social interactions. This might include leaving jobs that are exhausting, or setting up cosy and quiet nooks in your house, socialising in smaller groups outdoors rather then in noisy pubs and so on.
Fundamentally, counselling can help us to know ourselves better and you might want to explore these kind of themes in your sessions.