Have you ever needed a vacation after a vacation? If you have, you may be part of the 1/3 of us who are overlooked introverts. The book entitled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is a book written for us. No longer are we looked upon as antisocial or inferior to extroverts. Some popular introvert examples are Warren Buffet, Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg and Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi – really? Yes – really. Introverts really can have success so it seems.
The reason why I’m writing about this is because I have over-scheduled myself and my daughter this summer. I want her to dabble in everything before Kindergarten and chances are if I “dabble” around too many people, I pay for it later by needing “down time”. A good example was this past weekend. And mind you this type of schedule seems like a “day at the park” for you extroverts. My daughter’s birthday party was Saturday and we had about 60 people give or take at a gymnastics place. Yes, it was fun, but draining for me because I love seeing all the parents, but I am worn out afterward and left with a five year old wanting more, more, more. We had a lot going on last week and on top of everything else a birthday party, meetings, Father’s Day and a Bon Voyage party was just too much.
A popular misconception about introverts is we are shy. That’s really not it, but it can be for some people. For me I prefer solitude and quiet to competing demands for my attention. I prefer solitude to interacting with people, not because I’m antisocial, but because it is more difficult for an me to process all of the information that bombards me in a group setting (i.e. a birthday party, parties in general, etc.). This has NOTHING to do with other people please understand.
We are better than extroverts at some things though. For instance, we are better at absorbing knowledge. We are not smarter, they just have stronger powers of concentration and less temptation to choose social activities over work activities and other responsibilities than do extroverts.
So let’s get this straight. I’m just now figuring this out about myself and accepting the fact I’m not some psychopath. Ten years ago I married a wonderful man with three children. Quiet was not a part of that equation. Everyone said I was nuts. Don’t get me wrong I would never go back, but it is comforting to have the knowledge that I am not crazy and this is just something about myself that I have to accept. I guess I feel more at peace with who I am and my behavior over the years. I thought I was behaving selfishly by needing this “quiet” or “down time” and I am glad to know I have not been – just the opposite – taking care of myself and who I am. Yay!
Feel free to go to Susan Cain’s site and take the Quiet Quiz. It is enlightening. This is a great book I am in the process of reading. As always, please let me know your thoughts and if you’ve read the book or plan to read the book.