Introverts of the World! Go to Your Rooms

You know the truism that when a woman decides she wants to have a baby, all she sees around her are pregnant women, strollers, and kids kids kids? No, I don’t have an announcement about my family planning – just drawing an analogy to what has jumped out at me as the newest “thing” — introversion. Have you noticed?

Introvert t shirt

No, not me - a t-shirt I designed on zazzle

First, a quick recitation of my introvert creds (since many of us don’t like to have attention focused on us for long): when I was a girl, the standard response to anyone’s query: Where’s Heidi? was: In her room, reading. And my nature hasn’t changed – the Meyers-Briggs psychological assessment still puts me at the very top of the scale for introversion. If this is greek to you, a quick explanation of terms. According to Meyers-Briggs, “The first pair of psychological preferences is Extraversion and Introversion. Where do you put your attention and get your energy? Do you like to spend time in the outer world of people and things (Extraversion), or in your inner world of ideas and images (Introversion)?” (That’s not a typo, both extravert and extrovert are accepted spellings).

Another truism. I’ve heard that when something new is in the air, it takes 3 exposures for you to realize that it’s a  phenomenon. So number one — a new book that’s getting a lot of attention. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talkingby Susan Cain, is already a New York Times bestseller. Cain writes that the “single most important aspect of personality … is where we fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.”

quietbookiconlarge Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Cant Stop Talking

I just started reading it, and will report back with a review.

Number two — check out this great Facebook page, The Introvert Entrepreneur, run by Beth Buelow. It’s a wonderful resource providing advice, support, observations for business-minded introverts. She also posts fun t-shirt slogans. Here’s one, a t-shirt (from ThinkGeek) that she recently put up:

The third? Another new book. This one was written by Devora Zack, a consultant and self-described “off-the-chart introvert.”

Front Cover

Networking for People Who Hate Networking : A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected is a dynamic, interesting, helpful book. Even if you’re not interested in networking, it’s a great guide to just plain relating to people – many of whom are extroverts or value the characteristics stereotypically associated with being an extrovert (friendly, outgoing, talkative).

Devora provides countless real-life tips and suggestions to help you navigate the world of networking, meeting, and connecting with people, while preserving your sanity and energy. Her concise description of the difference between introverts and extroverts is really helpful:

“Introverts think to talk” while “Extroverts talk to think.”

“Introverts go deep” while “Extroverts go wide.”

“Introverts energize alone” while “Extroverts energize with others.”

Of course, there are people who are strongly one or the other category, and people who are more of a mixture, to which the term “centrovert” may apply. Also, not all introverts are shy. Devora does a great job in this book of addressing many of the stereotypes and misconceptions about introversion. I highly recommend it for anyone who identifies as an introvert and struggles with issues of networking or connecting with people.

Have you thought about these issues? Taken the Meyers-Briggs test? Any other INFPs out there?  (If you don’t want to identify yourself, I totally understand).

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11 comments on “Introverts of the World! Go to Your Rooms

  1. Linda Harbin says:

    Hello Fellow INFP!!

    While I love people and retired from being a minister where Sunday morning services and meeting people was the norm, I am a true introvert! I no longer have to endure the Meyers-Briggs tests since I’m retired, but I used to test right in the middle. Now I’m fully introverted!

    I can relate to all the quotes and labels you mentioned. If I didn’t need groceries, I could park my car in the drive and not leave for a couple of weeks!

    But I’m also a FaceBook and Pinterest addict and keep in touch through emails, so I’m not antisocial – just love my quiet!

    Fun post, Heidi!

    Linda Harbin
    MidwestieLady

  2. Heidi Rand says:

    Thanks Linda! Amazing how many people I know and like who are also INFPs. I didn’t mention it in the blog post, though I said it on Facebook (where we’re friends) that I have come out of my shell a lot since becoming involved in the art world. Devora mentions that it can be easier for introverts to be around people in activities that have a focus or structure and I know that’s true for me.

  3. Pam Fingado says:

    Great blog. I will read those books you mentioned. I come from a long line of artists and introverts so I can relate to this easily.

    • Heidi Rand says:

      Thanks Pam! Funny, I never really looked back and thought about it, but my mom was definitely an introvert. She was also a talented artist, although she put that aside to raise a family (but that’s a topic for another blog post, right?)

  4. as an introvert i need time alone to recharge. it’s not that i don’t like people, it’s simply that connecting with people requires me to speak their language, and often i don’t know which language it is! i notice the differences in the ways people interact as i move between professions: the way lawyers communicate is very different from pre school teachers and auto mechanics. the reason i seem less introverted around other artist is because so many of them think in my native language of images, colors, shapes and three dimensionality!

  5. INTP here. Makes things even more interesting as a female T. 🙂

    Great post, thanks.

    I’ve come to acknowledge and embrace my introversion in recent years. What a relief! LOL.

    I teach the Myers-Briggs and find it fascinating.

    Yes, it’s definitely an extraverted world out there. The older I get, the more of a homebody I become. Love all the ways to connect via technology, however. Woo hoo.

  6. Andi Houston says:

    Oh I really need that networking book. I loathe talking to strangers and yet I desperately need to network for career development.

  7. ella kass says:

    INFJ here – really enjoyed your article. Off the chart Introvert lolool!!! Just had a birthday and was amazed at the mental and emotional effort that it took to answer so many calls all day long. You’re probably thinking “ungrateful”, I know…. but I can’t change me… most days I let calls go to voicemail and return them as and when I feel the energy, and sometimes I just switch my phone off completely for days. Truly, I don’t see this as a bad thing. It is my way of existing, and selectively channeling my mental and emotional reserves. I have no lack of friends or company and hardly ever feel lonely despite being single and living alone. I must be doing something right. :o)))))))

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