I have spent most of my life thinking something was wrong with me. I had difficulty with making small talk, expressing myself, especially with strangers, and I hated talking on the phone. For this reason I have been studying psychology and observing people (including myself) for over 20 years now through university courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, books, internet research, seminars, workshops, webinars, and countless hours of introspection and analysis…which I am very good at!
Through my journey I have learned that I am introverted. I have also realized that introversion is a very misunderstood concept and introverts can be a very misunderstood people. Over the last few years, I have come to realize that I have misunderstood myself. There is nothing wrong with my Introversion, but what was wrong was my understanding of my Introversion. I now know that I do not need to be fixed or cured, but rather need to understand how I work best and where my strengths truly are.
I have come to understand that being introverted or extroverted is like being right or left handed. You do not choose it and it is definitely hard wired into our brains. You cannot change how much time you naturally focus on the outer world around you or your inner world of thoughts and ideas, but you can understand how your learning preferences and personality styles work, and in doing this, how to embrace your strengths.
There is quite a bit of helpful (and some not as helpful) information out there describing introversion and extroversion. I still feel there is a general lack of understanding. My philosophy is that introversion and extroversion are a measure of how much we are directed towards inner thoughts and how much we are directed toward the world around us. Of course we all do both, but where is our preference? Introversion and Extroversion are not good or bad, but just are. It’s not about a label, it’s about a better understanding.
Introversion is often used to describe someone who is perceived as shy or reserved, but this is not a correct definition. An Introvert may or may not be shy, just as an Extrovert may or may not be shy. I don’t believe it is accurate to describe the amount of social interaction as introverted or extroverted behavior. Also I believe it is important to not judge how much social interaction a person has. The better question is, “are you satisfied with your life?” If the answer is no, then there are ways of understanding yourself and perhaps ways to change your thinking.
None of us are exactly alike. Personalities are unique for each individual, and there are as many different personalities as there are people. Much of the current information I’ve reviewed seems to lump all introverts into one category – one size fits all. While our personalities are multifaceted, I do feel there are some commonalities that can come to understand and appreciate from all sides of the introversion/extroversion spectrum.
Experts agree that 45-55% [CAPT.org] of the population are introverts, so either you are an introvert or you know someone who is. Quiet and Strong is dedicated to helping you embrace your introversion or to bring understanding about someone in your life – whether that be a spouse, child, brother, sister, student, co-worker, employee, boss, customer, or stranger. I hope to be able to help introverts (including myself) embrace their natural strengths and bring a great understanding to all about introversion and extroversion. As I am writing this blog I am working on my first book.