The more I read and learn about introversion, the more I realize that there is a wide range of opinion on what introversion really is, probably because there’s such a wide range of introverts. Often, I will read a book on introversion and relate to parts of it, but some things don’t describe me at all. I came across a great article this week by Scott Barry Kaufman titled “What Kind of Introvert Are You?” that really captured some of my thoughts on this. Kaufman listed some of the popular writings out there and labeled the type of introversion they describe:
- Preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments: Quiet by Susan Cain
- Preference for concentration and solitude: The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling
- Rechargeable battery: The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney
- Thoughtful-introspective: Solitude by A. Storr
- Shy-socially anxious: The Gift of Shyness by A. Avila
- Artistic-sensitive-creative: The Highly Sensitive Person by E. Aron
- Literary-observer: Jane Austen, The Complete Novels
- Worried: The Positive Power of Negative Thinking by J. Norem
- Lonely-isolated: Just Your Type by P. Tieger
- Loner-alone by preference: Party of One by A. Rufus
- Low Energy: High Energy Living by R. Cooper
I have read a couple of these books and intend to read most of them. Each author has a different slant and it’s very apparent to me that people often try to generalize introversion too much. I think the differences among introverts need to be acknowledged more. However, with any book about introversion – and most other topics – it is common to not have everything apply to your situation. As I read books similar to the ones above, I have learned to just take what works for me. And what does not, I either ignore or see if I can apply it in better understanding someone else.
Kaufman’s article also has an interactive quiz which I recommend taking. My results showed I was “Thinking Introversion” which seems to be very accurate for me. As introverts, we need to embrace the differences among us, as well as our commonalities, rather than just expecting one-size-fits-all generalizations to work for everyone.