February 11, 2013

Introverts: Part 1) Why We Need Them


I stumbled upon a wonderful video about introverts: why we need them, the important contributions they make, the bad rap they've gotten, and why it's so important that we treasure the power of quiet time, alone.

The video below was shot during a TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talk by Susan Cain, author of the best-seller Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. I love that subtitle.

After I watched it, I understood more clearly how my own introversion has shaped my life, and why it has made me more "useful" to family, friends, and work colleagues. I want to talk more about introverts -- and the power of quiet -- in a series of posts I'll publish this week.

A Wikipedia entry explains how Cain's previous work as a corporate attorney led her to write the book:
While still an attorney, Cain noticed that others at her firm were putting personality traits like hers to good use in the profession, and that gender per se did not explain those traits. She eventually realized that the concepts of introversion and extroversion provided the "language for talking about questions of identity" that had been lacking. 
Cain explained that in writing Quiet, she was fueled by the passion and indignation that she imagined fueled the 1963 feminist book, The Feminine Mystique. Cain likened introverts today to women at that time—second-class citizens with gigantic amounts of untapped talent. Saying that most introverts aren’t aware of how they are constantly spending their time in ways that they would prefer not to be and have been doing so all their lives, Cain explained that she was trying to give people entitlement in their own minds to be who they are.
It was her book and video that prompted me to look at the role introversion has played -- and continues to play -- in my life.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did.




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