"There's a psychological term for people like me. We're called
introverts--and there's no single way to define us. We enjoy the
company of others but also like time alone. We can have great social
skills, and also be private and keep to ourselves. We are observant.
We might listen more than we talk. Being an introvert is about having
a deep inner life and considering that life to be important."
Way back in 2013 I reviewed Susan Cain's Quiet. The author made
a very strong case for the strength and power of introverts in a world
all too enamoured of the glib and loudly charismatic. In her hot-off-
the-press Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths Of Introverts Cain takes
her affirming and empowering message to a younger audience.
It's estimated that one third to one half of middle and high
school students are introverts. That's a lot of observant youngsters
with deep inner lives who tend to be, unfortunately, in institutions
more geared to extroverts. The loud and rowdy tend to be more popular
among their peers. Students who don't have their hands up the second
a question is popped are often pressured to participate more in class.
So how can introverted youngsters survive the wonder years? The
book is a great place to start. Cain breaks student life into
everyday situations such as classroom, athletic fields, the cafeteria,
and home. Within each millieu she provides a lot of insight and
strategies. She uses plenty of examples from her own life and those
of current students. There are even chapters at the end for parents
Quiet Power is a great book for introverts, extroverts, and
ambiverts (folks who have traits of both). It's a must acquire for
school and public libraries and another addition to teacher and
guidance counselor reading lists.
On a personal note, I was so happy to discover the concept of
ambivert. Rather than a midpoint on an imaginary line, it is a
combining in much the same way gender ambidextrous (which I am)
combines traits associated with traditional masculinity and
femininity. People always tell me I'm a straight out extrovert. Only
I value my creative inner life; I observe and listen well and am seen
as someone who really gets others and their creations; I avoid large
events unless they're for good causes; I'd much rather have a small
number of close friends to any kind of popularity; and small talk and
events like Tupperware parties have me fleeing as fast as my feet can
A great big shout out goes out to my fellow ambivert, Shane Cushing.
Recently he has run two highly successful events recently: a suicide
prevention/awareness walk and an interfaith day of service.
Two four six eight
Who do we appreciate?
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