This book and talk by Susan Cain should please all those closet introverts amongst us who have been trying to fit into the chatty world we inhabit.
Our most important institutions, our schools and our workplaces, they are designed mostly for extroverts and for extroverts’ need for lots of stimulation. And also we have this belief system right now that I call the new ‘groupthink’, which holds that all creativity and all productivity comes from a very oddly gregarious place.
There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.
From time to time people ask why we, in our order, do not pull the crowds and why we remain really small in numbers relatively speaking. The thing is contemplatives, people drawn to contemplation, are rarely gregarious types skilled in communication and the like. However there are many fine examples of reflective types speaking out. The Buddha?
This TED talk The Power of Introverts has really helped me to appreciate the spectrum of behaviour the terms introvert/extrovert cover. Each of us has a reflective side as well as the chatty side. But sitting gazing out of windows at leaves falling off trees is little valued. Even by those of us who are prone to ponder in this seemingly pointless way.