cainology*

  • Introversion is different from shyness. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, while introversion is simply the preference for less stimulation.
  • In our society, the ideal self is bold, gregarious, and comfortable in the spotlight. We like to think that we value individuality, but mostly we admire the type of individual who’s comfortable “putting himself out there.” Our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions are designed for extroverts. Introverts are to extroverts what American women were to men in the 1950s — second-class citizens with gigantic amounts of untapped talent.
  • Many introverts feel there’s something wrong with them, and try to pass as extroverts. But whenever you try to pass as something you’re not, you lose a part of yourself along the way.
  • Most schools and workplaces now organize workers and students into groups, believing that creativity and productivity comes from a gregarious place. This is nonsense, of course. From Darwin to Picasso to Dr. Seuss, our greatest thinkers have often worked in solitude.
  • An interesting line of research by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist suggests that the most creative people in many fields are usually introverts. This is probably because introverts are comfortable spending time alone, and solitude is a crucial (and underrated) ingredient for creativity.

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* cainology = ideas from Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

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