I’ve been a raging introvert all my life. The common response from most people who hear this is, “No way!” Well, sorry… very much way.
One of my favorite things to do as I was growing up in Lubbock was to sit in my parents bedroom under the evaporative air conditioner and play with my Johnny West figures. You know… the ones that we’re about 10 inches tall and made of hard plastic? Sort of like the old G.I. Joe but much cooler. Anyway, I would sit there for hours with my 10 or so figures and pen and paper and hold a diving contest. Those things were great for flipping in the air. They’d do all kinds of spins and stunts. It was like Olympic diving. I would give them scores and hold tournaments.
Geronimo seemed to win the most. I guess it was something to do with his weight distribution.
I would do this for hours on end, all by myself (I was an only child). And I was perfectly happy to be all by myself. I suppose that was an indication of my personality and my introversion. My life proceeded in much the same manner.
Over the years, I learned how to extrovert. It was a lot like those crazy diving contest. For an introvert, the act of extroverting (did I make a new verb?) is a physical thing. You must set your mind to it, take a step forward and jump. It’s not a thing we hate… most introverts enjoy being around people as much as anyone else. We just get our fill a lot faster. Don’t confuse shyness with introversion. Shyness can be an end-result of introversion, but they are not the same.
I remember evenings from my days on the road with Acappella. We would always spend an hour or so after the concert talking to anyone who wanted to speak with us. We were always the last to leave. When I was done, I was completely physically spent. Totally played out. I was ready to go hide somewhere and experience quiet. Wayburn and George, on the other hand, were just as happy to go to the local IHOP and continue the discussion with whoever they were talking to. Needless to say, my friends are extroverts. More power to them. I’m sure they’re still out there extroverting.
That’s why I found this interview with Susan Cain to be very interesting. Her new book is called “Quiet : The Power of Introverts”. Scientific American did an interview with her and posted it on their website. It’s an excellent read and very informative for all you non-introverts who simply can’t understand what we are. I recommend reading it. Pull up an air conditioner and enjoy.
Here you go. Come back and leave a comment. Let me know what you think. The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance.