Do you consider yourself to be an introvert?
If you do, have you ever felt guilty for wanting your alone time?
Like when you just want to be with your thoughts and people ask why you’re so quiet or “what’s wrong?”
Or at work and in school, you’re forced into group activities before you have a chance to sit and think things through properly by yourself (so you can think through what you want to say).
Then when you’re “caught” just trying to work things out in your own way, you’re criticized for not being a team player.
Then you’ll definitely relate to this recent TED talk video from author and introversion expert Susan Cain called “The Power of Introverts.”
In it, she explains why not only is it OK to be introverted, but why in many cases it’s better!
My Thoughts on the Video
Talks like this are important for us introverts, because so many of us don’t fully realize the nature of our personalities.
Because we live in an extroverted culture (especially here in the United States), we get confused thinking our desire to keep to ourselves and work alone is wrong.
It isn’t wrong. It’s just different.
You shouldn’t feel ashamed about preferring a quiet dinner with friends to a crowded bar.
I also like how Susan Cain points out the benefits of being introverted. One being that when an introvert goes off to think and come up with ideas, he or she usually comes back to change the world.
That’s the power of an introvert in solitude.
In other words she’s saying, “back off and let us do our thing.”
What Us Introverts Need to Watch Out For
It isn’t all “rah rah” for introverts though. There are some things we need to work on and the video talks about that.
One of the most important points is that sometimes we need to open up and let others into our inner worlds.
Introverts tend to guard their thoughts and emotions. It’s just our nature.
The thing is, if we never “show ourselves”, we never make deep friendships. No one will ever know us for who we truly are. Being true to your introverted nature doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit. There are few absolutes in life.
You can be outgoing AND be introverted.
So if you take anything from this talk, I think it is to be proud and unapologetic for your reserved nature, but don’t think it means you have to be lonely or friendless all your life. You can have both!
In fact, if you’re introverted and would like to be a bit more outgoing at times (but don’t quite know how), check out my free social success video series.
In it I suggest plenty of ways to break out of your shell while staying true to who you are.
What about you? Ever feel “forced” into being outgoing when you’d rather not be? Tell me about it in the comments below (if you feel like it that is…).
(image courtesy of voltaire)