03 June 2011

You Go, Introverts!

Some time ago, though not too long ago, someone recommended that I read the book, The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, by Marti Olsen Laney, PsyD. I was actually on a hunt to understand someone else whom I love dearly. However, as I read that great book, it quickly occurred to me that I was also reading about myself in those pages. Yes, "my name is 'RAsburry' and I'm an introvert." The marvelous "problem" is, I've become proud of that fact. You go, Introverts!

Well, here's another source which extols and explains the life that we introverts call "normal" and "sane" over at The Atlantic. The article, by Jonathan Rauch, is titled "Caring for Your Introvert." While I might quibble with using the terms "condition" or "orientation" when referring to an introvert's natural, God-given qualities and characteristics, it's a helpful article, especially for those extroverts who still need to understand us introverts. Here's a little sample from Rauch:
Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone. They often seem bored by themselves, in both senses of the expression. Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially "on," we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn't antisocial. It isn't a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: "I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses."
But perhaps the best snippet of Rauch's article - again notwithstanding his references to introverts has having a "condition" or an "orientation" - comes toward the end:
The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us [introverts] through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."
You go, Introverts! :-)

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