Innie or Outie? The Introvert Advantage

January 13th, 2014 by Gladys · No Comments · Uncategorized

In listening to The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, my “AHA” moment came early when I realized my temperament was being described to a T.  Eureka, I’m an introvert! Many of us have described ourselves or others as extrovert or introvert, but when pressed, our definitions of those terms have often been vague, arbitrary, and contradictory.  When offering my opinion that I’m actually an introvert at heart, friends or family have often disagreed, saying “No way—you’re definitely an extrovert!”  But as author Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D. described the characteristics of an introvert, much of what she said resonated with me.  I kept muttering to myself, “So THAT’S why I feel stressed out in large crowds.” “THAT’s why I sometimes prefer to stay at home with a good book over a social event with friends.” “Yes, I DO wish I had been given more time to think and respond…”

My instincts were confirmed after taking Dr. Laney’s fun and illuminating Quickie Quiz and then the longer Self-Assessment, at the end of which I scored my answers. Yes, out of a possible 30 points, I scored 26, described as “very introverted.” It was fun to discover where I landed on the introvert spectrum. In the general population, the ratio of extroverts to introverts is 3:1, so it’s no wonder extroverts are considered to be the “norm”, and introverts often feel uncomfortable adjusting to the extrovert world we live in.

The Introvert Advantage explains new research in plain language, which shows that the physiology and genetics of introverts’ brains are different from extroverts’ brains.  The more I listened, the more I felt comfortable with my “innie” self. What I appreciate about Dr. Laney’s writing is that she explains what’s right with introverts, and what advantages introverts have in this world if we can identify them and use them to our advantage. We really aren’t necessarily shy, antisocial, or reclusive. Dr. Laney explains why introverts are unique and provides helpful tips for embracing your introverted self, strategies for navigating within an extrovert world, as well as how extroverts can help make introverts feel more comfortable.

The Introvert Advantage helps to explain why introverts react the way they do to stimuli; for example, introverts can become overstimulated from being in large crowds with many things going on. It’s ok to say you need a break! Advice is also provided to help us introverts be more extrovert once in a while without having an anxiety attack. Parents of introverted children will find much help here to work with the child’s temperament instead of against it.

Narrator Tamara Marston adds an expressive and empathetic voice, making the listening personal and compelling.

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