Introvert & Extrovert

Here’s an interesting short article with a TED video which I had missed earlier, advocating that more respect should be given to the attributes and contribution of introverts in today’s society.

Mindshift – Fostering the Power of Introverts

I find it rather sad that such advocacy is even necessary, that anyone would really contemplate that such traits were inconsequential and unimportant. The inclination towards extroverts is especially seen with regard to leadership roles. However, I’ve known some phenomenal introvert leaders over the years. One tendency is they frequently talk less and listen more – very valuable!

I sometimes wonder whether it’s somehow diminished humanity that introvert/ extrovert have been treated as two diametrically opposed labels that have been applied to people in an either/ or way. Why can’t one person reflect both ends of this spectrum in their own, single personality? I’m not necessarily suggesting someone who sits ‘half way along the line’, but rather someone who can at different times choose to exist and operate at different points according to what feels right for them at the time. I fear that, at times, once people realise that one of the labels has become attached to them by those around them, they are duty bound to conform to that label. So, the person labeled extrovert can’t have a ‘quiet, thoughtful day’ without being asked 10 times “what’s wrong?” If they decide not to go to a party because they want to stay at home with a particularly fascinating book, they may feel the need to go along to keep others happy, or to invent some ‘more extrovert-like reason’ for not attending.

The TED talk by Susan Cain also got me thinking about how we need to do what we can to ensure that schools are environments in which both extroverts and introverts can feel comfortable, do great work and have their needs met.

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2 Responses

  1. This article made me smile.It brings back memories of how I made it through school as an ‘introvert’ recognized and respected by none other than my father [ though I must admit he,too went through trying times in his earnest effort to get me to communicate], but to the rest I was obviously too ‘dumb’ [!!!!!!] – a label that I can’t seem to shake off….Every time I’ve tried to please others by being an ‘extrovert’ I have always ended up making an absolute fool of myself.And, then I ask myself what’s wrong in being an introvert? Well, I may not have a long list of best friends but I am happy being who I am!!! Just the thought that it has taken me almost 4 decades to reach that comfort zone does hurt…..a bit!!! However,I know for sure that this realization has helped me tremendously in creating a very safe zone in my classroom for every child and it also gives me the confidence to reassure parents who have approached me with their anxieties for their children not having friends or shying away from visitors at home…

  2. I completely agree that there are so many times when extroverts want to be just alone, be quiet and introspective………. because you want to think over lots of aspects, concerns and just bE YOUSELF!! At theat moment to be questioned is rather very annoying but to be gracefully accepted that way on certain days is very calming!!

    Each personality can have two diverse sides to the SAME spectrum OF me!!

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