The Power of Introverts

I found this TED talk the other day, called 'The Power of Introverts'.  I LOVE it.

 I'm an introvert, through and through.  I can relate so much to the things Susan Caine, the speaker, described about her childhood.  Many, many times throughout MY childhood (and even NOW sometimes) I got the message (from the way others treated me or looked at me) that the way I naturally was, was 'not the right way to go', as she puts it in the video.  I often get asked if I'm mad, or if I was offended by someone, when I'm perfectly happy.  It hurts.

My husband, an extrovert, says he doesn't think I'm THAT introverted and I take that as a compliment, since it's something I've always fought.  The thing is, I think he feels that way because he KNOWS me.  There's a misconception that we (introverts) are boring, anti-social, SHY, rude...that's the perception.  I don't think I'm ANY of those things.  I AM social.  I can be very talkative if you catch me on the right day.  I DO have friends.

But I'm still an introvert.  I hate talking on the phone.  I HATE being the center of attention.  I think Skype is the most awkward thing EVER and I worry that my husband's family must think I'm rude when I simply pop my head in and say hello, and then go off to the other room to read/blog/crochet. . . .  I have a hard time with parties.  Even family parties, where I know and love everyone.  Just too much going on.  I'm much more myself in one on one situations or small groups.  And I have a BIG family (so does my husband).  I sometimes feel like my friends get annoyed at me when I don't feel like talking.  I have many moments where I DO feel like visiting and being social, but I also need my alone time to feel happy.

Western societies hold extroverts on a pedestal and it can be really hard if you don't fit into the mold.  But did you know that 1/3 to 1/2 of the population are introverted!?  Who knew?  I LOVED this talk because it finally made me feel 'normal'.  For once, being introspective isn't seen as a negative thing.  I wish the whole world felt that way.  It would save 1/3 to 1/2 of the population, a lot of worry and feelings of insecurity.  Feeling like there was no one out there who understands them (because all of the other introverts out there are trying desperately to come off as extroverts).

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  How do you view them both?



  1. I definitely am an introvert. Never really realized it up until the past few years. I get major anxiety talking on the phone. My best friend in high school never understood why I always WANTED to go home. I felt safe and comfortable and out of the pressure of the social scene at school and parties. I am a bit shy in many situations and get completely uncomfortable when all eyes are on me--even in small groups. But I can be fun and talkative and outgoing too.

    Anyway, I get it Carrie. I'm slowly learning about other people and myself and why people are the way they are and how quickly we can wrongly judge people, when we simply just don't understand them.

    And to make this comment just a little bit longer....I think you are an amazing woman and I'm happy to know you, in your introvert or extrovert moments. (even if I don't even see you very often)! :)

  2. i can totally relate, mindy! i was never into going to parties in high school and didn't get why that was fun. i had my little group of friends, who would come over on the weekends. it's not like we'd sit at home, starting at each other. we'd go to dallas and find fun things to do. or we'd go out to eat together, or shopping, or bowling. i just didn't like the big, loud parties. not my thing.

    YES! i freeze up when all eyes are on me. i hate the feeling. ha ha!

    anyway, i feel the same about you, too. i always loved going on walks with you when you lived here, because i felt like we're more similar. i get along with people so much easier when i don't feel like there's anything to prove. when they love me just the way i am. thanks for being that kind of friend!

  3. I was just talking about this the other day with a friend who is introverted-she is reading a book about personality types to understand her kids. Knowing my 7year old is introverted, like John, has helped me to be more patient and ask him for help in understanding the right way to help her navigate school and the world that leaves shy kids alone. I am definitely extroverted but the phone is my nemesis.Thank goodness for email and text! I think so many people don't recognize the way introverts think, many times I've defended my friends- others think they're aloof or a snob, but I have to say "she just doesnt know you yet!" Thanks for being you, Carrie!

  4. thanks, jacki! yeah, i think that's a really hard thing- trying to figure out how your children will survive in the world if they're introverted. it makes me so angry sometimes, too, that they HAVE to 'figure out how to survive' in this world. you want so badly for your children to be confident in themselves and happy with who they are, but that's really hard, in a world with such mixed signals. everyone tells you, 'be yourself', 'love who you are', but then, when you try to be yourself, you sense that it's not good enough.

    i'm kind of dwelling on the negative here, for the purpose of getting my point across, but i have many extroverted friends. YOU, for one. and BRAD is definitely extroverted. i don't want anyone to think i hate everyone who isn't just like me. i just wish the two were looked at as being equal. and i love this video for that reason. she's trying to get the point across, that there are strengths in all personality types.