In college one of my professors brought me into her office to talk about how quiet I am in class. I was getting an A, I obviously understood the material but she would like me to speak up more during class discussions. I mean, it was an argumentative writing class so I get it.
It’s not that I wasn’t aware of this fact, or shy, or didn't have any ideas. I guess I felt like people were saying the same things over and over. If I agree with someone or having nothing new to add to the conversation, to me, there is no point in talking. I would rather listen, analyze and think further about the situation or problem. But to the other students I was quickly forgotten.
I also become acutely aware of my introvert status around people I have just met. I am absolutely terrible at small talk. I always end up making a comment about the weather, which is not at all witty or interesting. I wish I could be one of those people who always know what to say, who can speak comfortably with everyone. Then one day at the library I came across this book titled Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain I felt like I had to at least read the front cover page. Well, once I read the front cover page I couldn’t put it down.
This book put into words what I have been feeling my entire life. Again, it's not a shyness thing it's about energy and attention. Extroverts get their energy from other people introverts recharge while they are alone. For example I can get on stage and sing and dance all day but if you put me in the middle of a crowded party I will probably end up at a small table with one or two people, or I'll just go home.
The book highlights the common misconceptions about introverts. It explains how the world, schools and businesses are set up for extroverts. And extroverts are constantly rewarded, sometimes regardless of what they are actually saying. But introverts must also learn to adapt to situations they are uncomfortable with. Survival of the fittest.
I think everyone should read this book, parents, teacher, extroverts and introverts. Why? Because we are all people living on this planet and if we want to keep surviving and evolving we need to learn how to effectively communicate with each other as the population continues to rise and expand. And I'm not talking about Facebook status updates or Tweets.
Ideas need to be shared easily, comfortably and confidently. And quiet ideas need someone to be patient, to understand they need space to recharge, and listen to them. If workplaces and schools only cater to one type of person a lot of good might be missed out on.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.