Introverts unite

“Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that’s really a misperception. Because actually it’s just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers.”
– Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

I think my introversion is evident on this blog, as it’s something I talk about pretty openly. The amazing Hanna over at Excelsior Lady—an introvert herself—picked up on that. And then she had a rather brilliant idea, which I’m psyched she decided to share with me. Fellow introverts, you, too, should be psyched. Because now Hanna and I share this idea (which we hope will spread in the blogosphere full of introverts) with YOU.

Introverts unite!

(All the pretty things! Read on to learn about the message behind these badges and how to score these awesome designs for your own blog.)

Personal Space is Good for You

Introversion is a character trait of someone who is thoughtful. Someone who is quiet. Someone who is introspective. Not necessarily shy—although they may be—introverts crave solitude and time to reflect. Unlike our extroverted counterparts who are so celebrated in today’s culture, introverts don’t need to be constantly occupied and entertained. We have existed and thrived this way pretty much since the dawn of humanity. But for some reason, we are so often perceived as people who need to be worked on, brought out of our shells, because of this trait that is inherent to who we are as people.

“Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” – John Green

It’s no coincidence that many bloggers are introverts. We take the time each week to sit down and express what we’re thinking or evaluate where we’re headed in life. Some people—people who don’t get it—have this stereotypical image of bloggers in their heads: a hipster with nerd glasses in a chain coffee shop waxing poetic and ignoring the world around them. This person they’ve drawn up in their heads is antisocial and strange, and not at all a true depiction of us bloggers who are so much deeper than that. (Though there’s nothing wrong with nerd glasses. If you rock ’em, you go on with your bad self.)

We all know that stereotype is a lie. Just look around at all the blogs we read. The communities we’ve built. The connections we’ve established. The friendships we’ve made. And all of this through our writing! We are, in fact, very social people. What Hanna and I mean to say is: we introverts are—gasp!—complex individuals who are capable of being introverted and social, intelligent, self-starting, and opinionated.

So here’s where you come in. If you’re an introvert, and you feel as though you’ve been misperceived as shy/slow/weird/irrelevant because of who you are, we invite you to put one of these badass badges (Style 1Style 2 – right click and “save as”) designed by Hanna on your blog and write a blog post based on the following prompt:

Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean…

From there, the rest is up to you. We hope you will share this with your bloggy friends and, in the process, reveal your inner awesomeness that might not be immediately evident. (Because shoving said awesomeness in other people’s faces isn’t your style.)

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
– Carl Jung

As for me? Just because I’m an introvert doesn’t mean…

…I’m not full of ideas. I am. It just takes time and thought for me to properly express them, which is what my blog is for.

…I don’t know how to have a good time. Boy, do I know how to have a good time. My version of a good time is music on the stereo, homemade pizza in John’s kitchen, and wine aplenty. Add some Key & Peele on Comedy Central to the mix, and I’m golden.

…my success is limited. Back before reality TV, charisma wasn’t the end-all be-all in terms of indicators of success. There are a lot of famous, accomplished introverts in our history, and they didn’t have to entertain others with their charm to achieve their status. I’m not saying I can’t fake it, but small talk with strangers ain’t my thang. When I’m a big success, it’ll be due to the words I put on paper (or screen), rather than connections made at some cool party.

We hope you’ll join in and spread the love with this idea, and please send us a link if you do. Whoever sends me a link to their post will be added to a list right here. Introverts unite!

 

Participating bloggers:
Steve Earley
My Perfectly Imperfect Life
My Quarter-Life Crisis
Delightfully Awkward Brit
A Sowing Season
Snow, Glass, Apple
Whim of Whimsicality
Blackberry Lips
The Introvert Files
Hella Quirky
All Things Lena
Lyss.me
A Little Serendipity
There’s Only One Box
Imani’s Lounge
No Map Provided
Becoming Bailey
Rockwitch.net
This Muse is Taken
Awash With Wonder
Kristology
My Name is April
It’s a Geek Life
Mariella Hunt
The Introvert Ideal
Tangerine Meg
6birds
Whimsyical
Her Silent Musings
A Free Spirit From Jersey

Ten-Minute Tuesdays: what introverts say

So I’m back with another Ten-Minute Tuesday post, and I’m realizing that this blog could easily turn into nothing BUT Ten-Minute Tuesday posts if I only ever post on Tuesdays. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad, but just in case, I’ll try and post something again between now and next Tuesday.

For now, this week’s topic was inspired by a book Baltimore City Paper reviewed called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. As an introvert myself, the title immediately jumped out at me, and I read on to see what all it was about.


Reviewer Raymond Cummings paints a quick portrait of the kind of experiences an introvert might have on any given day:

To be an introvert is to forever be at war with a larger, louder world. Battle fronts are legion: bus shelters, restaurants, grocery stores, board rooms, bathrooms, the living rooms of strangers, even libraries. The armor introversion demands—headphones, paperbacks, concentration, sunken, nearly uterine postures—often isn’t enough to keep the joviality, backslapping, and small talk of full-bore extroverts at bay. And a shy, retiring, or subdued persona is kryptonite in any milieu where success or status means possessing an engaging or outgoing personality. Conventional wisdom doesn’t help matters. Concerned, well-meaning co-workers will ask why you sit alone in the lunchroom or skip team happy hours and holiday parties. Why are you always lost in a book? Why don’t you talk about your day? Why don’t you even aspire to be the life of the party? It’s a condition author Susan Cain, an avowed introvert, describes thus: “Introversion—along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness—is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology.

 

So I have to throw a question or four out there to my fellow introverts– Do you believe this paints an accurate portrait of your life? Do you feel like you’re viewed as less-than-capable as your more outgoing counterparts, whether in the workplace or in your personal life? Are you constantly overlooked or disregarded because you’re not as quick to voice your thoughts about something? If so, does this ever have a negative effect on you?

Personally, I’ve felt a number of ways about my natural tendency to keep to myself. I’ve certainly been self-conscious in situations where everyone else is just having more fun than I am. I’ve wondered, What am I doing wrong? Do I have bitchface on and not even know it?

Most of the time, though, I’m perfectly comfortable not being a social butterfly. It doesn’t mean I’m incapable of meeting new people and enjoying their company. It doesn’t mean I don’t do a damn good job at my work. There are a lot of strengths in introversion, just as there are in extroversion, and I don’t think one quality is better than the other. Introversion doesn’t equal a lack of confidence, and I think that’s what Susan Cain is going for with her book, though I’ll have to read it for myself to know for sure.

One City Paper commenter wrote on the post that shyness and quietness don’t equal introversion, as the review/book seemed to imply, and that she knew plenty of loud, opinionated introverts. I guess I can see how that’s possible, though I in no way fall into that category. Another commenter wrote, “Oh boy, yet another group of victims that the rest of us have to accommodate.” For the record: we introverts are not “victims.” How is that implied? I don’t pity myself, nor would I ever want anyone else to pity me. And for what– preferring to stay in on a Friday night? Introversion isn’t a handicap. Shut up, listen, and you’ll see.

More than ten minutes again. Gonna have to work on that.