Recently I came across a post on instagram from someone I follow, Laura Berger. It was an image of an illustration she did for an article for NY Times:
Not only do I enjoy the illustrative style of Berger, I found the article a good read (written by KJ Dell’antonia).
The topic of introverts and extroverts, along with introversion in general, is a topic which fascinates me. The 2 basic generalisations of the human race, each with large spectrums and scales. The article mentions a book by Susan Cain called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”, although I have not read it, I wish to.
Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School and from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects.
She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.
Perhaps the most inspiring part of the book is where Cain introduces us to successful introverts such as a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks or a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions.
Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships and empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.”
This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.
While digging deeper, I came across this TED talk by Cain herself:
In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.
Her point of embracing the knowledge of the different between these two ‘types’ of people, and using it to benefit said people, especially within institutions such as school or the workplace is an almost obvious fact. However, everyone is expected to fit the mould in this extroverted world. As an introvert myself, I feel I could go further with this topic and create work inspired by it.
This article links introversion directly to being an artist: