Susan Cain: the power of introverts

Susan Cain’s TED talk has gotten almost 3 million viewers and, more importantly, it seemed for a few months that everywhere I went everyone I met was proudly claiming introversion as a good thing.   These seemed odd.   The first time this happened I was in a group where we were trying to decide how to split up for more focused discussion and I suggested introverts go to one side and extroverts to the other side, and everyone agreed, and then I walked alone to the extrovert side and 19 people walked to the introvert side.   Hmmm…???  So I’ve been meaning to give this some thought.   As someone who came from painful shyness and insecurity to a place where I’m pretty comfortable talking to pretty much anyone, under a variety of conditions (or standing at the front of a room drawing big big pictures in front of a hundred+ people) and prize this quality in myself, my partner, and my son and foster-daughter, I thought I should consider this different idea.   And, as Susan Cain points out, shyness and insecurity are different than performing optimally alone in a culture designed increasingly to promote extroverts even when the evidence for the effectiveness of introverts is accumulating everywhere.   Very interesting 🙂   All of us in my family, too, prize such alone time and do most of our creative work in such a “zone” but I’d never really thought about how much pressure there is to work in conditions that are unlike my preferred ones for creation.
I’ve been wanting to draw, so this is a 20 minute real time drawing of the video, which is embedded below it.   Not my best graphic but it was fun to pick up my markers after a couple of weeks of distractions…

Published by Aaron

Director of Research, Training and Development, Spectrum Society for Community Living. As well as being responsible for in-house training and research on best practices in the field of helping people with disabilities organize their supports, I support self advocacy groups, contract to provide training and workshops to other agencies and groups and facilitate inclusive research groups. I am the author/illustrator of three books, co-editor of a new anthology for 2012, and co-editor of Spectrum Press. My passion is creating networks of best practice leaders in our field to share person-centred alternatives in how people with disabilities can be facilitated to live lives where their gifts are necessary components in their communities. I am currently half way through a Masters degree in Interdisciplinary studies, focusing on Equity and Adult Education, and particularly on how people with intellectual disabilities may be supported in participatory leadership groups.

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