The Power of Introverts

My friend sent me the below video a few months ago and I watched it in May and watched it again today.

TED TALKS: The Power Of Introverts by Susan Cain

As an introvert, I thoroughly enjoyed this video especially because I’ve never heard about the positive qualities of introverts. I grew up being told to be more outgoing because it didn’t come naturally to me. I could relate to Susan’s camp story when she was told reading wasn’t “R-O-W-D-I-E” (ugh, spelling it wrong would’ve bugged me too). I probably have a lots of similar stories but I’ll share one.

Susan’s story reminded me of a Grade Six memory. For a while, I was in my room reading a lot of Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine. I was on an obsessive reading streak. My mom was getting sick of seeing me cooped up in my room reading all the time and not wanting to do anything else. Side note: I attribute this obsession to why I started wearing glasses. She told me to go out to play baseball with other young girls in the neighborhood. I was being TOLD not asked and I didn’t like that. I mean, I was reading, what was wrong with that? I wasn’t disturbing anyone. Another reason I didn’t want to play was because I was never very good at sports (one of the last one’s picked in gym class) and I couldn’t keep up with all the rules no matter how often they were explained, I would have a hard time with verbal instructions. So, this was completely out of my comfort zone in more than one way.

So, I did the only thing that I could do… I cried. The kind of crying where you have trouble breathing and your voice changes, and your throat hurts. I probably yelled and cried until I realized she wasn’t letting up. I had no choice, mother was teaching me a lesson. I ran out to the field to join the other girls and tried to feign a smile and played a game with red bulgy eyes. The rest of the night is a blur. haha I imagine I was angry at her for forcing me to play and rushed back into the house and went straight to read.

Looking back, I think she was probably worried I wasn’t socializing enough because she’d catch me reading late at night (in the dark, I use to pretend I had fallen asleep then get back up to read) and early in the morning. My mom meant well. She wanted me to be more outgoing instead of shy and quiet because she probably knew that this was a good life skill for me to have.

I was very shy with strangers and unless I knew you for a long time, I would probably have a hard time talking to you. I still consider myself shy but I push myself often to talk to others and I’m always surprised when I tell people I’m introverted and they laugh because they can’t tell. 🙂 If they only knew, all the butterflies in my stomach when I speak to them for the first time. I prefer interacting one on one or in small groups so feel more at ease and I find conversations are more intimate.

My favourite quote from this video: “For some people, solitude is the air that they breathe”. This is something that I know that I need in order to feel balanced. I love interacting with people, but my energy is restored when I am on my own.

Here’s the link to Susan Cain’s book The Quiet Revolution: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

Do you consider yourself an introvert? Do you have any stories to share? Please share.

4 thoughts on “The Power of Introverts

  1. Great post, Julie! I don’t remember this happening… Were we friends then? I think I’m a bit of both, I love my alone time (only child and all) but I feel energized whenever I leave a party or a social event and I just want to keep talking about it. That said, I identify as an introvert since I was very shy growing up.

    1. Thanks Mei! Yes, I believe we were already friends. But this probably wouldn’t have been something I would share. Heck, this is the first time ever I am sharing this. This might’ve been before the summer library reading program (where when you read you got a sticker). I think we did that in grade 6. Sometimes I feel the same way, I’ll leave a party or gathering and feel like I can keep talking about it. But the moment that I’m alone, it all hits me like bricks, I can’t fall asleep right away because my mind is buzzing from the night.

    1. Glad I’m not alone in feeling this way. When I watch you teach, I would never think that you had butterflies. You make me laugh a lot and it makes me feel more at ease.

Leave a Reply to juliannayu Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s