QuietI am passionate about the topic of introverts, mostly because I have experienced and seen how a better understanding of what introversion really is in all its complexity can change lives. That is not an overstatement. People who have always thought of themselves as social misfits or somehow flawed suddenly understand themselves and the power of their introversion, to borrow Susan Cain’s phrase, in an amazing and exciting way. Even professionals whom I would think would certainly understand introversion, often don’t. Recently I mentioned to a good friend who is a counselor about scheduling and how having more cushions of time between activities would be helpful for the more introverted attendees, and her response was “we will fix that”—she didn’t mean the schedule.

The TED Talk below by Susan Cain is a must-see for anyone who is or loves or works with an introvert. I first became a Susan Cain fan through her Psychology Today blog, and she is as engaging and delightful a presenter as she is a writer. I’d love to hear your own experiences about introversion, living with it, coming to terms with it, and reveling in it.

“When I was nine years old, I went off to summer camp for the first time, and my mother packed me a suitcase full of books, which to me seemed like a perfectly natural thing to do, because in my family reading was the primary group activity. This might sound anti-social to you, but for us, it was really just a different way of being social. You had the animal warmth of your family, sitting next to you, but you were also free to go roaming around the adventure land inside your own mind, and I had this idea that camp was going to be just like this, but better…” ~ Susan Cain

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