Introvert Power

buddhaThis is getting to be my new mantra:  If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.  (No, I’m not Buddhist.  I just like the idea, and it’s a gorgeous picture.)

I’ve enjoyed exploring my introversion and getting so much validation from all of you.  It’s been fabulous!  But now I’m ready to switch gears a little, and go from getting acquainted with my introversion to doing a deeper dive into how to make my introversion work for me in my life.  I’m giving up the things that hold me down, like fake extroversion, and claiming my strengths.

My copy of Introvert Power; Why Your Inner Life is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe just arrived yesterday and I couldn’t wait to dig in.  I’ve only made it through the introduction so far and already I’m a believer.  She talks about growing up an introvert in a big family of extroverts:

“I became anxious because I couldn’t think, and, without my own mind, I felt like I was disintegrating.”

We can relate to that, can’t we?

She sums up the purpose of her book:

“This book is about embracing the power of introversion.  It’s about indulging, melting into, drinking in, immersing ourselves in the joy, the genius, and the power of who we naturally are…”

I think that Susan Cain has done a wonderful job of giving introverts a voice.  Her TED talk is great, and makes all the little light bulbs go on in our heads.  Illumination!  I prize Marti Laney and Beth Buelow for their down-to-earth practical tips for understanding myself and moving better in a noisy world.  (You can find links to all of this on the Introvert Info page.)  But Laurie Helgoe is opening up more doors yet.  Here’s another example.  She talks about the social skills we are taught as children, things like being polite and making friends, and then goes on to ask:

But how many of us are taught the value of solitude skills?  How many of us are taught to protect our boundaries, to foster imagination, to be alone?  How many of us are encouraged to withdraw from social activity and nurture the life of the mind?

This book promises to be a great read and I look forward to bringing to you nuggets of wisdom I encounter.  Please feel free to join me.  We can read along together.  Form a book club.  Have discussions.  Or you can just wait for me to do the heavy lifting for you and get the condensed version.  Either way, I know we’ll have a lot of fun.

Have a quiet day!

HelgoeHi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  Look for my ongoing series debunking the introvert myths (Sunday) and introvert cartoons (Wednesday), plus anything else interesting that I find in the meantime.  Come and share with like-minded introverts.  I also contribute to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.

13 thoughts on “Introvert Power

  1. Absolutely perfect! As an introvert, I have learned to use it to my advantage – nit to yield power over anyone, but to step into my own.
    Love your blog and insights!

  2. I’m going to let you do the heavy lifting on this one – hubby won’t let me buy any books right now. He’s unemployed, I’m disabled & appealing my refusal of benefits, so we’re on a super tight budget right now. But I would love to see what you learn from this book.

  3. Introvert Power and The Introvert Advantage (Marti Olsen Laney) are pretty much my two favourite books on introversion ever. I actually enjoyed and found them more useful than Quiet (did I just commit sacrilege there?)

    I give both of them pride of place on the introvert-friendly Recommended Reading page on my website 🙂

    It’s interesting: the one I’m reading at the moment: Arnie Kozak’s “Everything Guide to the Introvert Edge”, seems to agree… he definitely quotes from both liberally!

    • I’m with you, Tanja. I’m glad Susan Cain is getting the word out, but “Quiet” isn’t my favorite book. Marti Laney’s is my favorite (for now) and I think “Introvert Power” will either end up #1 or #2, with “Quiet” being #3.

      I like what you are doing with your blog. I joined it and downloaded your free e-book. Look for a reference to it this week. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  4. I second and third the comments about Laney’s “The Introvert Advantage.” While “Quiet” has done a good job getting the word out (wow, what a PR budget!), Laney’s suggestions about how to navigate an extraverted culture are concrete and helpful. I regularly recommend that book to my graduate business students who can provide much-needed thoughtfulness in a fast world but who need to know how to have their voices heard. The take-away from “Introvert Power” for me was the revelation that we’re half the population, not 25-30%, as is reported in almost everything else I’ve read. Helgoe did solid research digging that important point out. (A friend pointed out, though, that maybe it’s more fun seeing ourselves as an oppressed minority :>)

  5. I haven’t read the Susan Cain book yet but I have read introvert power just recently and it was amazing for me to read. As an introvert myself and only really coming to terms with it as an adult and learning to accept it and even love it. Having spent years believing something was wrong with me for being something different to most of the people around me. Now I can embrace it all more and feel so much more free. Taken me a long time though.. just glad to get here in the end : ) Thanks for your article. It’s through articles like this that has led me to delve into introversion and even HSP’s more.

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