Susan Cain on the Power of Introverts

pink columbinesI have already written about my thoughts on introverts in my post, “Introverts and Coffeeshops.”  In that post, I reviewed Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, PhD, which is a great book on this subject. I am introverted, my husband is introverted, and I know that at least my eldest son is probably introverted.  But it’s sometimes hard to be introverted in our culture. I think those who worry too much about a homeschooler’s so-called socialization is not considering the different needs that children can have.

As Helgoe wrote:

As a psychologist, I have yet to see a child brought in for therapy because he is too social and his parents are concerned that he seems to have little access to his inner life.  Yet, child after child is brought in for not talking enough, only having a few friends, and enjoying time alone—for being introverted.”

After I read Helgoe’s book, I noticed that Susan’s Cain book, Quiet, was making its way through the media.  I have not read her book, although I’m sure I’d enjoy it.  But I finally watched her TED talk the other night, and I loved it.  If you have any interest in this subject, I suggest you watch it. You won’t be sorry!

6 thoughts on “Susan Cain on the Power of Introverts

  1. this is one of the truths that i learned during my years of running my private school — there are a list of traits that are deemed “desirable” by parents and by society at large, but they are a mixed bag just like the “less desirable” traits. we should be teaching children to be happy and successful as they are rather than trying to pressure them to be someone they’re not!

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    1. I found it interesting that in Helgoe’s book she talks about America being an extroverted culture and Japan as an introverted culture. I had never thought of it like that before but having lived in Japan for a year, I would say it’s absolutely correct. I think extroverts have more of a problem in Japan whereas in America the introverts have a tough time. Not that we can’t adjust, but it goes against our grain! While I’m very introverted, I could feel my extroverted culture’s conditioning while I was in Japan and found their respect for quiet and privacy discombobulating at times!

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  2. I need to watch this. I’m raising an introvert and married to one also. I’m an extrovert tending very close to introvert. I am quite social, outgoing and feel alive in social settings, but the older I get the more I love quiet and calm and peaceful. And I need and crave that also. Spending all day everyday with three kids brought out my inner introvert I think. I was much more outgoing as a young person. My need now for quiet and solitude and teaching that to my children isn’t so much an introvert thing, I think, as it is a maturing. A balancing out of my personality or something like that….

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Renee. Though I’ve always been introverted, I definitely feel more introverted ever since I had children. I just don’t get the solitude I used to get. But luckily I’m getting more of my social needs met, which didn’t always get met when I was single because I was not eager to go out to crowded places to meet people! Laurie Helgoe’s book really helped define introverts better for me, as I wrote in my earlier column about it. Learning more about it has definitely made it easier for me to just accept that it’s okay to not want to be part of a large group. And perhaps finding one or two good friends for myself and my introverted son is okay too.

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