There are three types of people in this world: introverts, extroverts, and those crazy folk who are a little bit of both. (Like me!)
But in terms of job success and overall happiness, are introverts at a disadvantage? In schools and office cubicles, to best fit in and be eligible for the major promotions, you must socialize and be an outgoing, approachable person. Introverts can be that person — but not all the time.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN INTROVERT
As a writer, I treasure my alone time. Sure, I spend my days and occasional nights out with friends and socializing with my peers, but I need to balance out that time with just being by myself.
Introverts aren’t shy and they don’t hate people. They prefer fewer socially stimulating activities, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Writers, painters, and artists do tend to be more introverted than, say, actors and public speakers. We need these people to be our deep thinkers, our meditators, our authors, our geniuses.
That’s not to say that we don’t need extroverts to be our charismatic public speakers, our entertainers and actors and leaders and politicians. We need both types of people, but in today’s society, the skills of introverts seem to be undervalued and overshadowed by the glowing extroverts.
As somebody who scored right in between introvert and extrovert on the big five personality test, I can vouch for both sides. My chatty, outgoing side always garners better results compared to my introspective, thoughtful side. Even as a screenwriter, I can see that introverts would have a tough time surviving in Hollywood with all the pitching, lunches, and meetings that are part of the job description. Is this what we want? Some of my best friends are introverts, and they have a way with words unlike anyone else. Should they be elbowed out of jobs because they’re not naturally adept at winning over a roomful of people in a high stress situation?
ROOM FOR DEBATE
Is introspection being protected in today’s environment? Is the public school system forcing introverts to act against their nature? What does that do to their happiness? Their self-esteem? Why can’t we tailor learning and work environments to suit the strengths of each individual, both introverts and extroverts?
A CALL TO ACTION
It’s no secret that I love TED talks. This is one of my favorites. Check it out and let me know what you think about this debate.