woensdag 6 juli 2011


Having a coffee with a dear friend at l'Oisive Thé in Paris

A while ago I came across the blog of The Road is life. I like the author’s writing and photographs a lot. A few days ago I was pleasantly surprised that she put up a link to an article from the New York Times: ‘Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic?’ by Susan Cain. She writes about shyness / introversion (I believe this to be two totally different things by the way). She states that society today does not appreciate introvert people enough, with their introvert qualities.”

“As a society, we prefer action to contemplation, risk-taking to heed-taking, certainty to doubt. Studies show that we rank fast and frequent talkers as more competent, likable and even smarter than slow ones. As the psychologists William Hart and Dolores Albarracin point out, phrases like “get active,” “get moving,” “do something” and similar calls to action surface repeatedly in recent books.”

I so recognize this. As an introvert myself (tested INFJ, by the Myers-Briggs indicator) I look with wonder at the world. Why do we all have to be ‘flexible or assertive or open to discussion and action’? Not that I am a grumpy lady who walks with her head down, lifting all the misery of the world on her back. I love interacting with people and with the world. I just like going to a cafe with one friend at a time, having tea or coffee more than being with a group of people getting drunk. (Charging a bit here, of course there are many 'in between' options)
I just wonder: “what is wrong with people who are more introvert, who think before they talk, who love reading books, silence, thinking about the meaning of life, who prefer to be alone often, who are perhaps a bit serious and who like to daydream with a cup of tea?” In other words: people like myself?

The older I become, the more confident I feel about being an introvert. Yes, I do not have many chit-chats with other mothers on the playground very often. Or have a large group of friends (but I do have some very close friends, for years!) And yes, sometimes this makes me feel uncomfortable and insecure. And yes, I sometimes force myself to step out more and have a conversation. (And yes, sometimes it works out fine and sometimes it doesn’t)
But I also try to be more gentle with myself and embrace who I am. A good compliment the other day at work (by a lovely, extremely extravert person) was: “I just love your calm and quiet nature, it always makes me feel so relaxed. You really know how to listen and make people comfortable!” Needless to say I cherished this comment.

So here is a shout out to all those lovely introvert people out there! We need everybody in the world! Let’s treasure all energies, loud and silent!

1 opmerking:

  1. I couldn't agree more! I'm an INFJ too!! Sometimes, we are so misunderstood, aren't we?!

    Glad to meet you and read your lovely blog!