I’m writing a book about introverts.
It’s based on webinars and articles I’ve written about how introverts can develop and share their unique gifts with the world. I’ve had rousing encouragement from potential readers, but so far it’s been an uphill battle getting a publisher to pick it up.
It seems that there is a belief out there that introversion is a trend.
Not the personality type itself, but rather the public’s interest in introversion. My initial reaction (after picking up the pieces of the plate I’ve smashed against the wall in Sicilian fury) is: Are you serious?! We introverts finally peeked our heads outside of the covers to let the world know that we’re here; we have a voice—and this is the response?
Perhaps it was Susan Cain’s insightful book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, that pulled back the covers for us introverts. I’d go so far as to say it opened the door to a beautiful day where we felt safe to step outside and sing our song right along side extroverts and ambiverts. Since the publication of Cain’s book last year, introversion has become all the rage, with blogs, Facebook pages, viral comics, e-zines, webinars, and workshops. Not to mention the slew of introvert-focused books since Cain’s, enlightening the world to ways introverts can succeed in business, fall in love, celebrate themselves…
It’s been nine months since Quiet got loud. Are we really done? Is our way of being really a trend? As far as I can see, we’ve only just begun.
Take, for example, the LGBTQ movement. Until we had gay awareness, there was no room to investigate the specific needs of the gay community. There were no books in Barnes and Noble about the history of homosexuality and its contributions to global culture. There were no guides for gay dating, gay teens, gay spirituality, and certainly not gay marriage. We as a society had (and still have) to achieve a level of acceptance and understanding on a larger scale first.
That’s what is happening with introversion.
Now that our “power” has been outed, we need guides to maneuver the inner and outer truths of being an introvert.
Yes, we like to be alone a lot. That doesn’t mean we want to be isolated. Of course, we introverts could just as easily shrug our shoulders, accept the “trend” label, let our collective personality type reabsorb into swirling samsara, and return to the solace of our privacy.
I beg you, please don’t. Yes, we do require much solitude and are easily fried by the busyness of the lives around us. The irony is that in the face of this “trend or no trend” question, our worries about what others may think of us can become fuel for burn-out. But remember: One of our biggest strengths is that we do recharge. And then we can come charging back to do our good work in the world.
Let’s keep doing that good work by being present and visible.
Keep writing the books, keep sharing the posts, keep drawing the comics, keep writing the songs that make the whole world sing. Raise up the chant for Intro Pride! We’re here! All year! Get used to it!
All right, maybe that last bit is too much.
But you get the point: Get out there and celebrate your introverted awesomeness in everything you do. After that, there’s plenty of time for the Netflix Mel Brooks marathon you have planned with your favorite cuddle pillows and bowl of popcorn. Or is that just me?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Lu Townsend at Pixoto