It's not easy being an introvert, at least not for me. Excess stimulation that disturbs the introvert's brain is difficult to avoid. Socially, people talk continuously and often simultaneously, and do not seem to listen to each other. Interruption is acceptable. "Extraverts seem to be everywhere," as Robert Furey says in his review of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. The book author, Susan Cain, estimates that one third to one half of the population are introverts, but that we (including me) think the proportion is smaller. We introverts are a minority and must either avoid social contract or cope with the noisy majority. When I confess my introversion, I am told that I really don't seem shy. I try to explain the difference, but do that quickly before the extraverts take over.
So what can we do? Furey suggests that we can mimic the style of extraverts, but that just adds to the noise, creating more stress. Confronting the extravert style also is stressful and not good for social relations. Are there suggestions for helping us introverts live with the extravert majority?
By Robert Furey
PsycCRITIQUES, 2012 Vol 57(39)