In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and they should be encouraged and celebrated. Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.
According to Cain, anywhere from a third to a half of the population are introverts. Where do you fall on the introvert/extrovert spectrum? Take Cain’s “Quiet Quiz” at http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/quiet-quiz-are-you-an-introvert/ (or a slightly extended version on the Psychology Today web site at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/quiet-the-power-introverts/201103/quiz-are-you-introvert-or-extrovert-and-why-it-matters). Does your result surprise you? Can you predict the results of classmates, friends or family members who take the quiz as well?
Talking about classrooms and offices, Cain says, “Stop the madness for constant group work. Just stop it.” Cain comments that kids who prefer to work alone are seen by their teachers and peers “as outliers often, or, worse, as problem cases.” Do you think your school is set up for extroverts, introverts, or both? Are there times when extroverts might feel stifled in school, too? How could school get a makeover so that it suits and supports extroverts and introverts alike? Follow the process that Cain suggests -- individual thinking followed by well-managed team deliberation -- and work with your classmates and teachers to come up with suggestions.
Susan Cain http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/
TIME: "The upside of being an introvert" (02/06/2012) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2105432,00.html?iid=pw-hl
The Atlantic: "Caring for your introvert" (03/2003) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/2696/
Psychology Today: "Introversion" http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/introversion