Understanding introversion changes the game.
Books filled with aha moments deserve a special place on the shelves.
These are the ones.
Reading Marti Olsen Laney’s The Introvert Advantage was the first time I heard the term “phone phobia”. It had a name. It was a real thing. And other people had it. I can’t tell you how freeing that was.
I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t defective. I was an introvert. A very normal introvert with all the normal challenges.
It made a huge difference in my mindset.
The very name of the book and the whole tone put introversion in a new light. It highlighted the upside. It pointed out the strengths. Yes, it showed the advantage.
I was able to embrace my quirks in a new way, and actually come to appreciate them.
Susan Cain’s Quiet has quickly become a classic on introverts, with good reason.
Another positive look at introversion and the benefits for individuals and society as a whole.
“At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. “– Goodreads
Even though Richard Swenson’s Margin doesn’t address Introverts directly, these concepts are key for introverts to be able to manage their lives.
Swenson deals with the need to build margin into four important areas of life: time, finances, physical energy and emotional energy.
Before reading Margin, I didn’t realize that emotional energy was a finite resource– one that could be conserved and protected. Game changer.
For introverts, social energy is intricately tied to physical energy. When one is depleted, the other is depleted. Recharge time becomes imperative.
One of the best ways for introverts to recharge is by reading.
Which brings me to Anne Bogel’s book, I’d Rather Be Reading.
Bookish kindred spirits know exactly what Anne is talking about when she mentions reading under the blanket with a flashlight and staying up till 2 am to finish a book because you have to find out what happens next.
For the introvert, living vicariously through the lives of the characters you’re reading about replenishes the social, emotional and physical energy that’s been depleted.
Without the further drain of social interaction, the introvert can recharge the batteries and be ready for the world again.
Lauren Sapala’s The INFJ Writer was full of aha moments for me. I don’t know how many INFJ writers there are in the world, but she really nailed it. She also spends time in the book discussing the INFP writer, as well as the other intuitive types.
Developing a thick skin isn’t really an option for the INFJ. Better to protect the creative process and only show your work to sympathetic souls until the process is essentially done. Then the critics can have at it.
She talks about how she quit writing for a period of years after a creative writing class in college devastated her. But, without writing in her life, essentially her soul began to shrivel.
When she took it up again (after a round of AA meetings proved helpful), she found a non-judgemental group that allowed her to create without attacks, criticism or opinion.
This fed her soul and she was able to thrive in life again with writing as the outlet she needed.
I can identify with all of that. Well, everything but the AA meetings.
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