For a long time, I misunderstood the meaning itself of being an introvert, let alone being able to appreciate the value. And that’s the reason I am compelled to share an incredible TED Talk with you about it in this post.
Earlier, when somebody told me that they are an introvert and still talked a lot about a topic of interest, I decided that they are just misguided. I thought they do not know who they really are. But the problem was, my assumption was far from being right.
In her incredible TED Talk, the author of the book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking”, Susan Cain, shares a few great insights about introverts and how they bring so much value to the table. This is very much an educational talk that opens our eyes and wakes us up!
I highly encourage you to spend the next 19 minutes of your life watching this talk and I can tell you that you will not regret what you will learn in those minutes invested in your self-education.
In this talk, Susan shares her life experiences where she got the message that somehow her quiet and introverted style of being was not necessarily the right way to go.
Listening to Susan, I realized how real the social pressure is on everybody to be outgoing to succeed today. Hearing her story of deliberately doing things she wouldn’t have chosen to do if it wasn’t for her intense desire to prove that she could be bold and outgoing, we realize how real the pressure is on our children, to change from who they are to become who they don’t naturally like to become, in case they are a bit introvert.
Some of the things that Susan says, really makes us think about the direction in which our society is going and what you and me can do to make a difference at our level.
Let me share some of the best statements Susan Cain makes in this very inspiration talk here:
When it comes to creativity and to leadership, we need introverts doing what they do best.
To see the bias clearly you need to understand what introversion is. It's different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgment. Introversion is more about how you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.
But now here's where the bias comes in. Our most important institutions, our schools and our workplaces, they are designed mostly for extroverts and for extroverts' need for lots of stimulation. And also we have this belief system right now that I call the new groupthink, which holds that all creativity and all productivity comes from a very oddly gregarious place.
The vast majority of teachers report believing that the ideal student is an extrovert as opposed to an introvert, even though introverts actually get better grades and are more knowledgeable, according to research.
In fact, some of our transformative leaders in history have been introverts. I'll give you some examples. Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi — all these peopled described themselves as quiet and soft-spoken and even shy.
Solitude is a crucial ingredient often to creativity. Solitude matters and that for some people, it is the air that they breathe.
If you look at most of the world's major religions, you will find seekers — Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad — seekers who are going off by themselves alone to the wilderness where they then have profound epiphanies and revelations that they then bring back to the rest of the community.
We need to be teaching kids to work together, for sure, but we also need to be teaching them how to work on their own. This is especially important for extroverted children too. They need to work on their own because that is where deep thought comes from, in part.
If you are inspired by this talk and you would like to take a deep dive into this topic, I think you will enjoy Susan’s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking”.
Over To You – Share Your Thoughts
What did you enjoy in this TED Talk the most and what are your thoughts about the concepts Susan Cain shares about the power of introverts? Please have your say in the comments. Thank you kindly!
That was a lovely TED talk by Susan 🙂
Yes, introverts are always looked down up by people, especially those who are extroverts themselves and perhaps they have their own reasons, I personally feel they are much more focused and the ones who think deep.
I liked what she mentioned about the children, and how even in schools nowadays the extroverts or the more wordy kids are given preference, perhaps because they are more audible and visible than the introverts. You need to train kids to be a blend of both, though you can’t do much with the inborn nature of a child, isn’t it? And yes, introverts certainly come out with flying colors where academics is concerned so that just proves the point 🙂
Susan’s book surely seems like a great read, and thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
Believe me, Harleena, being an introvert myself, I suffered the same fate in school. Then, it wasn’t fun at all but curiously, I can laugh at the whole misunderstanding now. Just like I did note somewhere in this post, 9+1=10; so is 5+5!
Thanks for the post Kumar.. Amazing inputs and thoughts shared by Susan.. Its very true that in most of the schools teachers believe ideal students are extroverts..
You are very welcome Rajendra. Glad to know you enjoyed the post!
Enjoyed the video. I am an introvert and shy (most of the time). I do at times envy how poised extroverts are but I also realize the drawbacks. I enjoy my time alone and consider myself a deep thinker. I can entertain myself, I do not need others to fulfill me. Also know that when time comes and am passionate about it I can get up and speak to groups of people. When I was working and was in charge of projects that required lots of people, I was a much better leader than others that had the position. It was because I was much more compassionate and knew that if they did wrong it was on me, as I may not have made them understand correctly what they needed to do.
Extroverts just expect everybody to get it and seemed to have zero tolerance for those that didn’t, they never seemed to have taken any of the responsibility for errors. They cried “team work” but never gave others credit for thinking, it was always their way or it was wrong.
I think I will embrace my introverted ways. At least I think before I speak and so avoid a lot of trouble.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us here. And I totally understand how difficult it is to work with a person who doesn’t listen and doesn’t want to give others their due credit.
But I wouldn’t say that lack of integrity is because of being an extrovert. The people you worked may have had an integrity issue and they also happened to be outgoing people. But it is a dangerous combination nevertheless.
Glad you found this post valuable and that you enjoyed sharing your thoughts with us today.
Have a great weekend!
I love what she’s sharing here Kumar.
I have a very close friend who is an introvert. He’s very soft spoken and most people mistake him for being shy. I’ve also never heard him ever say a cuss word or lose his temper. He’s so darn nice yet smart as a whip and rich as all get out. He’s just an exceptional person.
I think we all have our own misguided thoughts about the way people should be but that’s what I love about life. If we were all the same then I think it would get pretty boring myself.
I actually think it’s always been that way with kids because I was very quiet myself in school because I didn’t learn the same way so I didn’t want to speak up afraid it would be wrong and I would be made fun of. It’s sad really how even the teachers misjudge the kids today and we all know how that can be played over to them.
I didn’t get to watch the whole talk because I’m running out of time but I did enjoy what I heard. Thanks for sharing this important subject with us.
You are right about today’s school atmosphere and Susan talks about it as well. It’s an unfortunate thing for sure that our teachers approach children with a bias to make them extrovert and an introvert is not necessarily a desired trait.
Thank you for sharing about your friend and adding value through your testimonial.
Even though you didn’t get to watch the full video, your experience definitely adds value to the intent of this post. So, thank you!
Everytime I see a post or article on introverts, I always make the time to read it.
Why? Because I’m an introvert!
This is the first time I’ve seen someone do a presentation on the subject matter, so you know I was glued to the screen.
Yes a lot of people have more of a negative outlook of introverts. We, at least i have, have been stereotyped as being slow, stupid, weak, etc…Extroverts get all the attention and the praise in this society. But what gets left out the book of famous people is that a lot of them are introverts as she pointed out. In fact introverts are some of the most intelligent and insightful people there is. They don’t have to go with whatever society says, or whatever the pop icon does. In fact they stray away from it.
This video gives a better outlook of introverts. And yes I do agree that schools should be more open towards introverts as well as extroverts. They should teach kids to embrace both sides because there are benefits from each. Thanks for sharing Kumar!
Glad you enjoyed the talk Sherman and I tell you, I was amazed by this talk and Susan’s research on this subject. I have so many friends who are introverts and they have succeeded far beyond their extrovert coleagues and contemporaries. I do agree with you when you say that extroverts do get more carried away sooner than introverts do and which is why introverts make better leaders.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and sharing your story. Have a great weekend my friend!
I had heard that Ted Talk before and I absolutely agree with Susan. I am rather an introvert but I have a little bit of extrovert as well, depending who is surrounding me, but if I had to put a number to it, I would say that I’m 80% introvert and 20% extrovert.
I know that employers have those tests they give to potential employees and they are looking for signs of introvert like it’s a disease. They’ll always favor the extrovert to the introvert.
The American man and woman is rather extrovert, but if you go to Europe and Asia, you find more introverts.
That’s my 2 cents.
Like Susan says in the talk, we all have mixed personalities and it’s just a bit of the “introvert” or “extrovert” aspect of our personality which makes us behave in certain ways at certain times. None of us (“almost”) are a complete introvert or extrovert. So, I understand when you say “I have a little of extroverts as well depending who is surrounding me” 🙂
Yeah, American culture still favors extroverts for sure. However, rest of the world is not very far behind. They are catching up fast and it’s unfortunate.
Thank you for dropping by and sharing.
I love the TED video and Susan. I understand this subject at a core level. I am a real mixture and a bit like Sylviane really more introvert. Most people who know me would laugh but that is because I tried very hard to be an extrovert and learned to behave like one.
My eldest step son is introverted and his sister totally extroverted and as they were growing up it was very interesting.
Personally I think way too many people have to “fill the space” with chatter. Often needless chatter.
Great post and thanks for sharing this Kumar.
Glad to hear from you! I think I also have an introvert in me while I did work hard to wake up the extrovert inside 🙂
However, one thing I know is this:
After this knowledge shared by Susan, I have a renewed sense of respect for those who are introverted and I know the world needs them as much as outgoing people. This is what balances our world.
Have a great weekend and the next week 🙂
Kumar, guess this should be my first time on your site and am so umm dazzled, because this topic speaks to me.
Reason, being that am an introvert, I do agree with you that we are deep thinkers, and that’s why I can write poems that can touch the soul, though I let that side of me hiberanate for a while.
One thing I discovered is that I need to practice more than may be extort, because my confidence speaking to a crowd actually comes from knowing the subject matter well.
Happy you shared this topic as you’ve given me the opportunity to reflect on my personality.
I haven’t been able to view the TED but am impressed with what you’ve shared and I just want to say yo are awesome.
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. It’s my pleasure to meet you!
Glad to know you enjoyed my post and found time to share your experience with is here.
Look forward to hear more from you.
This really hits home for me. As a child I was an introvert. I just liked being alone, in my own world with books and just writing. I was forced by teachers to “participate” and they always said that I could do better if only I would be like the other kids.
I was bullied by my classmates, but never got into their energy. At a young age, I can remember, I just didn’t want to be like them – why couldn’t they understand that?
So having gone through that experience, I can resonate with this post. We need to teach our children that all people are unique. If you don’t understand them, try! Because you will only learn that way. I brought up my daughter like this, and she was enriched with so many different kids. She is a natural extrovert, but respected the introverts. Once she brought a friend over in first grade because she felt sorry for her. The girl was a true introvert. My daughter told me that she was always alone in the playground. Long story short: She taught my daughter how to paint and do other various artistic things.
It all starts at home. We do need to teach our children well.
What an awesome testimonial. Helping your daughter with those values is absolutely an amazing thing that you’ve done.
I think we do need to teach our children those value and develop their mindset to accept others as they are and try to understand them instead of making an opinion about them.
We all are unique and we need to remember that and teach our next generation.
Thank you for sharing your story and adding a tremendous value!
Hi Kumar, Thanks for helping to shed light on our group in society. I read once that most bloggers are introverts because it’s such a comfortable way to interact. Based on the comments to your article I would have to agree!
You and Susan are right, society is formed to accommodate extroverts which is why we introverts often struggle. There is also a prejudice against introverts when, as you point out, we are a group that contributes a great deal to society.
Thanks for helping show the world what we’re about, Kumar!
That’s an interesting perspective and without your mention, I wouldn’t have noticed that bloggers are usually introverts 🙂
That sounds about a right analysis!
But the good thin is, introverts are equally powerful people and the value they add to the world is tremendous through their leadership.
Thank you for shedding some light on this aspect and have a great weekend!
Well I thought this was extremely interested. The reason is I ‘used’ to be an introvert and now I think I’m a good mix of introvert and extrovert. Many people think I’m crazy when I say that I’m shy. I’ve always felt that I was and that is how I grew up. Didn’t talk much, stuck to myself, felt very insecure around people and usually was the one sitting in the corner. Now, when I say I’m shy or introverted, people look at me like I’m crazy. They only notice when I start talking. They don’t notice that I’ve been in the room in a corner checking people out, listening quietly and gauging the room and people *before* I even open my mouth or start interacting. No one *ever* notices that.
It goes well with how I was as a child. Shy, quiet and extremely unsociable (in the eyes of the world).
I find this incredibly interesting because at the time, as a child, I never, never, never knew anything about introverts and didn’t know that was what I was. Of course, I recognize it now although others don’t. The good thing is introverts can become talkative, interactive, etc. This is a great piece and I’m definitely going to take a look at her book. I’m sure I’ll find myself in there, as well.
Great info and a great share.
Thanks so much.,
Being shy is definitely a result of fear of being judge and it is something that can be overcome with much exposure, training and experience.
But being an introvert is not a challenge to be overcome. Instead, I think it’s a power to be harnessed. introverts are great problem solvers and much better leaders and I agree to Susan when she says that.
But you are yet another blogger who came to say “I am an introvert too” 🙂 isn’t it amazing how many bloggers are really introverts?
Thank you for sharing.
Thanks so much for sharing this, Kumar. I found myself relating to her stories and recognizing many similar experiences in my own life. As I started to write this comment, my wife joined me and I replayed the video for her to watch.
At the end, we concluded that I am pretty much an introvert and she is an ambivert. While we both enjoy social time, I can live without it more easily than she can!
Isn’t that so amazing that usually one in every happy couple is an introvert?
In my case it’s just opposite. I enjoy being out there among people having good time more than my wife does. On the other hand, she seems to connect wig people and lead them in much effective way than I can and so we compliment each other.
Thank you for sharing your story with us! Regards to your wife
I didn’t realize that such a large percentage of the population was introverted. As a child and well up until I was married had children, I was very introverted and always told that I was shy. It was only through determination that I was able to muster up the courage to speak before an audience.
One trick that I learned when speaking before an audience is to look for a friendly face and connect to that person. Now that I’m thinking of this, I imagine many of the people who are looking back with encouragement may be introverted themselves.
Hopefully, as more people becoming aware of the difference between being shy and being introverted, we’ll start providing more environments in our schools and workplaces that will foster a better environment for introverts.
Thanks for sharing Susan’s inspirational TED talk.
I am hoping for the same thing as far as school system goes. Meanwhile, I think it’s our responsibility as parents to teach our children the right values so they can learn to accept others the way they are. We need to educate our younger generations to understand that everybody is different and that it takes effort on our part to understand others instead of judging them based on our own perception.
I think the world will be a much better place when we begin to do that.
Thank you for sharing that just like many other bloggers who said they come from an introvert background. It appears that a lot of bloggers are introverts 🙂 isn’t that amazing?
Have a great weekend!
Its great to hear Susan talk about introverts in such a positive light (I am one myself and the pressure to succumb is real). However, in my own case, I have come to terms with the fact of who I am and in fact, I am very comfortable with the man I have grown into.
Its such a confused world, believe me. Like being plump, anything that does not conform to the ‘ordinary’ must be bad in society’s estimation. However, I think we should all remember that 1+9=10 so is 5+5!
If this comment goes through, kindly disregard my earlier mail.
Glad to hear from you Terungwa! Yes, indeed 5+5 is also 10 just like 9+1 and 6+4.
The whole idea is to have an attitude of not judging others and making an opinion. The idea is to be open, trying to understand others and accepting people the way they are. Trying to change others has created so much trouble in this world.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and Happy Monday to you!
Thank you so much for sharing this lovely video. I believe I am an introvert too and my last job was terrible because of it. I always had people on my case about it. It’s sad that we can’t be who we want to be. I think what Susan said is so important to let people and children work together as a team, but also have quiet time. We can’t do everything together, it’s just not normal, and what kind of lesson is that teaching kids? How will they learn to grow and be independent? Warmest regards, Lisa
Thank you for dropping by, sharing some words of appreciation and then sharing your story.
Trying to change others to be something they are naturally not, has created so much pain in this world and this is yet another issue. I think we, the educated now have our opportunity to make a difference by making sure our younger generation doesn’t grow thinking same way we did and they are more open minded and accepting like Donna said.
I have many friends who know that they are introvert and they themselves see it as a disease simply because they may be having hard time at work. This is sad…
Have a wonderful new week!
I am so happy I came across your post today. I read it and almost did not take the time to listen to Susan’s presentation video but as I have learned the hard way, so many times before, to start listening to my “little voice” that tells me what to do.
I am in the process of working on a Create Yourself Writing Workshop and this video just solidified even more that for others and myself, I am on the right path.
Thank you so much for sharing and have a wonderful day. Monna