Join From Left to Write on January 19 as we discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. We'll also be chatting live with Susan Cain at 9PM Eastern on January 26. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
Are you an extrovert or introvert or a balance of the two, an ambivert?
Growing up, I would say I was an extrovert. I loved socializing, so much so, almost every school report card I had said, "Talks too much," and most people I'm friendly with today might even say the same thing. Yes, I can be quite chatty. I loved singing in choirs, playing in band, summer school drama classes, and definitely did not shy from attention.
Fast forward to my twenties. Something changed in me. I don't like being the center of attention, I prefer one on one or small groups, and I actually enjoy time alone now.
I'd even venture to say I'm more of an ambivert or possibly an introvert. So, I wasn't overly surprised when I took Susan Cain's Introvert Quiz and did indeed score as an Introvert. Whatever the reasons may be, I definitely no longer feel those extrovert qualities singing out.
There are lots of ways I've seen this shift factor into my life in the fifteen years since the shift began. I won't bore you with a long list, promise. Let's just stick to one way here: the creative growth in independent thought.
Susan Cain discusses the New Groupthink in her book in terms of how we as a society have jumped into that pool of thought that working in groups is better, more productive, more creative. Schools and companies have all jumped on this bandwagon.
I remember when group assignments in college went from on occasion to the norm during the 1990s. And I was never a fan. When working in groups, there was always a pack mentality and independent thought was watered down.
Cain shares Steve Wozniak's creative tech innovation and how it did not come to fruition in committee as an example of what an introverted thought process can bring to the table...after working independently.
For me, in these years since becoming more introverted, I've experienced a kind of creative rebirth. I absolutely love the creative energy that is shared in all directions being with creative friends. That energy is almost palpable and definitely inspiring. But, it is when I am on my own that I take that inspiration and try new things, take creative risks. It's where I feel free to explore a new medium, a new process, a new idea. When I have pulled it together, then I share.
Whether my old extroverted self will continue to haunt me in the shadows, pop out for some play on occasion or I develop my newer introverted nature or even learn to enjoy the best of both worlds, Susan Cain's Quiet has given me a lot of food for thought.
What about you? Are you an introvert? An extrovert? An ambivert? And whether you are a writer, a scientist, a rockin' awesome mama, an attorney, an artist, does it have an effect on your independent creative thought?Tweet