By Cassandra Sedler
Susan Cain’s TED Talk titled, “The Power of Introverts” shines a need for spotlight. Specifically, the need is on the over-looked and underappreciated talents of the soft-spoken leader.
Susan Cain, a self-proclaimed introvert, was a corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant before becoming a writer and public speaker. Her achievements in her leadership disapproves the misguided outlook about introverts our society often upholds.
The stigma surrounding quiet people suggests that all introverts are anti-social, while in reality, being an introvert simply means you tend to thrive in more quiet, low-key environments with a smaller group of people rather than amidst a noisy crowd.
By no means does this imply that introverts don’t like being around people. In fact, introverts tend to care deeply about their relationships with others.
Also, they have a talent for listening to and empathizing with, people.
According to Cain, we design our educational system and workforce around the extravert, and this bias inevitably leads to a waste of talent, energy and happiness among the introverts. One-third to a half of all Americans are introverts; however, despite this overwhelming statistic, the gregarious, outspoken person is continuously favored over the more reserved personality.
From a very early age, introverts, including myself, grew up around the notion that there was something wrong with preferring to socialize with a close group of friends rather than a large crowd at a party.
I believe it is important for introverts to embrace the personality they were born with, as long as their solitude is rooted in self-care rather than out of fear of socializing or shyness. A significant number of advances in our world are brought about by the minds of introverts such as Albert Einstein, Steve Wozniak and Mark Zuckerberg, among countless others.
Even though we are brought up believing we are instinctively extroverted or introverted, many, if not most people, tend to fall in the middle of the spectrum depending on the situation.
A balance of extroverts and introverts is essential to the betterment of our society. Both bring exceptional talents that should be equally valued across all professions.
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