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Showing posts from December, 2021

Living through a pandemic: It's not all bad to introverts

A pandemic sweeps the entire world almost overnight, causing businesses to close, schools to pivot to online instruction, and people to panic -- except, perhaps, for one small subset of the population.  It's as if introverts had been waiting for this moment their whole lives. No longer having to attend social engagements? Being able to work from home for 18 months? Enjoying a Friday night at home without being chided for it? Most of us probably thought we were having a dream -- one from which we did not want to wake up. It's not to say that introverts haven't missed meeting up with family at a busy restaurant for dinner, celebrating birthdays with co-workers, or attending concerts with friends.  The difference now is that saying "I'll pass" (if an outing is proposed to begin with) doesn't rub people the wrong way like it used do. It's become acceptable to decline if your concern relates to catching the virus, whether because of crowds, lack of social d

Why introverts need a break from social media

Who would have thought that social media platforms would evolve into the juggernauts they are today? From teenagers to soccer moms to grandpas, practically the entire world has a presence on sites like Facebook. To be fair, such platforms certainly came in handy last year at the onset of this seemingly endless pandemic, when people across the world were forced put their in-person social lives on hold and hunker down.  It gave us a way to stay connected with friends and family. Sure, pictures, videos, and likes were no substitute for the real thing, but at least it kept us abreast of significant events -- from work promotions to baby announcements -- in the lives of those who matter most to us.  But as the saying goes, everything has its pros and cons. And social media has an  unmistakably dark side.  Sites like Facebook have become a breeding ground for drawing comparisons between ourselves and others -- largely thanks to the continuous stream of videos and posts that saturate our News

This enriches introverts' lives like nothing else

Alice Munro quipped that, "The constant happiness is curiosity." It's almost as if she were addressing introverts, among the most intellectually curious people in existence, directly. Introverts' quest for knowledge is perpetual. It will never abate.  We strive to learn something new each and every day, whether by reading books, watching documentaries, or catching the newest exhibitions at the local museum.  Introverts don't buy into the notion that learning ends the day you get your high school or college diploma. Rather, learning is a lifelong pursuit. As the prolific science fiction writer Isaac Asimov said, "Education is not something you can finish." Does this mean we all aim to go out and get a Ph.D. like Asimov did?  Of course not. We're fortunate enough to live in an age where we have myriad tools at our disposal that enable us to learn practically anything we want, whenever we want, without the need to invest in a formal degree. Asimov himse

How people get introverts all wrong

Life isn't easy. And if you're an introvert, it can feel especially daunting in a world that seems tailor-made for gregarious, attention-seeking individuals.  Aside from competing personal and professional demands, introverts have to contend with:  Energy levels being depleted by difficult people and situations  Constantly being questioned on our quiet, unassuming demeanor Having to be quick and on our feet when our natural dependency is to go at a slower, more measured pace  Being passed over for promotions and other opportunities because of our reluctance to promote our accomplishments  And yet, for all these challenges, being an introvert brings an array of gifts and opportunities: The capacity to listen to and understand people on a deeper level than most others  The ability to delve deeply into subjects and interests about which we're passionate  The ability to focus intently on something for long stretches of time without getting distracted  The inclination to work in

My bumpy road to discovering I am an introvert

From an early age, I knew there was something about me -- my personality, my temperament -- that differentiated me from my peers. I just didn't know what it was. I sensed I was more retiring, less hungry for attention, and more at ease in solitude than most people.  Now that I'm an adult and comfortable in my introversion, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm proud of my uniqueness, and every introvert on this page ought to be as well.  That isn't to say the road to self-awareness has been an easy one.  Whether at school or work, I've lost count of the number of people over the years who've either questioned or criticized my quiet, unassuming disposition.  In the workplace, supervisors and co-workers have pulled no punches with their biting sarcasm, saying things like "Hey, keep it down over here. You're too loud!" For whatever reason, it makes some folks uneasy when there's someone at work who keeps to themselves. They might suspect they&