17-24A The Virtues of Being an Introvert


In modern society, introverts have often been depicted as shy, easily overwhelmed, or as having poor communication skills. The notions, stereotypes, and cultural understandings of introverted individuals are discussed by Todd Kashdan, Professor of Psychology at George Mason University, and Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert’s Way: Living a quiet life in a noisy world. Recalling the names of some of history’s best introverted leaders, such as Nelson Mandela and Ghandi, Kashdan says that introverts hold different qualities that allow them to be less subjectable to impulses and more self-controlled, prudent, and cautious due to their lack of outward reaction. Negating the claim that introverts are typically anti-social or, “misanthropic”, Kashdan also suggests that introverts have good social skills and are very personable, they simply tire of socializing at a quicker speed than extroverts. Author Sophia Dembling goes on to say that introverts are not necessarily, “shy,” as shyness may generally be fear-motivated. Instead she claims that introverts don’t feel a pressing need to be around others, and are content with holding a conversation with someone rather than being in a crowd. Kashdan agrees with this description of introverts, stating that, “The point at which [introverts] are saturated, at which they’re reached enough satisfaction being around people is quicker than your extroverted, sociable, gregarious, highly-friendly person.” Environment is also significant when understanding social stressors for introverts. Anything from noise, to fragrance, to sound, even to the energy level in a room can cause sensitivity in introverts. However, this heightened sense of feeling proves beneficial, Kashdan assures, as introverts are exemplary observers and can read situations well from the start.

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Todd Kashdan, Professor of Psychology, George Mason University, author of the book Mindfulness, Acceptance and Positive Psychology

Sophia Dembling, introvert, author of the book, The Introvert’s Way: Living a quiet life in a noisy world

Links for more information:


The Introvert’s Way: Living a quiet life in a noisy world