Our culture celebrates the extrovert, the person who is the life of the party. But, the introvert, the one who often leaves the party early, also has a lot to offer. Todd Kashdan, Professor of Psychology at George Mason University and author of The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self–Not Just Your “Good” Self–Drives Success and Fulfillment and Sophia Dembling, introvert and author of the book The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, discuss their thoughts on the value of introversion.
Kashdan defines introverts as those who like to spend time alone, are recharged by being alone, and are often easily overstimulated by their environment. Dembling says that this doesn’t mean that introverts are antisocial, stuck up, or shy. Rather, they have a different way of approaching the world and other people. Both guests encourage others to acknowledge the strengths that introverts can bring to the table, such as being good observers, being able to empathize, and picking up on nonverbal cues quickly.
When thinking of great leaders, most people think of the visible examples with charismatic and electric personalities. But, Kashdan says there have been plenty of introverted leaders who have different leadership strengths, like being prudent, being cautious, or controlling their emotions. Many introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for a time, but they are saturated by socialization faster. In fact, many actors are introverts. By portraying very social characters, they get the best of both worlds. Kashdan offers some tips for helping introverts enter stimulating environments better, such as playing music or being in nature to get in the right mindset beforehand.
For more information about introversion or about our guests, see the links below.
- Todd Kashdan, Professor of Psychology at George Mason University and author of The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self–Not Just Your “Good” Self–Drives Success and Fulfillment.
- Sophia Dembling, introvert and author of The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World.