In defense of introverts


“In schools, it’s the bolder kids who get attention from teachers, while quiet children can too easily languish in the back of the classroom. ‘Our culture expects people to be outgoing and sociable,’ says Christopher Lane, an English professor at Northwestern University… ‘It’s the unstated norm, and against that norm introverts stand out as seemingly problematic.'”

“But that unstated norm discounts the hidden benefits of the introverted temperament–for workplaces, personal relationships and society as a whole. Introverts may be able to fit all their friends in aphone booth, but those relationships tend to be deep and rewarding. Introverts are more cautious and deliberate than extroverts, but that means they tend to think things through more thoroughly, which means they can often make smarter decisions. Introverts are better at listening–which, after all, is easier to do if you’re not talking–and that in turn can make them better business leaders, especially if their employees feel empowered to act on their own initiative. And simply by virtue of their ability to sit still and focus, introverts find it easier to spend long periods in solitary work, which turns out to be the best way to come up with a fresh idea or master a skill.”


The Upside of Being an Introvert, TIME, February 6, 2012.