“To see the bias clearly, you need to understand what introversion is. It’s different from being shy. Shyness is about fear of social judgement. Introversion is more about how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.”
Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” (a book I am extremely excited to read), speaks in this TED Talk about the bias our country and culture has toward extroversion and the lack of respect it shows toward its introverted citizens. Cain seeks to inform people of the true definitions of these terms and to break down those prejudices our culture tries to build up. She calls for a restructuring of our school systems and work places, as she believes that, while collaboration is necessary and good, there is far too much emphasis on the group-thinker and not enough on the solitary soul. She hopes to give more credit to our past introverted leaders (and as she demonstrates, there are plenty of them) and to open up the previously closed-off minds of today’s introverts to sharing their ideas. After all, “there’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” And she believes that, with this talk, she can expose both extroverts and introverts to the power that is solitude.
As an introvert myself, I very much appreciated this talk and was very moved by her determination to put equal emphasis and importance on introverts and their ideas. Too many people think they have to be a certain way to succeed or have purpose in this world, and Susan Cain wants to destroy that train of thought. I think she’s brilliant. Give her a listen, everyone. It took her seven years to write this book. She knows her stuff.