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The Quiet Ones

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“There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” ― Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

When we think of leaders in society, we often picture the charming extrovert who never seems short of social energy or winces when chosen to speak in front of a crowd. Introverts, on the other hand, are often overlooked because of their philosophical orientation matched with a strong desire to spend their time on deep discussions as opposed to small talk. As you can imagine, this makes room for a lot of awkward moments.

As an identified introvert (INTJ to be exact) I have personally witnessed and experienced the exhaustion that accompanies trying to ‘fit in’ at the workplace, business meetings, and social events. After participating in such socially demanding affairs, I find myself needing twice as much time to recharge in order to face the next adventure. However, during that time, I am able to process information and welcome the opportunity for creative ideas to develop into unique solutions and witness an energy that suddenly becomes boundless.

This quietness (which can be confused with shyness or indifference) has been a defining trait for some of the world’s most respected and admired writers, artists, innovators, and leaders including Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, C.S. Lewis, and Rosa Parks, just to name a few.

So what about the quiet ones? How can we find our place in an extroverted world without conforming?

Visually interpreted by RSA Shorts, Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, talks about how society has come to think of extroverts as the best leaders and that the world needs equal space between introverts and extroverts:

You can also watch her TED Talk: The Power of Introverts. Regardless of which type, I highly recommend it.