The above picture, taken just before this post from my crappy phone camera, is a tiny part of the Captain Sully page I'm working my way through tonight. It also seems appropriate since I've been in this "Hell yeah! I'm an introvert and everyone else can just go get over themselves!" attitude lately. Partially because after watching a TEDtalk posted by comic book artist and Sindiecate member, James Harren, hosted by writer Susan Cain, I picked up her latest book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking and haven't been able to put it down since I got it.
I'll keep it short, but the gist of the book (at least so far. I'm only two chapters in) is that the world over the last hundred years has shifted from a civilisation that cherishes the introvert and the considered thought and intelligence that this personality type can contribute to one that holds up the extrovert as the be-all, end-all of everything and that this shift is to the detriment of society as a whole. She breaks down how, especially in North America, the public perception of the introvert has become increasingly negative and synonymous with "lack of leadership skills" and "unsuccessful". Her contention is that, not only is that perception counter to the facts in history, but that it hurts us when we only listen to the loudest person in the room or force people who naturally are comfortable thinking things over, or consider their words before they speak, to be more "outgoing" and "extorverted", in effect, making them suppress those instincts that also make for successful people and leaders in their own right.
I guess I say all this because every word I'm reading in this book hits me like a ton of bricks. It hits because it reminds me of all the times I felt guilty for not wanting to accept an invitation to go out somewhere because I'm more comfortable at home, or that I'm more ready to express my thoughts written down rather than spoken off the top of my head. The main reason I give to people who ask why I don't speak often is that I don't have anything to say. That's partially true, but I'm also not one for small talk. And, I tend towards serious conversation if I do get into one. Kinda like this post I guess. Cain's book reaffirms that I'm fine. That my tendencies to want to be alone with my thoughts are fine and I shouldn't feel bad for wanting that. In fact, the book goes into so much detail about how prevalent this "glory to hyper-extroversion" is that I'm starting to feel like it's almost oppressive. But, that's clearly not the lesson to take from the book (again, at least so far).
So, I'll keep reading and thinking. To myself. :)