9 in 10 introverts have felt some guilt or shame for being introverted

by phil on Saturday Feb 27, 2010 4:38 PM

I'm reading Introvert Advantage, which is one of the top recommended self-help books on the Ask MetaFilter Forums, and it talks about how 9 in 10 introverts the author interviewed felt some guilt or shame for being introverted. The one who didn't was a minister who grew up in a large family composed entirely of introverts, as a result he was never made to feel anything was wrong with him.

This is a common theme in the book. In the Prelude there's a quote by Erasmus:

It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.
But I wonder if that's the right imperative. In High School, my social circle consisted of fellow AP students, and they trended more introverted than the rest of the school population. But now, when I check them out on facebook, I'm astounded by how many of them have blossomed into what, for all outward appearences, seem like well-adjusted hybrid extroverted introverts. They are both pensive and and socially active.

I was telling my friend the other day that at age 14, our brain sheds away a lot of what it doesn't like using, and we eventually specialize. I cited how I read more fiction books before I was 14 than I've ever read since then. But then he mentioned that the same thing happened when he was 22! Which made me think that probably our brains are always changing, adding modules, uninstalling programs, re-inventing itself and re-specializing.

In which case, I'll throw my lot in with the existentialists, and say that our life's purpose is to invent its purpose.

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