The Quieter Half Speaks Up

“Perceptual biases lead us all to overestimate the number of extraverts among us (they are noisy and hog the spotlight),” according to Laurie Helgoe, Ph.D., in her cover story, titled “Revenge of the Introverts,” in the October issue of Psychology Today. By now, you probably know that introverts actually make up half the population.

“On the surface, introversion looks a lot like shyness,” says Helgoe, a clinical psychologist and author of Introvert Power. “Both limit social interaction, but for different reasons.” She adds, “An introvert and a shy person might be standing against the wall at a party, but the introvert prefers to be there, while the shy individual feels she has no choice.”

Helgoe’s story is rich with anecdotes, research, and practical tips to help introverts thrive in an extroverted world. She even suggests that the pursuit of happiness is overrated for introverts: “[Introverts] don’t need external rewards to keep their brains in high gear. In fact, the pursuit of happiness may represent another personality-culture clash for them.”

Helgoe quotes me in the section of her story titled “Inner Life to External Success” in which I share the importance of visibility for introverts. Many of us are not naturally attracted to the spotlight yet we want recognition to advance in our careers. I’m also quoted along with Marti Laney, a psychologist and author of The Introvert Advantage, and Beth Buelow, whom I know as the Introvert Entrepreneur blogger, in Matthew Hutson’s punchy companion piece, “What Not to Say to an Introvert.” Don’t make another peep until you read it!

Between Helgoe’s article, and our respective books, blogs, social media communities, and coaching services, you will always have a home as an introvert—even if the external world marches to a faster, louder, but not better, beat.

© Copyright 2010 Nancy Ancowitz

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4 Responses to “The Quieter Half Speaks Up”

  1. Eva-Maria Ruhl Says:

    Great article!

  2. victoree Says:

    WooHoo! What a barrier jumping article.

  3. Nancy Ancowitz Says:

    Thank you, Eva-Maria and Victoree.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    thanks I am going to buy the issue this week.

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