Quiet at Last

23 Dec

I’m reading a book on introversion called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. I’m gobbling it up. It’s brought back many memories of how utterly demonized I was throughout my childhood because, horrors, I was an introvert. As an introvert, I was completely unacceptable.

The book talks about how the workplace and business schools are extremely pro-extrovert and pro-teamwork and extremely anti-introvert. This is bringing up memories of humiliating job hunting and jobs. So many job descriptions emphasize “teamwork,” making me feel ashamed and rejected because I “don’t play well with others.”

As an undergraduate, I majored in costume design (theater) for a couple years before getting a degree in creative writing instead. It’s just sunk in with me that as an introvert, I was demonized and judged and rejected in the theater department. Indeed, this was the number one reason I switched majors. I also recall an introverted friend—a loner like me—saying that instructors were criticizing him for not being more sociable. He said he can work in theater without being über sociable. It’s very true, indeed, but those extroverts didn’t appreciate us, just as my relatives and elementary school teachers and the bullies at school didn’t appreciate me and instead demonized me for being an introvert.

I’m savoring the book Quiet and find it very empowering and validating. It’s such a relief from the years of trauma. It contradicts the manipulative lies with which I grew up. Of course, for some time now I’ve embraced my introversion and have rejected the messages from my childhood. It’s best to not associate with people who have such attitudes.

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