The Power of Solitude: Rise of the Introverts [Video]

This is an absolutely brilliant talk from a former corporate lawyer and a current writer, and a self-proclaimed introvert. She discusses her uncomfortable childhood; having to hide her introversion in a world dominated by extroverts.

She makes a compelling and passionate case for introducing more of a balance between introverts and extroverts in our school lives and our work lives, allowing for introverts to work the way that they desire: on their own. While it’s great that extroverts are there – and collaboration is vital – the extroverted mode of learning and performing should not be thrust upon introverts.

She is in no way saying that introverts are better than extroverts (ok, she kinda does a couple of times) but the real thing she is trying to say is that introverts shouldn’t be discouraged, alienated, or considered to have a problem if they just want to work on their own.

I think it’s a talk that really speaks to the geek community. While many of us are extroverted creatures (which is one reason why geekiness has become the flavor of the decade), many of us operate best in the quiet hovels of our room where our imaginations and analytical minds are free to build and construct without the disturbance of outside forces.

One third to a half of all humans fall on the introverted side of the scale; surely our education systems and places of work should be accommodating for this kind of personality. And by doing so, who knows what the creatures of solitude may invent when given the peace and quiet they need to coax out their genius.

So tell us geeks, on which side of the balance do you fall? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Let us know in the comments section below!

[Via TED]

29 Responses to The Power of Solitude: Rise of the Introverts [Video]

  1. As a kid I was an introvert, but I was also very artistic. Being in dance and drama taught me to be an extrovert, which I make use of as an adult, especially at work. (I'm a librarian- and we are usually very extroverted people!)

  2. On personality tests I always score as an introvert but no one believes this. What they don't know is the amount of time I spend on my own thinking and processing just so that I can collaborate with others. I need that internal time to digest and order my thoughts before I can articulate them and contribute.

  3. I'm an introvert. I spent 80% of my time alone in my room. My best friend and my girlfriend are the only two people I can really have an unending conversation with. This may sound sad to some people, but I couldn't be happier

  4. I so hear her fear of the new idea in schools for "team work". I endured this in my Master's program. I hated it. Now I'm hearing it as the "new" wave in high schools. I oppose it. I absolutely agree that team work is good, but to use it as the *only* form of work is wrong, wrong, wrong. I do NOT work best in a team environment. I like brain storming in a group, but I work best alone. Stop trying to force us to be extroverts! This was really good.

  5. Im an introvert, one thing that as im older im more uncomfortable with now are situations of mass chatter, i mean those social situations where you are surrounded by other people and you hear that strange sound of combined conversations all around you while trying to concentrate on the conversation that you are having.

    I get frustrated when people dont listen well enough to other people which can lead to me not wanting to bother sometimes, i have also simply stopped talking halfway through when i realise that someone isn't listening, even more annoying when you see that they didn't noticed that you abruptly stopped.

    At other times i suprise myself and can be bold, but it depends on the situation, how im feeling and my guess of the outcome.

  6. I'm an introvert as well, and it's difficult having to work with other people, and especially when they don't listen to me because I also tend to have a rather soft voice because I don't like to draw attention to myself for no reason.

  7. Yet another very strong INTJ! I work in a very geeky environment – half scientists, half software developers, and probably 80% of us are NTs with very many INTJs.

    • I'm from the software side of the house, and I think there's a need for both kinds of work. We're all pretty good at what we do, but when a group of us get together to create a design, the end result is far better than anything any of of us could have done independently. This is the power of teamwork in my work environment.

      I'm not uncomfortable talking to other people either in a group setting or individually, but it does drain my energy faster when I have to interact with multiple people at once. On the other hand, it "charges my batteries" when I'm able to be alone. I prefer to take lunch breaks at my desk with a good book, where some of my coworkers eat in a group in the break room. Introverts aren't necessarily socially inept – it's just a matter of how we prefer to spend our time.

  8. INTJ I am the 4% and I believe we all have our roles to play. We have different strengths but together all types can work together and achieve great things. As long as we understand and allow for the differences.

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