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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2003
Ok, I admit it, I'm an introvert. This makes me unusual, apparently, from all the stats I've read stating that 75% percent of the population is, in Laney's terminology, "outie." I'm actually even more rare than that, as an MBTI tested INTP female, I'm part of a 1.6% subset of all American women, and 3% of the overall American polulation. Somehow, I almost doubt those stats-- I'd say about half to three-quarters of the people I work with are introverted, and I'm working in customer service.
If you know anything about INTPs, you know we're curious folk who love researching exotic topics as they strike our fancy. Well, my fancies right now are business, organizational behavior, and personality type. So, I thought I'd check this book out.
I was interested to find out that introverted biochemistry is slightly different than that of extroverts. Apparently, "outies" get their "hap hits" from adrenaline, while "innies" get theirs from dopamine. This also makes for a little bit of a difference in where innies and outies find their joy-- innies love to be alone, relaxing, processing, reading, while outies love exercise, socializing, parties, shopping, etc.
I'm not sure I buy that. Apparently innies are supposed to have a lower energy level and move more slowly than outies. Funny tho', I find that I walk a LOT faster than most people (heck, I only had one person pass me on sidewalks or at the mall in the last month or so), and have lots of energy at the gym. I love to work out, and feel absolutely wonderful after a workout, despite Laney's assertion that I should only feel a minor buzz unlike the intense high that outies are supposed to get.
Some of the information and advice on how to handle crowds, mingling, and extraverting was useful for me, but there was a lot more that seemed to be aimed toward a far different type of innie. I think ISFJs, INFJs and INFPs will find this book to be far more helpful than I did, mostly due to the advice on listening to feelings, tuning into gut emotions, and the like.
Additionally, I found a lot of the suggestions, like incremental goal setting, and creating personal mission statements to be more than a little silly, especially since I don't think in details, more in a "big picture" fashion. Any IJ types might find that portion to be helpful in motivating them to work with their introversion a little more in this extroverted society. I really didn't, honestly.
But, I will say this: some of the information was helpful, generally, in trying to understand why introverts think and process things differently than the majority of the US population. I'm quite proud to be an "innie," and find that a lot of times, it allows me to think and process information better than the average outie. Laney mentions that 60% of the truly gifted in the US come from the innie population. Hehe... I wonder if it comes from actually taking the time to think before you speak... <---sorrie, pro-innie prejudice
I'm only a mild introvert, so maybe this book wasn't designed so much for me as for those who are very pronounced. If you find yourself overstimulated by going to the fair or spending the day at the shopping mall, this book might be just the book the doctor ordered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2003
This book is written for the 25% of the population who need alone time to recharge their batteries, the 25% of folks who look forward to the end of the work week and a quiet Friday night at home, the 25% who cringe at the idea of ending the dayweek at a crowded bar's happy hour. The book lets those those of us who have ducked into the restroom for a few moments of quiet during a party, or who think that returning merchandise to a department store is a high-anxiety mission, know that we are not alone.
The author treats introversion as something to be celebrated rather than something to be cured. She emphasizes all the ways in which introverion is useful in society and valuable in relationships. Two things I particularly liked -- the quotations at the start of each chapter and throughout the test -- comments about still waters running deep, music is in one's own thoughts, etc.; and the discussion of different types and apsects of introversion, such as right-brained and left-brained introverts and Jungian theory. The author goes into the biology of introversion, such as the genetic causes of introversion and the different ways in which introverts & extroverts process neurotransmitters, which is fascinating.
The author does a good job of distinguising between introversion and shyness, a difficult concept for those folks. I am by no means shy, so sometimes people who do not know me well (and even those who do) don't consider me as an introvert. However, I relish my privacy and alone time. My go-nonstop extrovert friends don't understand why I have no interest in going out after a day at work, or how I can spend an entire weekend alone. This book helps provide me with an explanation for them.
The author also provides a number of practical tips on monitoring and regulating your energy levels, how an introvert can best deal with both introverted and extroverted mates & children, how to deal with parties, social situations, and work situations. I found this section to be the least useful, but other readers might disagree.
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on May 27, 2003
Did you ever wonder why you aren't as comfortable in some social situations as other people are, or crave being in the spotlight? Do you feel you're different from everyone around you? If you don't like being in the spotlight and feel energized when you're alone, you may be an introvert.
In the book, "The Introvert Advantage," by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D., you can take a test to see if you are introverted. After answering those questions, I discovered that I was halfway between being introverted and extroverted. This book will teach you the meaning of being introverted, and how to make the most of those abilities. I used to think that being introverted meant that you were shy. I now know that shyness isn't who you are, but a fear of what others think of you. Introversion is who you are -- it's about being able to channel your inner energy. This book covers it all - from relationships to parenting an introverted child. recommends the book, "The Introvert Advantage" -- besides being informative, it is filled with support and discovery. Both introverts and extroverts will find this book very interesting.
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on August 4, 2003
Laney's "The Introvert Adavantage" helps introverts recognize themselves and how they are different from the average extroverted person. She reminds us that introverts and extroverts are "wired" differently and each termperament has advantages and disadvantages of their own. Extroverts, however, are more common and tend to be much more celebrated. Introverts, despite offering a vast array of talents, are often inaccurately seen as shy, detached misfits who can't or are not willing to socialize. Rather, they tend to be more sensitive to stimuli, are more energtic when alone, and need more rest to recharge from social situations.
The main problem with "The Introvert Advantage," large font and all, is that it comprises 313 pages. A normal font and some editing could have cut it down atleast 50 pages or more. Also, while Laney's suggestions to coping with socializing are helpful, the topic seemed to go on and on. Again, editing would have helped.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2006
As an introverted psychology student I did not find the book incredibly enlightening as it is information I deal with on a daily basis. However, I felt it gave a fairly comprehensive view of what it is like being introverted. My only real complaint: Laney's frequent use of the cutesy terms "innie" and "outie" when describing people. I found it so annoying that I wanted to scribble on the pages. Other than that it is a good read, and useful to go through with important extraverts in your life... just please don't refer to each other as belly-buttons.
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on March 19, 2004
I always knew I was an introvert, but I learned a lot from reading this book. Quirks about my personality that I always thought were weird, I found are part of being an introvert. As someone in my 30s looking for a career change, it helped me realize why my past jobs didn't work for me, and what to consider in a new career. The author does talk about herself quite a bit, but it didn't bother me. And while I understand myself much better now, I'm not sure know how to translate that into the real, extroverted world yet. Overall, I'd recommend this book if you want to learn more about being an introvert.
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on October 13, 2003
I picked this book up in the store and as soon as I opened it I knew I had to read it. It has the kind of information that leads you to insights you wish you had made long ago.
Read this if people complain you live in your head too much. you'll finally be able to answer them.
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