Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength Paperback – Jul 1 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. "Most Americans, whether introverted or extroverted, have learned to look like extroverts," writes psychologist (and introvert) Helgoe in this well-written and well-reasoned analysis that challenges the perception of introverts as a silent, problematic minority. The author reveals that 57% of the U.S. population identify as introverts and are so commonly misunderstood because many of them have become adept at mimicking extroversion (becoming a "Socially Accessible Introvert") to get by. Helgoe encourages introverts to see themselves as perfectly functional and to fulfill their need for solitude with regular retreats and creating a private space in their homes. Helgoe's book is wide-ranging and cross-cultural, invoking how other societies (particularly in Japan and Scandinavia) are more compatible with and accepting of introversion. Helpful sections details why introverts need extroverts in their lives and how extroverts depend on introverts for their artistic contributions and inner "richness." The author's voice is vivid and engaging, and she skillfully draws real-life examples of awkward scenarios introverts find themselves in when forced to play a role in society or the workplace. Readers will find much insight, as well as a comforting sense of being understood and validated.
About the Author
Laurie Helgoe, PhD, is a writer, psychologist, part-time actor, and model-and introvert. This is her fifth book.See all Product Description
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The book also discusses how introverts can claim private space, carve out time to think, bring a slower tempo to daily life, create breaks in conversation and relationships, and deal effectively with parties and crowds. Most of all, it gives you permission to enjoy quiet time and if you are introverted, to learn how to thrive instead of just co-exist with all of the noise of modern life.
Part I: Antisocial, Weird, or Displaced?
Ch. 1 The Mistaken Identity
Ch. 2 Alone is Not a Four-letter Word
Ch. 3 Becoming an Alien
Ch. 4 "Anyone Else IN?"
Ch. 5 Meditating with the Majority: The Introverted Society
Part II: The Introvert's Wish List
Ch. 6 A Room of your own
Ch. 7 The Time to Think
Ch. 8 The Right to Retreat
Ch. 9 The Freedom of a Flaneur
Ch. 10 Inroads to Intimacy
Part III: Standing Still in a Loud World
Ch. 11: The Conversation Conundrum
Ch. 12 The Anti-Party Guide
Ch. 13 Why Did I Want to Work with People?
Ch. 14 The Downside to Self-Containment
Ch. 15 Showing Up for Relationships
Part IV: Outing the Introvert
Ch. 16 From Apology to Acceptance -- and Beyond
Ch. 17 Celebrating Introversion
Ch. 18 Expressing What's In There
Ch. 19 Moshing on Your Own Terms
Ch. 20 Introvert Power
I highly recommend this book for all introverts, and people who know introverts.
"If they had know this or that...things wouldnt have happened that way." This book has thusfar explained every struggle I've ever had, and the truth is I'm not exaggerating.
Aside from being wonderfully written, in an accessible and personal tone, the book leaves nothing unanswered, and no room for doubiousness. It's a great investment for people who are introverted, or people who know introverts, or extroverts who can understand introverts....the list goes on.
Dr. Helgoe identifies introversion as a characteristic of personality that is common, but widely ignored; and explains that when properly understood, introversion can be enjoyed, celebrated and put to productive use.
I have discussed the subject of introversion with people who have advanced degrees in psychology, and I have been told that introversion is a personal choice or an attitude. Bull!
Dr. Helgoe GETS IT! She understands that some people are plenty of company for themselves. She understands that many of us just don't care for parties or crowds or superficial relationships. She knows the value of just a few good friends and the life enhancing value of a solitary retreat. And she knows the need to have the freedom to think your own thoughts and to feel your own emotions.
This is an outstanding book. Introverts will be refreshingly validated by it, and extroverts will be educated.
In the book Laurie Helgoe exposes our cultural bias towards introverts by exposing the language used to label introverts like antisocial and stuck-up. I have always felt that the problems I have endured because of my introversion have been a form of discrimination. I hate parties so I don't go. I'm awful at small talk and useless when it comes to giving comeback answers but I'm insightful, thoughtful and full of ideas, every moment of the day and I enjoy being with myself. Something that the author states isn't valued enough in our society where everything is "in your face", including extroverts.
The author states that introverts brains are busier than extroverts which is the reason why I learned that I get so easily overwhelmed. I also learned that solitude is not a bad thing and there are two types of introverts. I'm definitely a "shadow dweller" and I have often gotten a lot of slack from "socially accessibles" who are often jealous of my ability to be true to myself. Though I didn't realize this until I read this book. Challenging the extrovert assumption is a responsibilty that all us introverts have for each other. I also learned why I love Scandanavian countries and design. I'm a minimalist for a reason.
Laurie also works as a therapist and because I'm interested in this field I appreciated her entwining some of her insights from the field into the book.
All in all, very educational for helping you to learn about yourself, about our culture and about drawing boundaries so that you can keep true to yourself and be happy in your life.