I have recently noticed a flurry of books about introverts. (Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (2012), The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, by Sophia Dembling (2012), Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength, by Laurie Helgoe (2013), The Advantage of Being an Introvert in an Extrovert World, by Amber Keyes (2013), The Introvert’s Guide to Dating, by Jordan Gray (2013), Quiet Influence: the Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, by Jennifer Kahnweiller, PhD (2013), etc.
I have not read all of these books, but I note the publication of multiple titles on this subject with interest. It also seems that many or most of the authors are women, even though many introverts are men. What is of interest to me is that our society and culture is beginning to evolve and to show interest in “the inner life”. While the American Dream of the 1950’s was fueled by extroverted action, this dream has reached exhaustion. My personal belief is that nature always seeks balance, and that granting preference to one or another sex, personality type, gender, or sexual preference would automatically cause life in society to become skewed and out of balance. The fact is that about half of all people are primarily introverted, and the other half are extroverted. We need both. When we build a culture that favors extroverts (illustration: American culture), we find ourselves with a lot of frustrated quiet people, and many people who are anxious and depressed. Extroverts tend to live on the surface of life, and while they have many qualities, they are not all of us.
Those of us who are less impulsive, more reflective, deeper thinkers and feelers would like to be recognized and validated by the culture in which we live as well. The culture of celebrity and bling is ok, but not for us.
I am pleased to see these books about introversion being published, but I am also curious about how such an extroverted culture based on impulsive action accumulation of physical signs of weath and power, violent self-indulgence and conspicuous consumption can integrate inner growth and development.
Happily, as time goes on, generations age and mellow, and new children are born and grow up. Each generation has a flavor and character. As time flows on, our newer humans are embracing recycling, a simpler life-style, and hopefully, a desire to look inward, take responsibility for self, and grow in awareness of self and our inter-connectedness with the universe. As the American Dream begins to melt away, and as humans all dream and evolve together in our thoughts, feelings, actions, and beliefs, a new way of being human will likely emerge.
I do feel confident that humans will begin to see in larger numbers that looking inward is smart. As our true self is located within and is the only stable locus of energy and information within us, I feel that the only way to peace and to rebalance ourselves with nature is to look inward. My hope is that this trend continues to grow and that people will think twice about publishing negative, fearful information on the news, or even of spreading excessive worry through their thoughts. It takes introspection to understand that everything that exists is one, and that self-control and self-awareness are the ultimate forms of power, resulting in consequences that benefit everyone and everything.