The Secret Power of being an Introvert

Ever since I can remember I’ve been aware that I’m quiet. As a teenager my friend’s mother said that Carol is quiet but not shy – if she’s got something to say she’ll go ahead and say it. This phrase really stuck with me, it acknowledged who I was without it sounding like a negative. Anyone who lives in western culture is aware that being an extrovert is seen as a good thing. Reserved, soft spoken and quieter qualities are usually treated as something that need to be corrected. I’ve always had an issue with this. I don’t think your personality type should ever put unnecessary boundaries around you but it’s important to accept that certain activities will just come easier for some people.

Last weekend I was traveling to Cologne for the big H+H trade show and I started reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”. It was recommended by several people to me but it took me a few years to get around to actually buying the book! I haven’t finished it yet but it confirmed a lot of beliefs I already had.

The job as a designer I choose to do involves for 90% of the time creative work alone. I spend intense hours thinking, planning, writing and knitting. As an introvert (with definite extroverted tendencies on the side!!) I love this time. I can dig into my brain and find an inner peace that allows me to create and articulate what’s going on in my head. Obviously my job doesn’t just involve working at home; I also teach classes and attend many shows both retail and trade. I also enjoy these parts of the job but find them much harder work. As a child, I took many drama and public speaking classes and I learned how speak in public and create a persona (or side of myself) that feels very comfortable standing up and speaking in public.

For designers that are more extroverted I suspect that the balance of the jobs they choose to do is reversed; with more time spent teaching and doing shows than at home with alone work. Neither of these choices are wrong but knowing who you are, your own natural abilities and tendencies is very helpful. It’s always important to stretch your comfort zones but denying your basic makeup is really just fooling yourself! It gets pretty tiring to play at being an extrovert for too long :-) I’m pretty happy with where I’m at, I’ve no desire to be other than I am so please extroverts of the world don’t feel like you need to change and ‘fix’ me!

Have you found your inner peace with your personality type?



6 thoughts on “The Secret Power of being an Introvert

  1. Thanks for sharing this, it sums me up to a “t”. I love teaching to a crowd, the more the better, but put me into that crowd in a non teaching capacity, then I feel completely uncomfortable. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with us, it’s who we are and what makes us unique!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I too I’m an introvert married to an extreme extrovert and felt for the longest time that I needed “fixing”. We have a quiet strength or understanding of the world around us. I have had total strangers approach me for random advice … I think they sense this and know that I’m willing to help. I love those moments they make me feel important. I’m very happy being an introvert that’s married to an extrovert, we complement each other very well.?

  3. Beautiful post, Carol…and I can relate to what you wrote, so so so much. And as I get older I get quieter and quieter both inside and outside. And that feels good! : )

  4. I have learned to love the side of me that prefers quiet. Possibly because I so rarely get it. I’ve learned that I prefer to drive in a quiet car with no music or news going precisely to THINK. We spend so much time with everyone else demanding our attention and telling us to what we should be paying attention rather than making the choice ourselves. My introvert / quiet time is ME choosing what I want to be doing with my brain rather than being reactive to every stimulus.

  5. Thanks Carol for sharing your story, I’m not surprised at all to read that you’re an introvert, it sorts of transpires in your texts and photos. I started reading the book you talk about about 4 years ago (still haven’t finished it) after I read a review on a sewing blog and I was so happy to discover that I didn’t have a problem but I was just different. It really helped me explain to other people that I often need some quiet time and don’t thrive on being constantly in a socially demanding environment. This book should be recommended to many people, not just introverts!

  6. I’m definitely an introvert and find I need time to recharge after I’ve been with lots of people for an extended amount of time. The book you’re reading sounds like one I need to add to my to-read list!

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