Quiet People with Powerful Minds
By: Veronica Pistek
Living in a culture booming with personality seems fulfilling and exciting…until you realize that you constantly have to prove your worth amongst strangers.
Being the loudest person in the room draws in the most attention; being the first to introduce an idea in a group sets you as the leader and appearing confident equates to success.
Though it is definitely not a negative characteristic to be an extrovert, the western world seems to be dominated by assertion and charisma.
Since the Industrial Era, being a man of action has always been valued greater than being the man of contemplation.
Introversion, most typically stereotyped as shyness, is rather defined by a specific reaction to stimulation. An extrovert, though, craves and thrives in a social environment with hyper-stimulation; an introvert succeeds in a more relaxed, low-key environment.
Picture the greatest influencers of our generation. The most popular leaders and creators in the media all are defined by sociability, self-promotion, networking and most importantly, extraversion.
Meanwhile, there are ideas that could just as well change our world that are currently residing within a mind not “loud’ enough to make a mark.
The introverts of our world contribute more to our society than previously imagined. About a third to a half of our population are introverted.
Let that sink in. One out of every three people are defined by inward characteristics that society is constantly directing outward.
History’s most famous introverts have set themselves apart boldly: Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks—just to name a few.
These influential leaders have left a footprint on humanity, which is why we should take a moment to appreciate the quiet ones who use their solitude as an ingredient for creativity.
If we had institutions that were tailored to each person’s specific zone of stimulation, introverts and extroverts both would potentially feel at their greatest.
For instance, we are now seeing a universal belief system in schools marked by extroverted education. Students have to share their ideas aloud to receive participation grades, present projects to an entire room with confidence, and even work in group environments to solve a minute task.
This focus on being an outspoken voice and confident leader leaves those who feel most comfortable being creative internally as outliers.
Even so, the person who prefers to work alone rather than in a group is shamed for not being a team sport—in more extreme cases, pointed out to have social issues.
Just as the ideal student is defined by extroverted qualities, the ideal worker is seen as a social butterfly and a go-getter. Unfortunately, as a result, the introverted employees are less likely to be considered for leadership positions.
Despite all of the setbacks implemented by our society, introverts truly flourish once given the opportunity to show what they are capable of. Leaders who tend to be introverted are particularly careful, open to ideas different to their own, and are driven to be successful.
If we did not have people that spend years studying sciences and medicine, people who dedicate their lives in a studio creating art, or people who take their time to write novels for others to get lost in, our culture would be missing the richness that it has.
The power of solitude for an introvert is the key to having transcendental ideas. Expressed throughout many religions and spiritual practices, the founder sought higher intelligence through practicing with the isolation of the “self.”
With self-contemplation and the open sharing of revelations, the collaboration of ideas between introverts and extroverts is more likely to have a profound impact on our world than ideas only heard by extroverts.
Overall, we all can learn an important lifestyle technique from natural introverts: deep thought.
To be able to feel at ease within your mind without having to be constantly stimulated by others or tangible things is a healthy practice for a human being to grow and develop individually.
Whether you define yourself as an extrovert, introvert, or somewhere in-between, we all should encourage the introverts out there who have not yet shared their voices to do so, because we would not be the culture of personality without their existence.