YOU’RE WELCOME, LOVE, INTROVERTS. Things You Need to Know If Your Child is an Introvert * The Secret Lives of Introverts – Jenn Granneman.

Why was my idea of a good time so different from what other people wanted to do? I was broken. I had to be.

“Don’t just accept your child for who she is; treasure her for who she is. The more you embrace your child’s introverted nature, the happier they will be.”

Introversion is your temperament. It takes years to build a personality, but your temperament is something you’re born with.

Introverts tend to avoid small talk. We’d rather talk about something meaningful than fill the air with chatter just to hear ourselves make noise. We find small talk inauthentic, and, frankly, many of us feel awkward doing it.

This is a book about secrets. It’s about seeing what’s really going on with introverts. It’s about finally feeling understood.

If it weren’t for introverts and our amazing ability to focus, we wouldn’t have the theory of relativity, Google, or Harry Potter (yes, Einstein, Larry Page, and J. K. Rowling are all likely introverts). Dear society, where would you be without us? You’re welcome. Love, introverts.

You’re confused by your kid. She doesn’t act the way you did growing up. She’s hesitant and reserved. Instead of diving in to play, she’d rather stand back and watch the other kids. She talks to you in fits and starts, sometimes she rambles on, telling you stories, but other times, she’s silent, and you can’t figure out what’s going on in her head. She spends a lot of time alone in her bedroom. Her teachers say they wish she’d participate more in class. Her social life is limited to two people.

Even weirder, she seems totally okay with that.

Congratulations: You’ve got an introvert.

It’s not unusual for extroverted parents to worry about their introverted children and even wonder if their behavior is healthy. (Disclaimer: children can suffer from anxiety and depression, just as adults can. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of childhood depression, sometimes withdrawal from others and low energy, signal something quite different than introversion.)

However, many introverted children are not depressed or anxious at all. They behave in the way they do because of their innate temperament, being an introvert is genetic, and it’s not going to change. The more you embrace your child’s natural introverted personality the happier they will be.

Here are 15 things you must understand if you’re the parent of an introvert.

1. There’s nothing unusual or shameful about being an introvert.

Introverts are hardly a minority, making up 30-50 percent of the US. population. Some of our most successful leaders, entertainers, and entrepreneurs have been introverts, such as Bill Gates, Emma Watson, Warren Buffett, Courteney Cox, Christina Aguilera, and J.K. Rowling. It’s often suggested that even Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, and Mahatma Gandhi were introverts.

2. Your child won’t stop being an introvert.

Can your child just “get over” hating raucous birthday parties? Nope. According to Dr. Marti Olsen Laney, author of The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child, introversion and extroversion are genetic (although parents play an important role in nurturing that temperament). Introverts’ and extroverts’ brains are also wired somewhat differently.

According to Laney, introverts’ and extroverts’ brains may use different neurotransmitter pathways, and they may favor different “sides” of their nervous system (introverts prefer the parasympathetic side, the “rest and digest” system as opposed to the sympathetic, which triggers the “fight, flight, or freeze” response). Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that introverts have larger, thicker gray matter in their prefrontal cortices, which is the area of the brain associated with abstract thought and decision-making.

So if your child tends to be more cautious and reserved than his extroverted peers, rest assured that there’s a biological reason for it.

3. They’ll warm up to new people and situations slowly and that’s okay.

Introverts often feel overwhelmed or anxious in new environments and around new people. If you’re attending a social event, don’t expect your child to jump into the action and chat with other children right away. If possible, arrive early so your child can get comfortable in that space and feel like other people are entering a space he already “owns.”

Another option is to have your child stand back from the action at a comfortable distance perhaps near you, where he feels safe and simply watch for a few minutes. Quiet observation will help him process things.

If neither of those options is possible, discuss the event ahead of time with him, talking about who will be there, what will likely happen, how he might feel, and what he can do when he’s losing energy.

No matter what new experience you’re getting him accustomed to, remember: go slowly, but don’t not go. “Don’t let him opt out, but do respect his limits, even when they seem extreme,” writes Susan Cain about introverted children. “Inch together toward the thing he’s wary of.”

4. Socializing saps your introverted kid’s energy.

Both introverts and extroverts can feel drained by socializing, but for introverts, it’s even worse. If your child is older, teach her to excuse herself to a quieter part of the room or a different location such as the bathroom or outside. If she’s younger, she might not notice when she’s tapped out, so you’ll have to watch her for signs of fatigue the dreaded “introvert hangover.”

5. Making friends can be nervewracking for introverts.

Which means, give your child positive reinforcement when he takes a social risk. Say something like, “Yesterday, I saw you talking to that new boy. I know that was hard for you, and I’m proud of what you did.”

6. But you can teach them to self regulate their negative feelings.

Say, “You thought you were going to have a miserable time at the birthday party, but you ended up making some new friends.” With positive reinforcement like this, over time, he’ll be more likely to self-regulate the negative feelings he associates with stepping out of his comfort zone.

7. Your kid may have intense and unique interests.

Give him opportunities to pursue those interests, says Christine Fonseca, author of Quiet Kids: Help Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World. Softball and Boy Scouts may work well for some children, but don’t forget to look off the beaten path and consider writing classes or science camps. Intense engagement in an activity can bring happiness, wellbeing and confidence, but it also gives your kid opportunities to socialize with other children who have similar passions (and perhaps similar temperaments).

8. Talk to their teachers about introversion.

Some teachers mistakenly assume that introverted children don’t speak up much in class because they’re disinterested or not paying attention. On the contrary, introverted students can be quite attentive in class, but they often prefer to listen and observe rather than actively participate. (In many cases, an introverted child is “saying” all the things other kids would say, but simply doing it silently in his head which, for an introvert, is just as engaging.)

Also, if the teacher knows about your child’s introversion, the teacher may be able to gently help him navigate things like interactions with friends, participation in group work, or presenting in class.

9. Your child may struggle to stand up for herself.

So teach her to say stop or no in a loud voice when another child tries to take her toy from her. If she’s being bullied or treated unfairly at school, encourage her to speak up to an adult or the perpetrator. “It starts with teaching introverted children that their voice is important,” Fonseca says.

10. Help your child feel heard.

Listen to your child, and ask questions to draw her out. Many introverted children and adults struggle to get the thoughts and emotions swirling inside them out to others.

Introverts “live internally, and they need someone to draw them out,” writes Dr. Laney in her book. “Without a parent who listens and reflects back to them, like an echo, what they are thinking, they can get lost in their own minds.”

11. Your child might not ask for help.

Introverts tend to internalize problems. Your child might not talk to you about her problems even when she wishes for and/or could benefit from some adult guidance. Again, ask questions and truly listen, but don’t interrogate.

12. Your child is not necessarily shy.

Shy is a word that carries a negative connotation. If your introverted child hears the word “shy” enough times, she may start to believe that her discomfort around people is a fixed trait, not a feeling she can learn to control.

Furthermore, “shy” focuses on the inhibition she experiences, and it doesn’t help her understand the true source of her quietness, her introversion.

Don’t refer to your child as “shy,” and if others do, correct them gently by saying, “Actually, she’s an introvert.”

13. Your child may only have one or two close friends and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Introverts seek depth in relationships, not breadth. They prefer a small circle of friends and aren’t usually interested in being “popular.”

14. Your kid will need plenty of alone time, don’t take it personally.

Anything that pulls your child out of her inner world like school, friends, or even navigating a new routine will drain her. Don’t be hurt or think your child doesn’t enjoy being with the family when she spends time alone in her room. Most likely, once she’s recharged, she’ll want to spend time with you again.

15. Your introverted child is a treasure.

“Don’t just accept your child for who she is; treasure her for who she is,” writes Cain. “Introverted children are often kind, thoughtful, focused, and very interesting company, as long as they’re in settings that work for them.”

Psychology Today

The Secret Lives of Introverts. Inside our hidden world.

Jenn Granneman

Dear introvert,

One of my earliest memories as a little girl is my dad putting a microphone to my lips and asking me to tell a story. Okay, I thought, this should be easy. I had been telling stories to myself already, in my mind, each night before I fell asleep, even though I was too young to read or write.

I closed my eyes and imagined a horse who played with her friends in a sunny meadow. Like many introverted children, my inner world was vivid and alive. The madeup story seemed almost as real as the actual world around me of toys and parents and pets. The horse and her friends were having a race to see who was the fastest. They dashed through fields of flowers and jumped over a glistening creek, when, all of the sudden, one of them started to flap her tiny, hidden wings and fly…

Suddenly, my dad interrupted my thoughts. “You have to say your story out loud,” he said, nodding to the microphone. “So I can record it.”

I looked at the microphone, then back at my dad, but I didn’t know how to respond. The things inside me had to be spoken? How could mere words describe the striking images I saw in my mind, and how they made me feel?

Sensing my hesitancy, my dad prompted again. “Just say what you’re thinking,” he said, as if that were the easiest thing in the world.

But I couldn’t. I continued to stare at my dad in silence. The secret world inside me would not come out. My dad grew impatient, probably thinking his only daughter was being stubborn, uncreative. The truth was I had no idea how to translate my inner experience into words. Somehow, I thought that with my father’s supreme intelligence, he would just know what I meant to say. But he couldn’t read my thoughts. And the microphone attached to the primitive eighties tape recorder couldn’t hear them. Eventually, he gave up and put everything away.

This would not be the last time in my life that my silence confused and frustrated someone. I would carry that feeling of disconnect between my inner world and the outer one with me for much of my life.

If you’re an introvert like me, you may have secrets inside you, too. You have thoughts that you don’t have the words to express and big ideas that no one else sees. Maybe your secret is you feel lonely even when you’re surrounded by other people. Perhaps you’re doing certain things and acting a certain way only because you think you’re supposed to. Maybe your heart longs for just one person to see the real you, and to know what’s really going on inside your head.

This is a book about secrets. It’s about seeing what’s really going on with introverts. It’s about finally feeling understood.

Thank you for joining me in this journey. If you have a secret like the one I just described, I hope you will feel less alone about it after reading this book.

Quietly yours,


Chapter 1


When I was in sixth grade, I was lucky enough to be scooped up by a great group of girls who would become my lifelong friends. We slept over at each other’s houses and whispered secrets in the dark. We spied on the boy who lived in the neighborhood and his friends, and giggled over who we had crushes on. We filled notebook after notebook with our dreams for the future. We even promised to reunite every Fourth of July as adults on a hill by our high school, so we would always have a place in each other’s lives.

Anyone looking at us would have thought I was just one of the girls. We did almost everything together. People even said we looked like sisters. But deep down, I felt different. I wasn’t one of them. I was other.

While they read Seventeen magazine and chatted about celebrities, I sat silently on the edges, wondering if there was life on other planets. When they were relieved that another school year was over and that summer vacation had begun, I was catapulted into a deep existential crisis about growing older. When they wanted to hang out all night, and then the next day, and then the next, I was desperately searching for an excuse to be alone. (“Mom, tell them I’m sick! Or that I have to go to church!”) In so many little ways, I was the weird one.

My friend group was the center of my teenage world. I loved them. So I did what anyone does when they feel like they are an alien dropped into this world from another planet: at times, I pretended. I kept my secret thoughts to myself. I didn’t let on when I wished I could be alone in my bedroom instead of at the mall, surrounded by people. I tried to be the person I thought I should be, fun-loving and always ready to hang out.

All that pretending got exhausting. But I did it because I thought that’s what everyone else was doing, pretending. I figured they were just a lot better at hiding their true feelings than I was.

There Must Be Something Wrong with Me

As an adult, I still couldn’t shake the feeling of being “different.” I worked as a journalist for a few years, then went back to school to become a teacher, thinking this would be more meaningful work. My graduate program was full of outgoing wouId, be teachers who always had something to say. They sat in little groups on breaks, bursting with energetic chatter, even after we’d just spent hours doing collaborative learning or having a group discussion.

I, on the other hand, bolted for the door on breaks as quickly as possible, my head was spinning from all the noise and activity, and my energy level was at zero. Also, talking in front of our class or answering a question on the spot was no problem for them. I, however, avoided the spotlight as much as possible. Whenever I had to present a lesson plan, I felt compelled to practice exactly what I was going to say, until I got it “perfect.” Even then, I usually couldn’t keep my hands from shaking.

I had also gotten married. My husband (now ex-husband) was a confident, life-of-the-party guy who could talk to anyone. His large family was the same way. They loved spending time together in a loud gaggle of kids, siblings, and friends of the family. Often, they’d drop by our small apartment, letting me know they were coming only when they were already on their way. They’d pass hours crammed into the living room, telling stories, cracking jokes, and volleying sarcastic remarks back and forth with the professional finesse of Venus and Serena Williams.

I, once again, sat quietly on the edges, never knowing how to wedge myself into these fast-moving conversations or what to say. As the night wore on, I often found myself slipping into an exhausted brain fog, which made it even harder to participate. Most nights, what I really wanted was to read a book alone, play a video game, or just be with my husband.

When comparing myself to my extroverted in-laws and classmates, I never seemed to measure up. My disparaging thoughts returned. Why couldn’t I just loosen up and go with the flow? Why did I never have much to say when I was in a big group but had plenty to talk about during a one-on-one? Why was my idea of a good time so different from what other people wanted to do?

I was broken. I had to be.

Things didn’t look like they would ever get better. At one point, I had a complete breakdown. I found myself awake in the middle of the night, frantically crying, typing everything that was wrong with me and my life into a Word document. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was too different-too messed up. The world was too much, too loud, too harsh. I think finally expressing all the secret feelings that had built up inside me, in a raw, unfiltered way, saved me. When I reread what I had written, I realized I couldn’t keep living this way.

Somehow, I made it through that terrible night. Soon after, I discovered something about myself that changed my life.

One Magic Word: Introvert

One afternoon, in the psychology/self-help section of a used bookstore, I came across a book called The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney. I bought it and read it cover to cover. When I finished, I cried. I had never felt so understood in my life.

That beautiful book told me there was a word for what I was: introvert. It was a magic word, because it explained many of the things I had struggled with my entire life, things that had made me feel bad about myself. Best of all, the word meant I wasn’t alone. There were other people out there like me. Other introverts.

Say what you will about labeling. That little label changed my life.

I went on to read everything about introversion I could get my hands on. I read Quiet by Susan Cain, Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, The Introvert’s Way by Sophia Dembling, and others.

I became interested in personality type and high sensitivity, too. Turns out I’m not just an introvert but also a highly sensitive person (but I’ll leave that topic for another time). After reading dozens of books about introversion, I turned to the Internet. I joined Facebook groups for introverts and poured over blogs. My friends got sick of me constantly talking about introversion: “Did you know it’s an introvert thing to need time to think before responding?” I’d say, or, “I can’t go out tonight, it’s introvert time.”

I couldn’t shut up about being an introvert. It was like I had been reading the wrong script my entire life, trying to play the role of the person I thought I should be, not the person I truly was.

Don’t get me wrong. Learning about my introversion didn’t fix all my problems. It would take several years of hard, inner work, along with consciously deciding to make real changes in my life, before things got better. But for me, embracing my introversion, and stopping myself from trying to pretend to be an extrovert, was the first step.

As I learned more about introversion, I became more confident in who I was. I started accepting my need for alone time. I saw my quiet, reflective nature as a strength, not a liability. I also started working on my social skills, seeing them as simply that, skills I could improve and use to my advantage. But most important, for the first time in my life, I started to actually like myself.

I was no longer an other. I was something else: an introvert.

Now I’m on a Mission

Today, I’m the voice behind Introvert, Dear, the popular online community for introverts. I never set out to be an advocate for introverts, but, when something changes your life, you want to tell other people about it. I started Introvert, Dear as my personal blog in 2013. At the time, I was working as a teacher, living with roommates, and truly dating for the first time in my adult life. I decided I would chronicle my life as an introvert living in a society that seems geared toward extroverts. I kept my blog anonymous so I could write whatever I wanted without fearing what other people would think (so very introverted of me). For my bio, I used a picture of just my shoulder that showed off a tattoo of five birds I had just gotten. My face was mostly hidden.

Staring at my computer screen, alone in my bedroom one night, I named my little blog Introvert, Dear. I imagined a wise, older introverted woman counseling a younger introverted woman. The young woman was lying on a chaise lounge, and the older woman was sitting in a chair nearby, the kind of setup you see in movies when someone goes to a therapist. The older one began her advice to the younger one by saying, “Now, introvert, dear…

The first blog post I wrote got more comments about my tattoo than anything actually related to what I’d written. But I kept writing, mostly just for myself. And people kept reading. I didn’t know it then, but Introvert, Dear was another step in my journey toward healing. Once again, expressing myself honestly relieved some of the pain I was feeling. And connecting with other introverts made me feel less self-conscious about my “weird” ways.

Today, Introvert, Dear is less of a blog and more of an online publishing platform. It features not just my voice, but hundreds of introvert voices, and it brings together introverts from all over the world. My writing about introverts has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution, the Mighty, and others. Now I’m on a mission: to let introverts everywhere know it’s okay to be who they are. I don’t ever want another introvert to feel the way I did when I was younger.

Are You an Introvert?

What about you? Have you always felt different? Were you the quiet one in school? Did people ask you, “Why don’t you talk more?” Do they still ask you that today?

If so, you might be an introvert like me. Introverts make up 30 to 50 percent of the population, and we help shape the world we live in. We might be your parent, friend, spouse, significant other, child, or coworker. We lead, create, educate, innovate, do business, solve problems, charm, heal, and love.

Introversion is a temperament, which is different from your personality; temperament refers to your inborn traits that organize how you approach the world, while personality can be defined as the pattern of behavior, thoughts, and emotions that make you an individual. It can take years to build a personality, but your temperament is something you’re born with.

But the most important thing to know about being an introvert is that there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not broken because you’re quiet. It’s okay to stay home on a Friday night instead of going to a party. Being an introvert is a perfectly normal “thing” to be.

Are you an introvert? Here are twenty-two signs that you might veer toward introversion on the spectrum. How many do you relate to? These signs may not apply to every introvert, but I believe they are generally true:

You enjoy spending time alone. You have no problem staying home on a Saturday night. In fact, you look forward to it. To you, Netflix and chill really means watching Netflix and relaxing. Or maybe your thing is reading, playing video games, drawing, cooking, writing, knitting tiny hats for cats, or just lounging around the house. Whatever your preferred solo activity is, you do it as much as your schedule allows. You feel good when you’re alone. In your alone time, you’re free.

You do your best thinking when you’re alone. Your alone time isn’t just about indulging in your favorite hobbies. It’s about giving your mind time to decompress. When you’re with other people, it may feel like your brain is too overloaded to really work the way it should. In solitude, you’re free to tune into your own inner monologue, rather than paying attention to what’s going on around you. You might be more creative and/or have deeper insights when you’re alone.

Your inner monologue never stops. You have a distinct inner voice that’s always running in the back of your mind. If people could hear the thoughts that ran through your head, they may, in turn, be surprised, amazed, and perhaps horrified. Whatever their reaction might be, your inner narrator is something that’s hard to shut off. Sometimes you can’t sleep at night because your mind is still going. Thoughts from your past haunt you. “I can’t believe I said that stupid thing five years ago!”

You often feel lonelier in a crowd than when you’re alone. There’s something about being with a group that makes you feel disconnected from yourself. Maybe it’s because it’s hard to hear your inner voice when there’s so much noise around you. Or maybe you feel like an other, like I did. Whatever the reason, as an introvert, you crave intimate moments and deep connections, and those usually aren’t found in a crowd.

You feel like you’re faking it when you have to network. Walking up to strangers and introducing yourself? You’d rather stick tiny needles under your fingernails. But you know there’s value in it, so you might do it anyway, except you feel like a phony the entire time. If you’re anything like me, you had to teach yourself how to do it. You might have read self-help books about how to be a better conversationalist or exude more charisma. In the moment, you have to activate your “public persona.” You might say things to yourself like, “Smile, make eye contact, and use your loud confident voice!” Then, when you’re finished, you feel beat, and you need downtime to recover. You wonder, Does everyone else have to try this hard when meeting new people?

You’re not the student shooting your hand up every time the teacher asks a question. You don’t need all that attention. You’re content just knowing that you know the answer, you don’t have to prove it to anyone else. At work, this may translate to not saying much during meetings. You’d rather pull your boss aside afterward and have a one-on-one conversation, or email your ideas, rather than explain them to a room full of people.

The exception to this is when you feel truly passionate about something. On rare occasions, even shy introverts have been known to transform themselves into a force to be reckoned with when it really counts. It’s all about how much something matters to you; you’ll risk overstimulation when you think speaking up will truly make a difference.

You’re better at writing your thoughts than speaking them. You prefer texting to calling and emailing to face-to-face meetings. Writing gives you time to reflect on what to say and how to say it. It allows you to edit your thoughts and craft your message just so. Plus, there’s less pressure when you’re typing your words into your phone alone than when you’re saying them to someone in real time.

But it isn’t just about texting and emailing. Many introverts enjoy journaling for self-expression and self-discovery. Others make a career out of writing, such as John Green, author of the bestselling young adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars. In his YouTube video, “Thoughts from Places: The Tour,” Green says, “Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”

Likewise, talking on the phone does not sound like a fun way to pass the time. One of my extroverted friends is always calling me when she’s alone in her car. She figures that although her eyes, hands, and feet are currently occupied, her mouth is not. Plus, there are no people around, how boring! So she reaches for her phone. (Remember to practice safe driving, kids.) However, this is not the case for me. When I have a few spare minutes of silence and solitude, I have no desire to fill that time with idle chitchat.

You’d rather not engage with people who are angry. Psychologist Marta Ponari and collaborators found that people high in introversion don’t show what’s called the “gaze-cueing effect.” Normally, if you were to view the image of a person’s face on a computer screen looking in a certain direction, you would follow that person’s gaze; therefore, you’d respond more quickly to a visual target on that side of the screen than when the person’s gaze and the target point in opposite directions. Introverts and extroverts both do this, with one exception: if the person seems mad, introverts don’t show the gazecueing effect. This suggests that people who are very introverted don’t want to look at someone who seems angry. Ponari and her team think that this is because they are more sensitive to potentially negative evaluations. Meaning, if you think a person is mad because of something related to you, even their gaze becomes a threat.

You avoid small talk whenever possible. When a coworker is walking down the hall toward you, have you ever turned into another room in order to avoid having a “Hey, what’s up?” conversation with them? Or have you ever waited a few minutes in your apartment when you heard your neighbors in the hallway so you didn’t have to chat? If so, you might be an introvert, because introverts tend to avoid small talk. We’d rather talk about something meaningful than fill the air with chatter just to hear ourselves make noise. We find small talk inauthentic, and, frankly, many of us feel awkward doing it.

You’ve been told you’re “too intense.” This stems from your dislike of small talk. If it were up to you, mindless chitchat would be banished. You’d much rather sit down with someone and discuss the meaning of life, or, at the very least, exchange some real, honest thoughts. Have you ever had a deep conversation and walked away feeling energized, not drained? That’s what I’m talking about. Meaningful interactions are the introvert’s antidote to social burnout.

You don’t go to parties to meet new people. Birthday parties, wedding receptions, staff holiday parties, or whatever, you party every once in a while. But when you go to an event, you probably don’t go with the goal of making new friends; you’d rather hang out with the people you already know. That’s because, like a pair of well-worn sneakers, your current friends feel good on you. They know your quirks, and you feel comfortable around them. Plus, making new friends would mean making small talk.

You shut down after too much socializing. A study from Finnish researchers Sointu Leikas and Ville-Juhani llmarinen shows that socializing eventually becomes tiring to both introverts and extroverts. That’s likely because socializing expends energy. Not only do you have to talk, but you also have to listen and process what’s being said. Plus, you’re taking in all kinds of sensory information, such as someone’s tone of voice and body language, along with filtering out any background noises or visual distractions. It’s no wonder people get drained.

But there are some very real differences between introverts and extroverts; on average, introverts really do prefer solitude and quiet more than their extroverted counterparts. In fact, if you’re an introvert, you might experience something that’s been dubbed the “introvert hangover.” Like a hangover induced by one too many giant fishbowl margaritas, you feel sluggish and icky after too much socializing. Your brain seems to stop working, and, in your exhaustion, you cease to be able to hold a conversation or say words that make sense. You just want to lie down in a quiet, dark room and not move or talk for a while. That’s because introverts can become overstimulated by socializing and shut down (more about the introvert hangover later).

You notice details that others miss. It’s true that introverts (especially highly sensitive introverts) can get overwhelmed by too much stimuli. But there’s an upside to our sensitivity, we notice details that others might miss. For example, you might notice a subtle change in your friend’s demeanor signaling that she’s upset (but oddly, no one else in the room sees it). Or, you might be highly tuned in to color, space, and texture, making you an incredible visual artist.

You can concentrate for long periods of time on things that matter to you. I can write for hours. I get in the zone, and I just keep going. I don’t need anyone or anything else to entertain me, as I write, I enter a state of flow. I block out distractions and hone in on what I need to accomplish. If you’re an introvert, you likely have activities or pet projects that you could work on for practically forever. That’s because introverts are great at focusing alone for long periods of time. If it weren’t for introverts and our amazing ability to focus, we wouldn’t have the theory of relativity, Google, or Harry Potter (yes, Einstein, Larry Page, and J. K. Rowling are all likely introverts). Dear society, where would you be without us? You’re welcome. Love, introverts.

You live in your head. In fact, you may daydream so much that people have told you to “get out of your head” or “come down to earth.” That’s because your inner world is rich and vivid. Not all introverts have strong imaginations (that trait is correlated with “openness to experience” on the Big Five personaIity scale, not “extroversion-introversion”), but many of us do.

. . .


The Secret Lives of Introverts. Inside our hidden world

by Jenn Granneman

get it at



ALONE. The Badass Psychology of People Who Like Being Alone – Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.





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