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Hellen

Hellen

Currently reading

Becoming a Behavioral Science Researcher: A Guide to Producing Research That Matters
Rex B. Kline
Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference
Cordelia Fine
The Craftsman
Richard Sennett
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking - Susan Cain Reading these kind of books is so pleasant that it makes me wonder if all people want is a sense of normality.

I once went to a cabaret show many years ago where a comedienne raved about people who couldn't still would be told to 'sit still!' and quiet people would be told to 'say more!' and how ridiculous all of that was. That has always stuck. While getting my degree in psychology of course I had to take plenty of personality tests, among which the Myers-Briggs personality test. That gave some sort of affirmation (the personality type can't be based on a single person, right, so there must be more people out there!), but is still not much of a consolation when being rejected for a diagnostics job because of 'lack of experience' while the interview obviously went down-hill after I answered 'introvert' without hesitating when it was asked if I was an introvert or extrovert (the correct answer in interviews is probably extrovert, never mind the rest of your experience and personality).

I've been aware for a while now that being an introvert isn't the standard in most careers, including the academic road up to that, and in a sense I've found peace with that (and myself) and in another way I've adjusted to it by learning "extroverted behavior". At some points of this book you could fall over the issue of defining extroverted behavior and introverted behavior very black and white (not to mention other things such as high reactivity and high sensitivity), but well, it's hard to say anything about aspects of personality if you can't define them. At least the book is quite gracious about this line and also mentions everyone falls in the gray area by quoting Jung about the two personality types; that there's no pure extrovert and no pure introvert and he'd be very worried if he'd meet them or something along those lines.

This book lights out several checkpoints in an introvert's life: realizing you're different and that it has to change because it makes you an outsider or 'odd', how you deal with the balance between comfortable and getting accepted in all kinds of areas and how relationships with other people 'work'. At the same time it's not an extrovert bash-fest. It's just clear that at the end of the day introverts need to learn certain behavior to be heard. It's as mentioned in the chapter about creativity (that was very flattering to the introvert): there's all those great ideas in your head, but what's the use if nobody else knows about it?
At the same time, it's not fair to punish one aspect of personality so severely as opposed to other traits. While there's so many easy solutions to make that can increase productivity of your whole crew.

Nice book, hard to not gush in all kinds of personal stuff in this review, but it's my party and I'll cry retreat into my home to read if I want to!