Browsing: Bias against Introversion

Dear @Lexus, you owe introverts an apology



The Introvert Brand

Devoted as I am to the QUIET Revolution, I must admit that sometimes it is really weird to be constantly seen through the lens of introversion. Wherever I go now, that is the first thing people think about me: Here comes the introvert! Adam McHugh, author of Introverts in the Church, went through a similar […]


The Rise of the New Groupthink

  I just published a new New York Times piece on the “Rise of  the New Groupthink” (currently the #1 most emailed article!) — arguing that collaboration is in, but is not always conducive to creativity. What do you think? Please discuss here! (The accompanying artwork was done by Andy Rementer at the Times, and […]


Are Some of the Best Doctors Cerebral Introverts?

Hi everyone, happy new year! Today’s post is very personal, but it has a larger point too. My father was a gastroenterologist and medical school professor in New York City. Every day he would take care of his patients, come home and have dinner with the family, and then, after the rest of us had […]


Silence is Golden (courtesy of Maureen Dowd)

  “Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence.” The Swiss philosopher Max Picard said that, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd repeated it yesterday in a much-discussed column on the power of silence. She also shares this quote, which I love, from Michel Haznavicius, the director of […]


Question of the Week: What Kind of Happy Are You?

Before you read on, please take this poll: This question is prompted by a line of research suggesting that introverts, as a group, are not as happy as extroverts. Here is John Zelenski of the Carleton University Happiness Lab, describing some of the data. As a person with a pretty high baseline level of happiness, […]


Want to Help Me Create a Protocol for How and When to Collaborate, How and When to Work Alone?

Well, that’s a mouthful of a blogpost title, but let me explain. Recently, I ran a couple of posts asking for your views on group-work and collaboration. You responded with great passion, and great ideas. Then, last week, I gave a couple of speeches on introversion, one to a business audience and another to a […]


More Shy Children Will Soon Be Diagnosed With Social Anxiety Disorder

This news comes via Christopher Lane, author of the incredibly well-reported book Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness. According to Lane (who heard it from Britain’s Daily Telegraph), the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V), due to be released in 2013, will include a definition of social anxiety […]


Why I Love Engineers (Courtesy of Marc Andreesen, Founder of Netscape)

“[E]ngineers not only don’t care about…surface appearance, but they view attempts to be fake on the surface as fundamentally dishonest.”


Does Feminism Make Room for Shy or Introverted Girls?

Here’s an excerpt from a wonderful piece in Feministing by intellectual powerhouse Courtney Martin, questioning whether contemporary feminism makes room for shy or introverted girls. Courtney articulates something I’ve worried about for years – in our efforts to instill confidence in young women, are we promoting an ideal of sassy outspokenness that’s just as confining […]


Introverts in the Church

This post is courtesy of Reverend Adam McHugh, author of the terrific book, “Introverts in the Church,” and the blog, It originally appeared in The Washington Post. Regardless of your religious inclinations, McHugh has powerful insights to share on the idealization of extroversion in our culture. The scowling old man nearly bumped into me […]


Want to Participate in the Quiet Revolution? Here Are a Few Questions For You

What would it look like if we could really make our culture more balanced between action and contemplation, between introverts and extroverts? What if we started in our own lives? What if we did it TODAY? I propose that readers of this site work together to make concrete changes in our personal lives — changes […]


Are You Shy, Introverted, Both, or Neither (and Why Does it Matter)?

Bill Gates is quiet and bookish, but apparently unfazed by others’ opinions of him: he’s an introvert, but not shy.

Barbra Streisand has an outgoing, larger than life personality, but a paralyzing case of stage fright: she’s a shy extrovert.

Shyness and introversion are not the same thing.


Is President Obama an Introvert?

In yesterday’s New York Times op-ed on political leadership styles, David Brooks describes President Obama as a non-hierarchical but passive, thoughtful yet aloof leader: “I would never have predicted he would be this sort of leader. I thought he would get into trouble via excessive self-confidence. Obama’s actual governing style emphasizes delegation and occasional passivity. […]


Why Reading Makes You Self-Confident

One of the luckiest things that ever happened to me was being born into a family that elevated reading to a religious activity. The weekly trip to the library was a form of Sabbath observance in our house. Then there was the yearly pilgrimage to London, which we visited with an empty suitcase reserved for […]


“Shyness — An Evolutionary Tactic?” Read the New York Times Article, and Join the Conversation Here!

Today, the New York Times debuts the inaugural issue of a new section called The Sunday Review — including a piece  I wrote on the importance of shyness and introversion. It’s available here. I’m optimistic that the Times‘ interest in this subject signals a turning point in our culture — that people are ready to […]


“Some People Are More Certain of Everything Than I Am Of Anything.”

I love this quote from Robert Rubin, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton, because it states so cleverly something I often feel. If you say “X,” I automatically think, “But what about Y?” and “Is X always X”? Aside from driving my husband occasionally bonkers, this thought pattern also feels at odds with […]


Mark Vonnegut, Son of Kurt, on Introverts and Extroverts

I am not usually a fan of bashing extroverts in order to win introverts the respect they are due, but this is a very funny quote from Mark Vonnegut, son of Kurt — from his book, “Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So”: “Introverts almost never cause me trouble and are usually much […]


How to Succeed (courtesy of David Brooks)

I’m halfway through David Brooks’ new book, “The Social Animal,” and want to pass on a few choice bits (more or less verbatim): 1. You can only discover your vocation by doing it, and seeing it if it feels right. There’s no substitute for the process of trying on different lives, and waiting to find […]


What to Read This Weekend: Tiger Moms (not what you think), Pretty Young Things, and Confessions of an Introverted Traveler

Here are this Friday’s suggestions for weekend reading, all of them from writers I have long admired: 1. Sympathy for the Tiger Moms: If you think you’ve already gotten enough of the Tiger Mom debate, you haven’t read Sandra Tsing Loh, a writer for The Atlantic magazine. Plus, this is a great excuse to get […]


This Blog is an “Essential Read” at “Psychology Today”!

Hi everyone, great news.  This blog was recently picked up by Psychology Today (which gets 6 million visitors a month), and already some posts have been selected as “Essential Reads” and risen to “Most Popular” status! I always get excited when I see how quickly and strongly this blog has resonated with a wide audience. […]


Geek Profiling in High School

The passionate response to yesterday’s post on “The Myth of the Killer Introvert” reminded me of an important series on “Geek Profiling” that the website, Slashdot, ran in the wake of the first horrible school killing in Littleton, Colorado.  Here is a highlight from the series. “In the days after the Littleton, Colorado massacre, the […]


The Myth of the Killer Introvert

Introversion does not equal psychosis or a propensity to violence. This really shouldn’t need to be said, of course. Except that it does. On Monday, The Daily Mail reported a tragically familiar story. A 23 year old named Joseph McAndrew stabbed his parents and twin brother to death in the kitchen of their family home. […]

Quiet: The Book

- Wall Street Journal

Best Nonfiction Book of 2012

QUIET has been voted the best nonfiction book of 2012


1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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