In which I discuss one of the non-fiction books that I recently read (#87).

quietI found this book on a blog (can’t remember where, for shame), and the hubs received it for Christmas. Of our partnership, he is clearly the more introverted. So much so that I never spent much time thinking about where I fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. (Well, ok, who does?) I’ve talked extensively to his parents about his introversion, but I don’t think they recognize the same traits in me. After reading and discussing this book, I decided that I fall somewhere closer to the middle, but am introverted rather than ambiverted.

I’ve found some evidence to back that up: according to a free “Jung Typology Test” personality quiz on the internet — which is obviously extremely accurate and thorough — I’m an INFJ:

Introvert(67%)  iNtuitive(25%)  Feeling(50%)  Judging(89%)
  • You have distinctive preference of Introversion over Extraversion (67%)
  • You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (25%)
  • You have moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (50%)
  • You have strong preference of Judging over Perceiving (89%)

67% introverted. On the same test, the hubs scored  as 100% introverted.

This book has been getting a lot of press — it’s a best-seller, she’s got a ton of views on her TED talk — and we were both so excited about it that I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know. Within the first few pages, the hubs had decided that I should read it, and that his mother definitely should. At first, I was put off — I know him. We’ve spent our marriage balancing his need to be alone after a workday full of people with me being alone for a workday. We’ve practically perfected leaving each other be in a fight or a funk.

But I did read it, and I agreed. It was fascinating how much I found myself rather than him in the examples and quizzes. I do a bunch of things that I didn’t equate with introversion, and struggling against things that I didn’t equate with extroversion — she calls it the “extrovert ideal.” We’ve been taught since grade school that speaking up is important. Since college that you need a professional network, since graduation that your network is only as good as your constant contact with all those people. This book doesn’t deny that these things are true in our culture, but it does call into question why they are true. Is extroversion actually more effective? (Or is ambiversion really where it’s at?)

I highly recommend this book, if only to get you thinking about your own actions. And if you happen to be close to or related to an extremely introverted person, it’s ok that they prefer to eat lunch alone. No, really.


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