QUIET: When should act more extroverted than who you really are?

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I’ve skipped two parts of this book: Your Biology and Your Self? And Do All Cultures has Extrovert Idea? It is not strange that I skipped to part four. I’ll tell you what part four is talking about. But Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the author of this book Susan Cain who has spent years to work on this book. Quiet became the Sunday Times Bestseller and New York Time Bestseller. It was translated into over thirty languages. I wish this book was translated into Khmer language too.

“How to work and How to Love” is the title of part four. You may know why I skipped two parts of this to this part. One more thing, this part is somehow related to me. But this part distinguishes into many different sectors. I pick up only one section to write a review. And I am going to write about “When should act more extroverted than who you really are?”.

“When should you act more extroverted than who you really are?” author explains by raising case studies of two well-known figures Prof. Brian Little, former Harvard University psychology professor and Alex, a social adept head of financial services company. Professor Little was described as comedian. He always make joke to please his audiences. While in the class, his students described him as a standing ovation.

Alex is the one who described himself as mentally shy and sweet kid.

Both Prof. Little and Alex is a pretend-extroversion guy. They were wearing a mask of extrovert in public. What described them is completely different when we are going in depth into their personal life. Prof. Little lives with his wife in the remote area in Canada. He always spends his free time scoring the music, reading and writing books and emailing to his friends. Alex said he could literally go years without any friends except his kids and wife. He thought he was the same person who he was always was. He is massively shy, but compensate for it.

The questions were raised. How do they overcome the crowd and how they can cheer the public as if they are the extroverts? How can they lead the crowd? These are the surprised questions that audiences want to know how the introverts integrate themselves into the crowd while the characteristic is always quiets, shy and unsocialized.

The “Free Trait Theory” was developed to answer to these questions.

According to the theory people are born and culturally endowed with certain personality traits, but we can do out of character in the service of “core personal projects”. In other words, introverts are capable to act like extroverts for the sake of work they consider they are important, people they love, and many thing they highly value.

The free trait theory was applied to many different contexts, but specifically applicable to the introverts living under extroverts ideal.

Prof. Little was quoted as saying that “our life are dramatically enhanced when we are involved in core personal projects that we consider meaningful, manageable and not unduly stressful and that are supported by others.”

Reaching to this point you may be doubtful how can you identify your “core personal projects” that could lead you to act out of  your character? In order to find the answer you have to answer to these three questions. First of all, think back to what you do love to do when you are a child? Secondly, paying attention to the works that you gravitate to? And thirdly, pay attention to what you envy.

After answering these three questions, as an introvert you will find out what is your core personal projects that could lead to act as if you are the extroverts.

Authors explains that even when introverts could find their personal projects, they do not want to act it too much or too long. However, there is a solution for introverts who standout of character for so long. For instance, like Prof. Little who is an expert of pretending-extrovert always make a restroom in between his speech. It is the best to stay true to self. This call “Restorative Niche”. This term is referring to place where you go when you want to return to your true self. It can be a physical or mental places where you can find your true self. Why do the introverts need “Restorative Niche”? The answer is very short. While the introverts act out of character for so long it could be hazardous to their life psychologist said. The “Restorative Niche” is the best where introverts could find their true self while they are faking for so long.

That is it! However, I am one among the introverts. I think this article at least help you to explore yourself more. Being an introverts does not mean, you are a negative person. It is your character that you are always quiet. As long as you could figure out the core personal projects you will know who/what is worth to fight for.

Go to the book “Quiet” for more details.

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