|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Introverts of the World, Unite! (Briefly. Then Go Have Some Alone Time.)
The problem with being shy is that people are always telling you not to be shy, which of course makes a shy person feel 8,000 times more shy. But for some reason people just can't leave a shy kid (or grownup) alone, as if there were something wrong with being a bit timid, a touch introverted. Maybe this is because these are not qualities much valued in today's world of reality stars, big personalities, chronic oversharers.
Luckily there is now a (hilarious, tongue-in-cheek) guide to dealing with these mysterious quieter creatures, Jonathan Rauch's great "Caring for Your Introvert" in the Atlantic. "Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day?" writes Rauch. "Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate?" What follows is an amazingly accurate description of introverts, including the wisdom, "introverts are people who find other people tiring. Extroverts are energized by people, and wilt or fade when alone." He goes on to entertainingly and insightfully discuss how introverts are misunderstood (including the myth that all introverts are shy!). This should be required reading for introverts and extroverts alike; after all, as Rauch points out, the latter very infrequently understand the former. As he writes, introversion is "not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's an orientation." Read the whole essay to learn why extroverts run the world...but introverts understand it. How refreshing, to read something not about how an introvert can be less analytical or more outgoing, but rather, why it's okay to be an introvert. Especially if you happen to be one. Like, um, Murray.
Get the world to see the real you.
Can you fake charisma?
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.