|The view today from my comfy chair by the window.|
It is snowing like crazy here today and it's a good thing that I had the day off because the last thing I want to do is go outside! I like these kinds of days as I feel like they give me permission for doing what I like best: snuggling in with a cup of tea and a good book. Aaahhh...paradise. For some reason I feel like sharing one of my very favourite books with you. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain is, in my opinion, brilliant. You may have heard of it as Quiet is a New York Times Bestseller and the author is well-known for doing a Ted Talk on the subject. If you are an introvert yourself or if you have a spouse or a child who is, you MUST read this book.
I did the test at the beginning of the book to find out if I was an introvert (even though I already knew the answer to that). Turns out I am introverted with an ability to be extroverted in key situations. In other words, even though I value and crave my alone time I am capable of appearing extroverted when the situation calls for it. At work, for example, or in social situations I don't have trouble making conversation with lots of people, it just means that at the end of a very social day I'm really quite tired and need to be by myself to recuperate.
I only wish this book had been written years ago when my children were starting school. If this book had been available when they were younger I might have presented every one of their teachers with it at the start of the school year and kindly asked them to read it. That way I might not have had the same conversation with each of them during parent-teacher meetings from kindergarten to Grade 12. The conversation essentially goes like this: Your son/daughter is such a great kid. He/She is so polite, kind, listens well and is respectful towards the teacher and the other kids, BUT they don't participate enough in class. Really? Why did that matter so much to the teacher? The author explains that it is because teachers find it easier to teach what is called the extrovert ideal. Essentially, most teachers find it less work to teach the rowdier kid who lifts his hand to ask lots of questions (even the non-relevant ones) than the quiet, introverted child. Go figure.
Thanks in big part to this book I feel that there is a paradigm shift coming and the introverts of this world are starting to be valued for their gifts. After all, introverts are the thinkers and listeners of this world. I think Susan Cain says it best when she writes: "The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength." Yay Susan!