The nugget of treasure found in my Sunday New York Times yesterday was an opinion piece about shyness and introversion by Susan Cain. The article — called Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic? — was so illuminating. It helped explain some of my own life challenges.
While it was filled with research and depth, all compelling, it was these two simple statements that really resonated:
Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shy people fear negative judgment; introverts simply prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments.
But shyness and introversion share an undervalued status in a world that prizes extroversion.
Cain begins the piece with the description of an ad for Zoloft that drives home her point about societal perception of shyness/introversion. Then she gets into the value of what these people contribute vs. extroverts.
Definitely worth a read.