Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quiet Time

Mama asked me to read the book she's listening to in the car, Quiet by Susan Cain about introverts.  Mama is an introvert, of course; me, not as much.  Though, when taking the introvert-extrovert test, I came out more even than I expected.  But that stands to reason--besides enjoying socializing, I like working alone; I enjoy being alone; I'm not a risk-taker.

Of course, the author, being an introvert, sees all the good in introverts, and almost all the evil in extroverts--they are the Harvard Business School graduates behind so many financial crises, the politicians in Congress more interested in shaking hands than reflecting on problems.  Indeed, Cain traces a whole collapse of 19th-century introvert culture in the US--the cult of character--into the extrovert culture of personality we have now.  She even declares, hilariously, that one of the characteristics of extroverts is "commits adultery!"  Those introverts are serious, sensitive thinkers.

Cain, however, does present a lot of scientific study into introvertism and extrovertism, from early childhood reactivity studies of the amygdala (babies who cried at stimuli grew up to have introverted tendencies), studies of various species from guppies to fruit flies who have both introverts and extroverts in their species, each serving a separate survival species.  

And I'm not even halfway through the book, and Mama isn't even that far, so we haven't discussed it much.  I find it interesting, especially because, while I think Mama and I are opposites on the introvert-extrovert continuum, Sis and Bud are even more opposites.  It gives me some helpful parenting insights, into both of them.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I hope you write more about it (I don't think I'll get to it very soon, too many others on my to read list)