“Introversion- along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness- is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man's world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are." - Susan Cain
Every personality type has different strengths and weaknesses. But what happens when one personality type is valued over others?
Here in the United States, it feels like people are pushed to be extroverts from a young age.
Why is this the case?
Maybe it's an integral part of our culture. Maybe it's so tied into our national identity that we can't imagine the alternative.
If the U.S. was a person, I think it would be an extrovert. We value things that are big, loud, and in your face. We value the pioneer spirit and rebellious
America's personality is probably a big reason for its success. But what about the people who don't connect with this national identity?
Not everyone likes to be the center of attention. Not everyone gets energized from spending time around others.
But people often judge those who don't abide by these social norms.
It's a strange dynamic to witness a group of Americans hanging out. It feels like each person is trying to one-up the other with their story, joke, or opinion. It's a frantic back and forth that feels socially exhausting.
It feels like the average person here talks more than they listen. And it seems like those who don't talk a lot are judged or looked down on.
Maybe I'm just biased, being an introvert. I try to appreciate the qualities of extroverts. It's fun to spend time with outgoing people and draw from their energy. But when I'm in big groups with multiple extroverts, it just feels draining.
In terms of navigating personalities, I think we just need to understand ourselves well and appreciate the traits in others. It's easier said than done, but it can make a world of difference in what we do and how we live.