Revenge of the Introvert

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Nov 23, 2010 5:46 PM
Psychology Today reports that "perceptual biases" lead us all to overestimate how many extroverts there are, because those extroverts can suck the air out of the room. In fact, over half of us are introverted, and that's an advantage in some respects:
Scientists now know that, while introverts have no special advantage in intelligence, they do seem to process more information than others in any given situation. To digest it, they do best in quiet environments, interacting one on one. Further, their brains are less dependent on external stimuli and rewards to feel good.

As a result, introverts are not driven to seek big hits of positive emotional arousal—they'd rather find meaning than bliss—making them relatively immune to the search for happiness that permeates contemporary American culture. In fact, the cultural emphasis on happiness may actually threaten their mental health. As American life becomes increasingly competitive and aggressive, to say nothing of blindingly fast, the pressures to produce on demand, be a team player, and make snap decisions cut introverts off from their inner power source, leaving them stressed and depleted. Introverts today face one overarching challenge—not to feel like misfits in their own culture.
Sounds like something we could all slow down and pay attention to during the Thanksgiving holiday.

HT: UTNE