It is a sad fact that the vast majority of people are completely ignorant of what the terms introvert and extrovert really mean, although, paradoxically, most people think they know and would generally agree on how to define them.
Incredible as it seems to me now, I was also unwittingly part of this majority until relatively recently. And even though I have a life-long interest in personal development and consider myself quite well-read on such subjects, it was actually by chance that I eventually hit upon a comprehensive explanation of what the terms mean (I just happen to work with someone who just happened to have finished reading The Introvert Advantage, when we very unusually happened to have a conversation about our enjoyment of silence, which happened to lead to mention of the ‘I’ word and me reading the book myself – thanks Angie!).
When I discovered that introversion and extroversion are fundamentally distinct personality types that we cannot alter, that we all have an in-built dominance of one over the other, and that introvert and extrovert brains actually function differently, well – what a revelation that was! And suddenly it all started to make sense, like the pieces of my jigsaw finally slotting together…
But then came a feeling of enormous frustration – how could I have missed something so significant for so long? And how might my life have been different if I’d known about this from the beginning? Think of all the angst I might have been spared along the way if I’d known that having an introverted personality was not only perfectly normal but actually a valuable thing in its own right. And if this was true for me, then mustn’t it also be true for others? A third to a half of the population are introverts, so how come that chance conversation was the first time in my life I had ever talked to another introvert about being an introvert? How could it be that such an unnecessarily damaging state of general ignorance about such a common personality trait continues to prevail?
It was then that I had the idea for a website that would help to inform but also inspire fellow introverts, drawing of course on my vast experience of being one and using my newly-legitimised introvert skills. I started to research the subject and was encouraged to find that Susan Cain, amongst others, had started to open up the debate in the USA, but there still seemed to be a disappointing lack of resources aimed at the UK audience. Inspiring Introverts is my small contribution to redressing that balance. Enjoy!