The Professor gifted me with this book recently, at my request. (He admitted that he was hoping to borrow it when I was done with it.) It's gotten a good deal of buzz from the bestseller lists, but my interest was piqued when the psychologist who did one of my children's learning evaluations last fall encouraged me to pick it up. Here's the link: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
I'm savoring the book at a leisurely pace, highlighter in hand, and it's lending me all sorts of insight into my own personality and that of my children. All sorts of LIGHT-BULB moments are happening as I learn about how extroverts and introverts respond to stimulation levels, and about our culture's bias toward extroversion, gregariousness, personalities that "sell' themselves, collaboration on everything, and groupthink.
I understand a little better why a scenario like this was doomed to fail:
It's the day after Christmas.
My son has a gift card to the Lego store burning a hole in his pocket. Extreme extrovert that he is, the buzz created by the potential reward of obtaining a new Lego set is highly motivating. This is a child who, from toddlerhood, has valued the pursuit. The capture.
In a moment of weakness, I agree to take him and his sisters to the mall. May I remind you that this is the day after Christmas?
Mall sensation, in my son's mind: "Flashy! Upbeat music playing! Interesting people everywhere! Bright colors! Endless possibilities! This is so exciting!"
Mall sensation, in my daughter's mind: "Flashy! Annoying music playing! Noisy people everywhere! Garish colors! Endless crowds! THIS IS A TOTAL NIGHTMARE!"
Result: One brand new Lego kit. And one complete and total emotional meltdown. Tears. Abject grouchiness.
Two words for you: Never. Again.
I also understand a little better why one of my children finds our potential and impending move to a new house to be inspiring and energizing, while the other two see it, to differing degrees, as a yawning abyss of disruptive change.
With chapter and subtitles like "The Myth of Charismatic Leadership," "When Collaboration Kills Creativity," and "Does God Love Introverts? An Evangelical's Dilemma," there's lots of meat to mine here, as I shameless mix my metaphors.
What about you? Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert -- or, like me, somewhere in the middle (in my case, leaning intro-ward)? If you have children, do their temperaments match yours, or do you find yourself scratching your head -- and sometimes exhausted by their cravings for playmates or need for quiet?