On the other hand, the introverts-the “quiet” ones-live in a world that constantly wants them to change. However, bestselling author Susan Cain(photo) boldly challenges this common attitude.
On January 31, Cain came to speak at an event sponsored by Family Action Network, North Shore Academy, and Regina Dominican High School in the school’s O’Shaughnessy Auditorium.
“Why do we have to be so rowdy all the time? And why do we have to spell ‘rowdy’ wrong?” said Cain jokingly as she began her speech. She was referring to the cheer “R.O.W.D.I.E. That’s the way we spell rowdy, rowdy, let’s get rowdy!” to illustrate society’s insistence on an outgoing personality from an early age.
In fact, Cain observed, we live in a world in which those who shout out their ideas the loudest are perceived as having the best ideas. She doesn’t agree. Citing examples from her thorough investigations ranging from animal studies to her research at Harvard Business School, Cain argued that introverted people perform better in schools and generally have more knowledge than extroverts.
Introverts, according to Cain, are often more logical and analytical, which may make them more suitable to certain tasks that require precision and carefulness. Due to their inherent characteristics, introverts just do not know how to present their talents and ideas. Rather, they prefer thinking and working alone, which causes conflicts in a group-oriented workforce.
“I am not saying one personality is superior over another,” said Cain. What she has been advocating is that society learn to utilize the abilities of introverts whom make up more than one third of the workforce. “Although I have spoken on stages numerous times, I still feel uncomfortable. Personalities don’t change, and they don’t need to.”
Perhaps what really is necessary is the right balance and cooperation between those who like to stand out and those who do not.