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[학생기자 JRC] The Unnoticed Power of Introverts

[시카고 중앙일보] 기사입력 2013/02/22 16:41

Junior Student Reporters Club

Seunglee Lee, <br>11th Grade, <br>Regina Dominican High School<br>

Seunglee Lee,
11th Grade,
Regina Dominican High School

In this fast-paced society, those who express themselves the most are often considered to be the most competent. The so-called extroverts-with their outgoing personalities-are praised and put in the spotlight.

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.

Susan Crain

Susan Crain

In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts, the author, a self-described introvert and a former Wall Street lawyer, highlights the commonly overlooked contributions of introverts to today’s society.

“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.



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