Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Monday, November 16, 2009

meditating in the mosh pit

The title of today's post comes from a book rather than a song lyric. I don't "do" book reviews, have always been better at reading books than describing them to others, however I wanted to express how much I loved reading Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe. It helped me see that it's okay to want to avoid chit chat at work, and to wish some folks would just shut the heck up already! I'm not "anti-social" because I prefer my own company to that of most other people, and it explained why and how I gain such joy from my rich Virtual World. Introvert Power claims that more than half the population are Introverts trying to get by, and fit into, a world that it geared towards Extroverts, and that a lot of Introverts put themselves down or criticise themselves for not being more outgoing or extroverted. Definitely applies to me!

Here's the product description from Amazon:

"If you have introvert inclinations and are doubting yourself, this is a must read. Or if you know someone who exhibits introvert symptoms, read this book before calling the shrink."
- Bhante Yogavacara Rahula, author of One Night's Shelter: An Autobiography of an American Buddhist Monk

Are you an introvert? Psychologist and introvert Laurie Helgoe reveals that more than half of all Americans are. Introverts gain energy and power through reflection and solitude. Our culture, however, is geared toward the extrovert. The pressure to enjoy parties, chatter, and interactions can lead people to think that an inward orientation is a problem instead of an opportunity.

Helgoe shows that the exact opposite is true: Introverts can capitalize on this inner source of power. INTROVERT POWER is a groundbreaking call for an introvert renaissance, a blueprint for how introverts can take full advantage of this hidden strength in daily life. Supplemented by the voices of several introverts, Helgoe presents a startling look at introvert numbers, influence, and economic might.

Revolutionary and invaluable, INTROVERT POWER includes ideas for how introverts can learn to:

  • Claim private space
  • Carve out time to think
  • Bring a slower tempo into daily life
  • Create breaks in conversation and relationships
  • Deal effectively with parties, interruptions, and crowds


And a quote from inside the book:

Introverts generally prefer a rich inner life to an expansive social life, we would rather talk intimately with a close friend than share stories with a group and we prefer to develop our ideas internally rather than interactively.

Hooray, I actually feel like someone out there, maybe lots of "someones" understand me. I know from my friends here in the "madosphere" that there are a lot of people struggling with the pressure to be constantly "up" and "on" in our lives. Laurie Helgoe's book is written in a light-hearted yet forthright way, and was an easy read as well as an interesting one.

I'm currently reading "The Dance of Anger" so maybe that'll be my next "non-review" lol...

For some reason Blogger won't allow me to comment on my own posts today, so here's what I would have said in response to the comments below!

Firstly, how thrilled am I that Laurie Helgoe visited my blog and made a comment! Thank you so much Laurie. One of the things I loved most about Introvert Power is the personal tone she uses, with many anecdotes from her own life and relationships as well as quotes from other introverts. Brilliant book, I have already ordered two more copies for friends.
Coyote - I thought of you often while I was reading, there are a lot of correlations between things Laurie mentions in the book and situations you and I have experienced and discussed. Definitely look out for it.
Dreamwriter - thank you for dropping by, I always enjoy your reviews!
Lady Amanda - I know what you mean, I am more talkative than some Introverts (Laurie Helgoe calls us Socially Accessible Introverts) but definitely prefer the company of other Introverts who tend to understand my need for quiet time. I think you'd get a lot out of the book! Hugs back x


Laurie Helgoe said...

Hi Lil -- I received a Google Alert about your review of my book, INTROVERT POWER. Thanks so much for your kind words. And you are right, there are LOTS of "someones" out there who understand. I get a continuous stream of emails from introverts who have labored under the pressures you describe and are now letting go of all that and loving life! It's interesting that you used the word "lighthearted" to describe my book, because my own burdens were lifted as I wrote it. All the best, Laurie

Wandering Coyote said...

I am so going to look for this book because I know I am a HUGE introvert - always have been - and yeah, it causes a lot of stress & misunderstanding, I think. I hope it's available in Canada!

Wandering Coyote said...

Ooooh, it is available in Canada, and it's not too expensive! I hope I get some Xmas money I can purchase this with. Thanks for the review, my friend!!

Dreamwriter said...

Sounds interesting! Thanks for the review!

Lady_Amanda said...

I am an introvert too. However, I am more talkative than most introverts. It was hard as a child, though, because I didn't like parties or big outings. It wasn't until I got older that I really understood my personality. The book sounds interesting. And you even got the authour to comment for you. Go Lil! I think the problem comes when an intorvert marries and extravert. My Mom is an extravert and can't understand why my Dad, an intorvet, wants to relax play a computer game after being all day at work. Good post. Thanks for "non - book review" that is encouraging me to go out and buy the book.


arifaery said...

Hi Lil,

It's been a while. Thank you for this post. It's interesting because I myself am an extrovert but understand the introvert way of thinking. As a child I always thought I was an introvert, but discovered I was just shy with low self esteem. Now I embrace my extrovertness, but am always concerned that it disrupts the introverts around me (there are many at my work). Great post!