World Introvert Day

So today is almost over, and I am just now realizing that it is World Introvert Day. Actually, perhaps in previous years I knew this, but it had slipped my mind. (Though it has only been around since 2011, according to its own site. In any case, how could I not at least post on such a day?

To begin with, you have to appreciate how a day dedicated to introverts is the day right after New Year’s Day, the first 10 minutes of which is perhaps one of the most extroverted 10 minutes of the year. All that confetti and hollering and drinking and kissing strangers and such. Though one could argue that by sunrise on January 1st things have quieted down for most people as they conclude that the holiday season is for the most part concluded, there are still parties and such to be had on the day itself. The day after the whirlwind of holidays concludes for most people, while also possibly one of the most depressing days of the year is in fact a good day to celebrate introversion. (Of course if you are one, celebrating being an introvert should be an everyday thing!)

I am of course an introvert, as you have to know by now unless this is the first time you have ever read anything I’ve written on this website. I’m also on the so called “high functioning” end of the autism spectrum, which in some ways enhances the effect. (Though not everyone who is autistic is an introvert, keep in mind.)

How much progress is being made in the recognition of the 50% of us that are introverted? There has been some backlash here and there due to the accusation of introverts believing they are somehow special, or fragile. Some of us of course are, but the recognition first and foremost that there are about as many introverts as there are extroverts remains for the most part unknown and unbroadcast. That alone indicates a lack of certain types of progress.

Many industries are still extroverted, and in fact just getting a job with any company tends to be an extroverted process. Small talk, interview, another interview, if you’re lucky. Study after study reveals that sad truth that more managers seem to be looking for individuals that are extroverted with charisma than they are people with the specific talents being sought at said job.

I myself am the organizer of a Meetup group designed solely for local introverts. This too is indicative of our still living in a high extroverted country in two ways. First, I started the group because almost no meet up groups catering to introverted type of social activities in my area. At the time, everything was bars and clubs, groups of 50 people and road trips at night to Baltimore or something. A whole lot of “not me” going on there. So I started my own meetup.

As if to further the suspicion that introversion is still not widely understood, I have had more than a few people join the group over the years who ultimately didn’t seem to know if they were in fact introverted. Some were actually quite guilty of high jacking conversations during our would be friendly open (and quiet) conversation meet ups. That doesn’t indicate a person is not an introvert, but it sure makes it more ambiguous than it needs to be.

And those aren’t even the extroverts who have wanted to join in an open, stated effort to “convert” us, and help us, say it with me come out of the proverbial shell. (I’ve come to hate that term so much, I cringed when someone in a novel I am reading said it.)

So the work goes on to chip away at the extroverted bias that governs American society. Progress is being made thank to folks like Susan Cain and other who author books and give speeches on the subject. But we have a long way to go before introversion, (still included as a determining factor when putting together a criminal profile!) is not seen as the deficit, but rather as the complement.

In the mean time, enjoy a meme I made some years ago that, if you are an introvert I am sure you can relate to.  Happy World Introvert Day.






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